Important Information and Resources: COVID-19

September 18, 2020

Dear KPR Parents and Guardians,

As we celebrate the full return of our students today we want to provide you with the latest update on the 2020-21 school year. We also want to share with you ­more resources to support families over the coming weeks.

The last few months have been very difficult for us all, and it’s truly been a pleasure to hear stories of happiness and friendship renewed for students with their peers, and with our staff who missed them.

As we work to help students, and ourselves, adapt to the “new normal,” we will remain focused on doing all that we can to keep our schools safe for all.

Please find below further information as part of our weekly update.

Virtual Elementary and Secondary Schools

At the same time we welcome everyone back to our buildings, we’re also excited to connect with our more than 5,700 virtual school students.

This has been a busy week for school staff as they work to finalize registration and timetables for these students.

As this work continues, and for questions that come up, including support with technology, there are a number of ways students and parents can connect with these schools, including through their school web pages linked here:

virtualelementaryschool.kprdsb.ca

virtualhighschool.kprdsb.ca

We’ve also established helplines to provide technical support for students and parents.

Student/Parent Helpline Virtual Elementary School
1-877-741-4577 Ext 3002
Elementary_Helpline@kprdsb.ca

Student/Parent Helpline Virtual High School
1-877-741-4577 Ext 3001
Secondary_Helpline@kprdsb.ca

New Screening Tool

The provincial government this week released a new, interactive screening tool that students, staff and families may choose to use each morning. It is available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/   The intent of the online tool is to let individuals know whether they should attend school each day, or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources. 

Public Health Ontario also has released practical, day-to-day Tips for Children Attending School, with helpful advice ranging from how to put on and take off masks safely, to ways to keep one’s glasses from fogging up when wearing a mask, and more. These tips are available at   https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/sch/09/covid-19-ipac-school-children.pdf?la=en

KPR Resources

We are also continually updating our resources for families to reflect latest direction from the province and public health. Here are four items you may find particularly helpful:

  • Illness Protocol for Students, which outlines steps the school will take should a student become ill
  • Communications Protocol, to let families know how we will be releasing information related to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at a school 
  • Morning Checklist, which is a simple, daily reminder of the morning routines that will help prevent spread of COVID  
  • Self Screening Tool, a fact sheet to remind students, families and staff of the exposures and symptoms they should look for each morning before deciding to head to school. 

Please click here to see this items in our Back to School Reminders Package

COVID ALERT APP

We also want to ensure our families are aware of the Government of Canada’s new COVID Alert app, which can be downloaded for free to let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear. That app is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

Families and staff can use whichever of the national, provincial and KPR resources noted above that they find most practical and easy to use.

As we gradually settle into the new and unique 2020-21 school year, I wish everyone good health.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc
Director of Education

 

September 10 Update

Dear KPR Parents and Guardians:

As we work though our final preparations, we are very excited to welcome students back to school next week. This has been an important week for our staff and schools, and we look forward to having our students and staff together once again.

School will be a different experience for all, and we recognize that students and staff will take some time to become comfortable with our new reality.

As students head back to school, we wanted to provide families with a package of important back-to-school information. Much of this information has been shared in different ways throughout the summer, but we thought it would be helpful to have it all in one place.

We wish you a great start to the school year. 

Jennifer Leclerc

Director of Education

 

Back to School Information Package

We have worked diligently to make our schools a safe place for all. Students will be seeing posters to remind them about physical distancing and health etiquette, while also experiencing some new protocols to support a safe return to school.

Here is a Back to School Slideshow about signage and protocols. Please click here to watch.

To learn more about each of the items listed below, please click here.

Morning Checklist - School morning routines might look a little different this year, so we have put together a checklist to help! In addition to getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing hair and teeth, families also need to think about a few other things, such as completing daily screening, packing masks, and performing frequent hand hygiene.

Daily Self-screening - Students and staff are required to complete a daily COVID self-screening prior to entering schools or any KPR place of work. The document below can be used for self-screening purposes. Do not send your child to school if the answer is ‘Yes’ to any of the items. If your child has any of the symptoms identified, contact a health professional or complete the Ontario government’s online assessment (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ ), and follow the next steps identified.

Mask Protocol – Read more about our schools’ Mask Protocol. All students in Grades 4 – 12 must wear face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Masks must be worn in hallways, washrooms, during classes, and while riding a school bus. Students in Kindergarten – Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear face masks.

