September 2020 Newsletter
*Please read all of this letter carefully and to the end!
* complete both surveys if applicable
Welcome back! We hope everyone has had a chance to have some rest this summer and enjoy the weather, even with the uncertainty and stress of COVID. We have been preparing for our students’ return for the past month and have been dealing with the Ministry of Education’s updates and changes to the Phase 2 restart this last week as well.
Thank you to all families who have completed the return to Phase 2 options survey. Teachers are now preparing for their classes to return. We have updated our safety plan, which is posted on our website, www.ourladyofsorrows.ca.
We will be collecting a screening form from all families, as well as staff, prior to our Sept 10th restart. Please complete this google form on Wednesday, Sept 9th, 2020
Option 4 students will not need to complete this survey.
COVID health Screening Form:
Or you can bring the hard copy found on the OLS website, or email it, or send to the school with your child on September 10th, the first day back. Once this form is collected it will be the parent’s responsibility to do the daily screening PRIOR to bringing your child to school. Teachers will also be watching for symptoms at school but Will Not ask the children any of the screening questions.
As mentioned in our last 2 updates, the school has prepared as best as possible for a safe return to class for all our students and staff. We have created our cohorts and have all adults wearing masks or visors. The main spread of COVID is still adult to child, so we ask all parents to stay outside the school property and social distance or wear a mask inside the yard. No Parent will be allowed to enter our school buildings without a mask or without contacting the office first for screening.
We wish to remind parents that the single most important way to stay safe is to NOT send students to school with any of the COVID – 19 symptoms.
Symptoms include: Fever*, chills, cough or worsening of chronic cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches.
This also includes all staff.
There are only 3 possible outcomes for infection of others and the spread of COVID.
a) You don’t have COVID – Great!
b) You have Symptoms – STAY HOME!
c) You may have mild/ unknown symptoms or are pre-symptomatic
The first 2 are completely controllable by parents. The 3rd option C is what we are trying to control at school. The good news is that we can control “C” with our safety measures. Screening, Masks, minimizing contact through Cohorts and spacing, and of course hand washing, and cleaning areas, pre-and post -use will allow us to stay safe and not spread through “C” at school.
Also, the incident of COVID in schools is EXACTLY the same of the Incidence of COVID in the areas and local community. We are all in the OLS Community, and we will all depend on each other for keeping each other safe. We can all be safe if we take all the necessary precautions to keep COVID out of our community. So far everyone has been careful. However, as Community Spread has increased in recent months in BC, (mostly due to large and uncontrolled gatherings), once school starts we need to continue to be even more vigilant. Our goal is to keep COVID out all year! We were successful in our June opening and had no cases, and I believe our amazing community will commit to the same in September. I have Faith in our parents and families that we will not put each other and our families at risk. Our staff and our students will do all that is required to keep our outside and public contacts down and keep our safety first!
“Don’t worry as much about getting COVID , worry more that you will spread it.” This is the motto for the year. We must all do our part to protect each other from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread. Distancing and hand- washing are key, (masks when needed) and being prepared to keep students’ home if there are any symptoms. Parents must have child care options for when this happens.
Let us continue to support each other in these most trying times. It also helps that we are a Faith Community, and when we feel our lowest, we can always “ Walk with Jesus our Hope”
SPIRITUAL THEME “Walk with Jesus Our Living Hope”
As mentioned above, we are all called to this year’s theme of walking with Jesus. Our teachers will be using this theme all year and more information will be sent home so families may also use this theme to share their spiritual journey with their children. The best way to connect with Jesus is in the Mass and to share in Communion. Please continue to visit www.olos.ca for the online Masses and to register for communion with your children. It is a great time to have our Faith shared in community and in our families and to help calm our fears of the unknown. God is with us!
RECESS AND LUNCH BREAKS
Primary and Intermediate grades will have different recess and lunch breaks to stagger transition times and to provide a greater amount of space between cohorts on the playground.
Primary Grade 1 to Grade 4 ( K when needed )
Recess: 10am – 10:15 am
Lunch: 11:55-12:20 p.m.
Intermediates: Grade 5,6,7
Recess: 10:15 to 10:30
Students will need to be outside more often. **Please ensure all students are prepared with proper jackets and footwear daily as we will also increase the air circulation in the classrooms as well. Students will need to wear sweaters and jackets more often.
STUDENT MORNING DROP OFF
As in our June re-start, we will be introducing longer drop-off times (8:30- 9:00 a.m.) and pick-up times (2:30-3:00 p.m.) to prevent crowding. Masks must be worn by parents in all public places, and in the pick-up and drop-off zones when physical distancing cannot be accommodated.
*There is no- playtime outside, PRIOR or AFTER, the drop-off times. Students must go straight to classes and then straight home.
All school students will enter from the West lot doors and sanitize prior to entering the building. Parents can walk them through the Triumph or Slocan gates, however, the Pender gate will be drive – through and out only!
(Pre-school families will drop -off on the Slocan entrance to the Preschool. See Pre-school letter).
We will need extra help in the drop-off corners, of Turner, Slocan and Pender, so if you are a Bingo Parent, we are asking for you to Fill in this Participation survey from the PEC.
