School Community Check-In/Update

Good Afternoon Samuel Hearne MS Community,

On behalf of the Staff of Samuel Hearne Middle School, we would like to thank our Students and Families for a productive second week of In-Person School!

During our second week of school, our Students continued to learn about and followed our new health and safety protocols, while taking part in engaging learning and activities designed by our wonderful Staff.

Many thanks are shared to our Parents/Guardians for your continued support and patience as we begin our academic year with many changes and new information. Together, with Parents/Guardians as Partners, we will continue to best support Students and our School Community.

Please see the sections below for our latest School Community Check-In/Update:

A. Overview:

  • 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. REMINDER – Daily Health Screening:

  • Please continue to ensure that Students bring their TDSB Health Screening Paper Pass duo-tang/folder to School each morning, after conducting their active Health Screening Self-Assessment together with Parents/Guardians each morning
  • 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 4 weeks of the 2020 – 2021 academic year, a verification of a self-assessment for each Student, Staff Member and Visitor is to be completed at school
  • Once Students and Staff arrive at school, Students enter through their 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 statusTDSB Student Health Pass(1)TDSB Student Health Pass(2)
  • 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 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 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 see the following documents/webpages for further information for Parents/Guardians and to discuss with your Child:

C. REMINDER – 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

D. UPDATE – Mask & Face Covering Requirements For TDSB Students, Parents/Guardians & Staff:

  • In response to rising confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, as well as confirmed cases among TDSB Staff & Students, TDSB’s mask guidelines have been updated for the health & safety of our communities:
  • 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
  • To help ensure safety when physical distancing isn’t possible, Parents/Guardians (as well as any other individual who may be dropping-off or picking-up a Student) are required to wear masks/face coverings outside on school property during pick-up and drop-off (as we know, our school yards/paved area can be crowded at pick-up and drop off-times):

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  • Parents/Guardians are also reminded of our “Parent/Guardian Waiting Zone”, which is now marked by the following sign at Student drop-off and pick-up times:

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  • 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 School Staff will ensure regular outdoor breaks throughout the school day to take a break from wearing masks/face coverings

E. REMINDER – Class/Cohort Designated Zones:

  • 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 Students (Junior Cohort Grouping): 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • All Grade 7 & Grade 8 Students (Intermediate Cohort Grouping): 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
    • All Cohorts/Classes will remain in their designated Zones during both Lunch Breaks/Student Outdoor Play and during Recesses:
      • All Students have been reminded multiple times through both our AM and PM announcements that they are to stay in their designated Zones for the duration of their Recess and Lunch Breaks:

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

  • Although the majority of our Students are following this new protocol (which has been designed to keep Students, Staff and our Families safe as designated Zones contain each Class/Cohort and limits interaction between Students/Classes), some Students still require frequent reminders to stay in their designated Zone and to not to move across other Zones:
    • If Students continue to disregard this important health and safety protocol, Parents/Guardians will be informed and alternative arrangements will have to be made for a particular Student’s Recess and Lunch Breaks:
      • If this continues to be an issue for some Students, Parents/Guardians are reminded that the TDSB Virtual School may be an option to consider, to ensure the health and safety of all in our School Community
    • Further, even while outside within their Class/Cohort at their designated Zone, Students are expected to continue to maintain Physical Distancing:
      • Although Students may choose not to wear a mask/face covering while outside, if Students are less than 2 metres apart/where Physical Distancing is not possible, Students are required to wear a mask/face covering – please discuss this important health and safety protocol with your Child

F. REMINDER – Lunch Breaks & Labelled Water Bottles:

  • Lunch Breaks:
    • All Students are highly encouraged to stay at School for lunch each day and not to leave the school to have lunch at home or to go out for lunch:
      • This request is being made to continue to ensure the Health and Safety of all as it avoids unnecessary Student movement and entry/exit from our School
      • Once Students arrive at School for the day, the expectation is that they are to remain at School until dismissal (unless a Student is ill and will need to be picked-up by a Parent/Guardian to go home)
    • 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 (a “Litterless Lunch”)
      • All items brought for lunch are to be returned home
  • Labelled Water Bottles:
    • Students are to bring Labelled 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 2nd floor) to fill their Labelled Water Bottles
    • Students are reminded to have their Labelled Water Bottles with them during Recess and Lunch Breaks
  • At no time should Students share Water Bottles/drinks or food

G. REMINDER – Switch Request From In-Person School To TDSB Virtual School:

  • Please see below for important information about the the process to request a switch of your child from In-Person School at Samuel Hearne MS to TDSB Virtual School:
    • We recognize that Parents/Guardians may want to switch their Child from In-Person School to TDSB Virtual School
    • It is important to note that, for health and safety reasons, and because of the impact switching would have on staffing, physical distancing and space allocation, it will not be possible to immediately transition between the two models
    • As a result, an opportunity to enter the TDSB Virtual School will be provided at 3 key dates during the school year, as outlined below:

