St. Bernadette Elementary School
September 2nd, 2020

• Ventilation and Safety Update
• Ministry Approval of Health and Safety Plans
• Reminder of Learning Groups and Staggered Start Times
• New Kindergarten and Grade 1 Drop-Off and Pick-Up location
• Option Four
• Stingers Club
 • Welcome New Teachers

Sept. 10th – First Day of School – Half Day
Sept. 11th – Full day classes
Sept. 14th – Stingers Club Resumes 

---This marks our first official school newsletter of the 2020-2021 year.  For new families to our school, you can expect to receive news and information on events, important communication and other school related items.  Our calendar items are reminders for what is upcoming the week or so ahead.  All grade specific information will come from your classroom teacher.  

From time to time, you will receive other newsletters that look similar to this but contain information that is from the PEC or is a special bulletin – similar to the updates you were receiving in August.  It is important that you check your newsletter every week.  Newsletters are typically send out on Wednesdays, but might be held back a day if we are waiting on approval, clarity or other information to come prior to sending it out.
Lastly, our school newsletter is a staggered send out so to avoid it being misidentified as spam.  It is done randomly and takes up to 4-5hrs to complete.  This might result in your spouse receiving a newsletter several hours before you do.  

On Monday we had BC Comfort spend all day at the school to assess and test our HVAC systems.  They conducted a very thorough investigation and I am very pleased to report that they have concluded that we have excellent ventilation in our school.  We have met or exceeded all industry standards.  They were impressed with our large fresh air intake panels and commented on the good air flow in all the rooms.  They inspected all aspects of our system, made some minor repairs and provided us with recommendations to keep our system healthy and in good working order.  This is great news for our staff and students as it confirms that we will be able to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for everyone.  Further more, we have procured more signage and traffic control structures to ensure children are safe when entering the school.  Yesterday the entire staff went through an orientation that focused on our health and safety plans and what it means to be a trauma informed school.  The staff is excited and ready to welcome your child into the classroom on September 10th and we are very prepared for the 2020-2021 school year. 

All of our plans were submitted for approval to the Ministry of Education.   We have received confirmation that all our plans are approved and they have confirmed their alignment with the requirements set out in the COVID-19 Operational Guidelines and the Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.  We are very proud of all the work and effort that went into the creation and updating of our health and safety plans.  I would like to thank the task force team of Ms. Cristina Ricafort, Ms. Boni Kosman and Ms. Laurie Bennett who joined me in the creation and implementation of these plans.  I also wish to thank all the staff and teachers for their enthusiasm and commitment to see these plans in action.  And I wish to thank all the parents for their trust, engagement and support.  We are a strong community that strives to work together for the betterment of your children. To see our plans go to

We would like to remind you that September 10th is a half day.  This is to remind you of your child’s LG and their start and end times at:
LG1 – Kindergarten and Grade 1
LG2 – Grade 2 and Grade 3
LG3 – Grade 4 and Grade 5
LG4 – Grade 6 and Grade 7 

School Start 
8:45am – LG2 – enter through the doors by the gym
8:45am – LG4 – enter directly into their classroom
8:55am – LG1 – enter through the doors by the gym (except K and 1 – see below)
8:55am – LG3 – Grade 5 – enter directly into the grade 5 class 
9:05am – LG3 – Grade 4 – enter through the doors by the gym 

Half Day School dismissal – September 10th
11:50pm – LG2 – exit through the doors by the gym
11:50pm – LG4 – exit directly out of their classroom
12:00pm – LG1 – exit through the doors by the gym (except K and 1 – see below)
12:00pm – LG3 – Grade 5 – exit directly out of the grade 5 class
12:10pm – LG3 – Grade 4 – exit through the doors by the gym 

The task force team is reviewing the drop-off and pick-up location for younger students.  We understand how difficult it is for younger children to independently enter and exit the school.  It has been decided, through the help of Ms. Schollen, to have Kindergarten and Grade 1 use the exterior doors on the east side of the school for drop-off and pick-up.  This will allow parents the option of bringing their child to the door of the classroom.Parents are reminded that they are not allow into the classroom, must wear a mask and must practice physical distancing from other children and parents.We will monitor this change closely to see how well families are able to physically distance, find appropriate parking, and safety drop-off and pick-up their child both at the door and in the parking lot.  We will be monitoring to see if parents begin to gather, if procedures are being followed, if safety can be maintained and if it serves as a benefit to the child.  If this option proves successful, then there is an opportunity to expand this option to grade 2 and 3 students.  By having the school separated to an east and west side of the building, we can greatly reduce the numbers of students gathered in one area. 

