Together in Education Family Update
Week of October 19-23
MARK IT RED FOR DYSLEXIA: RED SPIRIT DAY ON MONDAY
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability in reading. Kids with dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. They may also have trouble with reading comprehension, spelling and writing.
A plain language definition from the Yale Centre for Dyslexia and Creativity:
“Dyslexia is defined as an unexpected difficulty in learning to read. Dyslexia takes away an individual’s ability to read quickly and automatically, and to retrieve spoken words easily, but it does not dampen their creativity and ingenuity.”
According to the International Dyslexia Association 15-20% of the population has a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. Dyslexia affects males and females nearly equally as well as people from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds nearly equally.
For all the students who struggle every day to succeed and work harder for the world to recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of ALL people. Children who learn differently are often gifted in ways that our society takes more time to value. We wear red tomorrow on Oct 19th, and join the City of Kingston, to recognize and support the journey we are on together with these students.
Experiential Technology Program Begins!
New deadlines for opting in/out of learning models
This school year, students and families in the Limestone District School Board have the option of choosing to opt in or opt out of in-person or virtual school to accommodate their individual needs and circumstances.
Families were required to express their interest in changing from one model of learning to another as early as possible to ensure the board could adhere to staff collective agreements and class sizes set by the Ministry of Education.
As shared previously, the board will accommodate moves between models of learning if there is available space in the class/school. It should be noted that that we are prepared to transition students to online learning (not Virtual School) should a class or school be required to close or self-isolate for a period of time due to COVID-19.
At the elementary level, the board conducted a reorganization in late September to adequately staff our in-school and virtual classrooms. Since then, we have had additional families express an interest to move their students from in-person school to the LDSB Virtual School. Currently, some students remain on a wait list for the virtual school. In other cases, families have opted to return to the classroom.
Elementary students: Elementary families who wish to move students from in-person to remote learning or remote learning to in-person learning, must provide notice by October 29, 2020 at 3 p.m. To do this, families must contact their student’s home school. Once numbers are known, staffing will be arranged with class start up scheduled for the week of November 9, 2020.
While efforts will be made to accommodate requests for a change, families should expect that they might need to be wait-listed if they change their minds due to capacity challenges at their current school. Families who are currently on the wait list will be accommodated first. While we will endeavour to make another formal opportunity to move between learning models, it is important that families understand we cannot guarantee another opportunity to switch between modes of learning later this school year. If we can do so, it would occur mid-winter.
The board appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding as we work through these changes because of COVID-19. As indicated, we also want to assure families and students that we are prepared to transition students to online learning (not Virtual School) should a class or school be required to close or self-isolate for a period of time due to COVID-19.
Human Development and Sexual Health Exemptions
Moving forward, at the beginning of every school year, parents/guardians will be informed that they can choose to have their child or children exempted from instruction related to Human Development and Sexual Health expectations by completing and returning an exemption form for each child.
Parents/guardians can access a list of all Human Development and Sexual Health expectations by grade for Grades 1 to 8 from the Ministry Health and Physical Education curriculum on the LDSB website. Prior to classroom instruction, teachers will inform parents/guardians that the expectations related to the Human Development and Sexual Health expectations will be covered. The deadline for the exemption request will be five school days before the start of instruction.
Learning French in Limestone
Lancaster Parent Council Update
We are still waiting for a few key roles to be filled within parent council. If you are interested, please reach out to Kory Slovitt – email@example.com to discuss a role you may be willing to fill. Everyone is welcome at the meetings and we encourage you to come out to lend your voice and your support to this dynamic group of Council Executives. Our next virtual meeting will be on Tuesday, November 3rd at 6:00pm. If you are interested in receiving the meeting link please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protocols for the Safety of our School Community
With two more schools affected in the board, we know that we will need to continue to be vigilant and to follow the safety protocols outlined from Public Health. We ask for your continued diligence with the following:
- By now, students are familiar with their school yard zones and family meeting spots. Please do not come onto the school yard unless absolutely necessary. If you must come onto the school yard at drop off, please remember to wear a mask and to leave the property promptly.
- If you must pick up your child at the end of the day, please wait until dismissal time, and pleased do not linger or congregate.
- Please continue to screen your children before sending them to school and keep them home if they are showing Covid-19 related symptoms following the KFL& A Health Unit protocols.
- Please communicate the reason for absences in Safe Arrival Absence Reporting and contact the school with questions or follow-up information.
- Parents are not permitted in the building. Please call the school in advance if you wish to speak to a staff member.
- Masks are being worn outside when students are engaged in any activity where they are not able to maintain physical distancing. We will encourage students to change their masks if they become wet. Thank you for sending extra masks with your child. We have extra masks should students need them.
COVID 19 SCREENING
The Ontario Ministry of Health has again revised the COVID screening tool for children in school. The main change is regarding symptoms that are commonly associated with other illnesses, such as a runny nose or headache:
- students with only one of these symptoms (not including fever/cough) will be advised to stay home for 24 hours, after which they can return to school if their symptoms are improving
- students with two or more of these symptoms (or one symptom if it is fever or cough) will be advised to stay home until they are able to consult with a health care provider and receive an alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test
Please see the newly revised Screening tool for Children in School and Child Care (October 1, 2020).
WHEN A STUDENT OR STAFF IS SICK AT SCHOOL
All students and staff must self-screen every day before attending school using a checklist before arriving at school. If a student or staff member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home from school and should seek testing and appropriate medical attention. If a student or staff member feels sick, or develops symptoms while at school, schools will follow the following protocol:
- Students or staff who develop COVID-19 symptoms will immediately be separated from others, and the family will be contacted to arrange pick-up.
- Staff and families will be directed to consult their health-care provider and should be provided with information about COVID-19 testing locations.
- Staff and/or students who test positive may not return to school until they are cleared by KFL&A Public Health.
- Staff and/or students who test negative can return to school once they are symptom-free for 24 hours.
- Limestone schools will immediately report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the KFL&A Public Health.
- Limestone schools will participate in contact tracing through keeping records of classes, transported students, and visitors to schools.
Grade 7 and 8 Immunizations
This fall, we do not plan to provide clinics in schools and instead, will offer community-based clinics by appointment at various sites within the KFL&A area. The Grade 7 Clinics are also open to students in Grade 8 who missed vaccine doses as a result of the cancellation of clinics due to school closures in the spring. KFL&A Public Health strongly recommends that all eligible students receive these immunizations.
Appointments can be booked online at www.kflaph.ca/ImmunizationClinics or by calling KFL&A Public Health. Consent forms can be completed online at www.kflaph.ca/SchoolImmunizations or printed at home and brought to the student’s booked appointment.