September 28th, 2020
Parent / Guardian Check-In
Well, Centennial Adult Team (CAT ? lol), here it is the last week of September already. It has been a whirlwind for all of us I’m sure. I want to start by thanking you again for your incredible support as we work through the many. many changes with life at school. I just thought I’d let you know how things are going, since we are aware that it is notoriously hard to get info from kids! 🙂
Outdoor Breaks: You may remember that the kids are being given the opportunity to eat / snack BEFORE they go outside for the whole 40 minutes for Nutrition breaks, twice a day. Rationale? A few things here: In this early phase of opening up, we want to be sure that there is direct adult supervision when they take their masks off to eat; that there is no food sharing, and that 15 minutes or so of de-masking is orderly and as safe as possible in terms of distancing. It also means that the transition to outside is under the direct supervision of the classroom teacher, so that the kids are still in a distance line-up getting out of the building or portables, rather than the ‘mad rush’ . Once outside in their designated cohort areas, they may take off their masks, but we have to constantly remind them to be distanced. Even with masks on, we remind them to do their very best to keep to the 2 m. apart. It is a constant theme!
One of our biggest challenges right now is that kids simply don’t have enough to do outside. They are not allowed to share any equipment, so their pleas for “Can we ….?” are being met with lots of “No” for an answer. Perhaps you have some suggestions for your children in terms of what they can do outside independently: rubik’s cube? yo-yo? puzzle books? We are holding the line as Senior Elementary Principals on kids not being able to use cell phones at school, including during breaks. They must remain in their backpacks until the end of the day.
But I have to say that by and large, the students, ‘our kids’, are being really patient with us and the new rules. I am really impressed by their maturity and patience. That is not to say that there have not been some problems and behaviour issues! Remember that if kids are caught breaking the cohort rules they are sent home.
Finally this week we will likely get a period of rain, and then we get to test our strategy for inclement weather during Nutrition Breaks. What will happen if the kids can’t go out is that we will delay eating until the first part of breaks. This gives them something to keep them busy. The duty teachers are reassigned then to their rain day schedules, and rotate in and out of classrooms and portables to monitor the students.
So if kids are complaining about anything to do with school, it is likely, and ironically, about breaks. Are they saying the rules are ‘stupid’? lol
Distance Learning / Remote Learning / Temporarily at Home Learning
If you have registered your student for Distance Learning, then their instruction through that platform is slated to begin mid-October. Obviously some time is needed for the new registrants to be set up in classes, matched with a teacher, and contacts to be made before instruction begins. Please be patient. If you have questions, please email the Distance Team directly, as there are different administration contacts for these programs:
For English Programming: DLI@wrdsb.ca
For French Immersion Programming: DLF@wrdsb.ca
If your student is registered here as an In-Person Learner, but needs to be absent for a period of time, they can still be connected to their teachers and classmates through their Google Classrooms. Please understand that this form of remote learning does not entail synchronous learning, that is, video conferencing in real time. In this form of remote learning, kids engage with material and assignments independently , with feedback from teachers when they may be available.
COVID Symptoms Response
Please use the School Screening Tool each day with your child before they come to school, and make a determination based on it. Here is the link:
Now if your child presents with symptoms here at school, we MUST follow the protocols laid out for us by Public Health and our own Health and Safety team. We take the student to a private isolation area, and they are required to wear a gown, medical mask and shield. We call the parent / guardian, and they come to pick up the student. There are questions and next steps which we are required to direct you to do. The fastest way to have your child come back is to get a negative test result. Otherwise there is the 14 days isolation period and return with 24 hours of no symptoms. Now it is always difficult when things change, and things have been changing rapidly the past several months. So don’t be surprised if protocols around this evolve as well. But for now, and always, we do what we are directed to do in the best interest of our community.
Have a great week Centennial Adult Team!
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