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Information for EAS Vancouver Families

Hello Eaton Arrowsmith School Families,

I hope that this email finds you well this Friday.  I wish our school year together was ending in a time where it was physically safe for all of us to be together at the school, laughing and working hard together, and side by side in this incredible community.  This is not the case, but the good news is that physical distancing measures throughout our province are having a positive impact, and we will be seeing some of you soon.

In this email you will find our plans for Ministry of Education Stage 3 opening on June 1st that will allow for part-time voluntary attendance in-person at our school.

Thank you for your responses to our poll sent out last weekend.  Overall 30% of families will be sending their children in for part-time in-person instruction, and 70% of our students will stay home and continue with full-time on-line at-home instruction.

As per Ministry of Education guidelines, students in grades 6-12 will be able to return for 20% of school days, and students in Kindergarten-grade 5 will be able to return for 50% of school days.

Mondays in June (the 1st, 8th, and 15th):

Students in grades 6-12 whose parents/guardians responded to the poll that they would like their child to attend, will be welcomed at the school for in-person classes between 8:30am - 3:00pm.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in June (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, and 17th):

Students in grades K-5 whose parents/guardians responded to the poll that they would like their child to attend, will be welcomed at the school for in-person classes between 8:30am – 3:00pm.

Next week, we will send all families updated information about staffing for their children’s work pods at the school and online.  Due to moving staff to the school, year-end testing, and the continuance of online teaching, we need to adjust student and staff groupings for the month of June.  During all this the need for student and staff safety is primary, and we are doing our best to consider emotional needs of our students as well as every family and teacher’s need for the maximum cognitive progress of our students.

We are following Ministry of Education guidelines as well as BC’s Education Restart Plan, all WorkSafe BC guidelines applicable to our school, UBC guidelines applicable to our school, as well as following guidance from the Center for Disease Control for school policies and protocols. Vancouver Coastal Health has also provided this information for families of school-aged students.

Please note the following for students who will be attending in-person in June.  I ask that you read this at least twice because it is a lot of information.

Sanitization and Hygiene

  • Parents need to screen their children each morning before bringing them to school.  You need to make sure your child is not showing any symptoms of a cold, flu, COVID 19, or any other contagious illness.  No child or staff member can attend school if they are sick, even with minor symptoms.  Keep in mind that if your child is not feeling well, they can attend school online from home.

  • Staff are required to do a second level of screening of all students at the entrance to the building.  If your child tells us that they are not feeling well or that they feel sick, they will not be allowed to enter the building and we will stay with them outside until you are able to pick them up.  Students that are feeling well will be given hand sanitizer entering the building, again when entering the school, and then asked to wash their hands once they drop off their jacket and bag at their workstation.  We will not be using lockers or the cloak room during this time.

  • We will be teaching and reinforcing handwashing protocols with students.  Please review handwashing procedures with your child ahead of time.  Students will be asked to wash their hands when:
    • They enter the school;
    • After using the toilet;
    • After sneezing, nose blowing, or coughing into their hands;
    • Before eating;
    • When hands are visibly soiled; and
    • Before leaving school for the day.

  • We will be teaching and reinforcing good hygiene practices outlined by the Centre for Disease Control (see infographic on p.9).  Please review these with your child, especially if they currently touch their face a lot or put things in their mouths (ie. if your child chews on pens).
    • If your child chews on items to relieve stress and it is an unconscious habit for them, please send them with some gum that they can chew during class to reduce the reflex to put other objects into their mouth.

  • We will be disinfecting surfaces and high-touch objects twice daily, in the morning before students arrive and at lunch time.  The building cleaning staff will also be cleaning the school in the evenings.

  • Signs will be up in the classrooms and washroom to reinforce good hygiene practices, handwashing practices, and physical distancing.

  • Students and staff are welcome to wear face masks if they want to, and it is not required or recommended by the Ministry of Education, the Center for Disease Control, or WorkSafe BC within schools.  No one is permitted in the school if they have symptoms of illness.  But again, if someone would like to wear a mask they are welcome to do so.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

  • Drop off your child between 8:20-8:30am.  If this is not possible for you contact me and we will make alternate arrangements with you.

  • Parents (and visitors) are asked not to enter the school at this time, as per Ministry of Education guidelines.  If you need to pick up materials, please continue to follow the same procedure that has been happening each week.

  • The parking lot beside our school is preparing for construction and the entrance to the parking lot has changed, as well as the door where you will drop off and pick up your child(ren).  Please see the diagram here.  The green line is Thunderbird Bvld.  I or another staff member will be standing at the green star in the mornings to welcome students.

In the Classroom

  • Send your child to school with their own laptop if possible.  We are going to avoid the use of shared equipment and materials at the school.  Our planning for seating arrangements is based on the information you filled out in the poll about your child’s attendance and ability to bring a laptop from home.

  • The Ministry of Education’s guidelines are that:
    • Students between Kindergarten and Grade 5 should avoid physical contact with each other.  We will teach this and reinforce this with our students.
    • Students between Grades 6-12 should follow physical distancing measures and keep 2m (or 6’) between them and others.  We will teach and reinforce this with our students.

  • Be mindful that cognitive blocks may end up shortened slightly due to handwashing and new routines.

  • Students will not necessarily be working in their regular classrooms.  For staffing, physical distancing, and sanitization purposes, we will be limiting students to Raven Division and Wolf Division classrooms on Mondays, and the Raven Division classroom on Tuesdays-Thursdays.  Students will not be able to roam throughout the school or use other classrooms. 

Breaks and Lunchtime

  • Pack a lunch for your child that:
    • does not need to be heated in the microwave.  To avoid the use of shared equipment we will remove the microwave from the student lounge.
    • includes all the cutlery/dishes needed.  As per WorkSafe BC guidelines we will not be using shared dishes/cutlery in our school at this time.

  • Send your child to school with a large water bottle that is full.  As per Ministry of Education guidelines, our water fountain will not be used by students at this time.

  • All morning, lunch, and afternoon breaks will happen outside at “Dino Park”, “Tim Horton’s Field”, or the “Turf Field” so children can run and play.  We will be suggesting and introducing games that do not require touch or close physical contact.

  • Send your child dressed for the weather; rain jackets and boots for rainy days, and sun hats and sunscreen for sunny days.
    • If the weather is rainy outside at lunch time, students will eat inside and then go outside to play and get fresh air.  If the weather is dry outside at lunch time, students will each lunch outside.
    • Students are welcome to bring snacks outside at break times or snack during class time if it does not interfere with their or other’s engagement in their work.

There is a lot to get used to as we learn to live well and be conscious of in these times to keep your children, ourselves, and each other safe at school and in our communities.  Please reach out to me with any questions you may have about this.  I am confident that all of us can work together to do this well while still working hard and having fun together.

I wish you all a fun and relaxing weekend with your families.

Sincerely,

Sarah Cohen