Welcome back for the 2021-22 school year! We imagine that you are experiencing a mix of emotions about the return to school ranging from excitement to nervousness. We hope that this communication will help to reassure you that we are committed to making this school year fun, safe and full of enriching learning experiences for your children!
The following plan for AEL details specifics on how our school will implement the EIPS Operation Guidelines. As situations and restrictions change over the course of the coming months, modifications will be made to the plan and communicated to our Bison families. No plan is going to be perfect, nor please everyone, but we will do our best to work within the guidelines provided on our journey towards near-normal operations.
Please begin with looking at the following EIPS documents:
Parents and guardians play a crucial role in ensuring everyone’s safety and in minimizing any potential outbreak at the school. Some of the key elements of your role involve:
- doing the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire with your child every morning;
- keeping your child home if they show any signs or symptoms of illness;
- sending everything your child needs with them to school each day;
- Supplies, lunch, masks, etc...
- having up-to-date emergency contacts on file who are available to pick up your child within an hour (if you cannot);
- practicing social distancing, mask use, proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette with your children;
- ensuring clean masks are sent to school every day with your child;
- reassuring your child that everyone is working hard to make school fun and safe.
Volunteers & Visitors
We are pleased to welcome volunteers and visitors back into the school this year! We welcome visitors who have a specific purpose or role in coming to our school. As we move back towards near-normal operations, meaningful opportunities for guardians to be involved will be available such as attending community events, participating in one of our parent groups, or volunteering in classrooms for scheduled learning activities.
Any volunteers or visitors entering the school must complete the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire and wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. If you are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not enter the school.
After entering our office, please sanitize your hands, sign in on our Chromebook and receive a visitor pass from Mrs. McNeely or Mrs. Suprovich. As in any other year, we require that all visitors notify us of their presence and purpose for joining us. This is to ensure that our school is a safe space as well as to help us track who is in the building in case of an emergency. Staff are required to ask visitors if they need help when they see persons without a visitor badge in the school.
If you need to speak to any staff member, please email or call ahead of time to set up an appointment so we can minimize any disruption of instructional time.
All students in kindergarten through Grade 6 must wear masks on school property at all times when unable to socially distance. We would ask that you send two to three clean masks to school every day with your child. You may want to put clean, unworn masks in a ziploc bag or a container before use. Please ensure you label your child’s masks. Scarves, neck gaiters, bandanas and masks with ventilation holes do not offer adequate protection, so please do not send them with your child.
Students will have opportunities to remove their masks when eating, when engaging in physical activities, when playing outside or when proper physical distancing is available. Also, when they are working independently and seated facing away from other students, teachers may also encourage students to remove their masks.
Classes will be assigned to each of our 6 entrances and will enter the school one at a time. When students arrive at school, they must proceed directly to their designated line up area and wait until their entrance time. We request that students arrive at school no earlier than 8:30 a.m. as we do not have supervisors outside before that time. When it is time to enter, staff supervisors will help children don masks and use hand sanitizer before they enter. Students who arrive after their designated entrance time must enter through the main doors and proceed to the office for a welcome.
Drop Off & Pick Up
Please review the Ardrossan Elementary traffic flow map to ensure you are using the designated drop off areas for students in the morning and after school. As our volume is high at those times, parking and leaving your vehicle is not permitted in our drop off lane. Mme Hewitt will be there to help you navigate this area!
We ask that you not park/stop in our fire lane (behind staff parking) as it needs to be readily accessible for emergency personnel.
You may have noticed our beautiful new playground that is currently under construction. In spite of some unavoidable delays, we expect that it will be ready for use by the first day of school! For both before and after school, playground use will not be permitted as this adds an extra layer of challenge to getting all of our children safely on the bus!
We will be returning to morning, lunch, and afternoon recesses for the 2021-22 school year. Morning and afternoon recesses will take place at the same time for the entire school. Grade levels will be assigned specific areas for the morning and afternoon recesses each week , giving students plenty of space to spread out and play in as well as enabling them to mingle with peers of the same grade level.
At lunch time, our students in kindergarten to Grade 3 will eat lunch first while students in Grades 4 to 6 will play outside. As the older students come inside to eat, our younger students will go outside to play. Students may choose to play in any area during lunch recess. This will reduce the volume of students outside over the lunch hour. All students will sanitize their hands before and after recess.
Cohorting is not required this year as we are no longer reporting, tracking or quarantining close contacts.
Mental Health Supports
Living through a pandemic can present challenges to our emotional well-being! This year our focus is on reconnecting and developing skills to support our mental health. We are pleased to welcome Gillian Kowalchuk who is joining us on staff as part of our Mental Health Capacity Building project. Mrs. Kowalchuk and our counsellor, Mrs. Bashaw, will be working closely together to support our community as the year progresses.
We are looking forward to this school year and getting back to as near normal operations as possible! If you have any questions, please contact the school at 780-922-2066.
Helene Hewitt and Kyla Harding
Principal and Assistant Principal