As we approach the first day of school, we imagine that you are experiencing a range of emotions from excitement to nervousness. We hope that this communication will help to reassure you that we are committed to making this school year fun, safe, and full of enriching learning experiences for your children!
The following plan highlights school specific details related to the EIPS Operations Guidelines. As situations and restrictions change over the course of the coming months, modifications will be made to this plan and communicated to families. No plan is going to be perfect, nor please everyone, but we will do our best to work within the guidelines provided on our journey towards near-normal operations.
Please begin with examining the following Elk Island Public Schools documents:
Parents will play a crucial role in ensuring everyone’s safety and minimizing any potential outbreak at the school. Some of the key elements of your role will be:
- completing the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire with your child each morning
- keeping children home if they show any signs or symptoms of illness
- sending everything your child needs with them to school each day
- Supplies, lunch, masks, water bottle, etc...
- having up-to-date Emergency Contacts in Parent Portal who are available to pick up your child within an hour (if you cannot)
- practicing social distancing, mask use, proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette with your children
- ensuring clean masks (2-3) are sent to school every day with your child
- reassuring your child that everyone is working hard to make school a safe place
Parents & Volunteers
We are pleased to welcome parents and volunteers back into the school this year! As we move towards near-normal operations, we will find meaningful opportunities to involve guardians in school community events and include volunteers to support learning in classrooms.
Any volunteers or visitors entering the school must complete the adult COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire and wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. If you are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms, do not enter the school. After entering, sanitize your hands, sign in at the office, and receive a visitor pass. Staff members are required to ask visitors if they need help if they see individuals without a visitor pass. As in any other year, we must be aware of all visitors and their purpose for joining us. If you need to speak to any staff member, please email or call ahead of time to set up an appointment so we can minimize any disruption of instructional time.
All students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 must wear masks during class time when unable to socially distance. We would ask that you send two to three clean masks to school every day with your child. You may want to put clean, unworn masks in a baggie or a container before use. Please ensure you label your child’s masks. Scarves, neck gaiters and masks with ventilation holes do not offer adequate protection, so please do not send them with your child.
Students will have opportunities to remove their masks when eating, when engaging in physical activities, when playing outside, and when proper physical distancing can be maintained. Also, when children are working independently and are facing away from other students, teachers may also encourage students to remove their masks.
Each class has been assigned to one of our 5 entrances. When students arrive at school in the morning at 8:15 a.m. or later, they proceed to their designated door and enter the school. A supervisor will assist with hand sanitizing, donning a mask, and will have some spare masks on hand in case a mask was forgotten. Students then proceed to their locker and classroom. A hallway supervisor will be roving to assist students.
Front Doors/Main School Entrance - Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, LINKS
Parking lot doors - PALS
East doors near school sign - Grade 4
East doors near gym - Grade 3, Grade 5Hankirk
South doors - Grade 5Barkwell, Grade 6
*Students who arrive after 8:30 a.m. must enter through the main doors and check in at the office for a morning welcome.
Use of Playgrounds
Playground use is not permitted in the morning. There are no supervisors prior to 8:15 a.m. so we ask that students do not arrive before that time. Supervisors will greet students at their entrance doors and in their classroom hallway from 8:15 - 8:30 a.m. and are not able to monitor the playground before school.
After school we ask that all students proceed directly home to check in with their parents/caregivers. Children who ride buses will not have time to access the playground after school.
The morning and lunch recess times will be common for all grades. Grade groups have assigned playground spaces, giving students plenty of space to explore the equipment. Children can also spread out and play in the large field areas and will be able to say hello to siblings. All students will sanitize their hands before and after recess and are reminded to physically distance while playing.
Cohorting is not required this year as we are no longer reporting, tracking or quarantining close contacts.
Mental Health Supports
Living through a pandemic can present challenges to our emotional well-being. This year our focus is on reconnecting and developing skills to support our mental health. We are pleased to welcome Miss Kastyn who is joining us for our Mental Health Capacity Building project. Mrs. Giebelhaus, our counsellor, will be working closely with Miss Kastyn to support our community as the year progresses.
We are looking forward to this school year and getting back to as near normal operations as possible! If you have any questions, please contact the school at 780-632-3113.
Keri Busenius and Rita Lal
Principal and Assistant Principal