Message from Our Trustee, David Sherman

As we begin a rather different start to the school year, I want to take this opportunity to welcome all new and returning students and families. Whether you are returning to school in person or participating in remote, online learning, we look forward to welcoming you into safe, inclusive and engaging learning spaces.

Staff members have been working hard over the summer months with the Ministry of Education and public health experts to develop a reopening plan that prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of our students and ensures that important health and safety measures are in place.

Please know that whatever learning model you chose, we will continue to provide your children with high quality education, and to support their learning, achievement and well-being. Our school staff are prepared to help your child transition back into our learning environments, and we will continue to partner with families to support your child’s success.

We know that families have many questions about what to expect as their children return to school. You can find information about what to expect at the start of the school year on the Board website, including frequently asked questions that you may find helpful at www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening.

As your school board trustee, it is my role to advocate for quality public education in York Region, and to ensure that our students remain at the centre of all of our decision making. The Board of Trustees makes policy and budget decisions, and communicates with the public, among other responsibilities.

We are also responsible for setting direction for the school board, through our Multi-Year Strategic Plan. This plan sets out four priorities: Foster Well-Being and Mental Health, Build Collaborative Relationships, Champion Equity and Inclusivity, and Empower Ethical Leadership.

The relationship that we have with families is important, and I will continue to keep you informed of our work and priorities. You can also find the message from the Chair of the Board on the Board’s website. You are welcome to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

I hope you have a great start to the school year and wish you a happy, healthy and successful year ahead.

 

YRDSB Re-opening Update to Families

Dear elementary school families,

We look forward to welcoming students back to school, whether they are attending in person or participating in online learning. Following updates from the Ministry of Education, we are sharing some additional information about the start of the school year and elementary school classrooms.

Supported Entry

The Ministry of Education is allowing school boards to stagger the return to school during the first two weeks of school. This will give school staff additional time to prepare the school for your child’s return and give students time to learn and practice new health and safety measures in smaller groups. Welcoming students back in smaller groups will enable educators to better help students transition back to school and to new school routines.

Kindergarten

  • Students in Year 2 Kindergarten will start school Thursday, September 10, 2020. They will attend school every day.
  • Students in Year 1 Kindergarten will start school Monday, September 14 or Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
    • Students will be divided into two groups by last name alphabetically and go to school on alternate days (i.e. students attend for a full day on September 14 and 16 or September 15 and 17).
    • All Year 1 Kindergarten students will begin attending school every day on Friday, September 18.
  • All Kindergarten students who are placed in a community class will be invited to attend all day every day beginning on September 10th.

You will receive information from your child’s school by September 2, 2020 with specifics regarding attendance associated with last names. In determining groups, consideration will be given to siblings, transportation, and before and after care programming. While unlikely, please note that in the event of unforeseen or emergency circumstances, these start dates may change – if this occurs, we will notify you immediately.

Grades 1-8

  • Students will start school on Thursday, September 10 or Friday, September 11, 2020.
  • Students will be divided into two groups by last name alphabetically and go to school on alternate days for the first four days (i.e. your child will attend school on September 10 and 14 or September 11 and 15).
  • All students in Grades 1-8 will begin attending school every day on Wednesday, September 16.
  • All students in a community class, with the exception of gifted community classes, will be invited to attend all day, every day beginning on September 10th.  Students in gifted community classes will attend in cohorted groups.

You will receive information from your child’s school by September 2, 2020 with specifics regarding attendance associated with last names. In determining groups, consideration will be given to siblings, transportation, and before and after care programming. While unlikely, please note that in the event of unforeseen or emergency circumstances, these start dates may change – if this occurs, we will notify you immediately.

Remote/Virtual Learning

The first day of virtual learning will be Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Elementary Class Sizes

The Ministry of Education is allowing school boards to access reserve funds to lower elementary class sizes. We are attempting to minimize class sizes in elementary schools as much as possible with the space and funds we can access.  The Board is allocating $15.25 million to hire additional teachers and educational assistant support. More information on class sizes will be available as the timetabling process concludes.

Lunch and Recess

Students will remain with their class cohort throughout the day, including for recess and lunch to limit student contacts. Students are encouraged to stay at school for lunch. For additional information about what to expect in elementary school classrooms, please see the Board’s website at www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening.

