Waverley Memorial

Back to School 2020

 

WMES - Back to School Upates 2020

Dear WMES Families:

I hope you have had a safe and restful summer. After six months apart, We are so excited to welcome students and staff back to our building! The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

We’ve been very busy getting ready to welcome students.  Here is a little video to introduce our staff and give you a little sneak peak into WMES this year:
https://safeYouTube.net/w/8iqZ

All students are returning to school as outlined in Nova Scotia’s Back to School Plan. To learn more about the plan, visit www.novascotia.ca/backtoschool.

We recognize that you may have questions. Rest assured that supporting your child’s return to school is our highest priority. COVID-19 has changed what our school and school day will look like, but it has not changed the quality of education, or the care and support that your child will receive.

There will be many changes to routines in September. Among the changes:

• All students who ride a school bus will be required to wear a mask.
• All students in Grades 4 to 12 and all staff will be required to wear a mask when they are unable to physically distance.
• Schools will received enhanced cleaning.
• There will be increased handwashing and sanitizing as students enter and exit school and throughout the day.


We can’t wait to see our students!

We would like to share with you ours plans for re-opening.  These plans may adjust as we move forward, so please refer back to this plan frequently.  All of this information has been emailed out in the "Back to School" updates since August 26th.  

There are some great resources included on the Provincial Back to School site: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/backtoschool/resources .
Also, the EECD Q&A is being updated  regularly:
https://www.ednet.ns.ca/backtoschool/frequently-asked-questions

 

Welcome Back (New routines/procedures):

  • The scheduled “Meet the Teacher” night  will not occur on September 3rd as planned. However, we are working on a “Welcome Back” video that will tour the school, identify new routines/signage, and introduce you to all of our staff.  Classroom teachers will also be contacting all families on the 3rd or 4th to welcome your child to their class.
  • Unfortunately we are unable to offer Pre-Primary, or Primary orientation sessions this year – but we will have welcome videos just for our little ones that will hopefully help them feel very excited about starting “Big School” on September 8th.
  • Social distancing signage is being installed around the school.
  • We will be spending a significant amount of time in September teaching routines for handwashing/sanitizing, wearing masks and ‘Cough and Sneeze etiquette’.  Having these discussions at home and practicing before school starts with help everyone feel more comfortable with these routines.
  • All students are asked to bring their own water bottle each day.
  • Please label ALL belongings and masks.  We will not have a LOST & FOUND area this year.
     
  • Thursday, September 3rd, we are looking forward to welcoming our staff officially back to school.  We will be preparing some video clips that will introduce our staff, tour the school, and go over some of our new routines (including arrival and dismissal routines) to help everyone know what to expect on our first day, which is September 8th.  The video(s) will be emailed out with Friday’s update. 

    There are some great resources included on the Provincial Back to School site: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/backtoschool/resources .

  • Pink Day is Thursday, September 10th.  Please encourage your child to wear pink on this day. Our theme this year is Kindness Matters!  Help us all stand up Against Bullying together!

  • Picture Day is Friday, September 18th. Retakes will take place on October 9th.
    Please fill out the google form:  https://forms.gle/4zUP1P1h7oSgwArYA
    to let us know which background you would like for your child’s school pictures.
     

    Daily Covid 19 Screenings:
  • Our shared health is our shared responsibility. All families and staff members must complete the daily Covid Screening Tool before coming to school each day.  You can find the checklist using this link: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Daily-COVID-checklist-en.pdf  and it is also available on our webpage.  Please keep your child at home when they are ill, even if their symptoms are mild, and contact 811.  
    By monitoring daily, we are all doing our part to protect our shared health.

 

Student Drop Off / Pick Up:

Student drop off and pick up is going to look a bit different this year!  It is important for us all to do our part to limit congestion/crowds from gathering at the start and end of the day.

Under the Back to School Plan, schools will be limiting outside visitors in the building, including parents/guardians.  This means you will not be able to enter the school to drop off or pick-up your child.

