Monthly Archives: September 2020

Important New Guidelines for Siblings of Ill Students

We have had a very good start to the school year so far, and our staff are doing a great job keeping our schools healthy, clean and safe.  All of our COVID safety protocols appear to be working and we are so grateful to all our staff and students.

Last Thursday (September 24th), Region of Waterloo Public Health updated the guidance and protocols involving school attendance for siblings of ill students.

PREVIOUSLY – any school-attending sibling(s) or parent(s) of ill students were required to “self-isolate” at home until their ill sibling / child had either received a negative COVID-19 test OR been cleared by a doctor to return to school — and were free of COVID-19 symptoms for 24 hours.

NOW — any school-attending sibling(s) or parent(s) of ill students are allowed to attend school so long as they are asymptomatic themselves and will rigorously “self-monitor” for the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. This means a sibling will NOT be sent home at the same time as a child who may not be feeling well. However, their ill sibling must still self-isolate until they have either received a negative COVID-19 test OR been cleared by a doctor to return to school – and are free of COVID-19 symptoms for 24 hours.

PLEASE NOTE — Symptomatic children or school staff who have a known exposure to a case of COVID-19 during their infectious period or have travelled in the past 14 days, (and their household contacts) must still self-isolate pending the test result of the symptomatic individual, and must not attend work or school until the symptomatic individual(s) receive a negative test.

We do want to continue maintaining safe and healthy learning environments for all our students, so we also encourage all families and individuals to use the Ontario government’s school screening tool, available at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

The screening tool is also available on our WCDSB homepage at https://www.wcdsb.ca/

Please look for the yellow banner at the top of that page.

 

Message from St. Agnes Parish: First Communion and Confirmation

Spring 2020 First Communions (grade 3 students) have been rescheduled for….

  Rehearsal: 6:30pm First Communion: 2pm
St Agnes   October 13 (Tues)  October 17 (Sat)
St Matthew  October 14 (Wed)  October 18 (Sun)
St Luke  October 20 (Tues)  October 24 (Sat)

If you were enrolled in the First Communion program for 2019-2020 please complete the re-registration survey below so we know your intentions for the rescheduling this fall.

Spring 2020 re-registration survey

2020-2021 First Communion students (Grade 2)

Your program and registration will start in November once last year’s First Communions are complete.

Spring 2020 Confirmations ( grade 8 students) have been rescheduled for…

Rehearsal: 6:30pm Confirmation: 2pm
St Agnes/St Matthew Oct 21 (Wed) Oct 25 (Sun)
St Luke Oct 28 (Wed) Nov 1 (Sun)

If you were enrolled in the Confirmation program for 2019-2020 please complete the re-registration survey below so we know your intentions for the rescheduling this fall.

Spring 2020 re-registration survey

2020-2021 Confirmation students (Grade 7)

Your program and registration will start in November once last year’s Confirmations are complete.

If there are any questions, please contact Michelle Schill  stagnessacramental@gmail.com .  You may always speak to Fr. Aleks directly as well – please just call the office to arrange.

Follow up on electronic forms

School Cash Online forms

Please make sure you have completed all back to school forms by September 30th at the latest. This start up information is very important and we appreciate you taking the time to complete this as soon as possible.

CSAC: Catholic School Advisory Council

If you are interested in joining CSAC this year please make sure you have completed the form in School Cash Online by September 30th at the latest. Our first introductory meeting with be held virtually on Monday October 5th at 6:30pm. More information to follow.

BYOD & Chromebooks

Students are encouraged to “bring your own device” to school. Please make sure you complete the waiver to utilise your personal electronic device at school.

Students who received Chromebooks from our school in the spring are expected to bring this device to and from school each day. This will ensure equitable access to technology for other students at school.

Elementary Transition Form now LIVE

If you plan to change the learning environment for your child after Thanksgiving please complete the online form. Do not complete this form if your child is going to stay in the same learning environment.

While we want all of our students to be with us in a face to face learning environment we respect your decision as parents/ guardians to do what is best for your family. Please note that if you choose face to face learning, your child will be expected to attend school every day. Teachers will not be sending home work for students if you change your mind and decide to keep your child home for an extended period of time. The exception to this will be absences that are related to illness.

