Admiral Westphal Elementary

Return to School Update September 1, 2020

Dear Admiral Westphal Families,
As part of our preparations for the reopening of school, please note some important information for you to help us in our goal to make sure everyone stays healthy so we can keep our schools open. We have a lot of information to share so we will be sending an updates regularly this week leading up to September 8th.
Monitoring Your Child’s Health
Our shared health is our shared responsibility. All families and staff members must complete the daily Covid Screening Tool before coming to school each day. You can find the checklist using this link: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Daily-COVID-checklist-en.pdf and it is also available on our webpage. Please keep your child at home when they are ill, even if their symptoms are mild, and contact 811.
Any student who becomes unwell at school will have a separate location in the school where they will be supervised, while they wait to be picked up.
If a child feels unwell or begins to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, a parent or guardian will be contacted for pick-up. It is very important to ensure that your contact information and other emergency contacts for your child are kept up to date with the school during the school year.

If your child exhibits COVID symptoms, contact 811 to receive advice from Public Health on what to do next, including if/when the child can return to school.
If a COVID-19 case is identified, Public Health will provide direction to the school and HRCE on communicating with families.

Facemasks

Public Health has encouraged all of us to wear masks as a measure to protect our shared health. Here is a link to a video that you can watch with your children before the first day of school: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-wear-non-...
All students (PP-Grade 6) will be required to wear a mask when travelling on the school bus.

When at school, all students Grades 4 to 6 will be required to wear a mask.
Grades 4- 6 students must wear their masks (including in hallways and other common areas) when they are unable to physically distance by 2 metres. If students can be seated two metres apart, facing the same direction, they may remove their mask while at their desk.

Masks can be removed when students are eating and drinking or taking part in indoor physical activity when a mask cannot be worn. Masks are not required during outdoor activities.

We will provide each student with two cloth facemasks on the first day of school (September 8). We will also have a supply on hand if a child forgets or loses one during the day.

Hygiene
Frequent hand washing and using hand sanitizer are public health measures we can all practice both at home and school. We will be emphasizing the importance of hand hygiene, throughout the day. Specifically when entering school and classrooms and before and after eating. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed at entrances and in hallways, and there will be hand sanitizer in classrooms.

We will also be working with children on the importance that “no sharing is caring” in a pandemic. Our teachers will be using age-appropriate language to educate students on why they are not able to share food, personal belongings or their individual school supplies.
What the School Day Looks Like
Students in Pre-Primary to Grade 6 will stay with their class (cohort) throughout the day, where possible.
Staff have been busy reorganizing classrooms, clearing out non-essential furniture to make as much space as possible. Classrooms will look very different this year but we know our students are adaptable! 

An essential part of the Back to School plan is to maximize time spent outdoors. More classes (including Physical Education) will be held outdoors, when possible, to encourage physical movement and support our students’ well-being.  Please be sure to dress for the weather.


A few reminders…
• Label belongings, including masks.
• Consider having your child wear a waist pack or fanny pack so they can store their masks while in the gym or outside.
• Send a filled water bottle to school every day to minimize use of common water refill stations.
• Review this information with your child.

We understand that you have many questions and concerns, and we are working hard to find out answers every day. One thing is for sure, your child’s well-being is our number one concern as we plan for a very different new school year.

Thank you for your patience and support as we finalize plans for re-opening.

Sincerely,

Sherri MacDonald
Wade MacDonald