Mr. Heah’s Update – May 27th 2020

Dear Parents,

Please take note of the following items in preparation for the June 1st re-opening of school. There is a lot of information here for parents who will be sending their child(ren) back to school. If you are not sending your child(ren) back to school, there is no need to read the information, although you are of course welcome to!

June 1st Return to School

There will be 20 students in attendance on Mondays and Tuesdays, starting June 1st. All students will be in the school gym, assigned to a table with students in same age group (physically distanced at 6 ft).

  • Kindergarten: 2 students
  • Grade 1: 4 students
  • Grade 2: 4 students
  • Grade 3: 1 student
  • Grade 4: 3 students
  • Grade 5: 5 students
  • Grade 6: 0 students
  • Grade 7: 1 student

Students and parents are to arrive at their time and wait on the blacktop until health check starts. The health check will be a very quick questionnaire and will be done every morning prior to the student(s) entering the gym.

Families with last names A – I :

8:40am – Health check and enter gym

2:30pm – Pick up

Families with last names J – Z :

9:00am – Health check and enter gym

2:50pm – Pick up

Items to bring to school:

  • water bottle(s) – there will not be access to any water fountains or filling stations at school so please ensure that your child(ren) has an adequate amount of water for the day. 
  • snack and lunch – please pack enough food for your child(ren) for the day. There will be absolutely no sharing of food at school.
  • device – your child(ren) will need their device to do their online learning activities. The school WILL NOT be loaning out any devices to students while they are at school. Please ensure that your child(ren) is familiar with how to log on and access the materials that they need for the day.
  • books, magazines, drawing books, colouring pencils, toys… so that they have enough items to keep them busy for the day. Balls are permitted, but cannot be shared with any other students. 
  • hats, sunglasses, sunscreen…

Students will not be wearing uniforms. Our aim is to keep everyone healthy and safe, therefore by allowing students to wear casual clothes, we can be assured that students will be coming to school with clean clothes every day. This way, parents don’t have to have the added job of laundering uniforms every night. Please ensure that clothing is appropriate for school. 

Supervision will be done by two Teachers and one Education Assistant. Teachers and E.A.’s will be on a rotation, those teachers and E.A.s who are able to come on-site will take a half day, once, during June 1st and June 16th. 

Any students who do not follow the Health and Safety Guidelines will not be permitted to attend school. It is important that all students (and parents/guardians) follow the Health and Safety Plan in order to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.

Attendance: Attendance will be taken every day to ensure the safety of all students, NOT for funding purposes. If you are not going to send your child(ren) to school on these days, please submit an absentee online or call the school office to let us know. We will be calling parents if we have not heard from you. 

Hand-washing Hygiene: Hand-washing has been identified as the key practice to avoiding contracting COVID-19. A staff member will ensure that students in K-3 are monitored when they wash their hands to ensure that they are practicing proper hand – washing as prescribed by B.C.C.D.C. 

Morning Announcements: These will continue to be done electronically on a daily basis until June 19th.

I have received many emails from parents wanting more information about what the school day looks like and if there will be opportunity to socialize and play with friends (likely a big reason why you are considering sending your child back). Some parents have said that sending their children to school for the month of June doesn’t seem to make sense given the set up of the day and all of the limitations in place. The Ministry has set up the return to school as a “test run” to see what September may look like. There will undoubtedly be lots of feedback after the month of June as to what can be improved or tweaked in order to ensure a successful start up in Fall. Unfortunately, as it stands right now, we are bound by many protocols and procedures that have been put into place to limit contact between students and students, students and adults, and adults and adults. This means that a return to school in order to play with friends and socialize with classmates is not going to be able to happen. You will notice that very few students are returning, and those that are returning are mostly returning because of parents’ work circumstances. Due to the risks involved, school staff have the option of continuing to work from home if returning to school poses a heath risk to them or family members, or if they do not have childcare available for their own children. We have 7 staff members currently in this situation, which makes it a challenge to provide the returning students with an opportunity to be with their teacher. I am encouraging parents to give careful thought to if a return to school is in the best interest of your child(ren). Understandably, some of you have no choice and we are here to support you as you transition back to work. My aim these past two weeks has been to ensure that we are being transparent about what a return to school will look like, so you can make an informed decision. The last thing we want is for your child(ren) to get excited about returning to school with the wrong impression as to what the day will look like. I wish that things were not the way they are and that I could see all of the students and staff returning to school for a proper end to the school year. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and I feel a strong sense of sadness (as I know the other leaving staff do) that I don’t have the chance to properly say goodbye to our school community. I hope to see you in the last week of school when we schedule pick up of report cards and drop off of Chromebooks. 

I am happy to continue answering any questions you may have as we approach next week. 

Stay healthy, safe and hopeful!

God bless,Clive Heah| Principal
St. Patrick’s School, Maple Ridge
604-467-1571 (t)

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