The deadline for transitioning your child’s learning environment is September 28th at 6pm. There will be no exceptions to this time frame.

The next window for switching learning environments will be November 4th 9am – November 6th 6pm. The change over in learning environments is effective November 23rd.

For more information about Remote Learning please see the St. Isidore page on our school board website.

Elementary Transition Form now LIVE

Good morning!

Thank you to our entire St. Agnes community for the smooth and safe arrival this morning. We appreciate your cooperation as we elevate our focus on safe and secure schools protocols.

Elementary Transition Form now LIVE

If you plan to change the learning environment for your child after Thanksgiving please complete the online form. Do not complete this form if your child is going to stay in the same learning environment.

While we want all of our students to be with us in a face to face learning environment we respect your decision as parents/ guardians to do what is best for your family. Please note that if you choose face to face learning, your child will be expected to attend school every day. Teachers will not be sending home work for students if you change your mind and decide to keep your child home for an extended period of time. The exception to this will be absences that are related to illness.

The window for transitioning your child’s learning environment is September 24th 9am – September 28th 6pm. There will be no exceptions to this time frame. The change over in learning environments is effective Tuesday October 13th.

The next window for switching learning environments will be November 4th 9am – November 6th 6pm. The change over in learning environments is effective November 23rd.

For more information about Remote Learning please see the St. Isidore page on our school board website.

Safe Arrivals Reminders

Supervision on the yard

Please remember that supervision on the yard begins at 8:50am. Students cannot be dropped off or walk on to the property before this time. Ideally, students would be arriving much closer to the 9:20am bell as we need to keep students physically distant when they arrive.

Parents/ Guardians on the property

This request is particularly hard as it seems unwelcoming. Please know this is not our intent. We kindly remind ALL parents/ guardians/ caregivers to drop your child and go in the morning. There are a number of reasons for this request, including:

  • physical distancing is becoming harder to manage as more people are congregating during the drop off
  • while staff look forward to socializing with our parent community our primary focus is to supervise the students and ensure their safety

We genuinely appreciate your cooperation with this request. We know how important social time is after the long COVID separation we have all experienced. We respectfully request you do so away from the blacktop, and not block the sidewalks. Also, please be a good role model for all our students and wear your mask while staying at least 2 metres apart. Thank you so much!

Parking lots are closed at 8:30am

In order to maintain a safe arrival area for all students we will be closing the staff parking lots at 8:30am each day. If your child is in the Extended Day program you can drop your child off at the new gated area on Neilson Avenue after 8:30am. All the Extended Day students and staff will be outside by 8:35am. Please ensure your drop off happens prior to 9am as the buses will begin arriving in this area shortly after.

If you are dropping your child off please park at the church and have your child walk to the school on the sidewalk. Remember, students can also access the school yard from Neilson Avenue by using the path along the parking lot. We have lots of staff outside supervising in the morning to help with foot traffic.

Dogs on Property

Again, not an easy request. However, there is a clear WCDSB policy that dogs are not allowed on school property. Your fury family members are, of course, welcome on city sidewalks. Please make sure that you say good bye to your child at the sidewalk if your fur baby is along for the drop off. Much appreciated!

Do Not Ride bus forms

If you child is bus eligible but you do not want them to ride the bus please make sure you have completed the DO NOT RIDE form. We need to have an accurate record of who our bus students are for health and safety reasons. You can update this request throughout the school year should your transportation needs change.

DO NOT RIDE electronic form

Thank you so much for your continued support and overwhelmingly positive feedback as we approach the midpoint of our third week back to school. We continue to focus on the positive energy and engagement with your children as they bring us tremendous joy every day.

Information on Switching Learning Environments

Interested in Switching to Remote Learning OR back to Face to Face?

September 24th 9am – September 28th 6pm

You will find the transition form on the WCDSB main webpage between September 24th 9am – September 28th 6pm. Requests must be made within this window of time. You do not have access to the Transition Form at this time. The form will be available on the WCDSB main webpage for the above listed time period in the spotlight section – www.wcdsb.ca

Please do not email or phone Mrs. McGlynn to request a change in learning environment. These requests will not be recorded. Parents/ guardians must follow the process listed above and register for the change in learning environment themselves. The school will not complete this process on your behalf.

