Together in Education Family Update
Tuesday March 2 ~ School Council Meeting (formerly Parent Council) 6:00 pm - all parents welcome! To add an item for discussion, or get the meeting link please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday March 8 ~ Start date for students returning from Virtual School
Monday March 8 ~ International Women's Day
March 15-19 - CRUISE SHIP SPIRIT WEEK @ LANCASTER (stay tuned for details)
Monday, March 22 ~ Term Two IEPs sent home
Dear Lancaster Families
This past month has provided many opportunities for staff and students to reflect upon and engage in deeper thinking on topics such as inclusion, marginalization, Black History, bullying and kindness. Classroom conversations and student activities help us to continue to learn and grow our thinking and understanding. We are looking forward to continuing to engage with these topics throughout the year.
Lancaster had our second consultative visit with our Public Health Nurse this past week to review the current practices within the school and answer any questions we had around COVID protocols. The feedback we received was very positive. Staff and students continue to follow the measures that help keep our building a safe place to learn and be together. Please do remember to send extra masks with your child as students often come in with wet or soiled masks from outside play. Labeling your child's items will also help us to ensure items can be returned. Our practices of cohorting students outside within yard zones has had the overall impact of fewer conflicts on the schoolyard. Students have less uncertainty about where their social fit is on the yard, and more clarity on the zone where they can play safely. Our staff continue to do their very best to support student safety and provide outlets for student energy and physical enthusiasm. Please ensure that as a family you review practices that are important at home and school as well and the screening guidelines in this newsletter. We do recognize that these safety measures put extra pressure on families but they are essential in keeping everyone safe and learning at school. Thank you for your support of each other.
Ms. Fox and your Lancaster Team
Putting the KINDER in Kindergarten : )
Welcome Mr. Brassard - A little lunchtime musical accompaniment
Our Superhero Cityscapes are striking - look at those colours and contrast!
Kingston Gets Active Challenge!
March 2021 Offers 31 Free Activities during the Kingston Gets Active Month Challenge
Kingston, ON – Get ready for the Kingston Gets Active Month Challenge! Kingston Gets Active Month is being offered as a challenge during the month of March, just in time to help you beat the winter and COVID blues. Kingston Gets Active Month is traditionally a time to try a new activity or just get out and have some fun getting active. This year all activities can be done outdoors or virtually at home. Everything is Free and there’s something for all ages.
To participate, download or check out the calendar of activities during the month of March. Challenge yourself, your family and your friends to get active each day. Then enter for a chance to win prizes!
Kingston Gets active is partnering with St Lawrence College Therapeutic Recreation students, who will be providing live virtual classes for all ages—from “Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Body Break” for little ones, to “Stretch to Destress at Work”, “Family Scavenger Hunt”, “Jukebox Classics Zumba” for older adults, and more. Other live virtual classes from local providers include cheerleading, yoga, and DancePl3y. We also have links from local provides to their virtual fitness programming as well as some fun things to do at home & outdoors—like water bottle bowling. All the details are in the Kingston Gets Active Calendar, which can be found on the Kingston Gets Active website.
Being physically active brings many benefits, including maintaining a healthy body weight, building a healthy heart, strengthening muscles and bones, improving self-esteem and mental health. “The Covid19 pandemic has made it difficult for all of us to find ways to be active,” said Kristin Côté, Coordinator of Kingston Gets Active. “We hope that all Kingston residents will take advantage of the many free activities being offered during the month and stay active, get healthy, and have some fun.”
Thank you to participating local organizations
This link will provide information about the free programming available and activity details
Ministry revises COVID-19 Screening Tool
In February, the Ministry of Education released details on several new initiatives intended to build upon existing public health and safety measures to keep schools open and safe. Since that time, school boards have been putting plans in place to execute these new measures.
This is a lot of new information. Please ensure you review it carefully.
First, the province has released a new version of the COVID-19 School & Child Care Screening Tool. The revised tool includes changes to stay-at-home requirements for those with symptoms and isolation requirements for household contacts of those with symptoms. A printable/downloadable version from KFL&A Public health is also available.
1. Students and staff with any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home until:
- They receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
- They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional, or
- It has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.
2. Students and staff are now required to stay home from school or child care if anyone in their household has new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, and has been recommended for isolation and testing. All asymptomatic household contacts of those with symptoms are required to quarantine until the symptomatic household member:
- receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or
- receives an alternative diagnosis by a health-care professional
If the symptomatic individual tests positive for COVID-19, or is not tested, and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health-care professional, the symptomatic individual must isolate (including from household members) for 10 days from symptom onset. All household contacts must isolate until 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual (a total of 24 days if the symptomatic individual is not able to effectively self isolate from other members of the household).
Secondary students (Grades 9 to 12) attending in-person learning must continue to confirm they have passed COVID-19 screening using the LDSB COVID-19 Daily Screening Confirmation Form before attending school each day.
Secondly, the Ministry of Education has directed school boards to offer voluntary asymptomatic testing to students and staff. We are currently working with Ministry officials and KFL&A Public Health on finalizing details for Limestone. We will share more information once it is available.
Finally, although there is currently low to no Variants of Concern (VOC) circulating in the KFL&A Region, KFL&A Public Health has a robust plan to manage potential cases in schools. Because VOCs could spread more easily than typical COVID-19 cases, more proactive isolation and contact tracing measures may be required if a VOC is suspected in a school environment. Limestone and KFL&A Public Health will advise school communities when more aggressive action is needed.
The new Ministry directives regarding COVID-19 screening may impact student and staff absenteeism. The board will make every effort to continue in-person learning but situations may arise where classrooms (or entire schools) may need to pivot to remote learning for a designated period of time. We hope this is not required.
We must continue to work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and ensure public health guidelines are met to keep our schools safe and open.
ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
KFL&A Public Health Immunization Announcement
KFL&A Public Health will be postponing the enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act for this school year and will not implement suspension actions this spring. Nevertheless, we ask that parents report any required vaccine(s) that a student has already received by the proposed deadline of February 18th, 2021.
Students missing vaccines, can see their regular health care provider as soon as possible and then update their record with KFL&A Public Health.
Students without a health card or doctor can book an appointment to receive free vaccines at KFL&A Public Health clinics. Go to //kflaph.ca/Appointments to book an appointment.
We recognize this may be a stressful time however we encourage families to provide the requested information due to the heightened importance of protecting against vaccine preventable disease outbreaks in our school communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This link will take you to information about how to report student absences.
Accessing Communication Tools
Learn how to:
- Set up a SchoolMessenger App account: set up your account, review your contact information and communication preferences, join teacher-instant messaging groups, and view all your alerts and messages in one place. Watch the video tutorial.
- Use the Communicate broadcast tool: choose how you will receive alerts including how to opt-in for text messaging. Watch the video tutorial.
- Use the Board mobile app: how to choose your schools, see your messages and report and review student absences. Watch the video tutorial.
Subscribe to school calendars: receive email alerts or download calendars or individual events to your personal calendar
Click here to see our virtual store for student clothing. More options coming soon!