We find ourselves in a most precarious situation of navigating code orange in school and code red at home and in our personal lives. We understand the challenges this may present to families, and the difficult decisions to be made with regards to your children's education. We are grateful to you for your support, your understanding, and your unwavering commitment to the well being of our school community. We have pulled together to support and uphold provincial guidelines , which has successfully contributed to the safety of our children when at school. As things evolve and the pandemic circumstances change, we will continue to adapt and forge through the challenges. Now more than ever, school and home will need to work together to maintain the quality education our students deserve. With the resiliency and strength of the Voyageurs , we will make it through these tough times together.
School staff are making preparations in the event the school be mandated to move to a Response Level Red. During code RED, all students of grades K to 8 at ÉSMS would move to remote learning, whether learning from home or from within the school (for children of essential & critical workers). For all students, our goal is to maintain a connection to their teacher(s) and with classmates while engaging in remote learning. This may look different depending on the age/grade of your child. As per provincial requirements, grade 7 and 8 students would all be moved to remote learning from home. Students from grades K-6 would be either learning remotely at home or from within the school. Remote learning involves both a live online component for students as well as independent work time. It is expected that students be actively engaged in learning for a period of 2 to 4.5 hours per day depending on the age of the student. Learning will focus on languages, mathematics, sciences, and social studies. To the extent possible, we will continue to integrate physical education and art into remote learning. Teachers will remain with their current students whenever possible; support staff will also continue to have an active role in supporting students. During code RED, school processes for students within the school building, whenever possible, will match those of Response Level Orange: cohort entrances, staggered breaks, school zones, and safety guidelines will remain in place.
The school division recently sent a survey to all families to identify children of essential workers followed by a Critical Service Workers Request form needing to be completed by November 26th.
This information will assist the school in its Response Level Red planning.
To further help the school with its planning, we have prepared a short survey for families to complete to let us know their child's tech learning needs. Please click on the picture to the right to access the survey. We are asking all families to complete the survey by Sunday November 29th. To the extent possible, families will be asked to provide a learning device for their child, whether learning at school or from home.
The completed Response Level Red plan will be shared with families once details have been finalized. Whether in person or online, we are here to support families in their child's learning. We are grateful for your understanding and support again during these unprecedented times.
DESKS HAVE ARRIVED! LAPTOPS ON THEIR WAY!
Our new desks have finally arrived, and students are thoroughly enjoying their new learning & work spaces. We have now equipped all classrooms with the necessary number of desks needed for each student. We have also purchased Chromebooks to support our grade 3 to 7 learners and are patiently awaiting their arrival, scheduled within the next week or so.
END OF DAY DISMISSAL FOR NON BUSSED STUDENTS
We have observed an increase in congestion during the end of day dismissal, particularly during the dismissal of non-bussed students. To help maintain the safety of our school community, we will be reviewing and practicing specific dismissal procedures. This will include maintaining the two meter guideline, using the crosswalks, and wearing masks.
We are asking all family members waiting on the school grounds or nearby to pick up their child, like the sidewalk along the front of the school, the gate entrance near the K-1/2 cohort door, and the Maternelle cohort door, to please where a mask during this time.
USE OF CROSSWALKS We would like to encourage parents to model the use of crosswalks with their children during dismissal time. This ensures the safety of all pedestrians during a busy time of day on main street.
We'd like to thank families who are supporting mask guidelines while on school property . We truly appreciate your support in maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our school family.
The grade 3&4 students in Mme Michelle's class have taken their daily practice of gratitude out into the community. Wanting to do something meaningful to recognize and thank essential workers, these grade 3&4 students have spent the past week carefully composing letters to essential and critical workers in our local communities. The classroom assembled a list of essential worker jobs; these varied from police officers, to pharmacists, social workers, paramedics, fire fighters, farmers, teachers, and even our Canadian Prime Minister! With the help of school staff, local community members holding these jobs were identified, then each student selected a recipient to write to. Students crafted their messages of acknowledgement for the service of these essential workers and their sacrifices in keeping our communities safe during COVID-19. Students shared this was a feel good project for them. "I'm proud of myself for filling other people's buckets," expressed one student; the sentiment was echoed by other students who shared they felt happy, thankful, grateful, and excited for those who will be receiving their letters. The letters have just recently been posted and students are now anxiously waiting for the recipients to receive them. Much more than an exercise in creative writing, this truly was a valuable and memorable experience for these students. As shared by the group: "It's important to reach out to people in our own community making a direct impact on us." The grade 3&4 class plan to continue their community connections in a future project with the Chalet Malouin seniors, hoping to spread love and cheer during a difficult pandemic Christmas season.
