Return To School – School Community Update

Good Evening Samuel Hearne MS Community,

This communication is being shared to provide specific details about our Return To School beginning next week. Although this communication is rather lengthy, it has been designed to share important details about our Return To School plans with our School Community. Please see the sections below for specific information regarding each heading listed:

A. Overview:

  • While this communication may not answer all the questions our School Community may have at this time, we are hopeful that the details below will provide you with further information to prepare, and give our Students and Families a sense of what you can expect next week
  • As it may be appreciated, it has been difficult to finalize our Return To School Plans as we have had to wait for necessary information to make decisions regarding the numbers of Students attending school in-person, Staffing, Timetables and more
  • Based on the TDSB’s “Returning to School Guidelines”, our School Staff have established a number of guidelines and practices that will be put in place at Samuel Hearne MS:
    • Please read through the information to help you understand what School will look like for your Child
    • Please know that while we will do our best to put the best possible procedures in place, we are always working to refine procedures and we may end up making adjustments as needed or as TDSB procedures are updated
  • We remind our School Community to review the information on our School Website, as well as to continue to visit the TDSB Website for further details, resources and information regarding our Return To School:
  • As always, please do not hesitate to contact our school directly via telephone at (416) 396 6555 with any questions/inquiries

B. Welcome Back!:

  • As we look forward to the start of the 2020/2021 school year, our School Staff is excited about welcoming back our Students and Families!
  • We sincerely hope that our Students and Families are continuing to be safe and are well, as our School Staff continue preparations to ensure the health and safety of all Students and Staff upon our Return To School
  • TDSB and our School Staff have been working hard to implement the health and safety processes necessary to make our schools as safe as possible for Students, Staff and Families – the Health and Well-Being of all in our School Community remains our top priority
  • As public educators, as always, we are also committed to providing the best academic experience possible for our Students
  • We will continue to focus on the health and safety of our Students and Staff, as well as supporting Mental Health and Well-Being as we consider the needs of those within our School Community
  • While we know this school year may look and feel a bit different in our School, our School Staff is here to support Students and Families in any way we can – we are looking forward to a great year of Teaching and Learning together!

C. Staggered School Start Dates:

  • At Samuel Hearne MS, we will begin the process of opening our School gradually using Staggered School Start Dates for each grade, over the first 3 days of school (Tuesday, September 15, Wednesday, September 16 and Thursday, September 17)
  • Once a Student starts school on the first day for their grade (please see below), they continue to attend school every day
  • The start dates for each grade at Samuel Hearne MS are outlined below, based on our school configuration:

Samuel Hearne MS - School Re-Opening Staggered Dates Schedule


D. Classroom Reorganization:

  • As you know, Parents/Guardians recently completed a survey declaring whether or not their child(ren) would return to school In-Person or be a part of the TDSB Virtual School
  • Based on the results of this survey, our School received an updated school-based Staffing and Classroom Allocation
  • This new Allocation resulted in a reduction in our Teaching Staff of 5.5 Teachers who will be redeployed
  • With this information, our School Staff worked collaboratively to create the best conditions for learning for all Students
  • Our approved Classroom Organization Model meets guidelines outlined by the TDSB and is as follows:

Teacher List

  • You can expect contact from your child’s Teacher on Monday, September 14, 2020 
  • Also, please be assured that your child’s Teacher will be outside in the morning to greet Students during our Staggered School Start Dates

E. Building Preparation:

  • School Staff have worked to ensure that our School Building is safe for our Return To School
  • We have put-up posters to remind Students and Staff of measures which can be taken to remain safe
  • We have applied sticker markings on our floors and outdoor Paved Areas, walls and doors to direct the flow of traffic within our building, and to ensure physical distancing 
  • The TDSB has been working over the summer to review building ventilation and filtration systems and is implementing a number of strategies to improve ventilation in our School and increase the volume of fresh air to the maximum extent possible