Remote/Virtual Learning

For students attending school fully online:

  • Kindergarten students will have a minimum of 180 minutes a day out of a 300-minute day of real-time, live (synchronous) learning with a teacher. Any remaining time will be asynchronous (not live) learning.
  • Grades 1-8 students will have a minimum of 225 minutes out of a 300-minute day of real-time, live (synchronous) learning with a teacher. Any remaining time will be asynchronous (not live) learning.
  • Learning will follow the Ontario curriculum and follow teaching patterns similar to a regular classroom such as small and large group learning opportunities, with students engaging with their teacher and classmates.
  • Students will receive a daily schedule or timetable that includes breaks and time for lunch.
  • We are working to finalize plans to provide French Immersion and specialty course programming in remote/virtual learning.  While we remain cautiously optimistic, given the changing context and focus on maintaining health and safety protocols, we cannot provide a guarantee at this time on specialty optional programs. However, if its provision is not possible this year, this will not negatively affect their attendance in the program the following 2021-22 school year. We will update you as soon as possible.

Additional Information

  • We will support transitions between the two models (remote online learning and in-person learning) as space allows. However, families requesting a transition between online learning and face-to-face learning may be required to wait for a specific entry point, such as the end of a reporting period.
  • Supporting students with special education needs is a priority in both learning models. Special education staff will continue to support students in both models.
  • Students in Grades 4-8 are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks. It is strongly recommended that students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 wear non-medical or cloth masks.
  • On a daily basis, parents/guardians of students under 18 and students over 18 are responsible to review and adhere to the checklist from York Region Public Health.
  • For more information on health and safety measures, please visit the Board website.
  • Earlier today, the Ministry of Education released its COVID-19 Management in Schools Guide. We will be reviewing this information and updating our plans. We will share additional information as it becomes available.

We know that families have many questions about the return to school, and we will continue to share information with you as it becomes available and to share information, videos and resources on our Board website at www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening. In addition to ongoing direct messaging and information posted to our website, we are planning a virtual town hall for families on September 2, 2020 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. If you have a question you would like us to answer during the virtual town hall, please submit them via the online form.

 

We look forward to welcoming you back to school.

UPDATE – Support for Families

The deadline for the Support for Families program is August 31, 2020 at midnight .

Until August 31, 2020, parents can apply for direct one-time funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing.

If you have already applied for the Support for Families in the Spring, you do not qualify to apply again.  This is for parents that did not apply, did not apply before the deadline date in the spring or have a child that will be entering school for the first time in September (kindergarten).

Applications are ONLINE.  Funding can be used to support with the cost of books, apps, educational subscription services or other tools to support learning at home.
Should you require any support with this application, please reach out to Oksana Majaski:

Oksana Majaski at 416-568-2252 or Oksana.majaski@yrdsb.ca

Community Partnership Developer, ISCS

York Region District School Board

 

Here’s What to Bring to School

Thinking About September – Here’s what to Bring to School

Dear Henderson Families,

For families who are sending their children back to school in person, we know you are starting to think about what your child will need when they start back at school.

Masks – Students from Grade 4 to 8 are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks to school. Students from Kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged, but not required to wear these masks.  Consider bringing your child with you to pick out their masks.  They are more likely to want to wear the mask if it is comfortable and has a design that they like.  We suggest bringing multiple masks to school so that they can be changed partway through the day.  If possible, please label the masks with your child’s name so they aren’t mixed up with those of other students.  Plastic face shields are not a suitable replacement for cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose. It is highly recommended that masks are washed each evening in preparation for the next day.

School Supplies – If possible, we strongly encourage students to bring in their own set of school supplies in a pencil box or pencil case that can be kept in/on their desk. Recommended supplies include pencil, pen, coloured pencils/crayons/markers, scissors, ruler, glue stick, protractor(gr.4-8)). Also recommended is that you label supplies with a Sharpie to avoid possible sharing. Students who do not bring in their own school supplies will be provided with supplies.