DRESSING FOR THE WEATHER
Winter is definitely upon us and here to stay. With the amount of time students spend outdoors on an average day, 1 1/2 to 2 hours per day, it is important that students are appropriately dressed for the cold and the snow. Only during times of extreme cold will recess or physical education be held indoors. We strongly recommend early years students have a second pair of mittens or gloves and a second pair of socks, in case their first pair is lost or becomes wet during play time. For middle years students, we strongly recommend a good pair of winter boots as opposed to runners or slip on shoes, a jacket, toque, and either ski pants or additional layers of pants.
LEARNING ABOUT OUR NEW 2 METER DISTANCING
Our students have been hard at work adapting to the new Code Orange safety guidelines. This past week we focused on making the adjustment to our school routines with the new 2 meter distancing guideline. To help students have a better understanding of this concept, we tapped into our math and art skills, making connections to familiar objects that would allow students to better gauge the physical distance recommended for their safety. We also continue to wear our masks and practice frequent hand washing/sanitizing. Here are a few of the posters students created.
SUPPORTING MASK GUIDELINES WHEN ON SCHOOL PROPERTY
We are reaching out to our parent and family community for your help in ensuring the safety of our students and school community. When on school property we are asking that parents and adult family members please wear a mask. This would include when dropping off or picking up items at school, coming to cohort doors or waiting on the sidewalk along the front of the school at end of day dismissal. We thank you for your support for keeping our community safe.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Having to hold our physical education classes outdoors has added certain challenges to the teaching of this class. Nevertheless, our PE staff have taken on the challenge and are consistently coming up with creative ways to take advantage of the great outdoors with their classes. In many ways, we've gone back to simply having fun playing outdoors. We're bringing back some of our favorite 'old school' games, such as skipping rope songs, scrimmage games of 500, and wall handball. You may have noticed the painted circles on the school; these are to provide game opportunities for kids, to practice their hand eye coordination with ball throwing or hockey shots, and to be used as point counters in their games (why not slide some math into playtime). We've planned the school yard snow clearing to provide students with ongoing access to the tarmacs, soccer fields and walking paths, and to small snow hills. Every cohort has been provided with a storage bin of outdoor equipment. We also anxiously await the arrival of the snowshoes and Drum fits purchased with the generous donation from the Village Connection. It has been wonderful to see an increase in students engaging in active play, inventing their own games, and playing cohesively as cohort groups. We believe this is important to not only their physical health but to their mental health as well.
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES Nov 19/20
Parents have received an email survey to let us know their preferences for Parent Teacher conferences this week. If you have more than one child in the school, you may have received more than one link. Some teachers have a different availability schedule; if you don't see your child's teacher on one survey, please use the link in the second email you received. If you have not received the email, please contact the school office to get the link to the survey.
Following the survey results, teachers will be communicating appointment times via a Goggle meet or Zoom invite or via email for a phone conference. A reminder that parent-teacher conferences will be 10 minutes appointments on Thursday November 19th, 4-6:45 pm and Friday November 20th, 9-11:30 am. In the event that your child’s teacher is not available on November 20th, other arrangements can be made for your parent-teacher conferences at a later date.
ADDITIONAL NON-INSTRUCTIONAL DAYS FOR 2020-2021
On November 9th, 2020, the minister of Education announced three additional non-instructional days are to be added to the school calendar for the 2020-2021 year: two of these days are to be scheduled before Christmas and one in the second semester. These additional three non-instructional days will be used to focus on professional development and collaborative planning for school staff. Students will not be attending school on these days.
These days have been set in our division for December 4th, December 7th and March 5th.
The HCSA is temporarily suspended during the Code Orange phase in the school. I would like to thank the parents of our HCSA athletes for their feedback in regards to the issue of equipment storage. Further information about the HCSA survey results and plans moving forward will be shared with parents upon confirmation of a restart date for the program and a start date for the on ice portion of the program.
SCHOOL CALENDAR OF EVENTS
For more information about school events, important dates and access to school documents, please visit our school web page at https://stmalo.rrvsd.ca/, or click the pic below.