Parent Peek at the Week

Week of September 27th, 2021

In case you missed it....

Important Dates

Monday, September 27 - Day 5


Tuesday, September 28 - Day 1

  • Lunchbox ordering will open (first hot lunch will be October 12th)


Wednesday, September 29 - Day 2

  • Terry Fox Run Day - SOX FOR FOX and "toonies for Terry"
  • Rowan's Law Day (concussion awareness)


Thursday, September 30 - Day 3

  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Friday, October 1 - Day 4


Upcoming days:

  • October 4th: School Council Meeting
  • October 6th: KH Pizza Night at Domino's
  • October 12th: Hot lunch program begins
  • October 20th: Tentative Photo Day

A few more staffing changes!

We continue to add some more new faces to our amazing Kawartha Heights staff!


First of all a huge welcome to Rachel Henderson, who just started as our new Grade 1/2 teacher. The little ones in room 11 are so lucky to have her and we are thrilled to now have consistency for them!


We found out this past week that due to our increased enrollment, we have also been allotted an additional .25 SERT, bringing this position back up to full time. This means an additional posting has gone out and interviews will take place over the next few weeks. Then we should be good to go for now!


Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and helpful to all our new staff that have started with us this year!

Information and Communications Release Form

Every year each KPR school asks families important questions around information and communication topics. Last year this was done electronically by the board office, but we had a hard time getting information from each family. This year we’re trying something new! Mrs. Sampson will be posting a form in each teacher’s homeroom group in Edsby. Please fill in the form for each of your children - by clicking on and answering the questions in the correct homeroom (each form is specific to each homeroom). We appreciate you taking the time to fill this in as soon as you can! If you have any questions, just let Mrs. Sampson know.

Late arrivals

We completely understand that some mornings bring challenges that have you arrive at school a little late. What becomes challenging for us is when multiple families arrive late every day. This past week, we have had between 20 and 30 students arriving late each day.


Due to COVID protocols, when a child arrives late, support staff have to be called away from the classroom they are supporting to walk a child to class. If you have more than one child in your family, then more than one support staff has to be called. This is because we cannot have students cross-cohort in the hallways and so staff must ensure they can get to their classroom safely.


As you can imagine, this puts a huge strain on the office and our support staff, as well as the students in class who are not receiving the support they require. We are kindly asking that families do the best they can on a regular basis to drop their children off in the back yard before 9am. If you need some strategies and ideas on how to make the mornings run more smoothly, please let us know. We’re happy to help.


Thanks for understanding.

Safe Arrival

Ensuring the safety of your child(ren) is one of the most important things we do at Kawartha Heights! If you have a child who will be away from school for any reason, please ensure you call the safe arrival number at 1-844-434-8199. You can also download the safe arrival app (mobile app SchoolMessenger) and let us know that way. One final way to inform us of absences is by logging on to a computer or device and going to studentabsence.kprdsb.ca. Please do not message or email your child’s teacher - absences must be reported through safe arrival. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. E. in the office.

School Council Elections

It’s that time of the year again! Our School Council nominations are open to all parents of the Kawartha Heights community.


Council meets approximately 6 times a year (usually the first Monday of the month) at 6:30pm. Once again this year we will be meeting virtually, so you can log in wherever you are! We welcome all and any voices to provide input into our school plans, determine fundraising goals and projects and generally support the work we do as a school.


If you are interested in joining Council, please fill in the nomination form at the following link: https://forms.gle/A2kwQ5Nr2PJ6MCGa7


Our first meeting is Monday, October 4th. We hope to see you then!

COVID protocols

We are all very tired of all things COVID but we continue to follow all current protocols in order to keep our students as safe as possible. It’s important to remember that all this hard work is to ensure we can stay together IN THE BUILDING this year and not have to go back to online! Here are some of the ways we are keeping our students and staff safe:


1. Social distancing in class: Students remain at their desks or tables during all learning time, with as close to 2 metres distance as we can achieve. Sometimes students work on the floor when they need more space, but still maintain this safe distance.


2. Social distancing outside: Outside students are able to interact with peers from their division, without wearing masks. We continue to do our best to remind them to socially distance, but boy - this is hard!


3. Hallway cross cohorting: Students are only ever in hallways with their own class. We have scheduled bathroom breaks for each class so that students do not cross cohort. Exiting and entering the school is also done class by class.


4. Items between home and school: Just a reminder that students only need their lunch, water bottle and masks in their bags when coming to school...No items other than library books go back and forth. This includes sports equipment and fidget toys. If your child needs a fidget to support sensory needs, please contact Mrs. Sampson and we will be sure to supply what is needed at school.


5. Gym use: Given the size of our gym, we are very restricted as to what we are allowed to do, while still ensuring kids are socially distanced. Going outside for physical education as much as we can remains the safest and best course of action.


6. Library: It's wonderful to see classes in the library again! Classes can browse for books while socially distanced and then read in spots separate from each other on the carpet.

Water bottle reminder

Just a reminder that due to the current protocols, water fountains are not currently operational in schools. Students must bring a water bottle from home to refill as they get thirsty. We have very few spare water bottles at KH, so please remember to pack this important item daily!
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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Thursday, September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, formally Orange Shirt Day.


What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981). Commemoration events are designed to remember and reflect upon the Canadian Residential School experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.


Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversations on all aspects of residential schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind, where Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation. This is a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected. Learning Matters, Belonging Matters, Relationship Matters, and of course, Every Child Matters. Now and always.


