First Day and More……

Hello Phoenix Families,

We hope that everyone is well, and you have been able to enjoy some of the beautiful weather this summer. Please review the information below for our 20021-2022 school year.

NewsWire will be our main communication tool. Please encourage friends and neighbours to sign up on our web page if you know someone who is not getting updates. Register in the bottom left corner on our main page: https://stannecambridge.wcdsb.ca/

Again this year, we will also be sending some communications over “School Messenger”. These go to all contacts we have on file so please make sure contact information is updated with the office early in the year.

For a full update on the WCDSB opening plan and to review the Operational Guidelines, please visit: https://www.wcdsb.ca/operational-guidelines/

In addition to the information provided by the school board and Ministry announcements, there is some “site specific” information for our school.

The first days of school is Tuesday, September 7th for grades 1-8, but it will look a little different again this year. Unfortunately, we will not be able to gather on the yard as a community like we have done in the past. When you drop off your child(ren), we ask that they gather on the blacktop at the back of the school. We will have staff outside to meet and greet the children. Staff will share their assigned classrooms and show them to their lines and teachers.

Class assignments will be posted on Friday, September 3rd in Aspen – through the parent porthole.  In the spring, the WCDSB sent all contacts who are legal guardians with custody, instructions and a security code to activate your parent porthole in Aspen. Please check your e-mail (junk folder) for the communication if you did not sign up and our IT department should be sending a reminder to sign up later this week. Otherwise, class assignments will be shared with your child when they arrive Tuesday, as per above.

Families with children in kindergarten will get a phone call from the teacher with your staggered arrival day and time.

Our start and end times will remain the same. As the school year unfolds, upon arrival at the school, yard supervisors will ensure personal space is maintained by directing students to remain in their designated areas, as per their divisions. When the bell rings, students will go to their class’s designated location on the yard and will be required to maintain personal space while in line. Teachers will spend time in the first few days of school teaching student’s the safety guidelines.

Busses are operating with the typical schedule. Questions about busses can be directed to Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR). Our parking lot and surrounding streets cannot accommodate additional vehicles for families choosing not to use the busses. We are asking that you drop your kids off a block or two from the school where they can safely walk the remainder of the way. Plan your route now and practice with your kids.

We are encouraging walking/biking/scooting, etc. to school as a healthy and active option. In all kinds of weather, walking/biking/scooting is an active and safe way to get to and from school. There are environmental benefits with less cars out, social benefits when walking safely in groups, safety benefits with less traffic in our busy parking lot and local streets, and the health benefits are simply undeniable. Please consider walking/biking/scooting by planning out your route now, and practicing with your kids.

Classes will be assigned an entry point and will be escorted into the school, one class at a time, to avoid congestion. Hand sanitizer will be provided for students as they enter the classroom.  As outlined by the school board, students from K to 12 will be required to wear masks.

In grades 1 to 8, desks will be set up in rows to ensure personal space. Students will eat their lunch at their own desk and will help ensure that surfaces are kept clean and sanitized throughout the day. Individual teachers will establish wipe down procedures with their students. Each class will adopt a sign in and out procedure for students who need to use the washrooms or go to the main office in order to minimize students in common areas of the school. JK and SK students have their own washrooms located in their classrooms.

Outdoor learning will be encouraged whenever possible. It is important your child comes to school properly dressed each day to spend time outside. Even on some slightly colder or wet days – learning may occur outside so please dress for all possibilities.

The school board is providing every student with learning kits/bags that will be packed by staff with basic school supplies, based on grade level. These kits/bags will help minimize the sharing of items which could put some students at risk.

There have been upgrades made to the ventilation system and standalone HEPA until set up in our FDK classes. When dropping off students in the FDK yard, parents will be encouraged to maintain personal space as they wave goodbye to their child.

Unfortunately, visitors and volunteers are discouraged at this time. Should a parent need to drop off or pick up a child during the school day, masks must be worn and a self-screening completed: (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/). Sneeze guards have been installed in the main office as well as the Learning Commons. You will be asked, as usual, to wait outside the main office and your child will be called down.

All students will receive information and orientation from staff regarding our protocols. Frequent reviews throughout the day will take place as students will need reminders to get into our new routines. Signage will be placed throughout the school to remind students of our protocols.

