Fall Update from Director Notten

October 29th, 2021

Dear WCDSB Community,

We hope that you continue to be well and that you are enjoying some of the beauty that the fall season affords us.  We are pleased that, for the moment, cases seem to be slowing provincially and in the region, and in general, currently we are seeing fewer cases in our schools.

This letter brings a few important updates of which we would like you to be aware as they are important to your understanding as to how things are unfolding and precautions we wish to continue to enforce, so that we may continue on a safe, healthy and positive path as a community.

Screening

As we have shared before, please know that one of the most important things you do each and every day is to complete the screening tool before you as a staff member or student (or parent of a student) arrive at school.  Any individual who fails the screener or who is symptomatic in any way should not be reporting to school.  That is part of our collective responsibility to one another.

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Vaccination

We have started our conversations with Waterloo Region Public Health about vaccination for our 5-11 year olds but at this point, things are still in the planning and approval stage.  As updates become available and we have specifics to share, we will be in touch as promptly as possible.

Testing

On October 28th, the government did share additional updates in relation to program with PCR testing and rapid antigen testing (“Test to Stay”).  In both cases these programs feed from pilot programs in the province,  and will be utilized when deemed necessary.  Both are in relation to when there are positive cases being experienced in a given school community.  There are specific criteria tied to their use and are not general surveillance/screening tools.

Sports / Athletics

As reported in my last letter, we have been pleased to see the return of athletics and sport to our schools and for inter-scholastic play to have returned for those age 12 and older.  The criteria to play is full vaccination and/or proof of a negative test.  This strategy is being used in a very targeted way for students who are not able to use our other usual strategies to ensure their safety – that is – they are unable to ensure masking and social distancing.  We have been heartened by how well received the return to athletics has gone, and remain enormously grateful to our (coaching) staff for supporting this “return to play/competition”.  The tests we were able to provide, through the support of a local partner, are no longer available to us.  At a provincial level, informed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, they have indicated we are no longer able to access or provide the tests.  We are disappointed by this decision as we did feel it was a safe and equitable way to deliver sports.  Our policy that a player /athlete must be fully vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative test has not changed.  Families will now have to source the tests.  Below we provide some links where those purchases may be made.  Of course, vaccination remains an option.

https://rapidtestcanada.ca/product/covid-19-rapid-test-maple/

https://rapidtestandtrace.ca/

Inclement Weather Protocol

Every year at this time we like to share some reminders about protocols for snow days.  As you know – there are sometimes days in the winter when we have to cancel bussing due to the weather and unsafe driving conditions for our buses.  In the past, if roads were still passable, we would leave schools open.  On those days however, we often pooled classes based on the number of staff who fully attended and the number of students.  This year, as was the case last year, that is not possible due to our covid cohort- related restrictions.  In consultation with the public board, with whom we share bussing, when we cancel buses, we will close schools and have a remote learning day.  Your teacher will communicate with you in advance so you know where to look for school work for the day and protocols on such days, but in broad terms, the teachers will post work in the morning, no later than 9:30 a.m. and students will work on their own timing in their home.  It will allow all students to access some learning and we will be continuing to keep one and all safe.  We realize it may not be a perfect solution and learning day, but bus snow days rarely were.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and hope that we are not in this situation too often.

Potential Travel

A reminder that students under 12, travelling with vaccinated parents do not have to quarantine per se, but they are not allowed to return to school until 14 days from return have passed.  This guidance is found on our webpage.  This is federal policy we are sharing.

https://www.wcdsb.ca/covid-19-student-screening-and-testing/

Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are continuing to ensure a safe and happy school experience for all.

We are grateful for your support and partnership as we navigate this unique year.

