2020-2021 Back to School Parent Information Sheet

 

2020-21 Back to School Parent Information Sheet for Walter Duggan Consolidated

As detailed within the Nova Scotia Back to School Plan, there will be significant adjustments to some routines and activities that were typical in a normal school year. To help families navigate these changes, we have created this school information sheet for you.

 

What to Expect at School This Year:

 

Before School

  • At-Home Self-Monitoring for COVID: Families are required to monitor children for COVID-19 using the COVID-19 Daily Checklist. The most up-to-date version can be found online at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Daily-COVID-checklist-en.pdf. By monitoring daily, you are helping to identify any potential cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible. A paper copy of the COVID-19 Daily Checklist will be provided prior to school re-opening.

Students need to stay home when they are ill, even if their symptoms are mild.  If you are unsure if you or your child should self-isolate, contact 811.

  • Remember to pack a face mask and water bottle: Masks are required for students in Grades 4-12 if they cannot physically distance and required for all students travelling by bus. Each student and staff member will be provided with two face masks.  

Also, students who travel by bus, regardless of grade, will be required to wear a mask while on the bus. 

Water bottles are recommended as water fountains will not be accessible; bottle filling stations or water coolers will still be available. Sending your child with a full water bottle in the morning is preferred, recommended and appreciated to limit the number of students using these areas to help maintain social distancing.

 

Getting to School

  • As stated masks are required for all students travelling on buses. Family members traveling on the bus should sit together. Buses will be cleaned twice during the school day and in between each run.
  • Once bus students arrive at school, bus unloading will be staggered to allow for less traffic. Each student will then go to their class location on the paved areas which will be marked. We will have staff to help children find their waiting spot especially during the first few days. This will be a change in practice for all students while waiting to enter the school. The time spent outside will depend on bus arrival time. They will be entering the building earlier to maintain social distancing and to keep them in their class bubble/cohort group.
  • Students coming into the school as one group will wash/sanitize their hands as they enter their separate classrooms and join their class bubble/cohorts within the school.
  • Parents who drive children to school will drop off and pick-up students outside the building. We ask that you please drop off your children within the times listed below. Visitor access will be limited to only essential visitors. For our elementary schools, our staff will be waiting to welcome our younger students into the building.
  • Please stick to the following drop-off and pick up times for our school:
    • Drop Off between 8:00 and 8:20 *please note this change of time, it is necessary to keep your child safe. There will be no playtime during morning arrival.
    • Pick ups/Walkers will be dismissed at 2:30 *please keep to this time, if your child needs to be picked up early please write a note in the child’s agenda.
  • For students who walk to school please have them arrive no earlier than 8:00 am, again this is to adhere to social distancing protocol.

 

During the School Day

 

Hygiene

  • Hand Hygiene: There will be an emphasis on hand washing, before & after eating and during the day. Hand sanitizing stations will be installed at main entrances and classrooms without a sink.
  • Students who are in grades 4 to 12 will need to wear masks in class if they cannot physically distance, even if they are in their cohort.   Every student and staff member will be provided two non-medical masks. If a student forgets their mask, disposable masks will be available.
  • There is a “no-sharing” policy on food, personal belongings and their individual school supplies. Please review this will your child.

 

School Design

  • Students in Pre-Primary to Grade 6 at Walter Duggan will stay with their class (cohort) throughout the day, where possible.
  • Classrooms will have less material and furniture, and desks/tables will be spaced out allowing students to have more physical distance.
  • Students will notice additional signage including directional signs to control flow in hallways, common areas, and outside spaces. Signage includes traffic flow arrows, physical distancing reminders, and designated Entrances & Exits.

 

School Schedule

  • More classes (including Physical Education) will be held outdoors, when possible to encourage physical movement and support our students’ well-being.
  • All students will continue to be able to access healthy options through the school’s Breakfast Program. There will be a focus on individual servings and access that is organized to prevent students from gathering. The breakfast program will be offered in their classroom only.
  • Students in Pre-primary to Grade 6 will eat lunch in their classrooms with their regular class or cohort of students; cafeterias will not be in use for lunchtime for these students. If your child is bringing their own lunch, please ensure it is something they can manage independently to avoid unnecessary handling of items by others. Also we are a nut free school so no nut products can be consumed. Microwaves will not be available at this time. If students require food from our lunch program, their meals will be delivered to their classroom to limit interactions among cohorts and social gathering. More information will follow on how to place an order for food items as they will not be going to cafeteria to order. We will be operating with a reduced menu as well. If possible please send the correct amount of money.
    • Outside break during the lunch hour will be staggered by class cohorts.
    •  Breaks/Recess: Students will have breaks with their class on a staggered schedule.

 

Illness at School

  • If a child feels unwell or begins to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, a parent or guardian will be contacted for pick-up. It is very important to ensure that your contact information and other emergency contacts for your child are kept up to date with the school during the school year. Please have a family plan in place to pick up your child when the school calls.
  • Any student who becomes unwell at school will have a separate location in the school to wait to be picked up. Students who become ill during the day will not be permitted to return home on the bus.
  • Students who exhibit symptoms on the bus will be required to isolate on the way to school and the bus driver will notify the school administration.
  • If a child exhibits COVID symptoms, parents/guardians must contact 811 to receive advice from Public Health on what to do next, including if/when the child can return to school.
  • Our schools will continue to monitor illness in schools and will follow direction from Public Health on specific processes.  Parents are asked when they are calling in to excuse their child, if they could provide as much detail as they are comfortable, so we can provide Public Health with accurate information on our illness data.  
  • If a COVID-19 case is identified, Public Health will provide direction to CCRCE as well as the school.

After the School Day

  • After School Program- YMCA currently does not have enough students registered at our site to offer this service.
  • Information about NSSAF sports and Sport Nova Scotia will be released by those organizations in the near future.
  • Parents/Guardians can help reinforce proper COVID-19 hygiene protocols with children. Please help us to remind children about proper handwashing techniques, cough/sneeze etiquette, how to wear a mask properly, and physical distancing.

 

More information on COVID Specific Changes for the 2020-21 school year

  • Technology - Students will eventually able to bring their own device to school for educational purposes. More information regarding this will come in the future when we have a plan in place. Students who do not have access to a personal device will be provided with one. School-based devices will be cleaned between use.
  • Families with specialized needs will work together with their school’s Student Planning Team. Please contact the school to discuss your child’s needs further.

 

We will be sharing additional school-specific information with you soon. 

Do you have a specific question regarding your child’s return to school? Let us know and we can help provide you with information. Please call us at 902-396-2700 or email at slatera@ccrce.ca for Ann Slater Principal.