school-posters-decals


F. Entry & Exit:

  • Our School Yard/Field and Paved Area is supervised in the morning beginning at 8:35 AM
  • Our Entry Time begins at 8:40 AM, with Students being screened then entering the School through the appropriate Entry/Exit Door (please see below)
  • Our Instructional Day begins at 8:50 AM
  • Our School Day ends at 3:15 PM, with Students being dismissed from their appropriate Entry/Exit Door (please see below)
  • Students in Grade 5 and Grade 6 will line-up by Class/Cohort alphabetically on the Paved Area/Basketball Court which is closest to the Community Centre, and will Enter and Exit the building using Door 4:
    • Pink spray painted dots and marked pylons will designate where the beginning of each Class/Cohort line is to begin
    • While standing in line, Students are to maintain physical distancing
    • Teachers will come and retrieve their Students from this location
    • Grade 5 and Grade 6 Students will Enter and Exit the building using Door 4 and will walk to their Classrooms on the 2nd Floor
  • Students in Grade 7 and Grade 8 will line-up by Class/Cohort alphabetically on the Paved Area/Basketball Court which is closest to our School Yard/Field, and will Enter and Exit the building using Door 3:
    • Pink spray painted dots and marked pylons will designate where the beginning of each Class/Cohort line is to begin
    • While standing in line, Students are to maintain physical distancing
    • Teachers will come and retrieve their Students from this location
    • Grade 7 and Grade 8 Students will Enter and Exit the building using Door 3 and will walk to their Classrooms on the 1st/Main Floor
  • Below, you will find a map that we will follow to have Students line-up by Class/Cohort on our Paved Area:

Samuel Hearne MS | Cohort Groupings Outdoor Space Bubbles

  • To ensure proper physical distancing, Parents/Guardians are to stay clear of the Students in line:
    • A “Parent/Guardian Waiting Zone” has been set-up along the pathway and fence area beside the Community Centre Parking Lot
    • Parents/Guardians are requested to stay in the “Parent/Guardian Waiting Zone” at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day to allow Students to be safely dismissed through Door 4 (Grade 5 and Grade 6 Students) and Door 3 (Grade 7 and Grade 8 Students)
    • Parents/Guardians are not to be in the hallways and around any doorways
    • We will need everyone’s cooperation to make this happen!
    • Below, you will find a map that we will follow for our Parent/Guardian Waiting Zone:

Samuel Hearne MS | Cohort Groupings Outdoor Space Bubbles-2


G. Daily Health Screening:

  • Before coming to school each day, all Students and Staff must conduct an active Health Screening Self-Assessment
  • Based on directions that we have received from Toronto Public Health, there is an expectation that for the first 2 to four 4 of the 2020 – 2021 school year, a verification of a self-assessment for each Student, Staff Member and Visitor is to be completed at the school
  • Once Students and Staff arrive at school, Students enter through the designated doors where a Staff Member will verify each Student’s health screening information using the TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass or TDSB Health Screening App:
    • Verifying each Student’s self-assessment can happen in two ways:
      • TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass:
        • A Parent/Guardian signs the TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass daily and the Student shows it to School Staff at their Entry Door
        • The TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass will be printed and provided to Staff/Students and Visitors
      • TDSB Health Screening App:
        • A Parent/Guardian completes the assessment on the TDSB Health Screening App, which generates a QR code that a Student can scan at the Entry Door (if the Student has a mobile device)
        • Or, the Student can present their name to a screener who can verify their entry status
    • If a Student does not have a verification to show a self-assessment was completed (the TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass or TDSB Health Screening App QR Code) by Parent/Guardian, they will be asked if they are feeling well:
      • If the Student answers is YES:
        • The Student will be allowed to go into the classroom with a mask/face covering while maintaining physical distancing
        • A Parent/Guardian will be contacted to conduct the full assessment by telephone (this is why it is critical that all Parents/Guardians complete the TDSB Health Pass and sign daily to avoid unnecessary telephone calls)
      • If the Student answers is NO:
        • The Student will need to go to our Wellness Room (Health Room) with a mask/face covering while maintaining physical distancing
        • A Parent/Guardian will be contacted to come to the School to pick-up the Student
  • Please visit the TDSB Daily Health Screening webpage to learn more/for full details, including a Questions and Answers document

H. Students Who Exhibit Symptoms Of COVID-19:

  • For Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, or confirm that they have symptoms, will go to our Wellness Room (Health Room)
  • Parents/Guardians will be contacted and will need to come to the School to pick-up their Child
  • Please note that symptoms are similar to the common cold, so students with those symptoms are required to stay home