Sincerely

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

By |2021-10-29T14:26:20-04:00October 29th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Fall Update from Director Notten

Mid October News

Dear Families

  1. A big thank you to our families for keeping all of us safe by following protocols and keeping children home when they are sick.  Many families call in looking for clarification and the rule of thumb is – if they don’t pass the screening, don’t send them to school.  If you follow the screening page all the way down, you will be given instructions on how to proceed if they don’t pass the screening.  Don’t forget to screen everyday before school! https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
  2. This Friday October 22 is Crazy Hat/Hair Day!  Our Student Council thanks you for your participation.
  3. A reminder to complete any outstanding forms on SchoolCashOnline.  If you have any issues with SchoolCashOnline, please contact the Main Office.
  4. Our Stop Everything and Dance Fundraiser is on now!  We have a lot of prizes – thank you to our School Council for sourcing them out!   We are currently setting up the prize table and should have it set up by the end of the week.  Once it is set up, we will share it with families via your child’s google classroom for you to take a peek at our wonderful prizes!
  5. Stop Everything and Dance Early Bird Draw! We have acquired four passes for The Strom’s Farm Harvest Fun Area – which expire Oct 31. As a result, will will draw an Early Bird prize from our families who have made a donation by Friday 8:00 a.m.  You can continue to add donations after your first one via SchoolCashOnline.
  6. Our Halloween Theme Day coincides with our Stop Everything and Dance.  Please see newsletter for more information. A friendly reminder that students cannot share treats yet; however your child can bring in a special treat for themselves that day.  856 Pumpkins In A Row Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock
By |2021-10-18T14:08:07-04:00October 18th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Mid October News

ESNS Hot Lunch Orders

Welcome back Students and Parents!

Elementary School Nutrition Services is pleased to announce that we will administer your Hot Lunch program for 2021/2022.  Please be advised that parents must register their students each year.  If you were registered last year, please use the same email address.  This will ensure that any credits on your account will be posted to your new account.

You may begin placing orders immediately and the first hot lunch day will be Tuesday November 2nd.   Our on-line ordering system is user friendly and allows you to place and manage your orders when it is convenient for you.  You can pay on-line with credit card or debit.   If you have provided your email address when registering, you have agreed to receive reminder emails and communication from ESNS.

To Register log on to :  https://www.esns.ca

  1. Click on the tab SCHOOLS
  2. Click on your school from the list
  3. Click on the tab REGISTER
  4. Complete all the fields in the registration form
  5. Click on Children to add your student information – select their classroom from the drop down menu – Add additional children if appropriate
  6. Click on the tab ORDERS
  7. Complete one order form for each child then proceed to payment

Full detailed instructions can also be found under the HELP Tab

IMPORTANT

ORDER, PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION POLICIES

ORDERS: All orders must be placed 9 days in advance of delivery, as we must place our orders with our suppliers in this time frame.  Emails will be sent to you to remind you when to order. Orders will only be processed if they are paid in full.

PAYMENTS: Please make your payment at the time of ordering.

CANCELLATIONS– email support@esns.ca: Orders that are cancelled after the orders have been placed with our suppliers will be credited at 50%. Days highlighted in red on the website indicate that these orders have already been placed with our suppliers.  Our custom software does allow you to edit orders on your account that have not been placed with our suppliers.

SNOW DAY CANCELLATIONS: If the school board has closed the school due to weather conditions all orders will be cancelled and a full refund will be posted to your account.

BUS CANCELLATIONS: If buses are cancelled due to weather, all orders will be sent to the school.  If you wish to cancel your order as your child will not be attending school, the regular cancellation policy of 50% credit applies.

Helpful Information

Please ensure that you register your children in the correct classroom as this is where their lunches will be delivered.  If your child is moved to a different room, please log in and edit your child’s information or contact us.

When you see the icon  beside a product this means that there are options available for this product.  When you select this product your options will appear.

(Eg.  Toppings on a pita, or dressing for a salad)

If you are not able to place your order on-line you may contact our office at 519-570-3767 and we will be pleased to help you or email support@esns.ca

By |2021-10-15T13:29:37-04:00October 15th, 2021|News|Comments Off on ESNS Hot Lunch Orders

Thanksgiving Message from Director Notten

October 7th, 2021

Dear WCDSB Community,

As we journey into the Thanksgiving Weekend, I am very reflective of the fact that this month and this season is characterized by gratitude.   In these sometimes very challenging times, it is so very easy to feel daunted or get discouraged.  So, it is important that we take the time to pause and take note of the many blessings in our lives.  We truly are just so blessed to live in a country and community that provides us easy access to the supports we need to navigate this pandemic, and that for the most part we are here for one another – supporting one another and journeying through this time together, guided by the love of Christ.