PEC Report from our Chair
I hope you all have been healthy, staying safe and enjoying the beautiful weather with your family. I have been asked to update you with regards to parent participation. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, some of the participation positions/duties will not be feasible. Therefore, we will be sending out a survey to families whose positions have been affected to canvass availability for other duties. There will be a sign-up sheet for new positions created to assist the school and for families to complete their participation hours. Please note that plans may change as the situation evolves, and we will be updating you all frequently, as needed. Thank you for your patience during these trying times, I know Mr. Balletta and staff will be working very hard to ensure our children have a safe return back to school.
Cidalia Pashalidis, PEC Chair
Participation Survey: Please complete if you were previously assigned BINGO, or a new family this year, i.e. (Kindergarten) or new to the school in 2020.
***Please complete by Tuesday, Sept 8 at 9am! It is critical that we have time to contact parents prior to school Opening Thursday!
PICK- UP PROCEDURES
We will be allowing parents PRIMARY (K-4) to park and pick up in the lot at 2:30p.m- 2:45.
Intermediate only students must be picked up outside the gates. Intermediate students will be dismissed at 3p.m. Primary students will be walked out and released to their parents either in the lot or at the gates. Parents must remain in front or in their cars. Again, we will need support from traffic parents to allow cars in and out of our lot safely. Bingo families please sign up if possible!
Extracurricular activities including sports, arts and special interest clubs will occur when physical distance can be maintained between members of different cohorts and reduced physical contact is practiced by those within the same cohort.
Inter-school events including competitions, tournaments and festivals, will not occur at this time. This will be re-evaluated in mid-fall 2020. In school events are possible. More information will follow.
There is no need to limit the distribution or sharing of books or paper based educational resources to students. However, laminated paper-based products will be cleaned and disinfected daily if they are touched by multiple people.
AFTER SCHOOL CLUB NEWS
Thank you to all the parents who have expressed the need for our After-school club. We have now secured and will be able to offer After school club starting Sept 14- Monday-Friday from 3-5p.m. All parents interested, please contact the office next week firstname.lastname@example.org, with the days needed.
Students will be allowed to wear summer uniform until October 13, 2020. This is to allow students to wear gym strip when needed. We ask all parents to also send in their regular uniform daily as well, as students will need to change to adapt to the daily weather. Please read the Policy Manual, which is included in the students’ agendas. See Page 5, Item #5. Teachers will be starting uniform checks by next week. Please ensure all uniform items comply with the Uniform Policy.
Please note that our office hours for the 2020-2021 school year will be as follows: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Our after-school supervision ends at 3:05 p.m. No gatherings are allowed in the playground.
MONTHLY AND WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS
This year, we will continue with the weekly newsletter and monthly calendar. In order to keep you up to date on issues and remind you of special dates, there will be a weekly bulletin sent home via email as well as posted on our website: (www.ourladyofsorrows.ca). This will usually be sent every Wednesday, so please ensure you check your emails regularly. If there is a change in your email address, please contact the school and provide us with the new one as soon as possible. The monthly newsletter will be sent home with the oldest child as a hardcopy.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 – FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The first day of school will be Thursday, September 10th. This will be a full day.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 – INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
Students will have their Individual Photos taken by Life-Touch on Wednesday, September 16th. Please ensure your child comes to school in full uniform on this day. They must also have their gym strip under their uniform if there is gym that day.
SEPTEMBER 17 -18, 2019 – HEAD LICE INSPECTIONS
We ask that parents please read over the Head Lice Inspection Consent Form which will be sent home with students next week. Once you have read the form and understand the procedure, please complete the form and return it to your child’s teacher.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 – MEET THE TEACHERS NIGHT- VIRTUAL
The first Mandatory Parents’ Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 24th. More information will follow prior to the meeting. Please mark your calendars. This will be the first Mandatory Meeting as indicated in the Policy Manual and Registration Guide!
All visitor contact must be by phone, email or appointment due to COVID screening protocols.
For the safety of our students and staff, all visitors and parents are required to report to the school office upon arrival where a “Visitor” tag will be issued if needed. We ask that all parents/visitors only use the Main School entrance on Slocan Street to enter the school. During instructional time, parents are not to go to their child’s classroom. Any supplies or lunches (labelled with child’s name and grade) are to be left at the office. It is your child’s responsibility (not the office staff) to retrieve their lunch or supplies from the school office. We also wish to restrict calls home for supplies and lunches, so please have your child review daily routines and help them to prepare for their day prior to bedtime. We encourage your children to bring all necessary items to school daily. Thank you.
It is very important that you call the school by 8:30 a.m. if your child will be absent or late. This will save time calling you to check if your child is home. Upon your child’s return to school, you must send a note to the classroom teacher explaining the reason for the absence. Please also include all dates absent. If you have more than one child, we require separate notes for each one. This information is required for our annual Attendance Audit which determines our Government funding for the year. We ask that all notes be written at home, not last minute at the school office. Absentee notes may also be emailed to the following email address: email@example.com
Again, we are all in this together,
Let us continue to be vigilant and safe.
Thank you for your patience,