I. Student Entry Into Classrooms, Attendance Procedures & Late Students:

  • All Students will wash/sanitize their hands as they enter/exit the Classroom (using School-provided or their own 70% – 90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer hand sanitizer)
  • Students will sit at their assigned seat (a seating plan will be in place in each Classroom) and place their backpack underneath their desk/chair, hanging up their coat on the back of their chair
  • There will be no lockers for any Students
  • Teachers take attendance in the Classroom, which will be collected by an adult to bring to the Main Office
  • Students who are late to school (Students who arrive after 8:50 AM) will:
    • Line-up at the School through the Main/Front Door (Door 1)
    • Stand physically distanced in line while waiting to be “buzzed in” (Main/Front Door opened by Main Office Staff) one at a time
    • Enter the School and proceed directly to the Main Office where a Staff Member will verify each Student’s health screening information using the TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass or TDSB Health Screening App and to get a late slip
    • Proceed directly to class
  • Please ensure that Students arrive at School on time
  • If your child is going to be absent or late, please be sure to call the School and leave a message on our Safe Arrival Line at (416) 396 6555:
  • Please understand that there will be minimal movement of Students through the building, except for use of the washroom, water bottle filling, outdoor breaks for fresh air and outdoor classroom learning time

J. Mask & Face Covering Requirements For TDSB Students & Staff:

  • For the health and safety of our Students and Staff, masks or face coverings are required indoors on school property
  • Students are required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings indoors on school property and on school buses – Students may wear their own mask or face covering, or use a non-medical mask provided by our School
  • This decision is informed by, and consistent with, the City of Toronto requirement that anyone over the age of two wears a mask/face covering in indoor public spaces — with exemptions and accommodations
  • The requirement for all school board Staff to wear medical masks follows the direction of the Ministry of Education
  • Parents/Guardians and Students should remember:
    • To pack multiple snug and comfortable masks/face coverings each day
    • That schools and buses will have extra masks on hand for those who forget
    • Remember to bring a breathable bag (paper or cloth) to store soiled masks, as well as a bag to store masks during outdoor breaks
    • That staff will ensure regular outdoor breaks throughout the school day to take a break from wearing masks/face coverings
    • Please visit the TDSB “Mask and Face Covering Requirements For TDSB Students and Staff” webpage for further information/details

K. Lunch Breaks/Student Outdoor Play Times:

  • Students will eat their lunch in their Classrooms, while supervised by their Teacher:
    • All Students are expected to pack a lunch that has as little litter as possible
    • All items brought for lunch are to be returned home
  • In order to maintain appropriate physical distancing between Students and Cohort Groupings, our Lunch Hour has changed to now include 2 Lunch Breaks/time for Student Outdoor Play (1 per Cohort Grouping/Division): 
    • All Grade 5 & Grade 6 (Junior Cohort Grouping): 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • All Grade 7 & Grade 8 (Intermediate Cohort Grouping): 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
  • During the Lunch Breaks/Student Outdoor Play times noted above, Students will be playing/engaging in activities outside while being Supervised 
  • The School Yard/Field and Paved Area will be divided into 4 Zones and each Class/Cohort will be assigned to a Zone
  • All Cohorts/Classes will remain in the following designated Zones during both Lunch Breaks/Student Outdoor Play and during Recesses:

Samuel Hearne MS | Cohort Groupings Outdoor Space Bubbles-3Samuel Hearne MS | Cohort Groupings Outdoor Space Bubbles-4

