Whether your child is returning to school in person, or beginning the school year learning remotely, we are excited to welcome them back to our community! Please take some time to read through the important information contained in this newsletter – we hope it helps to answer many of the questions you have regarding what ‘back to school’ will look like here at St. Kateri, beginning September 8th. Should you still have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us either by phone or email (both can be found on our school’s website).
Most of the information parents are looking for can be found here – WCDSB’s Plan for Re-Opening Schools:
WCDSB’s Operational Guidelines is a comprehensive document detailing staff, student and parent responsibilities for a safe learning environment.
WCDSB School Re-Opening Plan (attached letter from Director of Education, Loretta Notten)
- KATERI CES School Re-Opening Plan – Site Specific
REGULAR IN-PERSON SCHOOL and VIRTUAL ONLINE SCHOOL
- Parents were asked to complete a survey indicating their choice – in-person or online – deadline was Aug. 10th. Commitment is for the first four weeks of the school year after which, parents can opt to either remain at school or online or change
- About 90% of St. Kateri students will be attending in person beginning the week of Sept. 8th
- For safety reasons, and for a more personal touch, we are asking teachers to call the parents of each student to introduce themselves and provide some basic, first day information (e.g., teachers’ names (Planning Time or French Teacher too), classroom/portable number, where to line up (entrance/exit)
- Every returning student will receive their own personal ‘student kit’ – essentially a big pencil case filled with materials such as pencils, pencil crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks
- Virtual/Online/Remote Elementary School will be called ‘St. Isidore’. Online learning in Elementary School begins Sept. 14th. This is a four week commitment by parents and changes won’t be considered during the four weeks unless there is an extenuating circumstance. Students’ online teachers will be in touch with parents/students – likely the week of Sept. 8th.
- Staggered Entry for JK/K students remains the same as in past years:
Tuesday – Scheduled JK Visits (Kindergarten Teachers or ECEs will call to schedule) Wednesday – Only SKs Attend Thurs – SKs and ½ of JKs Friday – SKs and other ½ of JKs Monday – Everybody
- Staggered Entry Gr. 1-8: Tuesday-Only Gr. 1& 2 Wednesday-Gr. 1-4 Thursday-Gr. 1-6 Friday-Gr. 1-8
- Masks are mandatory for all students in our board (K-12) – students will receive a minimum of three re-usable cloth masks from the board
- For students in Gr. 4-8, a parent must complete an exemption form (forthcoming) if their child is not able to wear a mask at school
- Students will not be disciplined if they do not bring/wear a mask at school – a follow up discussion with parents by staff will take place and we will have additional masks at school for students
- Staff are required to wear masks when working with students & in transit (walking in the hallways). Masks must be medical grade – two provided each day for each staff member by the school board
- Staff working closely with students are encouraged to wear both a mask and a face shield
- Staff working in an office or classroom where there are no students of other staff members do not need to wear a mask
- Students are asked to put on their masks upon hearing the morning bell or lining up to come in the school – walkers likely won’t be wearing a mask…bus students likely will be since they are required to wear one on the bus
- Portables make entry/exit fairly easy and safe (all Gr. 4-8 classes are in portables this year)
- Entry/Exit #5 – Ms. Bannister (Gr. 2, Rm. 14) and Ms. Kulczynska (Gr. 2/3, Rm. 13)
- Kindergarten yard and bus students will follow past practice
- Entry/Exit #7 – Mrs. Harney (Gr. 1, Rm. 3)
- Primary Hallway (Entry/Exit 6)
At the beginning of the year, there should be minimal need to access the coat rack for any student in the Primary hallway
When going outside for recess, classes will follow this order (students will line up in their ‘Line Oder’ in the classroom): Mrs. Mehes (Gr. 3, Rm. 7), Mrs. Nyikos (Gr. 3, Rm. 8), Mrs. Shine (Gr. 3, Rm. 9), Mrs. Geraghty (Gr. 2, Rm. 6), Ms. Esposto (Gr. 2, Rm. 10), Mrs. Costa (Gr. 1, Rm. 5) – one class after the other
When coming back in from recess, classes will follow this order (students in their ‘Line Order’): Mrs. Costa, Ms. Esposto, Mrs. Geraghty, Mrs. Shine, Mrs. Nyikos, Mrs. Mehes – no/minimal stopping at coat hooks
- Recesses will occur as per past practice at St. Kateri. We are fortunate our yard allows for physical distancing to be maintained
- Students and staff do not need to wear masks during outdoor recesses, but are asked to try to maintain physical distancing
- Students may remove their mask and leave it on or in their desks before going outside for recess
- Teachers have been asked to develop a ‘Line Order’ for their class and have students line up in that order, in the classroom, before going outside for recess and coming in the school, or for any class-wide movement throughout the school
- The Line Order should correspond with the order the coat hooks are assigned – this will help reduce student-student interaction and help with contact tracing should it be required
- Staff have been asked to help students maintain physical distancing at all times – when in line, moving outside or coming back inside the building/portable
- Teachers will schedule bathroom visits for their class, with 1m distancing observed traveling through the hallway
- Entry to bathrooms will be staggered and students will be reminded to wash their hands before and after use
- Teachers have been asked to never deny a student from using the washroom – if a student is using the washroom during class time excessively, teachers will follow up with parents
- Teachers will establish a washroom sign out procedure for their classroom and keep a log for contact tracing purposes
- Students in portables must use a ‘buddy system’ to come into the school – to reduce the number of students in a washroom, teachers make sure ‘the buddy’ is the other gender
- Teachers in portables will have students spray or wipe down the classroom fob with sanitizer when they return from the washroom
- All teachers at St. Kateri will be using Google Classroom as their online platform this year
CHROMEBOOKS OR LEARNING DEVICES – The school has a Chromebook to Student ratio of about 3:1. However, please consider these programs to provide your child(ren) with their own learning device
- WCDSB and St. Kateri CES Encourage Families to Consider Participating in our BYOD Purchase Program
- Our school board has entered a partnership with STAPLES and Dell for Learning devices
- WCDSB has made significant investments to ensure our students and staff have access to a variety current technologies. The use of technology to support learning remains a key priority to ensure that students are equipped with the skills to flourish in an increasingly digital world. Chromebooks and Windows 10 Cloudbooks have proven to be versatile, reliable, and affordable digital tool in the classroom.
- As students have engaged more with the technology that is available in their classrooms, many families have expressed interest in purchasing a device for their child to use at school and at home. WCDSB families have reached out, seeking advice about which technology would best support their child’s learning, is reasonably priced, yet durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily use.
- Devices for Families in Need
- Free learning device/computer offerings for low income families:
- Visit our web site to learn more about the programs and devices that available for purchase through STAPLES and Dell.
- The Ontario Government release its Outbreak Protocol yesterday. Here is the link to the document https://www.ontario.ca/page/operational-guidance-covid-19-management-schools
- Every school has been asked to identify an ‘Isolation Room’ for students or staff experiencing symptoms. St. Kateri’s Isolation Room will be the small Literacy Room off the Learning Commons.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the school.
Ms. Rosemary Kavanagh Mr. Dave Lynch
Vice Principal Principal