St. Bernadette Elementary School
January 6th, 2021
• Chalice Sale
• Tax Receipts
• Siblings entering Kindergarten
THE MONTH AT A GLANCE
• January 11th – Basketball begins
• January 26th – RCAV Charities – Non-Uniform Day
• January 29th – Re-registration (last day to register without penalty)
A big Thank You to all who supported the CHALICE sale last month. Thanks to your generous donations and support, Grade 6 raised almost $1200 for CHALICE, a record amount! The sale proceeds will be sent to the CHALICE head office in Nova Scotia to be used to support the education and well being of children all over the world.
Tuition tax receipts will be sent home within the next week via your child’s agenda. A reminder email will be sent out the day the tax receipts go home.
SIBLINGS ENTERING KINDERGARTEN
This is a final call to current families who have a child entering Kindergarten to inform the school so that we can reserve a spot for them for the 2021-2022 school year. Currently we have 11 siblings on our list and we would like to ensure that no one is missed. Please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are seeing a renewed interest in admissions for next year. If you know of someone who would benefit from a Catholic education by attending St. Bernadette School, please inform them that they need to submit their application form early. Application forms can be found on our school website
WEARING MASKS IN SCHOOL
St. Bernadette School has excellent compliance with mask wearing. With recent mask wearing orders coming to public spaces, questions were asked about if schools were going to make masks mandatory too. As of now, masks are still not mandatory. However, you will see calls from the BCTF and other educational groups asking parents to speak with their children about wearing masks in class.
There is significant credible research that speaks to the importance and effectiveness of wearing a mask. In addition, in the U.S., the director of the CDC stated that face masks are “the most important, powerful public health tool we have.” Face masks reduce the amount of droplets and aerosols in the air, reduce the viral load, and creates a “form of ‘variolation’ that would generate immunity and thereby slow the spread of the virus while we wait for a vaccine” as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
We are asking students to treat masks as part of their uniform, to wear them in class, to take breaks from wearing them when they are outside or eating, and to ensure that they are wearing them properly (over the mouth and nose).
We continue to view masks as one layer of a multilayered approach to our health and safety plan. It is not a be all, end all method, in the same way that physical distancing, health checks and hand washing are each not effective on their own. However, as we learn more about the virus, its infection through droplets and aerosols, its contagion rate, the short and long term health effects, and other aspects, mask wearing is important and will continue to be effective.
Please continue to speak with your child(ten) about following the health and safety plans of the school, and if they share the fantastic work they are doing to keep themselves and others safe and healthy, please congratulate them on doing a great job in following the health and safety plans of the school.
PREPARING FOR UNEXPECTED CHANGES TO LEARNING
St. Bernadette School wants to ensure that we are all prepared for unexpected directives from Fraser Health or the Ministry of Education due to the changing public health landscape as a result of rising COVID-19 cases in our community. There are several scenarios that could impact in-class learning:
– Fraser Health ordering a student/teacher/staff to self isolate due to a school exposure
– Fraser Health ordering a class to self isolate due to a school exposure
– Fraser Health ordering a Learning Group (Cohort) to self-isolate due to a school exposure
– Fraser Health ordering our school to close due to an outbreak
– Ordering of us to close due to staff shortages
– The Provincial Health Officer ordering a shift to remote learning or hybrid learning
We are mindful that COVID-19’s prevalence is growing in our community exponentially and we have to be prepared to respond accordingly. This notice is written to provide you the assurance that we got this. We are on top of it. We are responding to it. We are well prepared for all the possible scenarios.
Since the beginning of November, the staff has been working on plans and preparations for a possible disruption to in-class learning. It is our intention to ensure that every student is prepared with the necessary skills and resources if a disruption would occur. You may notice that students are beginning to transport more resources back and forth from school each day. This is so we are prepared to move to another stage of learning if we are asked to suddenly pivot overnight. Teachers are also transporting more items back and forth from school each day so they too can pivot quickly and effectively.
St. Bernadette students are in good hands, we are well prepared and as always, are ready for all possible scenarios. We are on top of it and are working collaboratively to ensure that we will continue to provide a sound and meaningful education if we need to quickly move to another stage of learning. With your ongoing support and community buy-in, we can continue to do our best to keep everyone safe and healthy as we move closer to Christmas break.
We have noticed that children are coming to school unprepared for the incremental rainy and cold weather. As part of our health and safety plans, it was stated that:
“As much as possible, classes will be held outdoors, and students will be required to be outdoors during recess times.
• Students need to be prepared for the weather when going outside for recess. Sunscreen and hats are recommended for the warmer months, while winter/rain jackets, gloves, toques, rain boots, umbrellas and other similar items are recommended for the rainy, snowy and cold months.
• Indoor recess will only occur if the outdoor conditions are unsafe for the students.” – STB Family Planning and Return to School September 2020 document
Children will be going outside during rainy and cold weather. Having an umbrella and/or a good rain jacket is essential. Being outside for recess is healthy for the student and the classroom. Your child needs fresh air and recess times allow the air in the classroom to cycle quicker and bring more fresh air in.
IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING PROPER HEALTH AND SAFETY
St. Bernadette’s believes strongly that a multilayered approach is essential to reducing risk at our school. We have identified 4 areas that will keep everyone safe:
1. Physical distancing – it is especially important that adults maintain physical distancing from each other and other children, especially when on school property. Children must maintain physical distancing from other students outside of their Learning Group. Families should not be getting together and students should not be having playdates.
2. Masks – Mask wearing is mandatory for visitors and adults while on school property. Masks must be worn properly and have a minimum of 2 layers of protection. Students are encouraged to wear a mask as much as possible throughout the day. Teachers will suggest to students they should put on their mask if physical distancing cannot be maintained. We continue to have great compliance with mask wearing in the school.
3. Washing Hands – Children will wash their hands anywhere from 6 – 10+ times per day. Every time a student transitions, they will wash their hands. Students should wash their hands prior to leaving their house.
4. Health Checks and testing – Ensuring we are healthy on a daily basis is very important. Families have shown excellent compliance thus far. If a child is unwell, they cannot return to school until they are well again and symptoms have subsided. If your child is unwell and has COVID like symptoms, you must call 811 and they will give you further guidance.
With everyone in our community working together and adhering to these 4 layers of protection, we can keep each other safe and healthy as we head into the winter months.