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  • Please see below for information from our school regarding Switch Requests From In-Person School at Samuel Hearne MS To TDSB Virtual School (for Opportunity To Change #1):
    • Please click/tap HERE (https://forms.gle/TMQjDDUrnKFjnNY99) to complete a Google Form if you would like to request a switch of your Child from In-Person School at Samuel Hearne MS to TDSB Virtual School
    • Please complete this Google Form ONLY if you would like to request a switch of your Child from In-Person School at Samuel Hearne MS to TDSB Virtual School
    • The deadline for this Switch Request is Wednesday, September 30, 2020 @ 4:00 PM (no exceptions)
    • The date that the Switch Request/change of class would take effect is Tuesday, October 13, 2020 (the day after Thanksgiving)
    • Switch Requests will ONLY be accepted by Parents/Guardians who have completed this Google Form
    • Please visit the TDSB Virtual School webpage for more information and details
    • If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the Samuel Hearne MS Main Office at (416) 396 6555

H. NEW – School Forms & TDSB Online Forms:

  • School Forms:
    • Last week, our School sent home School Forms for Parents/Guardians to complete which Students will submit to their Teachers
    • Next week, Students are asked to return completed/signed forms to their Teacher in the provided envelopes – please do so as soon as possible
  • TDSB Online Forms:
    • TDSB Online Forms will be emailed to all Parents/Guardians with an email on file with our School between Monday, September 28, 2020 and Wednesday, September 30, 2020
    • These TDSB Online Forms are our usual “Start of Year Forms”, and are to be completed for all Students

I. NEW – School Textbooks/Library Books & Student Devices:

  • School Textbooks/Library Books:
    • If School Textbooks and/or Library Books remain at home from the 2019 – 2020 academic year, Students are asked to return these to our school as soon as possible
    • Please bag and label (with your Child’s Full Name) School Textbooks/Library Books and return these to our Main Office
  • Student Devices:
    • Some Students may have TDSB Student Devices (a Chromebook or an iPad) at home
    • At this time, Students are asked to keep these TDSB Student Devices at home, until further notice
    • If you have a TDSB Student Device which is damaged/not working, please contact our Main Office at (416) 396 6555 and have your Child bring the damaged/not working TDSB Student Device bagged/boxed and labelled (with your Child’s Full Name) to our Main Office

J. NEW – Orange Shirt Day – Wednesday, September 30, 2020:

  • Established in 2013, Orange Shirt Day recognizes the legacy of the Residential Schools System for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities
  • By wearing orange, we acknowledge the history of Residential Schools in Canada and we honour Survivors
  • On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, our Students are encouraged to wear orange to participate in Orange Shirt Day
  • For more information, visit the Urban Indigenous Education Centre website
  • To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, please visit: www.orangeshirtday.org

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K. NEW – School Council Virtual Meeting:

  • Parents/Guardians are invited to join our upcoming School Council Virtual Meeting
  • Please see the flyer below for full details:

Samuel Hearne MS - School Council Virtual Meeting Flyer


L. NEW – Student Nutrition Program:

  • Our school has been selected by the Ministry of Children and Youth to participate in a healthy and nutritious mid-morning snack for our Students, which we call our “Student Nutrition Program”
  • Healthy food is essential for Students’ physical, emotional, social and intellectual development:
    • Children use up energy quickly and require frequent nourishment
    • The Toronto District School Board recognizes the direct relationship between healthy nutrition and Students’ academic achievement and fully supports nutrition programs for all Students
  • The food served as a part of our Student Nutrition Program is accessible to every child:
    • Our plan for this year is to offer a 3 Food Group Menu, with individually wrapped items pre-packaged for each participating Student
    • Students will receive various snacks (keeping in mind the dietary restrictions of our Students), with all food served meeting the requirements of the Canada Food Guide and Student Nutrition Programs Standards
  • The “Toronto Foundation for Student Success” and “PC Children’s Charity” has provided us with funding for our Student Nutrition Program:
    • Our plan for this year will be to offer our Student Nutrition Program to all Students, at no cost
  • Our Student Nutrition Program is tentatively scheduled to begin during the week of Monday, October 5, 2020:
    • ​​​​​​​We have sent home our Student Nutrition Program Registration Form (with our School Forms Package last week)
    • Please complete one form for each Child and return it to the school
    • Parents/Guardians must sign and return the Student Nutrition Program Registration Form for your child to participate

​​​​​​​​​​​​M. REMINDER – Returning To School Resources:

  • Returning to School after so many months away may be a challenging 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
  • Specifically, Students and Families may find the “Daily Checklist For Elementary School” helpful
  • 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