Encouraging Younger Students to Wear Masks - Together, we can help students become more comfortable wearing masks! This document talks about practicing how to wear and handle masks properly, making it fun, and explaining the upside to help students transition to this new part of school and community life.

Visitor Protocol - Visitors to the school are by appointment only or for urgent reasons. Here are the important steps to follow when entering our school buildings.

Hand Hygiene, Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizing - Hand hygiene will be an important part of school routines. Learn more about when students will wash or sanitize their hands, and proper techniques to get rid of germs.

Illness Protocol - For everyone’s safety, students and staff must not attend school if they are sick, even if symptoms resemble a mild cold. This document explains how schools will handle situations of students becoming ill during the school day.

COVID-19 School Communication Protocol – This document explains what schools can, and cannot, communicate related to illness and COVID-19 cases this school year. We are required to follow Ministry of Education, Public Health and Privacy laws and guidelines in terms of what we communicate to families. 

 

 

September 3, 2020 Update

Dear KPR Parents and Guardians:

As the Labour Day long weekend draws closer, we want to take a moment to share with you our excitement in returning to what is our passion, and what we love to do the most – educating your children.

We say this fully understanding that many parents and students are concerned and anxious about what the future will bring. We appreciate those feelings – no one remains unaffected by the events of the last few months – and, in the days ahead, we will do all that we can to support our students in their transition back to school.

We also believe strongly that bringing students together, in person and virtually, is a critical necessity for their overall health and wellness. 

The closures of our schools last spring was a necessary step that we supported, for the health of our communities. The impact of these closures on our students and staff, however, was significant.

From September until March, our students and staff were learning and growing together, in common spaces. Regrettably, from that point in time, life in our communities and schools changed in fundamental ways for us all.

We look forward to taking another step towards our new normal by reuniting students with their peers, and students with our staff, who have missed them.

As I have mentioned, we know that these are uneasy times for families, and that you have understandable concerns for your children’s health.

We have worked with focus and intention to consider all parts of the school day, to make attending school safer for students. As recommended by health authorities, we are making many adjustments to the school day. These include:  

  • The way our students enter our buildings and walk through hallways and classrooms each day

  • Set-up of desks and classrooms so that students are as far apart as possible

  • Keeping classes together in one group with one teacher, as much as possible

  • Staggered lunches and breaks for different classes

  • Mandatory masks for staff and students in Grades 4 and up, and strong encouragement of masks for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students

  • Supplies of hand sanitizer in classrooms and hallways, as well as frequent reminders to wash hands often with soap and water

  • A strict health protocol for students or staff who become ill

  • Increased cleaning and sanitization of all high touch surfaces, such as handles, door knobs, and faucets, three times a day

  • Thorough evening cleaning, including the use of electrostatic sprayers that disinfect all items in large areas, and

  • Following all federal and provincial requirements for school bus safety.

 

Next week, as students begin to hear more from their schools and teachers, we will also share Back to School Information packages with important reminders about the new protocols in place at schools, to keep everyone safe.

Once again, I thank all of our families for your patience and understanding. There have been many changes to our educational programs this spring and summer as we continue to work through the many interrelated issues before us.

I also can’t promise that there won’t be more changes in the days ahead as we adapt to evolving educational and health directives. I can, however, assure everyone that our staff members are an amazing group of committed and caring adults, who have come together in these unprecedented times, to work with purpose and intention to support our students.

We know that no plan is perfect, but we will be tireless in improving and refining our actions and practices each day.

We wish you a joyful start to the school year. 

Jennifer Leclerc  Director of Education

 

 

 

 

August 27, 2020 Update

 

Hello everyone, 

Here is the latest update on our continued planning for the upcoming school year. 

You may have seen media reports yesterday regarding the provincial announcement of updated directives for local health units and school boards in ensuring schools remain safe for students and staff. 

We are currently reviewing those documents, in collaboration with our local health units, and will be updating our health and safety procedures for all schools to reflect this guidance. 

A letter from the Minister of Education outlining these directives is attached here for your information, the highlights of which include:

- Updates to illness protocols to deal with students who become ill while they are at school, including how they will be cared for by staff and provided with personal protective equipment
- The critical importance of parents screening their children every day before school, and keeping them at home if they are ill
- The ways school communities will be updated if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID- 19, and the immediate contact tracing that will begin by local health authorities

- Situations where required classes or cohorts of students will be recommended for testing or sent home, or where the school will be closed until public health officials determine it is safe for students and staff to return.

