Joan of Arc Parent Letter August 2020.docx.pdf
St. Joan of Arc School
REGINA ROMAN CATHOLIC SEPARATE SCHOOL DIVISION NO. 81
Mr. Shawn Pearce Mr. Trevor Redler
August 27, 2020
Good Day All Parents, Guardians & Students!!
We all hope that you have had a Great Summer and that you are looking forward to returning to school as much as we are. As we prepare to begin the 2020-2021 school year, we all recognize that we are in "interesting, challenging and changing" times. As we navigate the journey ahead, it is important to remember that we are all here to support each other and act in the true spirit of "Discipleship". This includes helping and preparing to meet head-on the challenges ahead.
Over the better part of the month of August, Mr. Redler, myself and fellow administrators across the Regina Catholic School system have been working hard to develop a Safe Return to School Plan that fits each of our school communities. At the forefront of our planning has been the commitment to create as safe of an environment as possible by attempting to "Mitigate the Risk" of transmission of COVID-19 in our community. The St. Joan of Arc return to School Plan and supporting documents was e-mailed to our families on Tuesday, August 26th. If you did not receive the e-mail the information is also posted on the St. Joan of Arc website.
It is our hope that this plan helps to lessen any anxieties which may be present in the community as we head towards the beginning of the school year. The plan is "Fluid" and over the course of our journey together, changes may be made due to a number of circumstances. We ask that you please review this plan in detail and if you have any questions feel free to reach out and contact us at your convenience.
St. Joan of Arc Sneak Peak Night
In an effort to continue to lessen anxieties and provide you with an opportunity to view the changes that have been made, we will be hosting a Sneak Peak Night here at the school on Thursday, September 3rd. This is replacing the "Drop Off Your Backpack Night" which we have previously held. This is not a social event for families to gather. Rather it is a chance to see the changes we have made in order to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19. There is an information sheet included with this letter which provides instructions for registering for a visit. In an effort to provide the safest environment possible for staff and families, this night is structured around specific visitation times, similar to parent conferences. This allows us to control the number of people in the school and to adhere to provincial protocols. Scheduled visits will take place between 12:30pm & 6:30pm. We have split the time into six one-hour blocks, each composed of four 15-minute visitation times. Please take a few moments to read through the attached information and to register a visit.
Staggered Start Times
As stated in the St. Joan of Arc Return to School Plan, we will be structuring the first week (Tuesday, September 8th – Friday, September 11th) around staggered starts for the students. The schedule for staggered starts is as follows:
- All students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be split into the following groups and days:
- Tuesday, September 8th: Students with last names from A to K
- Wednesday, September 9th: Students with last names from L to Z
- Thursday, September 10th: Students with last names from A to K
- Friday, September 11th: Students with last names from L to Z
All students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be expected to attend on Monday, September 14th. If you have a special situation which may prevent your child(ren) from attending on their designated days, please contact us here at the office by phone (306-791-7350) or e-mail and we will address these on an individual basis. Pre-Kindergarten students will be following a slightly different format which is outlined in the St. Joan of Arc Return to School Plan.
You have no doubt heard a lot about cleaning and hygiene during this pandemic. We will have enhanced and heightened cleaning protocols throughout the school on a daily basis. This will include regular disinfecting of all classrooms, learning spaces and bathrooms. The disinfectant that is being used is called Vital Oxide. It does not require wiping; it evaporates within 10-minutes of being sprayed. As a staff we will also be teaching and promoting proper hand washing/sanitizing throughout the day. Materials will be present in each classroom as well as additional sanitizing stations located throughout the school. As well, each teacher will be implementing procedures in their classrooms specific to their needs.
Limited School Access
One of the significant changes that will be implemented for the year centers around daily access to the school. We will be functioning with locked doors for the duration of the year. As a result, parents/guardians will be required to wait outside of the school when picking up and meeting your children. Also, if you are requiring a meeting with a staff member, you will be required to contact the office by phone (306-791-7350) or e-mail and book an appointment. This is a definite change which may present an inconvenience to some of you but as research shows, one of the most effective ways to mitigate risk is to simply limit the opportunities for the risk itself to even enter the building. Knowing this, I am encouraging those of you who were in the habit of dropping off lunches on a regular basis to either make other arrangements such as meeting your children outside the school or packing lunches in the morning and sending them to school in the backpacks.
School Supply Update
In June, we sent home student supply lists with the report cards. On the lists we had included anti-bacterial wipes. As a result of the new cleaning protocols and the disinfectant that is being used, we are now asking that you do not send these to the school. Many of these products will react to the disinfectant and produce an odor which is unpleasant. Hand sanitizer and baby-wipes are still ok but if you cannot find them do not panic. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the school as well as in every classroom. What was not included on the supply list was the requirement of a refillable water bottle. This is going to be a very necessary item since drinking directly from the water fountains will not be an option as we begin the school year.
Another new piece that is being implemented this year is that we are asking that all parents/guardians administer a self-screening to their children prior to coming to school each day. The one thing that we would like to prevent is having students come to school when they are sick. Under the circumstances we do not want to have students coming to school when they are sick. Located on our website is the RCSD Daily Screening Questionnaire for COVID-19 which we are asking you to use each day. It was also attached in the e-mail sent out on Tuesday morning.
St. Joan of Arc CSCC
The final piece which I would like to mention is our St. Joan of Arc CSCC. These parents are a terrific bunch of people and they are always looking for new members. Within the next few weeks, you will receive information concerning the CSCC AGM, including how and when it will be held. They are always looking for new members and I would like to encourage you to think about becoming involved. It is not a huge time commitment and in the end, it can be very rewarding. If you are interested or have any questions please feel free to contact the St. Joan of Arc CSCC at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out by e-mail or phone (306-791-7350) at your convenience. Once again, I have to admit that I, along with Mr. Redler, are very excited and really looking forward to the upcoming year and the return of our students. For myself, these last two years here at St. Joan of Arc have been amazing and looking ahead I am even more optimistic about the upcoming year. With all sincerity, I would like to thank each and every one of you for choosing to send your children here to St. Joan of Arc and I promise that we will continue to do our best in fulfilling their needs.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and God Bless
Principal, St. Joan of Arc Elementary School