Water Bottles – Students should bring their own refillable water bottle that can be filled at our fill station/classroom sink.  All water bottles must be labelled

Lunch / Thermos – This year, parents/guardians WILL NOT be able to drop off lunches during the school day. There also will not be a hot lunch program this year (e.g. pizza, hot dogs, subs).  Students must bring their lunches and snacks with them to school.  Please start brainstorming what types of foods you can send with your child that they will want to eat.  We will be following ‘boomerang’ lunch protocol which means students will bring home all uneaten food, packaging and containers. Green bins will not be available in classrooms and we are wanting to reduce garbage to minimum. Consider using a thermos that will keep hot food warm and a thermal lunch bag that can keep other foods and drinks cool. Please label all personal items.

Extra Clothes / Gym Shoes – Students are encouraged to wear appropriate footwear for physical education, outdoor use and indoor use. Students in Kindergarten and Gr. 1 are encouraged to bring an extra set of labelled clothes in a labelled plastic bag (in case of accidents) that can be stored in their backpack or cubbie. 

Hand Sanitizer – Please DO NOT send students to school with hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the school for student use.  Personal hand sanitizers can result in issues with quality, fragrances, and management of potential hazards.

Cell phones / technology – Students are still not permitted to use cell phones or other technological devices unless they have been given permission by their teacher for a school-related activity. Cell phone use at recess, in hallways, and in washrooms is NOT permitted.  Student must use the phone in the office (which will be sanitized after use) if they need to call parents.  The school will not be responsible for any damaged or missing phones or tech devices that students choose to bring to school.

Please note: students will not have access to lockers until it is deemed safe to do so.  This will avoid congestion in hallways and allow for social distancing. We also ask that ALL toys stay at home for your child’s enjoyment at home. 

 

One Time Financial Support for Parents

Good afternoon,

Parents, please follow the link https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families to receive a one time financial support of $200 for each of your children that are returning back to school. 

Should you require any assistance or need further information, please contact:

 Oksana Majaski at 416-568-2252 or Oksana.majaski@yrdsb.ca

Community Partnership Developer, ISCS

York Region District School Board

 

Stay well and looking forward to working together with you, supporting your school community, this year.

Oksana

Oksana Majaski | Community  & Partnership Developer- CEC West | Inclusive School and Community Services, YRDSB | E-mail:  oksana.majaski@yrdsb.ca | Office: 905-738-5497 ext. 213 | Cell: 416-568-2252 | Fax: 905-738-1397

Reopening of Schools in September: “indication of Intent to send your child/ren to school or engage in online learning” Form Due by Friday, August 14 at 5:00 P.M.

Dear Henderson Families,

Last week you received an email from the YRDSB with information about the re-opening of schools this September. In the email was a registration form for you to indicate your intention for each of your children to attend school in person or through online remote learning.

Families with more than one child should have received more than one invitation to this form.  Please complete a separate form for each child attending our schools. 

For those eligible for transportation, the form also includes the ability to opt-out of this service. Where possible, parents are asked to arrange their own transportation to and from school for their children. 

Please complete the form for each child by August 14, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. 

Elementary School Model

The Ministry of Education has indicated that elementary students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend school five days per week.  School schedules, including start and end times, will remain the same. Regular class sizes will be maintained. Students will remain in their classes as one cohort (or group). Specialized teachers (e.g., French, The Arts) will still be joining classrooms to provide the full breadth of programming for students.  Recess and lunch will be staggered to adhere to cohort guidelines.   

Elementary Online Learning

Families can make the decision to send their child to school or engage in remote online learning. Online learning will be available for students who do not return to school physically. Students will be able to engage in online learning, including real-time live sessions directed by a teacher in a scheduled manner similar to day school. Specific remote learning classes will be created and taught by teachers available to the system. This means that your child may be taught online by teachers who are not connected to your child’s school.

Please note that, in order to maintain safety and appropriate cohorts, children whose families opt for online learning in September may be required to wait for a specific entry point (e.g., end of a reporting period) to return to in-person learning at school. We will also support transitions between face-to-face and online learning when possible as space allows. 

Please know that I appreciate how stressful this time is to many of our Henderson Ave. families. As more information becomes available, I will share it with you. Be safe and be well,

Ms. Mida