VERMILION FORKS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
“Where learners cooperate in a safe, friendly, respectful environment”
Box #970 -99 Ridgewood Drive, Princeton, B.C.V0X 1W0
Phone: 250-295-6642 Fax: 250-295-3767
Dear Parents / Guardians, May 26th, 2020
Welcome back! As we prepare to open our doors to begin to offer face-to-face learning again, I am sure there are a multitude of questions on people’s minds. I hope this letter will help answer some of those, but feel free to reach out by phone or e-mail if you have more.
I’d like to thank those parents who completed the online survey that the district put out last week. Being able to plan for the safe return of students to our schools is paramount. For those of you who indicated your child will be returning, your child’s teacher will be in touch with you to confirm which days of the week they will attend (2 days/week for Grades 4 & 5 and 1 day per week in Grades 6 & 7).
If you answered, ‘No’ or ‘Undecided’, we will be assuming your child will not be attending unless you have contacted us otherwise. The district has stated that we need a week’s notice if you change your mind. Therefore, if we do not hear from you by the end of the day Thursday, your child will not have the option of attending next week, but could the week after if you contact us next week.
If you have further questions about your child’s particular situation for attendance, please contact the school for clarification.
The regular school day (9:00 – 3:00) will be maintained. We are asking parents to not let their children come to school early to minimize the opportunities for congregating. Please have your child arrive as close to 9:00 a.m., as possible, and be prepared to pick them up or have them walk home at 3:00 p.m. Please be aware of your surroundings and watch for other people as you arrive / depart.
Students should head to their classroom’s door not the main school door, as follows:
Grade 4 Campana / Draude – Rear Gym Hallway Door
Grade 4/5 Cleven – Front Gym Hallway Door
Grade 5 Miller / Draude – Side Library Door
Grade 6/7 Willis – Rear Office Door
Grade 6/7 McConnell – Outside Classroom Door
Grade 6/7 Goodall – you will be contacted about which of the two 6/7 doors above to use
Sanitizing stations will be available just inside each door. Staff will be using brightly coloured pylons to show students how to line-up to maintain distance.
Bussing protocols have now been put in place and you will need to contact the school to access this service and receive the appropriate safety documents. The same timeline of notifying us by noon on Thursday applies. The same bus schedule as was in place before the closure will be used.
Even with bussing resumed, the preference is to have private transportation used for children whenever possible.
To help reduce the number of students on the playground at a time, we will be staggering lunches and recess breaks. Grades 4 & 5 will have lunch from 11:30 to 12:30 and Grades 6 & 7 will have lunch from 12:15 to 1:15.
Microwaves will not be available to students at this time due to recommendations from the Health and Safety Plan.
Lunches formerly offered through the study hall will also not be available, however we will have pre-packaged snacks available from the office.
The playground will be open as of June 1st.
At this time we are not asking for children to bring indoor shoes, however we are asking that students wear sneakers to school as there will be a number of outdoor activities that sandals would not be appropriate for.
Washrooms and Hallway Supervision
To help students learn to maintain social-distance protocols we will be having in-school supervision in our hallways and washroom areas. One person per bathroom at a time with handwashing before and after use. Washrooms will be dedicated to specific classes and students will be told upon arrival.
Water fountains have been closed, but water filling stations will be available. Please make sure your child brings a water bottle for their personal use each day.
School staff will be encouraging students to maintain appropriate distances and taped lines in higher congestion areas have been placed on the floor to help them with this. Having said that, we need you to know that we cannot guarantee social-distancing for your child.
Accessing the School
Outside doors to the school will be locked to minimize the number of people entering the school. Access can be made by calling ahead or knocking on the rear office door
What the Day Will Look Like
The school day will be a combination of academics and activities meant to have students enjoy their time at school and re-connect with staff and fellow students. As many students will still be accessing on-line learning, in most classes that work will be the focus of instruction here. Regular handwashing will be part of the routine.
Virtual learning/distance learning will continue to take place and teachers will have Monday as a day to prepare / plan and make contact.
The school will not be providing PPEs.
Supplies / Technology
Students may bring their own supplies to school, but will need to keep them at their desk. They will be provided with a small bin for any supplies they will be leaving at school.
If your child has borrowed a laptop from the school, your child’s teacher will let you know if they will need to bring it to school for use during the day.
Lockers have been sealed off and will not be available for use.
You are your child’s best advocate for health and safety. Do not send them to school if they are:
:showing flu or flu-like symptoms
:have a fever
: a runny nose
It is imperative that you ask them how they are feeling and specifically ask them about any of the above each day before sending them to school. They will be asked if they have gone through a screening at home when they arrive.
Any child showing symptoms during the day will be isolated and their parents will be contacted for pick-up.
I hope this information has been useful to you. Again, please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Looking forward to seeing at least some of our students arriving next week!