Together in Education Family Update
March 29-April 1
Dear Lancaster Families
In this newsletter see the results of a class initiative to build connections within our building in a year where our ability to be together has been altered so much. Students in Mr. V's grade 6 class asked staff to submit available photos and videos that captured student life in their division. A few students then compiled these images to create videos for each division that were then shared out to the whole school. This was a great way to give back, celebrate all parts of Lancaster and build connections within our student population. Thank you for your efforts and we look forward to a possible second edition later in the school year!
We would like to provide some updates related to our school facility and our Safe Routes to School initiative. Lancaster has been approved for continued work on the roof of the school, including a larger project this summer to replace the metalwork on top of the roof. The need for this project to be completed in a timely manner has bumped the project to turf the soccer field. The turfing project has been approved and is projected to take place in the summer of 2022, we certainly look forward to more consistent and extended use of the field area that the new surface will provide.
Our Safe Routes to School Committee has continued to work on its first phase of project planning that highlights existing routes to school. Signs in the following areas of focus are currently in the approval stage and are anticipated to be up in the community in the fall of 2021.
- Wayfinding Map - showing walking/cycling routes from 5, 10, and 15-minute walking distance points
- Meet-up Map - showing 9 meet-up locations
- Park & Stride Map – showing parking areas within a few minutes walking distance to the school to encourage active travel for those who need to drive
We continue to encourage parents to monitor their child daily using the Covid Screening tool and adhere to public health guidelines - your diligence is essential and we have been doing a great job Lancaster!
Ms. Fox, Ms. O'Hearn and your Lancaster Team
ASYMPTOMATIC COVID TESTING AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS
Students are invited to participate in voluntary asymptomatic testing (no symptoms) for COVID-19 during designated times. Families must book appointments for students using the assessment centre’s existing booking process (online or by telephone). Walk-ins are not permitted. Parent/guardian consent is required for testing of students under the age of 18. This testing is only for students, staff and bus drivers who DO NOT have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 at a Community Assessment Centre. Learn more and review the schedule for your student's school at https://bit.ly/LDSBAsymptomaticTesting
Parent Reminders - Safe Drop Off and Pick Up and Parking Guidelines
Thank you to our families for your adherence to the school board and Public Health guidelines provided this year for student safety. Many families have found success with making a family plan for pick-up and drop-off. There are some areas where we have noticed reminders are necessary:
- Healthy Growth: Walking or riding a bike to school prepares the body and mind for learning - with appropriate scaffolding your child may be ready.
- Vehicle Drop Offs: Lay-bys on Lancaster Drive. Parents are welcome to drop their child off using the lay-bys along Lancaster Drive in front of the school. Students can then walk to the back of the schoolyard to join their class lineup. These lay-bys are drop and go areas, not meant for parking. Parents should avoid using the drive-through lane in front of the school as this adds extra traffic for navigation. Students are not permitted to use the front door for entry unless being dropped off or picked up for an appointment.
- Parents on the playground: Thank you to parents who have established a family plan that allows them to meet their child at a designated spot at the end of the day. We are not able to have parents on the playground before or after school. Staff may make arrangements to meet you for a brief chat, please ensure you are masked at all times.
- Staff Parking Lots off-limits: Please do not use the Lancaster or Mother Teresa staff parking lots before or after school to pick up or drop off your child. This creates congestion and is unsafe for students and staff. We have noticed that some parents and students have started to make this their routine. These families will be given parking reminders starting this week.
- Community Etiquette: When using nearby cul-de-sacs or neighboring streets to drop students off please be respectful of residents - do not block driveways or pull up onto lawns.
- Late Arrivals: Students can be dropped off between 8:15-8:30 - please adhere to this time frame to avoid late arrivals. A regular routine of being late to school is unsettling to students and interrupts the learning and teaching for all as they enter the learning environment.
- The Gift of Time: We will all do our best when we are given time. Mornings are busy. Giving yourself and your children 5-10 extra minutes will allow families to follow these guidelines and start their days off with less stress. Children arrive more regulated and ready to learn.
- Routes to School Partnership: Lancaster and Mother Teresa schools continue our work with the City of Kingston and KFL&A to develop and improve signage, infrastructure and messaging to support safe routes to school for our community. Despite some pauses due to COVID-19 we have been able to re-engage. Some next steps in the project will see new signage around the community this spring and continued work into next year.
This link will take you to information about how to report student absences.
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
ON-LINE REGISTRATION FOR STUDENTS NEW TO LDSB 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.
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!