We know that the health and safety of your children, our students, is your greatest priority. Along with the health and wellness of our staff, we want to assure you that we share that priority. 

As mentioned above, we are presently working together with our health units on this newly released guidance document, and will update parents and guardians on our enhanced measures as they are finalized. 

Learn At Home Program

We continue to work on establishing our online, virtual school for over 5,300 students who have chosen this education program. As parents can appreciate, this is a challenging undertaking that requires a significant amount of planning and development with our teaching and administrative staff.

Principals and vice-principals have been assigned to oversee and manage both the virtual elementary and virtual secondary Learn at Home programs. They will be reaching out to families next week with more information about school start-up.

Helping your child become comfortable with mask wearing 

One important part of back-to-school routines involves helping students become more comfortable wearing masks. KPR has compiled some tips and videos to help children become more comfortable with putting on and wearing masks. Students in Grades 4 and up are required to wear non-medical face masks when indoors at school, while students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged to wear masks in indoor spaces. Please see the attached poster, to support this important part of our back-to-school preparations.

 

 

August 25, 2020 - Clarification re. staggered start

As we have had some parents ask if the two-week staggered start plans we shared yesterday apply to both elementary and secondary students, we wanted to follow up with everyone to confirm: yes, both elementary and secondary students will have a two-week staggered start.

The two week period will be as follows:

September 8 – September 11 – Schools remain closed to students. Staff continue preparing school for the new school year.
September 14 – September 18 – Student and class groups will attend school on different days to become familiar with classroom and school processes.

All students will be attending school full-time on Friday, September 18. Finalized schedules will be shared with parents through their local school as soon as possible.  

The Learn at Home online program also will have a two-week staggered start. Families enrolled in online learning will receive further information as soon as possible.

August 24 Update

Dear KPR Parents and Guardians:

We want to provide everyone with another update on our continued planning for the upcoming school year.  We appreciate your patience as we work through these many interrelated issues. As you can appreciate, these are complex matters that take reflection and consideration to resolve.

Throughout all, we want to emphasize that our planning supports one central priority, which is safeguarding the health and welfare of students, staff and the community.

To that end, we are sharing today that we have made an adjustment to our secondary school planning model. The details are outlined below for families with secondary students.

We know that everyone is anxious to learn more about our plans for the staggered start to the school year. Once again, our emphasis has been on making our school environments as safe as possible for our students and staff.

For our in-person school operations, this means giving our principals and school staff enough time to:

-          realign elementary classroom sizes and staff assignments based on changes resulting from students choosing to stay home for the online school option; parents should be aware that this could potentially mean your child’s assigned teacher may change

-          confirm and adjust secondary student timetables, especially for our Learn At Home students

-          properly set up and become familiar with our new pandemic-related school practices

-          organize classrooms in safe layouts, which includes the moving and storage of a considerable amount of furnishings, desks and other equipment throughout the school.

At the same time, we are also organizing our Learn At Home online school for over 5,300 students. This is a challenging undertaking that requires a significant amount of planning and development with our teaching and administrative staff.

For all of these reasons, we are sharing today that our staggered start will now take place over a two-week period.

This two week period will be as follows:

September 8 – September 11 – Schools remain closed to students. Staff continue preparing school for the new year.

September 14 – September 18 – Student and class groups will attend school on different days to become familiar with classroom and school processes. All students will be in attendance full-time on Friday, September 18.

This two-week period will provide all our staff and students the additional time we believe will be crucial for everyone to prepare learning spaces, and to finalize, understand and be comfortable with, the many new routines that will be a part of the normal school day.

Finalized schedules will be shared with parents through their local school as soon as possible.

We know this will be disappointing to our families and students who are eager to get back to school with all their friends, but we need to take the time to get this right from the start.

Changes to school day structure for In-Person Learning – Secondary students

Our back-to-school planning continues to change and evolve over time in support of student and staff safety.

As we worked through the implementation of our plan and timetabling for secondary students, we realized that our initial structure for the day could be changed and improved to make it better and safer.

The key part of this change is that while students will still be in school all-day, every day, they will now alternate their two subjects every week, instead of every day.

