Parent Peek at the Week

Week of September 21st, 2020

Thank you Mr. Davies!

Sometimes in the busy days we experience, we forget to thank some of our behind the scenes people. I know it's been a challenging time for us all, but I can't begin to share with you what a busy time it's been for Mr. Davies. The amount of new learning, protocols, chemicals, cleaning procedures, changes to his schedule, move of our night custodian to a new school....Mr. Davies has gone more than above and beyond. And yet who is the one at school that the staff and students always call when we need something? Who is the one that always responds with a smile and a "sure" - no matter what we're asking!?! Mr. Davies - we are the luckiest school in the board to have the BESTEST head custodian in the board. From the bottom of all our hearts - thank you for all you do, with AND without COVID-19!

Important Dates

Welcome back to all our students - every day this week!


WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 28th - TERRY FOX WEEK! Please see details below - we will be walking one class at a time, socially distanced, during the day on September 30th (rain date October 1st).

Important Pieces of Information

1. Nut safe school/nut free classrooms: Just a reminder that we have several students at our school that have life threatening allergies to nuts. Please avoid sending products with nuts to school, especially if your child is in class with one of the students we are trying to keep safe. We appreciate your support!


2. Mask Protocol: As we continue to "live" our mask protocol, there are minor adjustments that take place from time to time. A few updates that I'd like you to know about..... If you would like to send your child with a lanyard to secure their mask when outside, you are now able to do so. However, please note that the lanyard must have a "break away" feature (can undo when pulled on tightly) so that it is not a choking hazard. We have also been asked if students can wear headbands or hats with buttons to secure the mask (instead of wearing the loops around the ears). For the purpose of securing a mask ONLY, hats can be worn in school during COVID protocols. Headbands can also be worn.


The Kawartha Heights staff would like to say a HUGE thank you to all families for your amazing support of masks. Although they are only strongly encouraged in K-Grade 3, we estimate about 95% of all our students are wearing masks. This greatly improves our ability to keep everyone safe. Thank you for sending your children with their masks daily!


3. Sending Food to School: Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to accept any donations to classes of food. In the past, families may have sent in birthday cupcakes or food that the class can share. Until further notice, students can only eat the food they've brought to school.


We continue to offer a morning nutrition program, however for the short term we are focusing on single serve items that are prepackaged (such as granola bars, cheese strings, yogurt tubes and single serve fruit).

Parents want to know!!!!

This week we've had some timely and excellent questions from parents. Each week, I'll post a few here. If someone else is asking, others will have a similar question! If you have something you'd like to know or have a question that needs an answer, please feel free to send me an email and I'll include it in our next Parent Peek at the Week:


1. Will sports and clubs be running at the school this year?

The short answer is - we hope so! However, for the time being, we are unable to run any sports or clubs, as students are kept to their class cohort for safety during the day. Even when walking in the halls, going to the bathroom, or playing on the yard, each class is carefully kept cohorted away from all others.


2. Will there be a Hot Lunch or Milk Program this year?

The direction for now is to hold off on running Hot Lunch or milk programs. The Health Unit will advise us when we are able to safely start these programs again this year.


3. What happens when my child doesn't feel well at school?

Due to the COVID-19 protocols, things are a little different at school when your child indicates they don't feel well. This year, we will support your child by bringing them to the Sick Room (a small room inside the library). Staff will wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and a call will be made for you to pick up your child. We will provide you with a letter regarding next steps. Whether you choose to have your child tested for COVID at the assessment centre or not, we ask that you keep your child at home until 24 hours after the last symptom is shown. We appreciate your support and understanding as we need to take all reports of feeling unwell very seriously.


4. What if I want to move to distance learning or come back to face-to-face?

For a variety of reasons, we know parents might consider changing their decision about their child’s placement whether it be in the virtual school or bricks and mortar school.


The following message can be found on our board website: If families change their decision regarding whether they want their children to attend in person after the start of school, their requests for a change will be addressed as soon as possible. We will ask that families be patient as some time will be required to develop transition plans from one form of learning to another, as we will need to adhere to Ministry of Education and Public Health guidelines that support student and staff health, safety and well-being.