All staff will be required to engage in a daily self-assessment before coming to work to ensure that they are well and ready to perform their full duties. All students, with assistance from parent/guardian, are asked to perform a daily self-assessment before heading off to school. The self-assessment information can be found at the following link: (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/). Should the self-assessment indicate the possibility of having the virus, protocols set out by public health are to be followed. In short – if you are not feeling well, stay home.

We look forward to seeing all our students return to us in September. We will do all we can to provide a safe and healthy re-entry for all staff and students at St. Anne. We are all in this together.

We will share further details, or any changes needed should new information come from the Ministry, the board or public health.

We can’t wait to see the kids back at school. We are hopeful this will be a great year of learning together.

Kindly,

Mr. J. Noonan (School Principal)

Ms. S. Rellinger (School Vice-Principal)

Welcome Back – Update from the Director

Hello Phoenix Families,

Please review the information below from our Director as it has important updates for you. As well, in the coming days we will share some more details specific to our school and first day procedures.

Until then……..

Dear WCDSB Community,

The last days of summer are winding down and we know that everyone’s thoughts have turned to the return to school. We cannot wait to welcome all our staff and students back! We hope you have had a safe, restful and enjoyable summer. This letter brings a few important updates about our return and provides a link to a much more detailed overview of our Operational Guidelines.

Return to In Person Learning:
All schools will be open this September and St Isidore (our virtual school, for those who enrolled last June) will operate dedicated classes at the elementary level. We will use a hybrid model in secondary for those students who have selected online learning for this year. For our elementary students, their classroom is their main cohort, but students will be able to access specialized supports where needed. In secondary – it will be a 2 period day. Each class will be 150 minutes, with a 40 minute lunch in between.

Vaccination:
On August 17th the Government of Ontario announced that they (and we by extension) will implement an immunization disclosure policy for all publicly funded school board employees and licensed child cares. For those staff who cannot attest that they are fully vaccinated, they will be completing regular testing before reporting to their school or workplace. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and Waterloo Region Public Health also strongly endorse all students ages 12 and older to access vaccination.

Masking:
Students from K to 12 will continue to wear masks. An exemption form is required for any student in grades 1 to 12 who is unable to wear a mask. We will be strongly supporting this precaution, as Public Health and provincial guidance suggests that outside of vaccination, it is our best strategy to promote a healthy and safe environment for all. We ask you to work with us to support students in understanding why we wear a mask and how to do so safely. Those requesting an accommodation under the Human Rights Code should submit their exemption request to their school Principal.

Hand Hygiene and Distancing:
We are pleased to share that there will be more access to resources and learning materials. We will take a cautious approach but students will be sharing more objects within their classroom and have access to our learning commons spaces (libraries), so hand hygiene and distancing will remain important practices. School staff will work with students to reinforce the strong habits that ensure a robust and safe learning environment for all.

Daily Screening:
All staff and students are still required to complete daily screening, using the Ontario School Screener. The tool is being updated to reflect the new protocols and we will share it and post it in our Operational Guidelines as soon as it is available. This request is extremely important. Any individual who is symptomatic should not come to school, even if they believe it is not COVID-19.

Lockers, Lunches and Recess:
• The use of lockers and cubbies will be permitted this year. Once again hand hygiene will be critical, students must be masked at all times in these areas and there is a 5 minute time limit at a locker and students should avoid congregating.
• In secondary there will be some limited use of the cafeteria for selected classes; other students will have the option to eat in their classroom or leave the school building for the lunch period. There will be no food service in the secondary cafeterias.
• Students in K-8 benefit from their breaks, activity and social time at recess. Masks do not have to be worn outside for recess, but it is always an option to do so.

Learning Kits for next year:
Finally, just a short word to say that as shared last spring, we will be providing students and families from grades JK – 12 with WCDSB Learning Kits. It is a small way to ensure heath and safety, while saying to you that you matter to us! We value your faith in WCDSB and we cannot wait to welcome you back!
Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are ensuring a safe and happy return to school.

We are truly looking forward to a year that allows us to embrace a renewed love of learning, within our faith-based communities. We remain every grateful for your continued support and remain ready and willing to assist you as we transition back to what will undoubtedly be a #WCDSBAwesome year!

Sincerely,
Loretta Notten
Director of Education

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