Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Innisfil Central P.S. Return to School - September 2020
Dear Innisfil Central Public School Parents and Students:
To say that the past months have been unsettling is perhaps an understatement. We have all had to adjust to a new way of being that has had an impact on every aspect of our lives. As we prepare for our first day of school here at ICPS, it will not surprise anyone that our school day will not look the same as it has in the past. As always, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority as we transition into another school year. School staff are working hard and will continue to do so throughout the year to mitigate the many challenges that we will face. We have a wonderful school and school community, and as we always do, we will work together to support each other and our students through these challenging times.
What follows is a lengthy outline of just what school will look like when our students arrive next week. Please read this information carefully and even keep a copy of it for future reference (this information is also posted on the school webpage).
FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL:
The Simcoe County DSB has planned a staggered return to school for all students in the board. The staggered entry is outlined as follows:
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH – students with surname A-G will attend
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH – students with surname H-O will join A-G students
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH – students with surname P-Z will join A-O students
- JK students will also start today
School start time is 9:15 am
- Students arriving on buses will be met by Mr. Russell at the front of the school as usual and go to the back of the school until the entry bell sounds
- Students being dropped of by parents will follow the same process (please us the lower parking lot as our buses use the top parking lot)
Parents are not allowed to accompany their student to the back yard nor into the school.
The school and school grounds are restricted to all parents and visitors – only staff and students are allowed on school grounds and/or into the school.
ENTRY INTO SCHOOL:
Students will not enter nor leave the school all at the same time as was the practise in previous years.
On the first day, teachers will meet their classes outside at the back tarmac area at 9:15, call out
class lists and then accompany their students into school.
On every other day, students will be entering the school as a class with a maximum of 2 classes
entering at a time. This will be done to minimize hallway congestion and maintain social
distancing. Students will be shown a schedule of this new process by their classroom teacher
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
We want to assure you that the health and well-being of our students and staff remains our top priority. We are in regular contact with our local health authority, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), and we continue to take their direction on all matters related to COVID-19. Please visit the COVID 19 Return to School page on the SMDHU website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org for additional information.
Students in Grade 4 to 8 will be required to wear a face mask while inside the school building. Masks are not required for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3, but are encouraged. Families are encouraged to provide cloth masks for their children that cover the nose and mouth. The SCDSB will provide cloth masks to students who do not have them.
All staff will be wearing medical grade masks at all times while in the school.
Each morning, students are required to complete a self-screening assessment prior to attending school. The self-screening tool can be found here:
Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home. We ask that parents/guardians report their child's absence as part of our Safe Arrival program.
COVID-19 Symptoms While at School:
If a student begins to show the symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, they will be guided to our gymnasium, which is our designated isolation area. Students will be supervised in this area while parents are contacted for pick up. Please make arrangements for this particular circumstance.
Parents/guardians are asked to provide multiple contacts who will be available to pick up their child(ren) in the event that they become ill while at school. Children who become ill while at school will not be able to travel on a bus home for the protection of the other riders.
Both the Library and gymnasium will remain closed for the 2020-21 school year.
Students will remain with their class and eat lunch in the classroom. When possible, lunch may take place outdoors. Students will not be able to leave the school property, so please remember to pack a lunch and a refillable water bottle.
We are encouraging "boomerang lunches", where students bring all of their garbage/recyclables back home with them at the end of the day.
The "Hot Lunch Program" is closed until further notice.
Water fountains have been turned off and bagged in the school. We do have a water bottle refill station which will remain open to student use.
Students will enter and exit the building by class with a minimum number of classes in the hallway at any point in time (to maintain social distancing).
Once on the yard, students must stay with their class and are not allowed to leave their assigned area on the yard. They may not interact with students from other classes.
The Gaga Ball pit will be closed for the 2020-21 school year.
At this time, the climber will be closed.
Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols:
Hand sanitizer will be provided in each classroom for student and teacher use.
Students will receive training on proper hand hygiene including instructions on hand washing and sanitizing.
Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and shared resources such as doorknobs, light switches, toilets, and faucet handles will occur at least twice a day.
Buses will be sanitized twice daily with frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
Directional arrows and signage have been installed to support physical distancing measures.
Designated entry and exit doors and staggered entry and exit times have been created.
Plexiglass guards have been installed in the school office.
No Vistor Access to School:
Following the direction from our local health authority, the SMDHU, all SCDSB schools will be closed to parents/guardians and visitors.
Students who are participating in the remote learning program will be contacted by their teacher in the first two weeks of school and classes will begin on Monday, September 21.
Please contact the school if you require access to a chrome book.
If you have not completed the Board's survey (Coming to school or remote learning) please contact the school so that we can better plan for student arrival next week.
