We made it through one of our most unique months at Elmdale School. It was great to welcome everyone back after more than 5 months away! Seeing all the students back in the building, hearing the joyful sounds of friends reuniting and watching them excitedly meet their new teachers was a true joy. Sure, things look different, but our goal this year is twofold - make school as normal as possible while still maintaining the highest level of safety we can for our students. Cohorting our students has meant re-doing schedules, organizing bathroom breaks to minimize cross-cohorting, replanning bus and pick-up routines, rethinking tried, tested and true routines, and generally looking over everything with a new lens. But the feedback has been positive - thank you parents for adapting, for teaching your kids to adapt, and most of all for having a positive attitude that passes down to your children. It is truly a joy to have everyone back at school!
We were able to do some of our "normal" things in a slightly different way this month. The Terry Fox Run, for example, was a highlight. Students stepped up and exceeded our goal of raising $400 for the Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research by bringing in over $600. Mrs. Tufford kept up her side of the bargain and came dressed up as a superhero! Way to go Elmdale!
October brings Thanksgiving, Picture Day, and of course, much learning! Please read through the rest of this newsletter for details.
Mr. Vince Hiebert
Principal: Elmdale School
Terry Fox Run 2020
While we love seeing our Elmdale families, with the additional restrictions we are currently following, we are asking the visits from parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. be minimized where possible. If you can schedule appointments, music lessons, sports activities etc. outside of the school day, this helps to minimize the traffic in the school building. We understand this isn't always possible, but we are asking for your help to work with us to minimize these as much as possible.
All guests, including when picking up or dropping off children during the school day, are asked to use Entrance A & C (centre of the school) when entering and exiting the building. We are asking that all visitors to Elmdale wear a mask when entering the school
To ensure contact tracing we require that all guests sign in at the office. Please do not proceed to your child's classroom. Our wonderful office staff can assist you at the office.
Earlier this month we sent out information on how our library will be running this year. As a reminder:
- Students will not be browsing books on the shelves to start. We now have approval to have students browsing in the library. We will phase this in throughout October while continuing to follow public health protocol.
- During library class Mrs. Penner will lay out an assortment of books on the tables in the library for students to pick from. Students may sign these books out. Books not signed out will be disinfected or placed in "book quarantine" before being reshelved.
- All students will have access to Destiny Discover (instructions attached), and they can "sign out" books virtually from home or using the iPads and Chromebooks at Elmdale. These books will be set aside for the student to pick up during their next library period.
- Returned books will be quarantined or disinfected according to Health Canada guidelines.
- Students will be able to read in the library during their library time. The library schedule is set up by cohort and the library will be disinfected between cohorts.
Pick up & Drop Off
As September has progressed, our pick up and drop off process has really improved. We are dismissing over 250 students in approximately 15 minutes while attempting to eliminate crossing of students from different cohorts! Thank you for your help in this process. A few reminders to consider:
DO NOT enter the bus loop prior to 8:50 or 3:45.
In the morning - if dropping off along the bus loop (after 8:50), please pull up along the fence, escort your child through the fence, and then pull through the bus loop exiting onto Elm Avenue.
In the afternoon - if picking up along the bus loop (after 3:45), please pull up along the fence, walk inside the playground along the fence and collect your children, walk inside the playground along the fence back to your vehicle, and then pull through the bus loop, exiting onto Elm Avenue.
All pick-ups should now be happening along the fence, including kindergarten students.
If vehicles are parked along the fence for pick up or drop off, please cautiously drive around them to an open spot, then pull up along the fence to park for pick up or drop off.
Students SHOULD NOT be walking through the bus loop or parking lot, except to walk directly to their vehicle and only with an adult escorting them.
To keep things moving efficiently, we need traffic to keep flowing during these times. This is not a time for prolonged discussions, conversations or questions with teachers or other parents.
When picking up students, please don't wait on the playground. If you arrive early, please park in the family parking lot and wait in your vehicle. If you prefer to wait outside of your vehicle, please stand near the fence along the Elmdale Street sidewalk until the buses leave.
Most of all, please proceed with care and caution! Please keep speeds reduced and follow the flow of traffic through the bus loop onto Elm Avenue - do not cut through the staff parking lot back to Elmdale Street!
Picture Day is coming Monday, October 19 - Tuesday, October 20.
After Picture Day, order pictures on mylifetouch.ca using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form.
Note that due to COVID restrictions, we will not be taking class photos this year. Reminders will be sent home prior to those days.
Student Code of Conduct & Protocol for Addressing Concerns
It is also important to highlight our Protocol for Addressing Concerns. It is inevitable that a concern or question will arise about something happening in the classroom, on the playground, or at school in general.
Generally speaking, a parent should start with the person most directly involved with the concern. For example, if you have a concern with something that took place in the classroom, you would speak first to the classroom teacher.
Understanding the line of communication in Manitoba schools is essential in working to resolve a concern in a school community. This line of communication should be followed in this order:
We would like to find ways to make this work, so we'd like to try the following. If you choose to send a birthday treat for your child's class, please follow these guidelines:
- Communicate with your child's teacher beforehand (SeeSaw, Email etc) to arrange a date & time.
- Snacks must be professionally pre-wrapped so things like individual chocolate bars, bags of chips etc are fine.
- Things like cake, trays of cupcakes, etc. are not permitted. Home-baked cookies that are pre-wrapped unfortunately are also not permitted as this needs to be done in a professional kitchen.
- It is best if your child can bring these themselves, but if that is not possible a parent should drop them off at the office (don't forget to wear a mask!). We will make sure they are brought to the right class.
We understand that this may cause inconvenience and stress - please note that we are simply following Public Health Orders and policy handed to us by Manitoba Health and Manitoba Education.
Cleaning and Sanitizing Measures
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting is occurring around your child’s school and throughout the day, especially high-touch surfaces and washrooms. Extra hand washing and sanitizing stations are set up and monitored to ensure students utilize them. In addition, we are placing portable wash stations in many of our schools.
- All buses are sanitized before the next group of children boards. Sanitization includes enhanced cleaning of seats and other high-touch surfaces (e.g., windows, railings). Some of our buses will be sanitized 2-3 times per route.
- HSD has also purchased portable sanitizer spray equipment, which is utilized on a routine basis for sanitizing classrooms, washrooms, gym equipment and school buses. This equipment will also be utilized to sanitize spaces in the event that we do have a positive case of COVID-19 identified in one of our schools or buses.
- The cleaning and sanitizing products used by HSD are deemed safe products approved for use in schools. We work with organizations such as Safe Work Manitoba and the Manitoba School Boards Association to determine which products are safe for use.
- A printable version of the Self-Screening Questionnaire (PDF) has been made available by Public Health. Self-Screening must take place every day before your child attends school.
- Manitoba Education has outlined the steps to be taken by public health and your child’s school if a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed. View the one-page Response Management Summary (PDF). For more detailed information regarding potential scenarios, visit the provincial Restoring Safe Schools web pages.
- All schools in the Hanover School Division are currently operating in the Caution Stage (yellow). The province has defined four pandemic response levels – Limited Risk (green), Caution (yellow), Restricted (orange) and Critical (red). These may change throughout the school year, and they can be applied differently in individual schools or regions across the province, depending on the situation. The response level is set by public health officials. Learn more about how each level impacts schools by viewing the Pandemic Response System (PDF) documentation.
"Soup's On" School Lunches
Bus Times, Routes & Address Changes
If your address has changed, please call transportation at 204-320-2347 to make sure that your children are riding the correct bus to and from school.