August 2020

Hello Panthers,

We are requesting  that all parents complete the parent survey by August 10 and indicate their intent to return to school or not.

Below are some additional details regarding the start of our school year on September 8.

Dear parents and guardians,

The staff of St. Paul is very excited to begin the new school year in September and to see all our wonderful students returning to full day classes. As we approach the new school year, we understand that there may be some concerns by parents who are not sure what the return to classes may look like as well as the concern for their child’s/ children’s wellbeing. 

The staff of St. Paul will do all we can to keep our students safe and healthy while providing them with the best possible in-class learning experience. We will follow all recommendations and protocols outlined by the Ministry of Education and public health. 

Our school hours will remain the same. 15 minutes prior to the entry bell, yard supervisors will ensure that social distancing will be maintained. When the bell rings, students will go to their class’s designated location on the yard and be required to social distance while in line. Classes will be assigned an entry point and will be escorted in one class at a time to avoid ‘bottlenecks’ as they enter the school. Hand sanitizer will be provided for students as they enter the classroom.  As outlined in the protocols, students from grades 4 to 8 will be required to wear masks. Although not required, parents with students in JK to grade 3 may encourage their child to wear a mask. 

In grades 1 to 8, desks will be set up in rows to provide distance between students. They will eat their lunch at their own desk and will help ensure that surfaces are kept clean and sanitized throughout the day. Each class will adopt a sign in and out procedure for students who need to use the washrooms or go to the main office in order to minimize students in common areas of the school. Chromebooks will be wiped down after each use and students may choose to bring their own device for learning purposes. Every student will be provided with learning kits/bags that will be packed by staff with basic school supplies, based on grade level. Parents will be provided with a list of additional items to include in the bag if they wish to do so. These kits/bags will help minimize the sharing of items between students.

In FDK classes, tables will be staggered and student occupancy at the tables will be minimized. Students will use their individual cubbies to ensure that their items are kept individualized. Staff will ensure that washroom facilities are kept clean and sanitized. Items that cannot be sanitized safely by wiping down, such as plush items, play-doh, etc., will be removed from the classroom. When dropping off students in the FDK yard, parents will be encouraged to maintain social distance as they say goodbye to their child.

Outdoor learning will be encouraged whenever possible to deliver lessons and for other learning activities. Our outdoor play structure will be closed until further notice. As well, there will be no community use of schools (i.e. external soccer groups, etc.) using our facilities. 

Visitors and volunteers are discouraged at this time. Any parent/guardian – staff communication will occur by phone. Should a parent need to drop off or pick up a child at the front door, masks must be worn. We may not need to stagger recesses and lunch breaks as our school yard is large enough to maintain our zones per division. As per public health information, recesses pose low risks as the students are outdoors and active. 

All students will receive information and orientation from staff regarding our protocols. Frequent reviews throughout the day will take place as students will need reminders to get into our new routines. Signage, both written and pictorial will be placed throughout the school to remind students of our protocols. 

All staff will be required to engage in a daily self-assessment before coming to work to ensure that they are well and ready to perform their full duties. All students, with assistance from a parent/guardian, are asked to perform a daily self-assessment before heading off to school. Should the self-assessment indicate the possibility of having the virus, protocols set out by public health are to be followed. The self-assessment information can be found at the following link, https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/.

Staff will be vigilant throughout the day with students and report any student who shows symptoms of being unwell. The student will be sent down to the office and supervised in the front hallway. The child’s parents will be notified to come to the school to pick up their child. The parent will then be encouraged to contact public health, have the child tested, and follow public health directives. The child will be able to return to school once we get the all clear.

Understanding that some parents may not feel quite comfortable sending their child to school on September 8th, they can opt to keep the child home to start the school year. All parents must fill in the parent survey at https://wcdsb.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2h6XP3kmUlK6ACx and indicate their intent; return to school or not. The survey may require your child’s OEN number which can be found on the June report card. If you can’t find the OEN, please make sure to correctly enter in the student name, grade and date of birth. If the child will not return to school, work will be provided, similar to the distance learning that took place in the spring, from an assigned teacher. Students will be permitted to transition back to the classroom after a 4-week interval in order to honour and complete the learning cycle and the work that was assigned. 

We look forward to seeing all our students return to us on September 8th. We will do all we can to provide a safe and healthy re-entry for them at St. Paul. We will share further details, or any changes needed should new information come from the Ministry or Public health. 

Kind Regards, 

Ferdinand Krauss

Principal, St. Paul