If you find yourself in this situation, please contact me at the school so that we can discuss further.

Terry Fox Run and “Sox for Fox“

Although we have to do things a little differently this year, our annual Terry Fox run will still be taking place! Next week, we will be focusing on lots of great learning experiences in class, as this is the 40th anniversary since Terry embarked on his great journey. In addition to our classroom learning, we will be completing our school wide walk on Wednesday, September 30th (rain date Thursday, October 1st). Each class will walk at their own designated time in order to ensure social distancing and not crossing cohorts.


We are hoping that you will consider donating to this great cause. If even half our school donates a toonie, we will be able to raise over $200. And if we raise $200? Then each class gets to select one item that Mrs. Sampson gets to wear for the entire Terry Fox Day! This was a big hit last year, and we hope we can make it happen again this year. Please donate at the following link:



https://secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?TeamID=911844


Unfortunately we are unable to accept donations directly at the school this year.


As a way to show our school spirit, we are also encouraging all students and staff to wear their craziest socks, as we celebrate “SOX for FOX”. It’s time to have a little school spirit fun!

Drop off/Pick up

Thank you to everyone for helping us to make drop off and pick up run so smoothly during our first week! It felt wonderful to have everyone at school on Friday - and see that students already knew where to find their families at pick up time. As we head into this next week, teachers will not be coming out quite as early, as we know students have an idea of where to meet you now. If you find that gates 4 and 5 seem busy (and they absolutely are!), please consider having your child(ren) walk up to the far gate #2 on Applewood, or the back parking lot gate #3. As a reminder, here are the gates we have for pick up at Kawartha Heights:

Information from the KPR Board Office

Virtual Elementary and Secondary Schools

At the same time we welcome everyone back to our buildings, we’re also excited to connect with our more than 5,700 virtual school students.

This has been a busy week for school staff as they work to finalize registration and timetables for these students.

As this work continues, and for questions that come up, including support with technology, there are a number of ways students and parents can connect with these schools, including through their school web pages linked here:

- virtualelementaryschool.kprdsb.ca

- [virtualhighschool.kprdsb.ca]virtualhighschool.kprdsb.ca


We’ve also established helplines to provide technical support for students and parents.

Student/Parent Helpline Virtual Elementary School

1-877-741-4577 Ext 3002

Elementary_Helpline@kprdsb.ca

Student/Parent Helpline Virtual High School

1-877-741-4577 Ext 3001

Secondary_Helpline@kprdsb.ca


New Screening Tool

The provincial government this week released a new, interactive screening tool that students, staff and families may choose to use each morning. It is available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ The intent of the online tool is to let individuals know whether they should attend school each day, or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources.

Public Health Ontario also has released practical, day-to-day Tips for Children Attending School, with helpful advice ranging from how to put on and take off masks safely, to ways to keep one’s glasses from fogging up when wearing a mask, and more. These tips are available at https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/sch/09/covid-19-ipac-school-children.pdf?la=en


KPR Resources

We are also continually updating our resources for families to reflect latest direction from the province and public health. Attached are four items you may find particularly helpful:

  • Illness Protocol for Students, which outlines steps the school will take should a student become ill
  • Communications Protocol, to let families know how we will be releasing information related to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at a school
  • Morning Checklist, which is a simple, daily reminder of the morning routines that will help prevent spread of COVID
  • Self Screening Tool, a fact sheet to remind students, families and staff of the exposures and symptoms they should look for each morning before deciding to head to school.

COVID Alert App

We also want to ensure our families are aware of the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app, which can be downloaded for free to let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear. That app is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

Families and staff can use whichever of the national, provincial and KPR resources noted above that they find most practical and easy to use.

One more thing....

Families - we know this isn't easy. You are worried about your children and what may or may not be happening provincially over the next few weeks. Yet you are putting aside your fears and sending your most precious cargo to us. Thank you! This says it all.....
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