The Rideau Report

January-February 2021

Principal's Message

"Every moment is a fresh beginning." T.S. Eliot

Beginnings surround us these days at Rideau. We began the New Year in remote learning, and are excited to be getting back to class to begin learning together in person again on Monday Jan. 25. It is also the beginning of a new chapter for Mme Zelmanovits, who will become the new Principal at Winston Churchill PS on Jan. 29. For Rideau, that means we will be welcoming Mme Val Arsenault as our new VP and Student Support Teacher. Mme Arsenault has extensive experience at French Immersion schools in Limestone, and has been an administrator at several schools, including Lundy's Lane, Central, and most recently Harrowsmith PS. We know that all our Rhinos will welcome her as she begins at Rideau.

We can not begin to thank Mme Zelmanovits enough, or to express our appreciation for the impact she has had on the lives of students, families and staff over the past year-and-a-half. She quickly and easily became a part of our community, and has supported children and families in many ways. We know that she will be a wonderful Principal, and we wish her all the best at Winston (although we also wish she was staying!)

Our return to school will include a refresher for students on COVID protocols. An email was sent to families Jan. 21 asking parents and guardians to go over these rules with their children as well. Families are also reminded to self-screen every morning before coming to school, to help keep everyone safe, healthy, and in school. More information regarding screening and COVID protocols is included further on in this newsletter.

We try to make our communications with families as effective as possible. All email communication will be done through School Messenger this year, so please ensure that we have your correct email address on file at school. Our website: also has our newsletters, a school calendar, and other useful information. Twitter is another way to keep up with what's happening at Rideau. Follow us @RideauPS_LDSB . You don't even need a Twitter account to follow us! Just Google @RideauPS_LDSB and you can see our Twitter feed. You can always get in touch with us through email at or by calling the school at 613-546-5901. Thank you for your continued support of the work we do every day!

G. Seiveright, Principal

Screen your child every day!

All students, staff, bus drivers, bus monitors and visitors to schools must perform a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before each school day and before putting students on a school bus. Staying home when sick is important to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses in our community.

The online screening tool is available here, and a PDF version is copied below

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wear a mask!

Parents and guardians are reminded to wear a mask when picking up or dropping off students. The Park St. and Toronto St. gates can get quite crowded before and after school, and masking by everyone will help to keep us all safe and healthy!

Family Literacy Day

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Family Literacy Day is Wednesday, January 27. We will recognize this day at school with a 'Dress as Your Favourite Book Character' Day and other literacy-based activities. Families are also encouraged to come together and celebrate literacy at home. You can find out more about Family Literacy Day at , where you can also register for a special online event with Author/Artist Barbara Reid!

Bell let's talk day

Bell Let's Talk day is Thursday, January 28. This is a day every year to focus on mental well being and to help end the stigma around mental illness. Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives for every use of the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, so be sure to be active on social media this Thursday. We will share age-appropriate messaging with students around well-being and resilience, which have become particularly relevant through the pandemic.

PA Day

This Friday, January 29, is a PA Day for students. Don't forget also that February 15 is Family Day, which is also a school holiday.

WWF Sweater Day

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On Thursday, February 4, we will participate in the World Wildlife Fund's annual Sweater Day, in support of climate action. On this day, schools, businesses, and homes turn down their thermostats and put on sweaters, to symbolize our support for the fight against global warming. Rideau will turn down our temperature by 2 degrees (don't worry it won't be too cold!), so wear your coziest sweater and show your spirit!

report cards

Term 1 Report Cards and kindergarten Communication of Learning will be sent home with students on Wednesday, February 17. This report will reflect student achievement during the first term, from September to the end of January.

It is important to remember that this reporting reflects learning that has occurred in a modified learning environment as required by the provincial public health guidelines. As a result, the rate of progress and achievement described in this report card may differ from previous years due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on student learning. Ongoing communication with your student’s teacher will provide additional information pertaining to student progress throughout the term.

Picture Day order deadline extended

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School photo proofs were sent home to families before the December Break. Orders were supposed to be completed online or sent in to the school by January 13, however due to the remote learning period, families now have until Thursday, January 28 to send orders to the school. Ordering online is also still available. Don't miss this deadline!

Attendance on inclement weather days

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As we look ahead to the coming winter, we would like to remind families of our practice for reporting absences on Inclement Weather Days. All parents/guardians are asked to report their student’s absence regardless of the reason including during bus cancellations. Often, bused students find alternative ways to school and we want to ensure we know the whereabouts of every student to ensure their safety and well-being. Knowing who is supposed to be at school will allow school office staff to best ensure all students are accounted for.

To record a student absence in Safe Arrival on an Inclement Weather Day, select:

  • Bus cancellation as the reason for absence if your student is bused
  • Inclement weather as the reason for the absence if your student walks but chooses not to attend

If your student is marked absent and the absence hasn’t been reported in advance, our SafeArrival system will attempt to reach the student’s priority contact (parents/guardians) by telephone to confirm the absence. The SafeArrival system makes it easier for you to report your student’s absence, reduces the time it takes for our school staff to verify student attendance, and responds to unexpected or unplanned student absences. This time savings makes it faster and more efficient to account for all students and their safety.

On inclement weather days, sometimes the daily plan is amended but learning continues as many students can, and do find alternative ways to school (Kingston Transit, family drop off, walking). In schools where there are significant walk-to populations, an inclement weather day doesn’t usually affect the curriculum plan. In others, almost all students might be (school) bused. In these cases, educators make the necessary adjustment to adjust their lesson plans for who is in attendance.

Dress for winter!

It is getting cold outside! We are still trying to take learning outdoors when possible, to increase distancing and to give students and staff a mask break. Students also have 40 minutes of outdoor recess every day. Please make sure that students are dressed for the weather, including coats, snowpants, hats, mitts and boots as necessary. We follow Public Health guidelines in extreme cold, and will keep students indoors if the temperature drops below -20 degrees (-27 wind chill), but otherwise plan to go outside!

School Council News

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Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, at 6:30 p.m. We are planning to meet virtually through a Microsoft Teams meeting. A link will be shared with all School Council members and posted on the school website so all interested parents/guardians can join. We are also still looking for a new Indigenous Family Rep for our SAC. If you are an Indigenous parent/guardian of an Indigenous student at Rideau and are interested in getting involved in School Council please let us know at the office.

Our School Council flipgive fundraiser with Indigo is still open for those families that missed it in December. If you would like to take part in this gift card fundraiser, please click on the link: to purchase your gift cards.

safe arrival

Please remember to report absences through the Safe Arrival Website/App, or by phoning

1-855-257-9349. Even if your child is just going to be late due to an appointment, please report them absent for the day, and we will change it when they arrive. Thanks for your support!

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spirit days

Friday Feb. 12 and Friday Feb. 26 are School Colours/Spirit Wear Days!

Upcoming events

  • January 25 - Welcome Back!
  • January 27 - Family Literacy Day - Dress as your favourite book character!
  • January 28 - Bell Let's Talk Day
  • January 29 - PA Day
  • February 4 - WWF Sweater Day - wear your coziest sweater!
  • February 9 - 100th day of school!
  • February 15 - Family Day
  • February 17 - Report Cards sent home
  • February 24 - virtual School Council Meeting 6:30

Check our school calendar on our website for the most current listing of events!