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With guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, students will be able to return to in-person instruction on a part-time basis starting June 1st for the remainder of the current school year. The purpose of our return to in-class instruction is for students to reconnect with their school in a purposeful and meaningful way. Students will re-establish connections, cement learning which occurred over the past two months, engage in additional learning opportunities and bring closure to our school year.
Last week we shared the district information about the return to in-class instruction and asked all families to share their intentions with us, so we could plan appropriately to meet the Provincial Health and Ministry of education guidelines, as well as the needs of our community. After some tracking down, we had 96% of the students at Gray participate and declare their intentions, and will be moving forward with 31% of the elementary population returning in June.
When students return to school on June 1st, the total number of students at elementary will be kept to an overall maximum of 50% of the Kindergarten to grade 5 school population and 20% of the grade 6 and 7 population; totaling a maximum of 237 students within the building. Our school will be putting in stringent protocols in place to ensure students, families and staff remain healthy and safe.
Return to In-Class Instruction on June 1st
As a family, if you have indicated that you would like your children to come back to school on June 1st, you will be receiving a an e-mail by the end of Thursday May 28 or Friday May 29, with a schedule of times that your children will be coming to school. As we must abide by the density protocols laid out by the ministry, we ask that you do not send your children without informing us beforehand. If you change your mind about either attending, then please contact Mr. Klassen at the school office. As we are trying to manage students entering and exiting the building, as well as cleaning protocols, it is important to note who is where and when. We have done our best to accommodate siblings, so they will attend on the same day.
Please know that we will continue to check in and out with students who are remote learning through a check in and out system set up by the classroom teacher. For in-person learning, we will be monitoring attendance on a daily basis. If we are expecting your child, and you will not be coming in, please make sure to phone the office and let us know.
Gray’s June 2020 Schedule
Each division has been split into two groups (1 or 2) and you will be informed of your grouping when you receive your schedule from the classroom teacher.
Group 1 Group 2
Day Starts – 8:55 a.m. Day Starts – 9:05 a.m.
Recess – 10:10 – 10:25 a.m. Recess – 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Lunch Recess – 11:55 – 12:25 p.m. Lunch Eating – 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch Eating – 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Recess – 12:35 – 1:05 p.m.
Dismissal – 2:55 p.m. Dismissal 3:05 p.m.
Essential Service Workers Children (Kindergarten – Grade 7)
- Students of Essential Service Workers (ESW) will have the opportunity to attend school up to 5 days a week for the full school day. If you belong in this category and would like to have your children attend, please contact Mr. Klassen at the office.
- ESW families needing before/after school care are advised to contact their respective child care operators, as the district will not be providing child care services before and after school instructional hours.
Students with Designations and/ or Diverse Abilities
- Students with designations and/ or diverse abilities that need to access support will have the opportunity to come back into the building up to five days a week.
- If you feel that your child would benefit from this level of support, please reach out to your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) Case Manager/Learning Support Teacher for further information.
Expectations for Returning to School
It is critical that families and students understand and respect all of the Health and Safety Guidelines that have been put in place in order to transition to in-class instruction. Please see below for further details specific to Gray Elementary’s Protocols.
Back to School Safety Protocols
When to Keep Your Child at Home
- Everyone entering the school needs to make sure that they are healthy. Anyone who is feeling sick needs to self-isolate at home, so they don’t get others sick.
- Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school.
- If you are unsure about sending your child to school, please refer to the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment, here: https://bc.thrive.health/ or contact 8-1-1, or the local public health unit to seek further input.
- If your child does become sick while at school, they will be isolated and you will be notified and asked to pick up your child as soon as possible.
Preparing Your Child for a Day at School
- Please ensure that your child washes his/her hands before school and when they return home. This will be a routine procedure throughout your child’s day at school.
- Your child will be asked to use only their personal items and not to share them. Please pack water bottles, as all water fountains will be turned off.
- Please apply sunscreen to your child before they arrive at school, or send sunscreen they are able to apply themselves (teachers will not be permitted to apply sunscreen to your child), a hat for sunny days, and proper clothing for all kinds of weather, as we will be spending lots of time outdoors.