Each student should bring a backpack and water bottle to school. Students will receive a detailed list of recommended school supplies from their teachers the first week of school. Keep in mind that we are not sharing items between students and having their own pens, pencils, crayons, papers, pencil crayons, duotangs, and binders would be a good idea.
It's important to get accurate information about what's going on at your school and at the SCDSB. Here are some ways to do that:
- Subscribe to our school's website by visiting the 'What's New' section at http://inn.scdsb.on.ca. You can sign up to receive emails about school news updates and information during emergency situations. It is easy to subscribe – visit our website and click the 'Subscribe' link at the very top of the page. Provide your email and click 'Subscribe'; a message will be sent to your inbox with a link to click to confirm that you want to subscribe. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of each email.
- Sign up to receive SCDSB media releases by clicking the 'Subscribe' button at www.scdsb.on.ca.
- Follow the SCDSB on Twitter (@SCDSB_Schools), Facebook (facebook.com/SCDSB) and Instagram (instagram.com/scdsb).
For school bus transportation information, visit the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium's website at main.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca. Also, remember to bookmark the school bus information page at simcoecountyschoolbus.ca for bus delay and cancellation information on inclement weather days.
PROCEDURES TO KEEP OUR SCHOOL SAFE:
We have a number of procedures in place to keep our school safe. You can help your child understand and feel safe by:
- talking to them about the situations below;
- reminding them that emergencies are rare; and,
- telling them it's important to follow staff instructions in these situations.
Parents/guardians should talk about the following emergency drills with their children:
- Shelter in place is used when there is an environmental or weather-related situation, like a chemical spill outside the building, or a major storm. Activities continue inside the school. Students and staff are not allowed to leave the building. The ventilation system may be shut off temporarily.
- A hold and secure is used when there is a situation in the community, not related to the school, like a bank robbery nearby. Activities continue, but all exterior doors are locked. No one is allowed to enter or exit the school.
- A lockdown is used when there is a major incident or a threat of violence related to the school. Students and staff move to secure areas, away from doors and windows. Interior doors are locked, lights are shut off and blinds are drawn. Students and staff remain quiet. We practice lockdown drills at least two times per year. In the unlikely event of an actual lockdown situation, police ask that parents/guardians do not go to the school. Information will be communicated through the school board social media sites (www.facebook.com/SCDSB and www.twitter.com/SCDSB_Schools) and website (www.scdsb.on.ca), through local police and local media.
- All schools have evacuation plans in case of gas leaks, bomb threats or fire incidents that would require everyone to leave the school. We hold drills to practice our evacuation plan. In a real evacuation, students and staff may go to the evacuation site (Kilarney Beach P.S.), depending on the situation. Parents/guardians will be informed about pick-up procedures by the school, school board and local media.
When parents/guardians are at school during a drill or emergency event, they must follow direction from school staff, police, fire and/or emergency personnel. Parents/guardians may not have immediate access to their children during drills or emergencies. They may need to wait until the situation is resolved and school staff and/or emergency personnel release students into parent/guardian care.
It's important for you to know we'll always take whatever precautions are necessary to keep our school and students safe.
Please note the following:
- Elementary school main doors are locked during the school day. Visitors must use the intercom system and wait for assistance. Staff may not be available to answer the door immediately, so please be patient.
- Staff must complete a criminal record check before having contact with students.
- We ask parents/guardians to contact us when their child will be absent from school as part of our Safe Arrival program. When we don't hear from a parent/guardian and a student is absent, we will call home to find out the reason for the absence.
- At least two staff members in every school are trained in first aid and CPR. All SCDSB schools have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
STUDENT DRESS CODE:
Students are expected to respect the guidelines when dressing for school. Our school is a safe space. We work to be equitable and inclusive, and understand that students may choose to express themselves through their clothing choices. Student clothing cannot pose a safety concern or conceal identity. Exceptions are granted to students who wear head coverings or other garments/objects for the purposes of religious observance, medical or sensory needs, or other reasons protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The SCDSB dress code is available in the student agenda and online at www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/dress_code. If you have questions about the dress code, you can contact your school principal.
The Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium's Bus Tag program supports safety for JK/SK and other school-identified students. The program helps match students to their assigned afternoon school bus and identifies that they must be met by a parent/guardian at their afternoon bus stop.
The program provides a colour coded bus tag with the assigned p.m. route number, to be attached to the student's backpack, and a colour-coded route card with route number in the windows of the school bus that the bus tag is matched to. The program can also provide tags for students who are walkers and/or who remain at an on-site childcare centre to make sure they don't get on a bus in error.
For more information, visit main.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca and click on the 'Safety' tab.
Students in Grades 4-8 must wear a mask while taking school transportation. Masks are not required from K to grade 3, but are encouraged.
All busing expectations and protocols are posted on the SCTC website: https://simcoecountyschoolbus.ca/