August 2021 Newsletter

Principal Message

Dear John T Tuck families,

Firstly we would like to say thank you to all of our families for being patient as we put the pieces in place for a successful school start-up during these times as we continue to reimagine school for our children. Please know that we have your child’s health and safety as our top priority while doing what we can to make school a fun and engaging learning environment within the framework of the Public Health Protocols and guidelines. We know that you have been inundated with a lot of information and at times this information has been changing! We have tried to capture most of the items below as they pertain specifically to John T Tuck.


We will be communicating a detailed first day of school routine closer to school start-up. As with last year, homeroom teacher names and room locations will be sent to you via email over the Labour Day weekend.


In the meantime, we have gone through all of the information you have been provided by the HDSB and tried to pull out what will be the most helpful for a successful school start-up.


Mr. G. Donaldson

Principal

John T Tuck PS


School Supplies

There is no requirement to purchase anything for your child for school supplies. However, we know that many kids enjoy a small set of pencil crayons and a couple of pencils that are “their own” to use during the day.


While we appreciate the offer from many of you, the school is not able to accept disinfectant wipes, sanitizer or PPE donations, as the school board does not have the capacity to ensure their safety for use with children. You are welcome to send your own child with a small bottle of hand sanitizer in their backpack. We are accepting donations of tissue boxes for use and each child is welcome to bring a box in to their homeroom teacher.


Masks

  • Students in Kindergarten to 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including entry from outside, in hallways, and during classes

  • Outdoor times like recess and learning outdoors will be used as opportunities to provide students with breaks from wearing masks.

  • When students are outside they will need a strategy for keeping their mask safe from getting lost or dirty as they will need to put it back on before entering the building (pocket, lanyard, etc.)

  • We suggest that each child comes to school with multiple masks in case one is lost throughout the day, or to change a mask for comfort

  • Students may never share masks with others

  • Students may be granted an exemption from wearing a non-medical mask for reasons related to a medical condition, mental health, sensory, breathing difficulties or other reasons deemed reasonable by the school. A medical note that outlines the condition that prevents the student from wearing a mask is required where the condition is not already known by the school


Hand Hygiene

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at all school designated entrances for student and staff use as they enter and exit the building. All classrooms and portables without a sink will have hand sanitizer supplied. Regular hand hygiene breaks will occur throughout the day for students (e.g., regular time intervals throughout the day, before/after eating food, after using washroom, before/after outdoor play). We ask that all parents partner in promotion of hand hygiene practices with your child(ren) outside of school


Environmental Conditions and Air Flow

All mechanical systems have been designed to meet the Ontario Building Code requirements and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. Air circulated via mechanical ventilation systems is continuously replenished with fresh air. Maintenance and regular changing of filters in all Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, including replacement of all system filters occurs six times a year and an upgrade to MERV-13 filters. Last fall, all of our classrooms received HEPA air purification units, and portables have had upgraded HVAC systems this summer.


Personal Belongings

All students will have access to lockers or hooks, however, we ask that you send your child(ren) with a minimal amount of items to and from school each day to help with more open space in the classroom and cleanliness in lockers/cubbies. Due to these storage issues, students will not be required to have indoor and outdoor shoes at this time, however FDK students are asked to have a change of clothes each day in case of an accident. Once the weather changes, we will review this policy.


Lost & Found

Please label your clothes and lunch bags so that they may be returned to you. Expensive or important items should not be brought to school, as the possibility of theft or damage exists. There will be no lost & found this year, as we can not have multiple touch points.


Personal Technology

Students are not required to bring personal devices to school and may not use their devices at break time or the hallways. Please keep in mind that the school is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged technology. We will provide technology at school when required. For more information, please review our Personal Technology Use page on the website.


Students may not use their devices at break time or the hallways. If choosing to bring in a personal device, please keep in mind that the school is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged technology. For more information, visit our website here - https://jtt.hdsb.ca/school-info/personal-technology-use


School Entry/Exit

  • Supervision of the school playground begins at 9:05 a.m. Parents should be aware that students arriving before this time cannot be assured of the safety that such supervision provides. Please encourage your children to arrive before 9:15 a.m.

  • The Playground Equipment is closed before school and after school to ensure students remain cohorted with their class and are not congregating.

  • Upon arrival at school at 9:05 each day, students will have “Free Entry” and may not wait in lines on the blacktop. They will go directly to class and entry will be from 9:05am to 9:15am (other than the first day). No parents should be waiting on the blacktop.

  • We will be using Doors 2, 6 and 7 for free entry, and we will share which door your child(ren) should enter in our first day procedures (to come next week).

  • If a student is late, please sign in at the office. Students are deemed late if they do not make it to class before the playing of O’Canada at 9:20 a.m. Otherwise, students are not to use the front door as entry so that our staff can monitor those coming in and out of our building.

  • Students will exit the same door each day, and we ask that parents of our smaller children adhere to physical distancing and remain away from the doors and other parents waiting. Last year, it was helpful when parents met their children off property, or on the grass areas so that they were not congregating

  • Schools will be closed to visitors; parents may not enter the building, other than exceptional circumstances with a scheduled appointment.

  • If a parent is deemed an “essential visitor”, they must have an appointment to enter the school and will be given a medical mask to wear while indoors.