Increased Health and Safety Measures
- We need to be careful so we don’t spread germs at school. To keep everyone safe things will be different around the building.
- Students who come to school will attend in smaller groups and will attend part time. They may also be placed with another teacher, to manage the amount of students coming back into the building.
Morning Drop Off/ Pick Up
- We will implement staggered drop-off and pick-up times, in addition to modified/staggered lunch and recess times, in order to ensure physical distancing measures are kept.
- Students will go to their class line up area to wait. There will be distancing markers (yellow pastel x’s) to note appropriate spacing.
- Parents will not be able to come into the school, unless absolutely necessary or prearranged by the administration. This would be through the office only.
- Please arrive by the scheduled pick up and drop off time, as other families will be approaching for other times.
Entering the Building
- Students will be invited in from the line up.
- A teacher or other staff member will direct students to a sink, where they will wash their hands, following appropriate handwashing procedure.
- Each student will then enter their class and go to their desk/table, bringing all of their belongings with them.
- Students will wait at their desk until all students have arrived and the teacher directs them otherwise.
Classroom Set Up (The Classroom WILL Look Different)
- Desks/tables/spaces will be set up to leave physical distancing between them.
- Many things in the classroom will be put away.
- Students will sit at their desk or table.
- There will be tape/markers on the floor for appropriate movement procedures throughout each room.
- All students items will be packed up and ready to take home.
- We will send these home the first day of in-person learning and teachers will communicate what they should be bringing each day (a pencil case, with pencils, markers/crayons/pencil crayons, eraser and scissors should be brought every day)
- For students NOT returning to school in June, we will arrange a date and time to come and pick up your children’s belongings.
Lots and Lots of Hand Washing
- There will be many hand washing times throughout the day.
- You may want to send a hand sanitizer to keep in your child’s back pack for personal use.
- We will limit washroom use to one at a time.
- We need to limit the things that we touch and keep it clean.
- Washrooms will be wiped down twice a day.
- There will be directional flow markers for students to follow in hallways so that physical distancing can be observed.
- Students will be encouraged to stay within their pods and limit access to the rest of the building.
Snacks and Lunches
- Children should bring all food in a lunch bag and containers that can be packed in and all remaining food and wrappers will be packed out (you may want to send an extra baggie to pack the garbage in).
- There will be NO lunch drop off after the start of school.
- Students will eat snacks and lunch in their assigned seat.
- Students will eat only their own food, and will not share with others.
Recess and Lunch
- There will be NO physical contact sports, but there will be more time outside with classmates.
- Playground structures will be open starting June 1st.
- During the school day, only students at Gray Elementary should be using the playground equipment.
- Students will need to find other things to do outside, and keep their distance from others.
- There are many things that we will be able to do at school.
- Students will need to stay at their desk or table and do their activities on their own, keeping distance at all times.
- Much time will be spent outside, with physical distance boundaries observed.
Some Spaces Will be Off Limits
- The Gym, Library, Story Studio, and Multi-purpose rooms will be No-Go Zones.
- Students will be asked to return their library books and we will ask them to place them in a bin outside of the library.
- This will give us a chance to disinfect all of our books as they are returned and to check them in appropriately.
The Custodians Will Work Hard to Help Keep Our School Clean
- We need to remember to respect how we use all areas of our school.
- We can make their job easier by making sure that we clean up after ourselves and leave our desk/table spaces clear.
- Our school will be cleaned more frequently, including classrooms and high touch areas.
For Those Who Will Join Us In June…
- It will be nice to be at school again.
- It will feel good to see some familiar faces from a distance.
- It will feel good to socialize with others from a distance.
- It will feel good to learn at school.
- These changes at school are temporary – they will not last forever.
- We are looking forward to seeing you!
On a Final Note
We are so excited to see many of our students come back into the building. We know that every family situation is different, and throughout these past months, we have all had challenging moments. Please know there is no judgement as in-person attendance in June is 100% voluntary and we will continue to support families as best we can, as we navigate this new stage of learning. Please be assured that the health and safety of all remains our top priority. We will ensure safe, high-quality learning experiences for all students for the remainder of the year, whether they continue learning from home or school.
Stay safe and please reach out if you have any further questions.
Click on the link below to print off a printable PDF copy of this information: