Important Reminders for Families – November 16, 2021
Here are a few friendly reminders for families that may be helpful.
Pink Shirt Day – Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Your child is invited to join our celebration of Pink Shirt Day! On Wednesday, November 17th, we’ll come together, wearing pink, to visually represent our shared commitment to kindness and bullying prevention. Every day at Woodland P.S., we work with our students to help them understand how to demonstrate their very best behaviour and attitude. We create opportunities for our students to develop appropriate conflict resolution skills, and each day, we expect our students to be kind and we support their understanding of what it means to be a good friend to others. We are intentionally focussed on growing a safe, comfortable and welcoming school environment and your partnership is an important part of our success. Please remind your child that they are encouraged to wear pink on Wednesday to support our school commitment to bullying prevention.
Inclement Weather and School Transportation
With developing weather in the forecast, it seems the ideal time to send along a few reminders about inclement weather processes.
- Our School Remains Open-
- Please be reminded that if buses are cancelled, Woodland P.S. remains open for those who can travel safely.
- All School Purpose Transportation is Included in Cancellations-
- Remember that when transportation is cancelled for a whole corridor (i.e., North Bay), it includes all school transportation vehicles including school buses, vans and cabs.
- Pick Up at 2:45 p.m.-
- When transportation is cancelled in the morning, it remains cancelled for the whole school day. Therefore, students dropped off in the morning need to be picked up by 2:45 p.m.
- Please Follow the NPSSTS for Bussing Delays and Cancellations-
- Route and corridor cancellations are posted by our partners at Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services (NPSSTS). Follow updates here:
Professional Development Day on Friday, November 19, 2021- No School for Students
Our educator teams are eager to connect with you this week for parent conferences. We are excited to share more details about your child’s progress and discuss how we’ll continue to partner to ensure their success as we move into the second half of term one. If you haven’t had a chance to connect with your child’s teacher to set up a time to connect, it’s not too late. Reach out soon so that a mutually favourable time can be reserved for this important conversation. We’re proud of our students and can’t wait to let you know all about it! Friday, November 19th is a PD day set aside for the purposes of reporting to parents. As a result, there is no school for students.
Self Screening for Students
We wish to thank you for your diligence in performing the daily, required school screening with your child(ren).
As a reminder, any individual entering the school, as a student, staff, service-provider or otherwise, must complete and pass the daily self-screen. Please find the link below.
New Automated Safe Arrivals Approach – Effective Thursday, October 28, 2021
The safety of our students is our top priority!
A responsibility of each school is to ensure that all students arrive safely every morning. This legislation, called Safe Arrivals, was created by the Ministry of Education in 1999 to support schools in determining whether parents were aware of a child’s absence from school.
In the 20 years since that legislation began, we recognize that education has changed. School student populations, for example, are larger and the task of calling parents to perform these Safe Arrival checks is taking increased time. To develop an efficient process that determines student absenteeism quickly to ensure student safety, we will be implementing an automated call-out system.
It is always advantageous to call the school prior to your child’s absence. This way, we can appropriately update your child’s attendance records, including parent approved absences that do not require an automated call out.
Commencing Thursday, October 28, 2021, the school will begin using the School Messenger platform to call parents for confirmation of a child’s absence. If your child is marked absent, you will receive a call with a message that states:
This is a message from Near North District School Board. A student in your household named ______ in Grade ______, was absent for morning attendance taking. Submitting a reason for this student will prevent this system from calling you again.
- If you are aware of this absence, press 1.
- If you are not aware of this absence, press 2.
(If press 1)
- Select the type of absence
- Full Day, press 1
- Late, press 2
(If press 1)
- Please select an absence reason from the following list:
- Absent due to failed Covid Screening Tool, press 1
- Absent parent approved, press 2
- Unaware of absence, press 3
(After selection made)
- You have entered this absence for (Firstname) (type of absence – e.g. ‘full day’) on (date) for the following reason:
- (Absence reason selected)
- To submit this absence to the school, press 1.
- To start over again, press 2.
The automated system will call up to 4 times should it not be available to reach you the first time. The information obtained from these call-outs is received by the school secretary so, should your child be absent without your knowledge, immediate action will be taken to locate them. If you know in advance that your child will be absent on a specific day, please continue to notify the school secretary via phone or email to prevent automated calls from coming to your phone.