This is a challenging topic to cover with young children, but staff will do so with care, ensuring the discussion is developmentally appropriate. We encourage all our community to wear orange on Thursday to honour and remember.

Terry Fox School Run

Our annual Kawartha Heights Terry Fox School Run will be held on Wednesday, September 29th. Given our current protocols - Kindergarten will be able to walk together on the Kindergarten yard, Primary hallway will be able to walk together at the same time on the main yard and Junior hallway will walk together as a group on the main yard as well (different time than primary).


All donations will be accepted online only this year. Please see the link below - As in previous years, we are encouraging each student to donate a "Toonie for Terry". Of course more than a toonie is great too! Any support you can offer will also be greatly appreciated.


Once again this year, each homeroom will provide one item of clothing or swag that Mrs. Sampson will have to wear for the run day.


Last but not least, on the run day we encourage all students and staff to wear their best "Sox for Fox". Stripes, polka dots, fun designs, knee highs..... the crazier the better. Let's make this Sox for Fox Run a great one!

Mark it on your calendars!!

Your first "don't have to cook" night of the year is almost here! We have our first Domino's Pizza night scheduled for October 6th. Mark it on your calendars and get ready to eat pizza in support of our school!
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Bits and Pieces!

1. Just a reminder that the COVID screening tool must be completed by parents at home each morning for each child BEFORE attending school. Please help us to keep our school open this year! The best way to do this is ensuring your child(ren) come to school healthy. Thank you for your support! The screening tool can be found at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/


3. Drop off and pick up time can be very busy and often it can be challenging to keep 6 feet apart. KPR and Kawartha Heights is kindly asking ALL parents and caregivers to please wear a mask when dropping off and picking up children. Let’s all do our part to stay safe and reduce any risk of COVID outbreaks. Thank you!

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News From our KPR Board Office

To All KPR Families,


In my travels to schools across KPR during the first three weeks of classes, I have been impressed by the high levels of learning already achieved and the many caring acts displayed by students and staff alike. Nothing brings me more joy than experiencing the positive energy and sheer fun that students and staff bring to learning every day.


It also was great to see many KPR schools participating in the Student Vote program leading up to the federal election. The parallel voting program has students researching parties’ platforms and, based on what they discover, voting for the party of their choice. This is one of many meaningful ways our schools teach civic engagement and citizenship!


I have also seen many classes preparing posters and artwork for Afghan refugees coming to our area. I am proud of the warm welcome staff and students of all ages have been extending to new Canadians, many of whom have fled difficult circumstances that are unimaginable to most of us.


School bus driver shortages continue to be a problem in many areas of Ontario, and are directly affecting local routes. Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (STSCO), the consortium that oversees student busing in our area, continues to work closely with school bus companies to address this matter. We are pleased that the number of routes delayed or cancelled is being gradually reduced, and we hope to have all students who qualify for busing accommodated as soon as possible.


We recognize and regret the inconvenience and disruption caused to families by delays or cancellations of a number of routes, due to difficulty in filling bus driver positions. The reality is that local bus operators rarely are able to have extra drivers available on short notice to support driver absences. We are hopeful that busing routes will continue to be stabilized and supported, and we know STSCO is working closely with operators toward that goal.


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Schools are continuing to prepare students in age-appropriate ways for meaningful, respectful recognition of Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, coming this Thursday, September 30.


We are inviting students and staff to wear orange on September 30. More importantly, however, KPR schools will use this solemn day to teach about the harm caused by the residential school system, to honour residential school survivors and their families, and to remember the children who never returned home. Teachers also will focus on tangible steps everyone can take to support the journey of healing and reconciliation.


Most importantly, the learning about this day will continue throughout the school year. We have provided age-appropriate resources for staff to further their students’ understanding of this important issue, and to support those affected by its tragic legacy. At all times during the school year, our actions will focus on what it truly means when Every Child Matters.

I also want to let families know that the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has worked with Indigenous communities and many partners to produce a unique, one-hour, commercial-free primetime broadcast on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The special will broadcast and stream live starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 30 on APTN, CBC, CBC Gem, and the French-language ICI TÉLÉ and ICI.TOU.TV. I hope you are able to join us in watching this important broadcast, and in learning more about reconciliation.


Graduation Ceremonies

We know many students and families are anxious for news on fall commencement ceremonies for our recently graduated Grade 12 students.


Due to continuing public health directives and physical distancing requirements, we are sharing that the upcoming fall Grade 12 events will be celebrated virtually.


We understand and appreciate that this is disappointing news, and not the environment we were hoping for this past June when we postponed these events.


Schools will be working on plans to provide opportunities for students to attend school on a scheduled basis for pictures, awards or certificates, and greetings with school staff. You will be contacted directly by your home school with details.


Volunteers

We also appreciate the constant, irreplaceable support of thousands of volunteers throughout KPR. Many are eager to return to schools to work with students once again.

We hope to welcome volunteers back into our schools very soon. After developing and implementing procedures for staff to meet provincial mandates for disclosing their vaccine status, we are working on finalizing protocols for volunteers. In the meantime, school councils have been continuing their invaluable work, meeting remotely to plan for the school year with staff.


Thank you to all volunteers, and to families for supporting your children’s learning!


Sincerely,

Rita Russo
Director of Education

One more thing....

We have had lots of changes and transitions during the start up of the school year this year. We know it’s been hard on our students and families, as well as our teachers. We just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all our community for your support and understanding. We appreciate your partnership each and every day!
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