 

  • Morning Arrival 
    Our buses arrive between 7:40 and 8am.  We will have staff meeting each bus and directing students to their entry doors.
    We have 3 entry doors and students will enter the school by the doors assigned to their grade level. 
    - Students in grades Pre-Primary, Primary and One will enter the school through the side doors by our Kiss & Go loop.
    - Students in grades Two and Three will enter the doors at the back of the school by the larger playground equipment and gymnasium doors.
    - Students in grades Four and Five will enter the doors at the front of the school by the main office.
    *This will not be a new routine for most students as these are the doors that these grades have typically lined up at in the past.  The difference this year is that students will be coming directly in and going to their classes instead of lining up at the bell.

    We will have staff outside and inside to help students find the appropriate doors and their classrooms.  Teachers will be in their classrooms to greet students when they begin arriving at 7:40am.
    Students getting rides to school can be dropped off in our Kiss and Go Loop between 7:40 and 8am.  We are requesting for the first week of school for parents to try to delay the drop off to between 8 and 8:30am to help us have more time to get used to our new routines and new bus schedules.  However, students can still be dropped off beginning at 7:40am.
    The bus loop will be opened every morning from 8 – 8:30am for student drop off to accommodate increased traffic volume. 
    Parents/Guardians dropping off before this time will need to use the Kiss and Go Loop! Thanks.
          

  • Afternoon Dismissal    
    Bus students will be dismissed first at the end of the day.  Teachers will walk the bus students out and walkers / Excel students will remain in their classrooms (supervised by another staff member) until the buses have been dismissed.
    Once the buses have left the teachers will bring their walking students out for dismissal. 
    Please remain in your vehicles, or off school grounds, until the buses have left.  (Approximately 2:05). Thanks!

     
  • Pick up/ Drop off through the school day -  Come to the main doors and ring the doorbell into the office.  Someone will come and meet you to pick up your child and bring them in, or to bring your child to you. 

Thank you for your support in helping us ensure the safest start possible.  Once school routines have been established we will review these plans and update as needed.

 

Transportation updates:

  • Register today for the Learn to Ride the Bus workshop!
    We know that starting big school is a giant step for little people (and their families), so let’s have a trial run for fun! Our service providers will be hosting a few one-hour workshops this week. Register your child today to learn how to ride the school bus safely this September.
    You can register your child by contacting HRCE Transportation Team at 902-431-4723 to reserve your time and location.
  1. September 3 - 4:00 pm or 6:00 pm: Porters Lake Elementary  or Sir John A. MacDonald High
  2. September 4 - 4:00 pm or 6:00 pm: Georges P. Vanier Junior High School or Rocky Lake Junior High School
  • If your child(ren) are eligible for student transportation and you have not received an email yet, please contact the Transportation Team via email transportation@hrce.ca or call us at 902-431-4723.
  • Transportation for all eligible children from Pre-Primary to grade 12 will be provided. Because physical distancing will not always be possible, as per the Public Health order, children and students whose parents want them to ride the school bus will be required to wear non-medical masks. Drivers will also be required to wear masks.
  • While riding school buses, children and students from the same household must sit together. Buses will be cleaned twice daily. High touch surfaces such as handrails will be cleaned before and after each run.  (pg. 13 Back to School plan)

 

Masks:

  • We have 2 masks for each of our students that we will hand out on the first day of school.  Please label them when they come home! They are all the same.
  • All students will be required to wear a face mask when travelling on the school bus.
  • All students in grades 4 and 5 will be required to wear a face mask in the school when they are unable to physically distance. 

  • As per Public Health guidelines, masks are mandatory for all students in Grades 4 and 5 when inside the building, and for all students (PP-5) riding the school bus.
    Students (in grades 4&5) must wear their masks (including in hallways and other common areas inside the school) when they are unable to physically distance by 2 meters.
    Masks can be removed when students are eating and drinking.  Masks are not required during outdoor activities.
    Here is a video link that you can watch with your children before the first day of school: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-wear-non-medical-mask-face-covering-properly.html

Please label ALL belongings and masks.  We will not have a LOST & FOUND area this year.

 

School Supply Lists –

We would also like to encourage you to look into purchasing a fanny pack for your child to store their mask in when they are outside. 
 

Teaching and Learning:

  • Staff have been busy reorganizing classrooms and common areas to maximize space to support physical distancing.
     
  • Phys. Ed classes will be outside as much as possible, but may also take place in our gymnasium as we are fortunate at WMES to have a very large gym.  Phys. Ed teachers have been given significant guidelines to follow to ensure student safety.

    Music classes will take place in the grade level classrooms for the first month while we get used to new routines and social distancing practices.  We are fortunate to have the stage area as our Music class this year, and classes may take place in the Music classroom later in the Fall if we find that we can do this and still follow all protocols.

    Core French for grades 4 and 5 classes will take place in the grade 4 and 5 classes (as has been done for the past few years).

    • Students will not be visiting the library this year, but Mrs. Dey will be visiting them in their classrooms regularly.  We will have our very own “Book-mobile” on a cart and students will be able to bring books home for a week at a time.  Mrs. Dey has also created a website for our library and we will share this information with you soon.

    Recess will look a lot different this year at WMES.  Recess breaks will not be school wide but will occur frequently through the day for classroom cohorts (as we will be getting outside as much as we can).  Classroom teachers will take their students outside for these breaks, and each grade level will have an assigned area of the school grounds where they can go each day.   Students will not be mingling with students from other classes right now.  We will adjust these plans if Public Health deems it safe at some point in the coming months. 

    Lunch is still from 11 – 12pm.  One lunch monitor will be assigned to each class and each class will have a different area of the school to go to when they go outside. 
    Our cafeteria will not open until September 14th.  When the cafeteria opens all orders will need to be placed online as students will not be visiting the cafeteria.  We will send the information for how to order home next week.   Students lunches will be delivered to them in their classrooms.   In an effort to reduce traffic flow in the classrooms we are asking all students to take their recess and lunch garbage home for disposal (unless of course it is going to cause a big mess). 22 – 27 students getting up in a classroom to put their garbage in one can makes social distancing very challenging.
    Please send in utensils from home!

 

Monitoring student health at school (info from Public Health)

  • What happens if a child begins to show symptoms at school?
    If a student feels unwell or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 they will be provided a medical mask to wear (if they don’t have one) and will be escorted to an isolation room/area in the school until a parent/guardian can pick them up. The family will be advised to call 811. Unless otherwise advised by 811, the student should remain home until they are symptom free for 24 hours.
  • What is going to happen to children who have a runny nose because of allergies, or a chronic cough, or other chronic ailment? Will they keep getting sent home? Do we keep them home?
    If a child has a chronic cough, seasonal allergies, or other known medical condition, families are encouraged to bring that to the attention of the teacher or school. Parents are encouraged to monitor their children for new or worsening symptoms.

 

Outdoor Classrooms:

  • We will be spending a significant amount of time outside when we can.  Please be sure to dress for the weather. 
  • The school has been divided into zones and classes will be assigned a specific zone each week. 
  • We are looking at purchasing patio stones (12x12,18x18, 24x24), etc to help make some of these areas more classroom friendly. If anyone wants to help out (or donate a patio stone) please reach out to our admin team (kwolfe@hrce or mackayj@hrce.ca).  
  • We are also looking into having some permanent type gazebos installed in the future.  If you have any connections and want to help – reach out.

 

  • THANK YOU! We have had a number of donations of patio stones!    Next week we will begin working on preparing our outdoor classroom spaces.  
    If you would like to donate one just let us know. 

Technology

  • Photo consent at school.  Please complete this form to let us know if you give consent for your child’s photograph to be published on our Twitter newsfeed or on our webpage.  Thanks.
    https://forms.gle/HfPNfP6M9ndfhfWM8 

     

  • Students will be encouraged to use their own devices in school. Students without personal devices will be provided with devices to use while at school. Devices will be cleaned between use. Technology will be used to support teaching and learning in all subject areas. This will help students be better prepared to continue to use technology should there be a need to transition to at-home learning. Appropriate schedules will be developed in schools to make use of shared technology, with appropriate cleaning protocols in place.  (pg. 13 Back to School Plan)


We want to assure you that together, we’ve got this. We all have a role to play in helping students feel safe and supported when they return to school. We promise to keep the lines of communication open to make this a positive year. We are all in this together.

We can’t wait see our students!              .

Together, we’ve got this!
Take care & stay safe,

WMES Staff