Welcome Back Information (Part 2)
We are excited to welcome students back to classes (both in person and through remote learning) to the 2021-22 school year. The last year was an unusual in many ways, and we know families may be feeling anxious about returning to classes this September.
We appreciate that families may have a lot of questions as they prepare to send their children back to classes and are committed to sharing updates as we receive new information. We also invite families to keep up with communications from HWDSB by subscribing to email updates or following @hwdsb on social media.
A reminder that the first day of school will be Wednesday, September 8 for Grade 1-8 students. We understand that this falls on the last day of Rosh Hashanah, and will be working directly with families who require accommodation for this day. Please reach out to the school if you have any questions.
We know that safety is on the minds of every family sending their child/ren back to school. We are taking many actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our classes while giving our students meaningful experiences which focus on both their physical and emotional well-being. Here are some important points for families to remember as students prepare for the start of the school year:
Parents and caregivers, and students over 18 years of age, are asked to complete one-time attestation to declare that you will participate in active daily screening. The attestation can be completed in the Parent Portal.
Daily COVID-19 Screening
For at least the first two weeks of school, students will submit a daily screening either on paper or a device to an educator for review. If the student does not have verification, they will remain in class, with a mask and distanced as much as possible from others. Parents will be contacted to verify screening.
Masks are mandated for all students, including kindergarten students.
Exemptions are only possible if the student has an underlying medical, developmental, sensory or mental health reason which inhibits them from wearing a non-medical mask or has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the mask without assistance. These exemptions are to be entered in the Parent Portal.
All students will be able to remove their masks at recess, while eating lunch, at other times when they need a break (with distancing maintained).
Please talk to Ms. Wilson (905-573-3505) if you have any questions.
Privacy and Immunization Status
HWDSB’s immunization disclosure policy is in effect, and all schools will follow provincial guidelines regarding vaccinations requirements. As students and staff come together in schools, we remind everyone that individual health information, including vaccination status, is confidential. In order to support an inclusive and respectful school environment, we ask families to not engage in conversations around vaccination opinions or ask for vaccination status of other students, staff or teachers.
HWDSB will continue to work with Hamilton Public Health services to confirm details related to contract tracing as well as procedures related to dismissed cohorts and closures. Information on confirmed cases of COVID-19 that involve a student or staff member in a school setting will be posted on the COVID-19 Advisory Dashboard. In the interest of privacy, information will not identify the student or staff member that has received a positive COVID-19 test.
Visitors and Volunteers
Access to the school will remain very limited for parents and caregivers. Please call the school (905-573-3505).
Families may access ventilation information by following:
Making Wellness a Priority
When it comes to our students, wellness comes first. That’s why we’re introducing a new welcoming, inclusive initiative to help students as they return to school. Reimagining Wellness is a series of activities and lessons which address needs highlighted during school closures for COVID-19: the need for safety, routine, support, growth, community and more. Short activities covering weekly themes such as personal and collective identity, understanding and managing emotions, self-care and more will be woven into your child/ren’s learning schedule.
Parents of qualifying students will be able to confirm their transportation arrangements on the HWSTS Transportation Portal. If your qualifying student won’t be using school bus services and would like to opt-out of transportation, please follow this opt-out link to complete the Decline Transportation Form.
Students who still have a device from last year are asked to bring it to their educator on the first day of school (Wednesday, September 8). Please label the device with your child’s name.
Families requesting a transition between remote and in-person learning this September can do so by completing the form in the Parent Portal between September 3 and 10. Students will begin the school year in their original selection and will transition in early October.
Learn at Home Resources
Learn at Home resources support daily learning from home activities for kindergarten, primary, junior, and intermediate students in the areas of literacy, math, art and physical activities. These resources are intended to support students awaiting placement in Remote Learning and are not required materials.
First Days of Kindergarten
All children new to kindergarten have been invited for a short visit with a caregiver on Wednesday, September 8. The first day of kindergarten classes will be Thursday, September 9.
We will continue to send updates as we receive added information and thank you for being proactive in following communications from HWDSB. Learn more about COVID-19 precautions at HWDSB at www.hwdsb.on.ca/covid19. If you have any questions please let me know.
~ Ms. Wilson, principal
~ Mrs. Del Mastro, vice-principal