On Tuesday September 1st, St. Bernadette’s was notified of the CISVA mandate to make a fourth option available to all families. Deacon Henk, Superintendent of Catholic Schools stated the following in his letter:

“It is the intention of the Ministry of Education that students return to full-time, in-person attendance at school on September 10, 2020. However, some families may not be ready to have their children return to full-time in-person instruction on this date. This option allows the child to receive an at-home learning package with limited grade-level support from a teacher.  It is important to note that this support will not be the same as that which was offered following Spring Break 2020.  The child will maintain their classroom placement at their current school and will be able to transition to full-time in-person instruction at selected dates in the fall (dates to be determined).  This is not intended to be a full-year option.  Normal tuition applies for this option.”

Further to this, the CISVA stated that the start date for learning for families that wish to select option 4 will be September 21st and that a return to school date will be October 13th or November 16th.  A child will not be allowed to return to the school prior to these dates.

St. Bernadette’s is in line with the Ministry of Education in having all students return to full-time, in-person attendance at school on September 10th, 2020.  We are concerned with the late start date for learning to begin and for a child to be out of the school for this long of a period of time, especially at the start of a school year where friendships are formed, safety lessons are taught, and routines are established. In the webinar, the school’s safety plans and in our newsletter updates, we have highlighted the importance of a safe and healthy return to school and that a trauma informed approach will be greatly beneficial to your child’s learning (please see the webinar powerpoint on the school website for more information).  When making this decision it is important to reflect on the following:

Logistics – Will you be able to provide a schedule and a positive learning environment for your child with limited support from the school?  Will you have access to sufficient resources at home so your child can continue their learning?  Do you feel prepared to lead your child’s education during this transition period?  
Learning – Will you be able to ensure a high quality of learning from home? Will you be able to address the social, emotion, physical, and spiritual aspects of your child’s education?  Do you have the resources necessary to provide your child with a trauma informed education? Will you be able to create a plan that addresses your child’s transition back into the learning environment after being out for several weeks? 

If there is something specific about our restart plan that would necessitate you to refrain from having your child start the school year with in-person learning, please speak with me so that I can ensure that all aspects of our restart plan are clear and understandable.
If after much consideration and reflection there is still a desire to have your childnot begin the school year with his/her peers in the classroom, please send me an email so we can further discuss the fourth option as described above.  You can reach me at 

Yesterday you should have received an email about registration for our Stingers Activity Club (before and after school care program).  All registration forms need to be sent to
Furthermore, please remember to send the Pre-Authorized Debit form in with your registration.  Both the PAD form and registration can be downloaded from the newsletter section on the website. 

I would like to take sometime to once again welcome 3 new teachers to our school.  In Gr. 1 we welcome Kathlyn Buenvenida.  Ms. Buenvenida comes to use from St. Francis Xavier School in Vancouver.  There she also taught Gr. 1 and we are excited to have her join our team.  In Gr. 2 we welcome Ms. Caroline Winship.  Ms. Winship was previously at Star of the Sea school in Surrey.  Ms. Winship brings a wealth of experiences and we look forward to her guiding our Gr. 2s in their sacramental year.  We also have Nathan Barber joining our school as the Physical and Health Education (PHE) teacher.  Mr. Barber comes to us from St. Anthony’s school in West Vancouver.  We are excited to see him lead our sports teams and take on the duties as our PHE teacher and Athletic Director.

School Calendar
Absentee Forms
Stingers Club

St. Bernadette Elementary Catholic School
13130 65B Ave
Surrey, BC V3W 9M1
phone: (604) 596-1101
fax: (604) 596-1550