Hello Saints Families!

The entire staff of St. Clement School is looking forward to beginning the new school year together with our students and families. Our WCDSB senior administration staff have been very busy collaborating with Waterloo Region Public Health to plan around specific safety measures for our September start up and this work will continue in the coming days. In the interim, some parents are wondering about what they can do now to help prepare their child(ren) for September. Going back to school this year will look a little different. Here are some items that may help with the transition back to class.

In the meantime, please see the link below as an overview of what to expect on September 8th.  There is a lot of information, so kindly read it over carefully – WCDSB RE-OPENING PLAN – https://www.wcdsb.ca/plan-for-re-opening-schools/

If your child is in Year 1 and Year 2 of Kindergarten, expect that a St. Clement staff member will be in touch soon to relay opening day information.  Remember on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, we will continue to conduct “JK visits” to any new students to St. Clements and our SK group will begin on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

If you have selected remote learning, please know that a WCDSB staff will be in contact with you to review how your child can be successful with remote learning.  This learning will commence on Monday, September 14, 2020.

On an exciting note, the renovations are almost done and I have been told that they will be ready for school opening. Our brand new classrooms, elevator and entry are looking bright and cheery! Please see Twitter for some updated pictures from today.

Please stay tuned for more information in regards to school start-up throughout the week. In the interim, some parents are wondering about what they can do now to help prepare their child(ren) for September. Going back to school this year will look a little different. Here are some items that may help with the transition back to class.

MASK WEARING

  • In elementary schools across Ontario, masks are mandatory for students in Grades 4 to 8. For students in JK to Grade 3 in our WCDSB schools, masks are encouraged.
  • It can take time for children to get used to wearing a mask, but these final weeks of summer could be used to help make it more comfortable to wear a mask indoors.
  • Support at home getting your child(ren) into a routine with wearing a mask for extended periods of time is important. Consider the following ideas:
    • Have your child practice putting a mask on a toy/stuffed animal (point out how the toy’s nose and mouth needs to be covered and wear them together!)
    • Pair mask wearing with tv/technology time or another preferred activity
  • The following video has some great tips to begin developing some mask-wearing habits/strategies/understandings with younger children: Mask Wearning
  • Here is a young Kindergartner showing us how it is done! Putting on a Mask

HAND WASHING / SANITIZING

  • Students will be provided with opportunities to wash their hands throughout the day.
  • As with mask wearing, there are several instructional videos out now that share songs (“Baby Shark – do, do, do, do!”) and illustrate how to effectively reach all areas of your hands.
  • In addition to hand washing, hand sanitizer will be provided for staff and students in classrooms, common areas, main office and at all entrance doors.
  • Families may choose to provide their child(ren) with their own small individual use (travel size) sanitizer as long as there is no added perfume. Kindly remind your child(ren) that personal supplies of hand sanitizer should not be shared with others.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND CLASSROOM SET UP

  • As per Ministry direction, all students will be set up so that there is 1 metre of distance between each of them in the classroom setting.
  • With the need to space furniture and desks as such, there will be little room for other items typical of our classrooms at St. Clement (e.g. gathering carpet, reading area, etc.). These items will be removed to ensure that cleaning routines are manageable.
  • To help your child visualize his/her space with physical distancing, consider using a hoola hoop to represent their personal bubble.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

  • Students will be provided with learning kit that includes basic grade appropriate school supplies for their individual use as follows:
    • Primary (pencil crayons, washable markers, glue stick, pencil sharpener, ruler, blunt scissors, pencils, eraser, playdoh, and counters)
    • Junior (pencil crayons, markers, scissors, glue stick, pencil sharpener, pencils, eraser, ruler, calculator, and math set)
    • Intermediate (pencil crayons, fine point markers, highlighter, scissors, glue stick, pencil sharpener, pencils, pens, eraser, ruler, and math set)
  • Students are welcome to bring their own items that will be kept with their belongings. There will be no sharing of any of these supplies.

SAFE GREETINGS

  • When we come back together, children will want to say hi and give their friends a hug, fist bump or high five. Staff will want very much to do the same. However, we cannot.
  • What is exciting, however, is that we can learn a whole new “language” for social greetings together!
  • Everything from a distance salute to a thumbs up and simple wave … many more suggestions can be found on the internet. Find out the one that your child prefers and practice it together.

SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD’S MENTAL HEALTH

  • During these uncertain times, you may be worried about your child(ren)’s mental health and well-being.
  • Children may be confused, anxious or unsettled about what school will look like having been away all this time. These feelings are very natural.
  • Validate your child(ren)’s feelings by acknowledging that, like any new activity, starting school may seem hard at first, but soon it will become easy and fun.
  • School Mental Health Ontario is a wonderful website with resources and supports for parents. Please find the website here: School Mental Health Ontario
  • Also, our WCDSB is offering summer mental health support to any student/family in our system. For non-emergency inquiries, please email socialwork@wcdsb.ca with any questions you may have.

WCDSB Return To School Plans

You may have heard reports in the media about a staggered start to the school year. This is being discussed at tonight’s WCDSB Board Meeting with further details communicated this coming week.

Stay up to date by checking our School’s Newswire feed as well as the WCDSB Plan for Re-opening Schools

Going back to school this year will look a little different, but we are in this together!

Stay safe, Saints.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Dafoe