  • Each Classroom will have a bin of equipment provided for Students to use in their Zone that will be cleaned/sanitized for the following Lunch Break/Outdoor Student Outdoor Play Time
  • Students who go home/out for lunch will go at the time listed above for their Cohort Grouping, and are expected not to return until the beginning of afternoon for their Cohort Grouping, as follows:
    • Grade 5 & Grade 6 (Junior Cohort Grouping) Afternoon Begins: 12:00 PM
    • Grade 7 & Grade 8 (Intermediate Cohort Grouping) Afternoon Begins: 1:00 PM
  • When Students return from going home/out for lunch by the times listed above, they are to join their Class/Cohort lines for afternoon entry to re-enter the School:
    • If a Student is late returning from home/out for lunch, they are to enter the building using the Main/Front Door (Door 1) 
  • After each Lunch Break/Student Outdoor Play time, Students will line-up in their designated line and wait for their Teacher to enter the School where they will maintain physical distancing, put their masks back on and sanitize/wash their hands
  • A reminder that families are not to drop off lunches at our School, but on the rare occasion that a Student has left something at home or in the car:
    • Please call the school first to inform of your intent to drop off an item
    • Enter the School using the Front/Main Entry Door (Door 1) 
    • Wear a mask/face covering upon entry and leave the labelled item (Student Name and Teacher’s Name/Room Number) on the table directly inside of the Front/Main Door (Door 1) entry
  • At this time, we will not be having our Pizza Lunch Program

L. Recess:

  • In order to maintain appropriate physical distancing between Students and Cohort Groupings, our Lunch Hour has changed to now include 4 Recesses (2 per Cohort Grouping/Division): 
    • All Grade 5 & Grade 6 (Junior Cohort Grouping):
      • AM Recess: 9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
      • PM Recess: 1:35 PM – 1:45 PM
    • All Grade 7 & Grade 8 (Intermediate Cohort Grouping):
      • AM Recess: 10:20 AM – 10:30 PM
      • PM Recess: 2:05 PM – 2:15 PM
  • During the Recess times noted above, Students will be playing/engaging in activities outside while being Supervised 
  • The School Yard/Field and Paved Area will be divided into 4 Zones and each Class/Cohort will be assigned to a Zone
  • All Cohorts/Classes will remain in the designated Zones noted above during both Lunch Breaks/Student Outdoor Play and during Recesses
  • Each Classroom will have a bin of equipment provided for Students to use in their Zone that will be cleaned/sanitized for the following Recess
  • After each Recess, Students will line-up in their designated line and wait for their Teacher to enter the School where they will maintain physical distancing, put their masks back on and sanitize/wash their hands

M. Washrooms: 

  • The Student washrooms at our School are not large spaces
  • As necessary physical distancing must be maintained, this will limit our Student Washrooms to the following occupancy:
    • 1st/Main Floor: 2 Students at one time
    • 2nd Floor: 3 Students at one time
  • Students will line-up outside of the washroom in order to maintain physical distancing while waiting to enter the space
  • Teachers will provide multiple opportunities for Students to use the washroom during class time

N. Water Bottles & Water Fill Stations:

  • Students are to bring labeled water bottles to stay hydrated, filled from home
  • Students are not to drink from the water fountains 
  • Students are able to use our Water Fill Stations (we have one on the 1st/Main Floor and one on the 2ndfloor) to fill their Water Bottles
  • Extra Water Bottles will be available if a Student has forgotten their Water Bottle

O. School Visitors:

  • All School Visitors are asked to contact our School for an appointment ahead of arriving at the School
  • All School Visitors are to enter the building (by appointment only) using only our Main/Front Door (Door 1)
  • Upon entry:
    • All School Visitors will need to Sign-In and provide detailed contact information (for purposes of contact tracing, should it be required)
    • All School Visitors are expected to participate in a COVID screening, use hand sanitizer and wear a mask/face covering prior to continuing to enter our School
  • For everyone’s safety, where possible, meetings/appointments are to be held over the phone or via online video conferencing if appropriate
  • Please remember, for the safety of all, Parents/Guardians are not to be in the building at any time (such as standing inside doorways, entry ways, hallways, etc.)
  • Below, you will find a map that we will follow to have School Visitors wait for entry outside of our Main/Front Door (Door 1):

Samuel Hearne MS | Cohort Groupings Outdoor Space Bubbles-5


P. Returning To School Resources:

  • Returning to School after so many months away may be a challenging and scary experience
  • To help all Students and Families be ready for our Return To School, the TDSB has put together some resources to help with the transition, which are suggested to review as a Family prior to the start of School
  • It may also be helpful to visit the TDSB’s Returning To School Question & Answers webpage

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school at (416) 396 6555.

Stay Well & Take Care,

Mr. J. Romano, Principal & Ms. N. Blackwood-Fuller, Vice Principal