September 1, 2021
We are all ready to have your children back next week. The teachers and staff have been working extremely hard these last few weeks to ensure everyone is doing their best to keep all safe and welcome students back into phase 3 of the Provincial Restart Plan.
We wish to remind parents that the single most important way to stay safe is to NOT send students to school with any cold or flu like symptoms. Although we will not be collecting any daily home screening forms prior to returning, we are asking all families to continue to daily screen your children prior to coming to school. Students who show signs of fever, cold or flu like symptoms may be sent home.
These 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, and muscle aches.
Please ensure all regular and emergency contact numbers are up to date at the office.
There has been much news over the summer and new protocols have been issued around mandatory masking for students in grades 4-7. K-3 students are also encouraged to wear masks; however, it will not be mandatory.
**As a reminder, we know the incident of COVID in schools is THE same as the Incidence of COVID in the surrounding areas and local community. We can expect the COVID risk to remain the same throughout September as children 12 and under rely on adults and parents and older siblings to be protected.
This year as more and more adults are vaccinated, our goal is to ensure that students are safe and comfortable. We do not want to increase anxiety or stress levels around the possibility of contacting COVID as there will be more positive cases. However, we know from previous school years that less than 5% of school age children have transmitted covid due to all our parents, staff and students following these 5 important steps.
- Not attend school if ill (see symptoms listed above)
- Wash hands frequently
- Wear a mask indoors
- Respect individuals’ personal space, and practice safe distancing
- Continue to support each other by being kind in these most trying times.
**Please read pediatrician’s response to back-to-school fears https://t.co/9zGcnT8zo0
There is much discussion around vaccinations and masking. However, in all public and school settings we must respect people’s medical privacy. Our goal this year is to respect all students, staff and parents’ individual needs as we move into the “living with COVID” reality. The recommended practice is to ensure all vulnerable individuals and adults over 12 are vaccinated as this will help protect children under 12 who are not vaccinated.
Again, as we begin to transition back to a “normal school year of activities”, please remember that we are all in this together. As in the last 18 months, our OLS community has shown great kindness and respect for one another, and I pray we will continue to be kind and compassionate to all again especially through-out this transitional school year!
WELCOME NEW STAFF!
As mentioned in our June Newsletter, we are welcoming our new music teacher, Mr. Alexander Kanabe. Mr. Kanabe will work Mondays and Wednesdays.
We have also had a change in Grade 2 over the summer. Mrs. McKenna will be taking a 1 year leave of absence to attend to a family matter. Mrs. Ciulla will be taking over the grade 2 class. We ask that all parents respect Mrs. McKenna’s privacy at this time, as her absence is not health related. We will pass on any messages to her through our school email.
Mrs. Ciulla will be replaced in grade 1 (Thursdays and Fridays) and in Library. We will hopefully announce our new job share partner for Mrs. Radford shortly as we are in process of hiring. In the interim, Mrs. Lisa Renzullo, who is our regular substitute for Grade 1 and has worked with Mrs. Radford in the past, will start off the year.
We also would like to welcome our new teaching assistants who will be introduced during our meet the teacher evening. We know you will make them feel welcome!
RECESS AND LUNCH BREAKS
Primary and Intermediate grades will have the same recess breaks. Lunch breaks will continue to be staggered.
Grades 1, 2, 3, 4
Lunch recess 11:55 – 12:20 p.m.
Grades K, 5, 6, 7
Lunch recess 12:25 – 12:50 p.m.
**Please ensure all students are prepared with proper jackets and footwear daily.
**No sharing of snacks or lunches. Please ensure you are packing all necessary items in their school bags. Please include a water bottle daily.
**At this time and until further notice, there will be no birthday treats or special occasion/holiday treats.
STUDENT MORNING DROP OFF
As in our June re-start, we will be introducing longer drop-off times (8:35 – 8:50 a.m.) and pick-up times (2:45 – 2:50 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 to 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 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!
PLEASE FOLLOW THE DROP OFF CONES AND SIGNS!
(Pre-school families will drop -off at the Slocan entrance gate next to the Preschool. See Pre-school letter).
Thank you to those parents who completed the participation survey! We are grateful that some of the Bingo and new families have volunteered to help at the drop-off.
PICK- UP PROCEDURES
We will be allowing parents of students in Grades K, 1, 2, 3 and 4 to park and pick-up in the lot from 2:35 – 2:45 p.m. These parents are encouraged to park closest to their child’s classroom exit door, i.e., K, 1, and 2 on the south side of the lot (closer to the Turner Street gate) and grades 3 and 4 on the North Side (closer to Pender Street). Primary students will be walked out and released to their parents either in the lot or at the gates. Parents must remain in front of or in their cars. Parents are asked to please wear masks outside the cars and to maintain social distance.
Parents of students in Grades 5, 6 and 7 must be picked up outside the gates. These students will be dismissed at 2:50 p.m.
Again, we are asking for your support to please drive slowly through the parking lot for the safety of everyone.
AFTER SCHOOL CLUB NEWS
Our After School Club starts Tuesday, Sept 14th (Mon, Tues, Weds only from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.). The cost for this is $5.00 per 30 minutes per student until 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m., the cost will be an additional $10.00 per student per 30 minutes. Please email the office next week (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in using this service.
Students will be allowed to wear summer uniforms until Monday, October 4th.
Please note that our office hours for the 2021-2022 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.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2021 – FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 7th. This will be a half day of school. Dismissal will be at 12:00 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2021– CONFIRMTION FOR 2021 GRADE 7 GRADUATES
Confirmation for last year’s grade 7’s will be held on Saturday, September 11th. Please see Mrs. Crescenzo’s emails for more details.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 – FEAST OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS MASS, CELEBRATION FOR FATHER RICHARD!
Our school will have an in-person Mass for Father Richard on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on Wednesday September 15th at 9 a.m. Intermediate students will wear masks in the church and primary will watch from their classes. As mentioned in the summer email, parents who did not get a chance to say goodbye in person, can send a card or gift to the office by Monday, Sept 13th. Students must be in full uniform for the Mass. (black shoes and uniform sweaters)
SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 – MEET THE TEACHERS NIGHT – VIRTUAL
Please mark your calendars. The first mandatory parents’ meeting (as indicated in the Policy Manual and Registration Guide) will be held on Wednesday, September 23rd. More information will follow prior to the meeting.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 – INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS
Students will have their Individual Photos taken by Artona on Wednesday, September 27th. Please ensure your child comes to school in full uniform on this day. If your child has gym this day, please ensure that they have their gym strip under their uniform.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 – NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION – NO SCHOOL
There will be no school on Thursday, September 30th, as it is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Holiday.
OCTOBER 2, 2021 – FIRST COMMUNION MASS
Last year’s Grade 2 class will celebrate their First Holy Communion on Saturday October 2nd at 11 a.m. Details will be sent home by Mrs. De Amaral soon!
All visitor contact must be by phone, email or appointment due to COVID 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.
It is very important that you notify the school by 8:30 a.m. if your child will be absent or late. Our preferred method of notification is by email (email@example.com) This will save the office time calling and/or emailing you to check if your child is home. If you do not send an email, upon your child’s return to school, you must send a note to the classroom teacher explaining the reason for the absence. Please ensure you include all dates absent. If you have more than one child, we require a separate note for each one. This information is required for our annual Attendance Audit which determines our government funding for the year.
Again, we are all in this together.
Let us continue to be vigilant and safe.
Thank you for your patience,