Parent Peek at the Week

Week of January 24th, 2022

Important Dates

Monday, January 24th - Day 3


Tuesday, January 25th - Day 4


Wednesday, January 26th - Day 5

  • Bell Let's Talk Day


Thursday, January 27th - Day 1


Friday, January 28th - Day 2

  • Hopefully - Cougar Courage Awards!!!


Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, January 31st: PA Day (NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS)
  • February 7th: School Council Meeting
  • February 17th: Grade 6 Transition Meetings with Crestwood Intermediate
  • February 21st: Family Day
  • February 22nd: Report Cards sent home

Key Messages

We know there is SO much information coming your way, but these KEY MESSAGES continue to be very important. If you remember nothing else, please remember these 5 tips!
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Daily Screening

Our most important tool to keep schools safe is daily, active screening of all students and staff. Anyone who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or is a confirmed positive case must self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status.


Here is what you need to remember:


1. The COVID-19 provincial school screening tool must be completed by EVERY staff and student daily: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening


2. Students (every single one in every family) have to also now complete an attestation form daily at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdAYRB8qFPfPEbx1knMWBEN1XyoSHQ42WOvW9XzTYn6gpur4w/viewform


If ANY signs of illness are present (Covid or not) staff and students are NOT to attend school. Completing the provincial Covid screener will give you the info you need to know your next steps.

Identifying Positive Covid Cases

As part of our commitment to support student and staff safety and open communication, when we are informed of possible COVID exposures as a result of positive Rapid Antigen Tests or PCR tests, we will share that information with affected classes/staff and/or buses.


Principals WILL notify families, by way of a letter, if a positive Covid case has been detected in a classroom.


Here is where I need your help: I can only inform you, if I know. So if your child does test positive (on a school provided test or other means if it's available to you), please email or give me a call. Your information will be kept strictly confidential, but this way I can notify other families in your child's class so that they can pay extra attention and screen with extra caution. I ask for your understanding that if a letter does not come home, it means that I am not aware of a positive case.

My child became ill at school - what happens?

I recognize that it is hard to navigate next steps right now and there are many questions about what happens when your child informs us at school that they aren't feeling well. Here is what you need to know:


1. When a child indicates they aren't feeling well, the teacher contacts Mrs. Sampson.


2. Mrs. Sampson goes to the class to find out the symptoms the child is experiencing. If ANY Covid symptom is present, the child is then taken to the isolation room (smaller room off the library that has been cleared except for a few chairs). If the child is experiencing a non-Covid symptom (an earache might be an example) then we still call home right away for pick up but they do not isolate.


3. Please understand that teachers and Mrs. Sampson are not doctors and we do not have any nurses in the schools. We can only go by what your child is telling us. I know this might be frustrating, but we can only do our best, based on the information they provide to us.


4. Once in the isolation room, Mrs. Sampson wears full PPE gear (robe, mask, visor, gloves) and your child is switched to a medical mask. Their temperature is taken and the Ministry screening tool is completed. The final page is then printed to hand to you upon pick up so that you have the best and most current information about next steps.


5. Mrs. Sampson contacts the office and a call is made home. At this point we will tell you if it is only 1 symptom on the "lesser" list or if there are 2 symptoms or 1 on the "higher priority" list. We will also give you an indication if your family will be required to isolate so that you can plan accordingly.


6. Mrs. Sampson waits in the isolation room until you arrive with your child. If more than 1 child falls sick at a time, then we have no choice but to isolate them together.


7. When you arrive, Mrs. Sampson will provide you with the instructions from the Ministry screener regarding your next steps.


Again - please understand that school staff and Mrs. Sampson are only the messengers and we are providing you with the most current direction we can from the local and provincial Health Units. We do not create the protocols - we are just required, like families, to follow them. We appreciate your kindness and understanding that this isn't easy for any of us. If you are frustrated and upset - we understand - but please don't direct this frustration and upset at those who are just doing their best to keep kids as safe as we can.

Masks

Thank you to the parents who have been sending in many mask options with their child each day.


Here are a few mask tips to remember:


1. Please make sure the masks you are sending in with your child, fit their face. Baggy masks or masks that are too small, do not support in stopping the spread of Covid.


2. Masks should fit nicely around the nose and under the mouth, creating a "seal" so that there are no gaps AND so that they don't constantly fall down off the nose. Masks don't help if they aren't well fitted!


3. Some students need as many as 5 masks a day - some friends get them wet, soiled or the straps break. While we do have some extras as school, we are unable to provide a number of masks to every student every day. Please make sure you send in extras so we can switch out during the day!

Pick up and drop off

With the addition of all this extra snow, pick up and drop off time has become VERY complicated on Applewood - our side street.


I am aware that when the city plows came through, they plowed about 4 - 5 feet from the curbs. The result of this is that when cars pull up to drop off students, there is not enough room for 2 lanes of traffic to go up and down the street.