With all new technology comes some bumps and we wanted to thank you in advance for your patience as we work to implement this new system. As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
A YEAR FULL OF PROMISE AND POTENTIAL
Dear Families of Woodland Public School,
At Woodland P.S., we are so energized to set our sights upon a new school year. It is our most sincere hope that this message finds your family safe, happy and healthy and feeling just as optimistic as we are about the promise of the year ahead.
We are excited for your child’s return to in-person learning at our school. We are confident that our students will find a meaningful and supportive environment waiting for them. Staff have invested countless hours in planning and preparing for a healthy and joyful school start-up. Every minute of these preparations has been worth it, so that we can be certain that our new and returning Woodland family members are set for a year of growth and happiness!
Stay in the Know
Please like and follow the @WoodlandNNDSB Facebook page for more information. This page will become very active in the coming days and as such, these posts will allow you and your family to find daily/weekly updates on the happenings at Woodland Public School!
Connecting with Parents/Guardians
As you can appreciate, there have been a myriad of updated requirements in anticipation of the re-opening of school. We are so grateful for your patience and support as we work diligently to address your questions and plan for your child’s arrival. The volume of calls and email messages is very high at this time but we can assure you that connecting with you is important to us and we’re working hard to be as responsive as possible.
Our office administration team includes:
First Day of School
Most of our students will begin on Tuesday, September 7th. Some students will experience a gradual transition to school. If this is the case, your child’s teacher or a member of our office administrative team will have been in touch last week.
Daily Self-Screening Required
Any individual entering the school, as a student, staff, guest, service-provider or otherwise, must complete the daily self-screen. Please find the link below. Our staff are required, for the first two weeks of school, to confirm your child’s completion of the self-screening during morning routines. As such, your child will be asked if they performed the self-screen. If they respond that the self-screen was not conducted, we will ask the student to verbally complete the self-assessment at school. If the child needs the support of an educator to conduct the self-assessment, they will receive this support at school.
Please Prepare a Plan for Pick Up
While we hope that your child is at school every single day, feeling happy and healthy, there are requirements for isolation if your child demonstrates specific symptoms (i.e., fever/chills, cough/barking cough, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, etc.). Our guidelines for children continue to evolve and we follow the Ministry of Health requirements in our work. If the school calls to explain that pick up of your child is required, please ensure you’ve planned for their prompt pick up and let the office know if the individual retrieving your child differs from those on your child’s school records. Having a plan for each school day will be a critical part of our shared responsibility to keeping the school healthy.
Health and Safety
Given the return of students to school amid the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, student health and safety remains the highest priority to the staff of Woodland. You can feel confident that the staff have been participating in required training and will be taking all available and necessary precautions to mitigate risk. Once again, staff have been issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will assist in keeping them safe and keeping their students safe. Masks will be worn by staff, when a staff member cannot maintain two metres of physical distance indoors and outdoors. Directional arrows and other signage will assist students and staff in maintaining physical distancing when moving through the hallways, using the restrooms and visiting the office. Staff will spend much time supporting student learning related to the updated health and safety requirements while finding a balance between this necessary training and creating a welcoming and nurturing environment.
Please review the information provided by the Board, Public Health and the Ministry of Education related to our requirements for safety by following this link:
Student Mask Use
All students in Grades 1 – 12 are required to wear masks when attending school and students in Kindergarten are encouraged to wear a mask (but not required). Masks need to have ear loops and cover the nose and chin, securely fit. Students are directed to wear masks on the bus (or any school-purpose vehicle).
Please note that students are not required to wear a mask outdoors and during nutrition breaks.
For information regarding mask exemptions, please https://www.nearnorthschools.ca/blog/updates/23245/
Essential Visitors Permitted
We wish to remind all families of our commitment to partner with you to make this year as positive and productive as possible for your child. At this time, we are required to restrict school visitors to those who are essential only (i.e., those providing direct support to students such as speech therapy or other specialized services). Parents will be invited to make an appointment if they wish to meet with a member of our staff and a virtual/phone meeting will be arranged. We are unable to accommodate parent requests to visit that are unplanned, unless they are in response to an urgent matter. Your child will be well supervised and supported while attending school. If it is deemed essential for a parent to enter the school (i.e., to attend to an ill child), changing into a school-provided medical mask will be required prior to entry.