If you miss this window of change your child will be locked into their current learning environment until the next turn around date in early November. Please see the link below for exact dates for switching learning environments. These dates and times are established by the board and exceptions will not be made.

Dates for Switching Learning Environment

 

 

 

COVID screening reminders

Thank you again to all our parents, guardians, and caregivers who are following the Region of Waterloo Public Health protocols. Please remember: ALL your children need to stay home when someone is not feeling well in your household. We can not stress enough how important this is for the health and safety of everyone at school. We will be calling you to pick up a child immediately when it is determined that one of your family members is home sick.

Please see the ROW Public Health school communication below.

Parent_Communication_for_School_Boards HIGHLIGHTED

Government of Ontario Screening tool

Please complete the online screen below BEFORE coming to school or sending your child on the bus. There is no need to print the results or forward them to the school.

COVID 19 School Screening tool 

Information to share when reporting your child’s absence

When you call the school to leave a message about your child’s absence please let us know the following information:

  • what are your child’s symptoms?
  • is your child waiting for the results of a COVID test?
  • is anyone else in your house waiting for the results of a COVID test?
  • is there a different reason for your child’s absence?

Remember, you need to call each day to report a child’s absence from school. You can leave a message on the school attendance line as it is extremely busy in the morning while we track student attendance. We appreciate you calling in advance to report absences as we are required to submit attendance reports to the Ministry and the Board each day.

More information about COVID 19

Thank you for your continued support and partnership in the fight against COVID 19.

Hearing your concerns & Answering your questions

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We know these are highly stressful times for you as you consider whether or not to send you children back to school for face to face learning. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we do our very best…every single day…to provide a safe and clean learning environment for all. Please know there are countless checks and balances in place to ensure cleaning protocols are followed in all areas of the school. Staff are diligently working to ensure students wash their hands, sanitize their hands, use only their own materials in class, and maintain proper physical distancing on the yard. Your continued support and consistent messaging at home is greatly appreciated!

We continue to receive numerous phone calls at the school about “what if…”. Please know that at no time will Mrs. McGlynn provide personal or identifying information regarding classroom absences. This is a violation of privacy. We understand there is lots of concern in the community about student absences and suspected illnesses. Please keep in mind the following:

  • MANY parents/ guardians are following the Public Health protocol of keeping children home when they have any COVID related symptoms. Keep in mind these can closely resemble a common cold. This does not mean a child necessarily has COVID.
  • Not all parents who signed their children up for face to face learning are actually sending them in. It is their choice to keep their children home even though they are well enough to attend.
  • Siblings will be sent home together when one is feeling unwell. This will create an increase in absenteeism in classes.

Thank you to the many parents, guardians, and caregivers who are following the Public Health protocol. You are doing your part to keep everyone safe during this very challenging time. Please see the newly released communication tool from Public Health for Parents/ Guardians/ Caregivers. This clearly outlines the expectations for students to stay home while they are unwell, and/ or awaiting the results of a COVID test. We have been asked to share this information today as they continue to field an overwhelming number of phone calls.

Parent_Communication_for_School_Boards

Where can I find information about active/ confirmed COVID cases at schools?

This link below will be updated in consultation with ROW Public Health. Please check this regularly to find information. Please do not call the school to request this information as it prevents Mrs. McGlynn from doing the important work of safe arrivals and attendance checks throughout the day. We really appreciate your cooperation with this request.

Finally, we shared a letter with our St. Agnes community on Labour Day weekend called “When a child is sick”. We have updated this letter to include a few important changes that now coincide with the information provided above by ROW Public Health. Please read this over again.

REVISED When a child is sick letter

 

Remote Learning Information & Device pick up

If you have chosen face-to-face learning at St. Agnes, we are so excited to have begun the school year with you! Our staff has worked hard to ensure we are meeting all of the safety requirements put forth by the Ministry of Education and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. All classes will use either Google Classroom or D2L online platforms this year and your children will be instructed as to how to login, access homework, activities, textbooks, and other useful resources in the classroom. All students have received Learning Kits specific to their division and the items that they will need; these will stay at school.

If your child is learning remotely and you would like to switch to face-to-face before the timeline, please contact Mrs. McGlynn as soon as possible.