This means that students will take their Period 1 class every day for Week 1. Students will then take their Period 2 class every day the following week. This will continue alternating for the first quadmester.

The following example may be helpful:

Quadmester 1

Quadmester 2

September  – November

November to the end of  January  2021

Week 1 - Students will take their Period 1 subject all day.

Week 2 – Students will take their Period 2 subject all day.

Week 1 - Students will take their Period 3 subject all day.

Week 2 – Students will take their Period 4 subject all day.

Final Assessments will occur at the end of each course in mid-November.

Final Assessments will occur at the end of each course in mid-January.

 

We realize this is an extended amount of time for students on each subject. The safety improvements of this model, however, are significant:

-          students can remain in a defined classroom for the entire week without traveling to another classroom, similar to our elementary model

-          this further limits the number of contacts and touch points for students and staff throughout the day, so that we will no longer have students using two different desks during the same day

-          the possibility of schools implementing staggered breaks and lunches for students during the day, so that they can have a break from their classroom; our previous plan was based on students remaining in their Period One classrooms to have lunch.

While our intent with the original school plan was to structure the school day safely for everyone through organized timetabling and limited movement, we feel this plan is a safer and better alternative. Any parents or students who feel that this change may affect their interest in participating in our online Learn At Home program should contact us at kpr_info@kprdsb.ca

In closing, we appreciate your continued patience as we work through these uncommon days in preparation for the new year.

We wish you health and wellness.

Jennifer Leclerc  Director of Education

 

 

August 19 Update

Staggered Start to In-school Learning

The board will be putting in place a staggered start to the first week of the school year. This will allow different grades or students to return to school on different days so students and staff can become more comfortable with new routines and health and safety practices. More information will be shared home to parents through schools as these schedules are finalized.

At last night’s Board meeting, school board Trustees also approved the use of an additional $5.5 million from reserves to support back-to-school planning efforts to support the:

  • hiring of additional custodial staff,
  • hiring of additional teachers to lower some class sizes,
  • potential lease of space for classes should there be no space in specific schools, and
  • hiring of staff to develop and offer the virtual, online Learn at Home program.

More information about these areas can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions, available here:  Frequently Asked Questions.

Online Learn At Home Program

 

Families with elementary and secondary students may choose not to attend in-person school at this time. (both elementary and secondary). Students who opt-out of in-class learning will continue to receive instruction through our established distance learning models, with an emphasis on real-time learning.

Students participating in online distance education will sign in attend daily, participate in both real-time and independent study, follow the same curriculum as their peers attending school in person, and be able to contact their teachers for help and to have questions answered.

 

If families change their decision regarding whether they want their children to attend in person after the start of school, their requests for a change will be addressed as soon as possible. We will ask that families be patient as some time will be required to develop transition plans from one form of learning to another, as we will need to adhere to Ministry of Education and Public Health guidelines that support student and staff health, safety and well-being. Secondary students returning to in-person learning may be limited to the new term or new semester based on course availability, enrolment, and time missed in the curse.

Please note that the deadline for families wishing to enroll their children in the online Learn at Home program has now passed. Parents may contact us at kpr_info@kprdsb.ca if they have questions around future participation in the program.

 

August 14, 2020

To All KPR Families,

As you may be aware, since we sent out our back-to-school update for families yesterday, the Ministry of Education announced new information. In particular, we received new details regarding the Ministry’s planning for online, at-home learning. We recognize that families would like as much information as possible regarding our learn-at-home plans before they enroll their children by the August 19 date (please enroll by Wednesday, August 19 9:00pm) we communicated yesterday. To help you in making that decision, we are pleased to forward the provincial information to you as quickly as possible.

For the 300 minutes per day that must be spent on online instruction, the province has outlined how much time must be devoted to synchronous learning. Synchronous learning refers to live, real-time teaching when students in the class are connected by computer directly with the teacher and can interact with the teacher.   The requirements are as follows:

The table below outlines the minimum amount of time per day that students, depending on their grade level, must be provided with synchronous learning as part of their scheduled or timetabled learning.

Division

Grade Level of Students

Daily Minimum Synchronous Learning Time Requirement

Elementary

Kindergarten

180 minutes

 

Grades 1 to 3

225 minutes

 

Grades 4 to 8

225 minutes

Secondary

Grades 9 to 12

The higher of 60 minutes for each 75-minute class period or 225 minutes per day for a full course schedule

Secondary students at KPR will follow a full course schedule over the year with four quadmesters, each quadmester including two, 150-minute classes per day.

