Starting on June 1, classes will be reopening for students to return. In preparation for students returning, we wanted to share some information based on what we know right now. In these strange and interesting times, these plans may change as the first day back arrives and we see how things flow. However, I wanted to connect with you and provide you with some items to consider.
First of all, as the BC Government has stated, returning to school is voluntary. After reviewing the plans laid out by our school admin, you are able to decide what is best for your child and decide whether to send your child back to school.
Here is a list of changes and procedures we have developed to help follow the social distancing and safety guidelines and recommendations put forward by the BC government:
- Student Health: Prior to sending your child to school each morning, we would ask that you check for signs of illness, including taking your child’s temperature. If you find signs of a fever or other signs of illness, we would ask that you keep your child at home. Whether you feel that it might be allergies or something else not Covid related, we would rather you err on the safe side. If a child shows signs of illness while at school, students will be isolated and parents informed that their child needs to be picked up immediately.
- Students will be returning in smaller groups. As recommended by the BC Government, class sizes are being split in half to accommodate social distancing guidelines. At this point, the school admin have designated Mondays and Wednesdays as the days for students with last names starting from A-L. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for students whose last names begin with the letters M-Z. Unfortunately, we can not consider placing students based on friendship groupings as that becomes too difficult logistically. (The PTK class is only going back Monday and Wednesday)
- Blogs and Google Classroom will still be used to provide learning activities for all students. Students returning to school will do a combination of activities related to what has been posted online and extension/supplementary activities along with Health/Bible, Library and Gym. Grade 6 students will not have library periods during their time at school. Students staying at home will still be able to access the activities provided online. However, items like morning meetings, instructional videos, read alouds, etc. will not be provided as teachers work to maintain in-class learning.
- Our school week will also look a little different. We will be starting school at the normal time. However, we will be ending school at 2:30. This allows teachers the opportunity to contact students who are at home. In school classes will also not be operating on Fridays, to allow teachers time to connect with students at home.
For Grade 6: Students will only be in school on Mondays (Students with last names starting with A-L) and Tuesdays (Students with last names starting with M-Z) depending on their last name. The rest of the week, Grade 6 teachers will continue to be available to connect with students at home, answering questions and checking-in.
- School drop-off and pick-up procedures: In order to minimize the number of students congregating before and after school, we would ask that you attempt to drop your child off as close to the starting bell as possible so that students can go to class right away. Classes will be open at 8:45. The Kindergarten students are able to be dropped off right at the classroom door by one parent (no younger siblings) or walk to their classroom like a first grader. At the end of the day, students will be taken outside by their teacher and lined-up. Parents can collect their child from the line-up or children will be released as their parents are spotted arriving in their vehicles. As we are trying to minimize numbers of students congregating and practice social distancing, students can not be released straight from classrooms to the playgrounds or field areas. Please collect your child as close to 2:30 as possible.
- Uniforms and Gym: Students are allowed to wear their Knight clothes to school instead of their school uniforms. Students will not be changing for gym classes and will not need their PE uniforms.
- Recesses and lunch will be staggered to keep the number of students in our outdoor spaces to a minimum. Students will be encouraged to avoid physical contact with other students while inside and outside.
- Please bring water bottles: As our water fountains will be closed to students, students should bring a refillable water bottle.
- Supplies: For those students returning, please make sure to send the following specific items:
- Duo tangs: orange, yellow, green, black. (Keep the red duo tang home for continued printing practice.)
- If you have HRA library books (whether you are returning to school or not) our librarian asks you to bring the books back. There are book carts in the lobby for book drop off.
- (In the classroom, I set up extra crayons, glue stick, pencil, eraser, dry erase marker, whiteboard, so that you can still keep and use these supplies at home that were sent home. In our last week, I will ask you to return these supplies again). The sorting tray and the zip lock bag filled with items is yours to keep, as well as the marble race. (If you don’t want these things, you can return it as well in the last school week)
- Social Distancing Considerations: While we will attempt to follow the guidelines set out by the BC Government as best as possible, students may still be in close contact with other students. However, especially during outside periods, the focus will be on limiting physical human contact between students. Students and staff will have the option of wearing masks while at school. Desks will be reduced and spaced to provide distance between students, while in class and hand washing will be done several times a day. While the Government has stated that outdoor playgrounds are safe to use, staggered recesses, closing the Ga-Ga Ball pit and specifying that there should be no physical contact will all be put into place to help with social distancing.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We miss seeing all our students. Their smiles, laughter, sparkling eyes and individual personalities are all things we have missed tremendously over these last weeks. We recognize that this reopening is not school as normal. Highroad Academy is working hard to provide a safe environment for our students while also trying to provide an opportunity for students to connect with their teachers and fellow classmates before the end of the year. However, we certainly understand if the guidelines feel too onerous or scary for your child. With the information that has been provided, please feel free to make your decision based on your own family and circumstances. If you have any further questions, please email our Elementary Department Head, Ian Hancock, to get more information.
To all the amazing families we have at Highroad who have journeyed with us in these trying times, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your support and prayers. Whichever decision you make, please know that we are praying for you, missing you and looking forward to the day when we will be together again as a Highroad community.