I have contact Public Works and requested that they return to push back our banks. I'm not sure if/when this might happen.


In the meantime, it would be very helpful that as many people as possible use our upper parking lot or park across Kawartha Heights Blvd. in the mall parking lot and have children cross with the crossing guard. This will make things so much safer in the short term until we can find a resolution to the issues on Applewood.


Two important reminders:


1. Please do NOT park in the bus loading zone! This is always clearly marked by 2 cones. We randomly have bylaw officers come by and they will ticket any cars caught in this area.


2. Parents/guardians/babysitters please make sure you wear a mask at pick up and drop off time. The sidewalks do not allow 2 meters distance between people and our board masking policy does state that adults must wear a mask when picking up/dropping off students and 2 meters distance can't be maintained. Please help us by being a role model for our students.

Technology

Any student who borrowed technology for home learning, is asked to return the Chromebook and charging cord as soon as possible. We currently have about 40 devices that still have not been returned to the school.


Technology will be handed to the classroom teacher (not the office) so that Mrs. Sampson can properly sign it back in and log it for the IT department.

Second Annual Virtual Paint Night

On behalf of School Council, we are thrilled to let you know that we have once again received a grant for $1,000 in order to be able to run the Virtual Paint Night this year. We are so excited!


This online evening event is open to all face-to-face, as well as online Kawartha Heights students and their families.


Date: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022


Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm


Resources: You will need to have some kind of technology (computer, laptop, tablet) in order to be able to connect to the virtual Paint Night. Each participant will be provided with a full paint kit including canvas, paint and paint brush in order to participate. Kits will be available for pick up at the school, the week prior to the event.


PLEASE NOTE: Although we have received some grant money for this event so there is no cost to participants, the kits are expensive at $7.00 each, so please only indicate those family members who you are sure will participate in the event.


To sign up for our Virtual Paint Night, please go to the following link: https://forms.gle/7qrBTtxcreoqAEvHA

School Council

This past week we had our monthly School Council Meeting. We spent time discussing the Covid protocols in our school, as well as received an updated financial report and did some initial planning for our second annual virtual paint night.


Please see the minutes posted below - and if you have any questions, please get in touch with Mrs. Sampson.

Bits and Pieces

1. Hot lunch programs remain on pause for at least another week. Hopefully we can get them up and running soon after that!


2. Just to let you know that Rocks and Rings had to cancel our February dates. They are no longer offering in person sessions this year due to Covid. We'll have to be patient and try to wait and book next year.

From the KPR Board Office

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

We have now received and distributed two Rapid Antigen Tests to all permanent and LTO staff in elementary and secondary schools, and to all elementary students. Based on limited availability, the Ministry of Education has identified a priority order for additional RATs. Secondary students and all other KPR staff will receive RATs as soon as we receive more supplies, hopefully early next week.


Please note that the rapid tests are to be used when you are symptomatic. Individuals with symptoms who test negative twice (24-48 hours apart) may return to school/work if their symptoms are improving, in accordance with the isolation guidance outlined in the school screening tool.


Individuals who test positive do not need to use the second test and should follow the isolation guidelines (5 days if under 12 or fully vaccinated, and 10 days if over 12 and unvaccinated), returning to work after the isolation period, as long as symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if symptoms were gastrointestinal).


Communication re: COVID Cases in Schools

As you know, with reduced access to testing, schools and school boards often will not have information about positive COVID cases in schools and are no longer publicly reporting cases. However, as part of our commitment to support student and staff safety and open communication, when we are informed of possible COVID exposures as a result of positive Rapid Antigen Tests or PCR tests, we will share that information with affected classes/staff and/or buses.


Schools absence reports will also be shared daily with local public health units and the province. When levels of absenteeism are 30 per cent higher than average daily absence rates, public health units will communicate with families and staff to ensure they are aware of the absence levels, and may provide recommendations to the school or for families. Schools will also monitor attendance for sudden increases in absences or unusually high absence rates in a particular class.


School-Based Vaccination Clinics

The province has asked public health units to hold vaccination clinics in schools during the day, to increase access for families. Public health partners in each region are currently identifying schools to host clinics, with plans for clinics to begin in February. Written consent is required for elementary students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Schools chosen to host clinics will receive more information and consent forms from their local public health unit. Children will not receive a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a signed consent form.


Virtual Learning Portal

As a reminder, the Virtual Learning Portal is open to accept transfer requests.

Virtual learning requests will be accepted for elementary students until January 21, with students transitioning to Virtual Elementary School (VES) February 1. While students wait to begin attending VES, they will continue to be connected to their current class and can discuss options for doing this with their school principal.


The secondary student virtual learning portal is open until February 2, with students transitioning to Virtual High School February 2. It is recommended that requests be made as soon as possible to allow for quicker transitions for students.

One more thing....

....I know that times are really tough right now - but it never hurts to have a little "kindness" reminder.....be kind to yourself and to those around you. We all need it right now :)
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