We are now planning how these Ministry requirements will be put in place in each grade. We will provide more information to parents as soon as we are able. Planning for school in these unprecedented times continues to be very fluid and changeable, and we are responding as quickly as we can.

We have also added information to our Frequently Asked Questions, which you can access by clicking here. This includes further details on:

  • Use of Alternate Learning Spaces
  • Learn At Home program for French Immersion Student
  • Transferring from In-person to Learn At Home program
  • School Ventilation

We encourage parents to check our website often at http://kprschools.ca/en/COVID-19.html for any further news.

 

August 10, 2020 Update

Dear KPR Parents and Guardians:

We want to update everyone on our continued planning for the upcoming school year.

As you know, the provincial government has directed that elementary students in KPR will attend school five days per week, with enhanced health and safety requirements. Secondary students in our school board will also attend school full-time, with timetable adjustments that reduce the number of classes each day, and limit student and staff contacts.

We appreciate your patience as we work through these very complex matters. Throughout all, we want to emphasize that our planning supports one central principle: safeguarding the health and welfare of students, staff and the community in a manner that reflects the Board’s core values.

Our planning has also been based on advice, guidance and directives of provincial and local public health officials.

Here is where we are in the process, and an outline of next steps for this week:

Our current planning document is being reviewed by the Board of Trustees at a meeting this Wednesday evening. The plan includes important information and protocols for students, staff and families in the following areas:

o   School Day Planning for Students

o   Modified School Routines

o   Healthy, Safe Schools and Facilities

o   Support for Students, and

o   Transportation.

That draft document is now available online here :  

Important Note: This plan is a living document that reflects the most recent provincial directives and public health guidelines. As the situation evolves, and in response to any changes in directives and guidelines, our plan will be updated.

After review by the Board, we will be sharing home to parents this week further information, including common Questions and Answers related to the new school year.

At that time, and as part of our ongoing planning, we will also be canvassing parents on their intentions to participate in conventional school attendance, or opting for distance learning. This information is necessary for us to finalize our staffing and educational planning for the new year.

Again, we appreciate your patience as we work through these uncommon days in preparation for the new year.

We wish you continued health and wellness.

Jennifer Leclerc

Director of Education

 

 

June 23, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The purpose of this message is to provide a follow-up to the June report card email, which was sent to parents/guardians last week. As communicated, elementary report cards will be sent home this year by email on Thursday, June 25, 2020 via a password protected attachment.  To open the protected file, you will need to enter your child’s date of birth as MMDDYYYY.  For example, if your child’s date of birth is March 8, 2014 then the password is 03082014. 

A website has also been created to allow parents/guardians access to the name of your child’s teacher for September 2020.  To access this website, please click the following link, or type the following into the address bar of your web browser http://classlookup.kprdsb.ca/.  You will be brought to a website that looks like the following:



 

You will need to enter the student’s Ontario Education Number (OEN), which you can access on your child’s report card, and their date of birth and click search.  If both entries match in our database, you will be shown your child’s name along with their homeroom teacher for next year, if available.  It is important to note that some classes may not have an assigned teacher yet and in those cases the teacher’s name will be recorded as TBD (to be determined).  If you experience any difficulties accessing this information, please contact your school’s principal or secretary for assistance.

If you are unable to access the website for other reasons, a printout will be posted on the front door of the school.  The printout will show the student’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) and corresponding teacher’s name.

Finally, it is important to note that due to changes in enrolment during the summer or early fall, your child’s teacher may change, and therefore, your child’s teacher is tentative at this time.  Your understanding and support is greatly appreciated.

Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy summer.

 

 

 

WiFi at Schools

We know that not all KPR students and families have access to WiFi.  As we work to support our communities in these challenging days, we have designated all our schools as public WiFi hotspots. Members of the public may access the internet at no charge from outside our buildings. In using this resource, we encourage everyone to follow public health directives and maintain physical distancing. Please click here to see the instructions for accessing the WiFi.

 

Important Online Health Resources

Are you a KPR Staff member?

Find information regarding:

  • Payroll
  • Leaves (Medical, Parental)
  • Staffing
  • Who to contact

in our Staff FAQ here:    https://kprweb.kprdsb.ca/