Personal Items from Home
All students will need the following items (PLEASE LABEL WITH FIRST AND LAST NAME):
- A personal mask (for all students who travel on the bus and all students in grade 1 and up who will be attending class and/or travelling on the bus). Sending more than one mask is advisable – changing wet masks is encouraged.
- An individual water bottle (bubblers or the sipping portion of the fountain will not be used but water bottle filling stations are available)
- A hearty and healthy lunch (lunch drop offs and/or food deliveries cannot be accommodated, and pizza/sub orders will not be available at this time)
- Indoor (non-marking sole) running shoes
- Weather specific outerwear (enhanced use of outdoor spaces for learning and play means that appropriate coats, boots and other outerwear will be critical part of full participation in school, every day)
- Extra change of clothes (accidents happen with spills, playground play and/or other mishaps so to avoid an interruption to your day or your child’s day, please provide a labelled change of clothes)
Transportation to School
Parents with transportation inquiries are asked to direct their attention to the information provided on the Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services website, found at npssts.ca. Beyond this, parents will want to create a parent account (by following the instructions found on the website) to learn about their child-specific transportation services. Our partners at the Nipping Parry Sound Student Transportation Services tell us that transportation arrangements made within the week may take up to three weeks to process by their staff, especially where changes to route-planning, seating plans and bus-loads may be involved.
Parents choosing to drive their child to school are welcome to drive up to the school and drop off, avoiding the bus loop entry and the side parking lot. The KISS/DROP lane in front of the school is the only safe and allowable option for pick up and drop off. Our school is well positioned for a brief drop off in front of the school. With that said, any support you can offer to reduce volume in front of the school is appreciated. Please note that you child cannot be supervised by school staff until 8:10 a.m. (upon their arrive on the playground or in the school). The City of North Bay manages crossing guard allocation and supervision. Students who are dropped off away from the school or walk to the school are the responsibility of the parent until 8:10 a.m. when they are on the playground and under the supervision of Woodland staff. School begins at 8:25 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. Students being picked up each day will require prompt pick up after the dismissal bell. Changes to these plans (i.e., pick up instead of bus travel) must be communicated to the child’s teacher and office by 2 p.m. Information received later than 2 p.m. can be a challenge to implement based on the dismissal routine and at times, we may not be able to accommodate your request.
|8:10 a.m. – 8:25 p.m.||School Supervision Begins|
|8:25 a.m.||Entry Bell|
|8:25 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.||First Instructional Block|
|10:25 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.||First Nutrition Break (ELK – 3)||First Recess (Gr. 4 – Gr. 6)|
|10:45 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.||First Recess Break (ELK – 3)||First Nutrition Break (Gr. 4 – Gr. 6)|
|11:05 a.m. – 1:05 p.m.||Second Instructional Block|
|1:05 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.||First Nutrition Break (ELK – 3)||First Recess (Gr. 4 – Gr. 6)|
|1:25 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.||First Recess Break (ELK – 3)||First Nutrition Break (Gr. 4 – Gr. 6)|
|1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.||Third Instructional Block|
|2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.||Dismissal||Bus, Walkers, Pick-Up, Childcare|
|3:00 p.m.||School Supervision Ends|
Switching Between Virtual and In-Person Learning
We understand that parents and students may wish to switch between in-person learning and remote learning. Please be reminded that parents were requested to make a full-year decision during the last registration period. While the Board and its virtual school are committed to considering all requests, there is a defined process to follow should a change be required. It’s important for us to share that these changes will take time, if available at all. Health and safety requirements mean that physical distancing, space allocation, cohort planning, scheduling and other school plans will need revising regularly and these requirements may create a delay in accommodating requests to switch learning models. If you did not indicate on the Board survey, distributed in early June, that you wish to register for remote learning, we’ve planned to warmly welcome your child at school for in-person learning.
While uncertainties remain in the world around us, you can be certain of our care for our students, their families and our broader community. Please know that we view it as a privilege to play such an important role in the care of your child(ren), alongside your family. While we’ve all experienced this pandemic differently, when it comes to school, we’re in this together! We relish the opportunity to partner with you throughout the year ahead!