This letter brings a few important updates of which we would like you to be aware and it also affords me an opportunity to share my thanks to each of you.  First of all – to our staff.  This is – for many of you – your third year working in a pandemic reality.  Your many efforts, your care, compassion, resilience, commitment and passion for your chosen vocation have not gone unnoticed and are deeply appreciated.  You are making a difference in students’ lives, regardless of your role.  To our parents and community members – thank you for your trust and for walking with us, on a journey of accompaniment as we all strive to do our best to serve our young people.  And to our students – we applaud your grit and your spirit as you work through some challenging times, while you strive to be your best selves.

Now to our brief updates:

Screening

Please know that one of the most important things you do each and every day is to complete the screening tool before you as a staff member or student (or parent of a student) arrive at school.  Any individual who fails the screener or who is symptomatic in any way should not be reporting to school.  That is part of our collective responsibility to one another.  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Vaccination

While we do not actively promote vaccination in our schools, we are told and do know from all the provincial science tables, the Chief Medical Officers of Health – provincial and local, and our lived experience, that vaccination is one of the most important decisions we can make in support of a healthy learning environment for all.  We encourage all eligible staff and students to carefully consider this option based on the advice we are receiving.  We do not have information yet about the option for our 5-11 year olds to be vaccinated but progress is being made, and as soon as we have an update, we will share it with you.

Rapid Testing

There has been much in the media of late about rapid testing.  On Tuesday October 5th the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province indicated that there would be targeted use of this strategy.  It will only be used where there is an indication it is needed – specifically if high case counts or transmission is being observed, and/or low vaccination rates are known.  They are not used when and where cases are low as the risk of false positives and the potential to administer the test incorrectly, outweigh its potential benefit.  We will always work with and defer to public health for their advice on this matter.  Currently our case counts are low and rates of transmission in schools, extremely low, so it is not being advised at this time.  When advised that it would be an effective strategy, we will support its use for our asymptomatic staff and students – who may wish to partake on a voluntary basis.

Sports / Athletics

We have been pleased to see the return of athletics and sport to our schools and for inter-scholastic play to have returned for those age 12 and older.  The criteria to play is full vaccination and/or proof of a negative test.  This strategy is being used in a very targeted way for students who are not able to use our other usual strategies to ensure their safety – that is – they are unable to ensure masking and social distancing.  We are enormously grateful to our (coaching) staff for supporting this “return to play/competition”.

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 continue to strongly support 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 continue working with us to support students in understanding why we wear a mask and how to do so safely.

Potential Travel

For those who are vaccinated, your minds may be turning to travel.  We wish to point out that according to current guidelines, while students under 12, travelling with vaccinated parents do not have to quarantine per se, they are not allowed to return to school until 14 days from return have passed.  This guidance is found on our webpage.  This is federal policy we are sharing.   https://www.wcdsb.ca/covid-19-student-screening-and-testing/

Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are continuing to ensure a safe and happy school experience for all.

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 ever grateful for your continued support and remain ready and willing to assist you as we continue to navigate these times.  Once again – on behalf of the Senior Team – we extend our very best wishes for a restful Thanksgiving weekend.  Please celebrate conscious of the precautions Public Health asks us to observe.   May God continue to bless you, your families and your Thanksgiving gatherings.

Sincerely

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

 

 

By |2021-10-07T20:17:53-04:00October 7th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Thanksgiving Message from Director Notten

October Newsletter

OCTOBER 2021 NEWSLETTER

Please click on the above link to be redirected to our October Newsletter!

There are many exciting events coming to our school this month!

Take care and stay safe

  • North
By |2021-12-02T09:17:11-05:00October 1st, 2021|News|Comments Off on October Newsletter
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