September 9th, 2020
Welcome back Riverside parents and students,
Thank you so much for your patience as we work around the changes required for this school year. Teachers, office staff and custodians are excited and eagerly preparing for a safe return to school. Although this school year will look a little different, it will still be a year filled with fun and learning.
Here is some information to help understand some of the changes to the school year. Information is forever changing, so I am only sharing the information that I feel will not change. If there is anything that is unclear, please check out our school website or WRDSB FAQ. If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the office and ask!
School Schedule and Staggered Entry:
- Junior Kindergarten students only (no parents) with surnames A to L will attend school on Thurs., Sept. 10th and M to Z on Fri., Sept. 11th from 9:10- 3:30. Their teachers are planning to help students become familiar with their new classroom and learning environment.
- Students in grades JK-6 with surnames A to L will attend school from 9:10 – 3:30 on Sept 14th and 16th and M to Z on Sept. 15th and 17th, all students will attend on the Fri., Sept. 18th. We ask that students do not arrive at school early but come as close to bell time as possible.
- Distance learning Teachers will be calling parents, to introduce themselves, Wed., Sept. 9th- Fri., Sept. 11th.
- Classroom teachers will be calling parents, to introduce themselves, on Thurs., Sept 10th and Fri., Sept 11th.
- No changes will be made to classroom assignments.
Please keep our community safe:
- When your child comes to school they will notice many changes in the way we enter and move about our building. These changes have been made to keep students and staff healthy and safe.
- Before your child comes to school, every morning, please review the list of COVID symptoms to ensure that your child is not exhibiting any of them. It is essential that we work as a team; school, parents and community, to keep our families healthy. Click on the link to the check list.
What to bring to school:
- We need to minimize the materials going back and forth to school. Students will be provided with all the materials that they need to engage in a school day. A backpack is not necessary, but if your child brings one please ensure it is labelled.
- Every child will need a labelled lunch bag, facemasks, and water bottle (students will not be able to drink from fountains). Therefore, help lighten your child’s load by keeping things to only essentials.
- Facemasks, plural. It is helpful if your child has a back up mask with them each day, in the event that the first one becomes soiled. Each student will be provided 5 washable face masks. It is helpful, with your child, to come up with a plan for how they will manage their mask when they can take it off outdoors (potentially a fanny pack, something that clips to their clothes, or a bag that they can fold and put in their pocket). Lanyards or chain necklaces to hold their face mask around their neck are not allowed. If your child has glasses, they can fog up if the mask is not worn properly, so it will be especially important to have them practice and find what works for them so they are not fidgeting with the mask all day (or can’t see out of their glasses!).
- Kleenex and hand sanitizer will be provided. There will be Kleenex in the classroom for emergencies and hand sanitizer for students to use at certain times of the day and before/after certain activities, however, having a small unscented hand sanitizer in their lunch bag and a small Kleenex package would be very helpful.
- No “indoor” shoes For now, while the weather is fair, do not send your child with indoor shoes. Until we can see what movement and storage looks like in our school, we want extra shoes to stay home. As we begin to move into more varied weather, we will revisit the process for rain boots/winter boots.
- As much as we can, everything will be sent home to you electronically. For example, you can expect to see first day forms arriving in your inbox rather than coming home in your child’s backpack. We have purchased planners but at this time will not be using them.
- To ensure our students remain socially distant it may take a little longer to bring the students in to start the day and during breaks please ensure your child is dressed for inclement weather. Teachers are also encouraged to provide additional outdoor time when possible, as it provides all students with a mask break and a healthy break from the confines of the classroom where they cannot move around freely.
Only students and staff may enter the building.
- Essential visitors (i.e., maintenance) will be allowed into the building during the school day, however, parents and visitors will not be permitted in the school. Meetings, for the most part, will take place over a Google Meet.
- As normal, always use the School Attendance procedure to indicate that your child will be late. This is not new. However, once you arrive, you will bring your child to the School door in the lobby, buzz in, and the secretary will make arrangements for your child to be either met by an adult or to enter the school independently. Students will be asked to hand sanitize their hands and if they can do it on their own, will walk to their classrooms. If a student cannot do this independently, an adult will accompany them.
In class experience:
- We are so thrilled to be back at work and we are building in awesome classroom experiences. Students will be assigned to a single desk, facing forward, or a table that provides social distancing from others. They will not be able to wander the room or wander the hallways. If you think your child will have difficulty with this, please begin talking with them now about strategies to help them cope with this change.
Dropping off essential items only:
- Please make sure your child is prepared with everything they need. If for some reason they forgot something that is essential, parents can arrange to drop it off on a table outside of the school in the lobby, a staff member will come and get it, however, students will have to wait until an available staff member can bring it to the class.
- Our school has divided our break time into two parts. Students in Cohort A (gr.4-6) will go out first and eat the second half of break. Students in Cohort B (Gr. 1-3) will eat first and go outside second. Students will be eating lunch at their desks as per normal. Teachers will supervise the washing of hands or the use of hand sanitizer before students eat and after they eat.
- Children’s lunches will continue to be boomerang lunches. Everything they bring to school will be brought home.
- Finally, we will not be providing lunch services to start the year (Pizza, Pita, Lunch Lady and hotdogs) as we have in the past as these visitors into our school are not considered essential.
- Students will have a designated play space, by classroom, during nutrition breaks.
Drop off/Pick Up:
- Parents are asked not to congregate on the school property as we want to model appropriate pandemic behaviour for our children. When you drop your child off at school, direct them to their class line, wave goodbye and head home. When picking your child up, please wait outside the school observing appropriate social distancing. Even better, make arrangements to meet your child on the sidewalk or at a spot along the way home – helping them to develop independent skills. If you are picking up your child early, please call the school in plenty of time so that we can arrange to have your child packed up and ready at the school door in the lobby.
School Playground. For now, our school creative playground is off limits during school hours. Please do not use playground equipment when bringing children to the school in the morning as it can be confusing for students to understand the difference.
Supervision: Supervision starts at 9:00 in our playground. Please do not bring/send your children early to school. They will not be supervised and we cannot guarantee social distancing expectations will be met.
Handwashing. Students will be encouraged to regularly practice good hand hygiene. Teachers will schedule in regular handwashing or hand sanitizing opportunities in the day in addition to sanitizing before coming into the classroom, after going in and out of the school, at lunch time, and as part of washroom routines.
Together we got this! To keep our staff and students safe we are all: prescreening before we come to school, wearing a mask, social distancing, encouraging frequent handwashing, minimizing student contact and encouraging coughing and sneezing in our elbow.
Looking Forward to seeing all our students!
Riverside Public School,