If you have chosen face-to-face learning at St. Agnes, but have since changed your mind and do not want your child to attend, we want you to know we understand, and respect, your decision as a parent. Your child will remain active in their assigned classroom and attendance must be tracked at St. Agnes every day. If you choose to keep your child home they will be marked absent each day. As part of our Safe Schools protocols, you are required to phone the school to report your child’s absence each day. Alternatively, you can call Mrs. McGlynn and request an “Intent to be Absent” form and return it to the school.

This form, and a conversation with Mrs. Reesor or Mrs. Kuntz, will ensure that your child stays registered at St. Agnes which will allow your child to access the classroom’s Google Classroom or D2L account. This means they can login, access homework, activities, textbooks, and other useful resources in the classroom. Hopefully, this will allow your child to stay caught up with their learning until you have the opportunity to select remote learning (see timelines below), or until you feel comfortable enough to return to St. Agnes.

If you have chosen “remote learning through St. Isidore” please click on the link to St. Isidore Virtual Learning School. Classes will begin on September 17th and it will be a fully remote learning environment, requiring students to engage in synchronous lessons online with the teacher.

Learning Kits and Remote Learning Device pick up

If you requested a learning kit and/or device for your child to use at home for remote learning please visit St. Agnes on Tuesday September 15 from 1:30-3:00 pm OR Wednesday September 16 from 9:30-11:00 am. Please use the buzzer at the Main Office door and wait patiently for someone to bring the device out to you.

When can I make the switch from face-to-face learning to virtual learning or from virtual learning to face-to-face learning?

The timelines are as follows: (See Switching Learning Environments)

September 24th – September 28th – The window is open to request a change.  This is ONLY a 4-day window so please mark your calendars!

October 13th (approximately) – The day students can switch from one platform to another.

We hope this information clarifies some messaging you have received and answers questions you may have. If you have any others, please do not hesitate to contact the office at any time.

Your partners in education,

Mrs. T. Reesor                                   Mrs. A. Kuntz
Principal                                          Vice-Principal

First week celebration!

After 6 long months, we have FINALLY! gathered together as a community and we have truly started moving a mountain! To say this school start up has been unlike any other is a HUGE understatement! Yes, it has brought for all of us (staff, students, and parents/guardians alike!) many challenges, some tears, lots of anxiety, and so many questions! But, at the end of this first week, we can say with confidence this start up has also brought out the best in all of us.

Each day, we have made an effort to greet each other on the yard, at drop off and pick up, and in the halls, with eye contact…because that is all we can see. We have smiled with our eyes (and shed tears from them, too!) but we have made extra effort to connect on a human level. This is what builds community.

Parents and guardians, please know that we saw your tears on the first day back. Many more than usual, and we thank you for being genuine and honest with us. As educators on the frontline, we know first hand, how hard this return to school is on a human level. We are all scared about the unknowns and the “what ifs”. But you showed us that you trust us to do our best to keep your kids safe at school everyday, and for that, we are so grateful. We have more protocols and procedures than we have ever had to follow before, and yes, they will continue to change and evolve. Please know that we take the responsibility of keeping your children safe and well very seriously. Thank you for trusting us to do the right thing (i.e., yard bubbles), even when it is not the popular thing (or the previously “normal” thing). We are doing this because we care. Let’s all take a few deep breaths this weekend and be grateful for the effort each of us (students, parents, and staff alike) have invested in this start up. Together, we have an opportunity to make this year a positive, and safe learning experience for all at St. Agnes.

For those of you choosing remote learning for your child, we respect there are many factors at play in your decision to keep your child(ren) at home. We also know the staff of St. Isidore, our new virtual school, will do amazing things to support you, and your child, in the virtual learning environment. If/ when you are ready to return to face to face learning, we are here for your family. Regardless of the learning environment, we are all in this together and we will do our best to provide for the kids.

Thank you for your trust, patience, and cooperation as we continue to work together and support one another through this challenging but important school year. It will take a few days for routines to be established and for staff and students to adjust to this new “norm” but with some patience and trust we will get through this together.

#WeGotThis! #GatheredToBecome # WCDSBAwesome #Community

Mrs. Tonya Reesor                                    Mrs. Amanda Kuntz

Principal                                                    Vice Principal

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