Physical Education

Students will have access to change rooms at school, but not all students will be required to change for Phys Ed. While the large gym will be open for intimate weather days, we will endeavour to have most Phys Ed Classes outdoors. All students must arrive dressed appropriately to allow full participation in physical education and DPA activities. For safety, running shoes must be worn (lace-up, velcro or tie-up). No slip-ons, open backs or loafer style shoes are allowed on Phys Ed days. Appropriate gym attire must be worn while participating in Physical Education. This may vary with the grade level and activity. Students in Grade 6-8 should use roll-on deodorant before and after class. Spray on deodorants, perfumes or colognes are not permitted at school.


Lunchroom Routines

Students will eat in their classroom at their desks, sitting down in their own chairs. Classes are supervised by a combination of paid lunch supervisors and teachers. The two nutrition breaks will be from 11:00 to 11:40 and from 1:20 to 2:00 and students will be inside for 20mins of the break. Students must eat in their own classroom and food will not be permitted outside. Students will be required to "boomerang" the contents of their lunch so that there is no need to get up from their own desk to throw things in the garbage or compost. On inclement weather days, students will need to come prepared with an individual activity to do.


Permission will be granted to those students whose parents have completed the "Permission to go home for Lunch" form, which is sent home at the beginning of the year (additional forms can be picked up at the office). These students will sign out and in at the office on the days they go home. Students are not permitted to leave the school to go anywhere but their own home unless they are accompanied by their parent who signs them out at the office. Students are also not permitted to go to a friend’s house for lunch, or the plaza. It is expected that students go to their own home, or stay at school. No students are allowed to leave school at second break. Thank you for helping us to keep our students safe, and appropriately supervised. Please be reminded that our lunch break is only 40 minute, and if a student wishes to go home, they need to be back on time.


Outdoor Breaks

Half the students will be outside for the first half of break and the other half will go out for the 2nd half of the break. This will allow students to have some space and freedom on the playground and be able to maintain a safe distance from their peers. They will be given “zones” to play in with their cohort/class to minimize contact across the school for possible contact tracing purposes. As with last Spring, we will ask that students only play with peers in their cohort, and in their area. Grades 1-4 will have rotating access to the playground equipment as a class, once per week, and Grades 5-8 will have access to school-owned equipment. Students are asked not to bring in personal items or equipment for use at break.


Drinking Water

  • All drinking fountain faucets will be disabled.

  • Students are able to bring in a refillable water container, with a lid and their name on it.

  • Water bottle filling fixtures will remain and will be flushed daily as per Regulation 243/07.

  • Sinks that are designated for hand-washing only will remain as hand washing only fixtures and sign-posted accordingly.


Family Responsibilities

  • Please view the Daily Self-Assessment to reference before coming to school each day. Complete the daily self-assessment as outlined.

  • Students should stay home if they are sick or have any of the symptoms identified in the self-assessment. Green check mark means they can come to school, red X means they must stay home and contact a healthcare professional

  • Have a plan to pick-up children promptly if they develop symptoms. Students will have to stay isolated in the room beside the office while they are waiting to be picked up. Students will not be able to wait in the room for hours prior to being picked up.

  • Seek a COVID-19 test when exhibiting symptoms or, in the absence of a test, self-isolate as required.

  • Complying with the orders provided by Public Health.

  • Alternatively, the parent/guardian may seek documentation from a primary health care provider that confirms the illness is not COVID-19 and the student may return to school when symptom-free


Close contacts living in the same home (e.g, siblings) of the ill child must:

  • When a member of the household has symptoms of COVID-19, asymptomatic students who are fully immunized (or were previously positive within the past 90 days and have since been cleared) may attend school. ​If these conditions have not been met, household members (e.g., siblings) must also self-isolate.


Physical Distancing in the Classroom

Classes will be built with the same number of students as in years past (e.g., Cap of 20 in Primary, Average of 25 in J/I across the HDSB). The desks have been set up and chairs will be spread as far apart as possible as per the Ministry of Education guidelines and will remain set up this way. Students will be assigned a seat and while in the classroom they will be expected to stay in their seats. Seating plans can only change on a Monday, when there has been 2 days with no students in the classroom as per Public Health guidelines on contact tracing. Students will learn in their classroom and when weather permits, they will be learning outside so they can spread out more. They will have a homeroom teacher as well as some coverage teachers. There will be some rotary in intermediate this year, but typical the teacher will move to the classroom, rather than the students moving. The expectation for that is in Music and Phys Ed, where students will go to those rooms as needed.


Thank you!

We thank you for taking the time to read through these new protocols and reviewing them with your child(ren). We hope this helps with some questions you may have. Please recognize that some of these plans may change as we get more information. As always, please feel free to reach out to us through email or by phone if you have any further questions. For more information about the routines of our school, please visit our School Routines on our school website, and for new FDK students, please review the New to FDK section on our Website,


  • For questions about registrations or school transfers, please contact one of our secretarial staff members, Mrs. Lukasik (lukasika@hdsb.ca) or Ms Laurenza (laurenzaj@hdsb.ca).

  • For questions about Student Health or Transportation (Bussing), please contact our Vice-Principal, Mrs de Ridder (deriddera@hdsb.ca).

  • For questions about School Operations or the Return to School Plan, please contact our Principal, Mr. Donaldson (donaldsong@hdsb.ca).