As we approach mid-term for our elementary students and the end of quadmester 1 for our high school pupils, we want to express our deepest thanks and admiration for the work you have done with your children to prepare them for the very unique circumstances in which we find ourselves this year. Students in our face-to-face classrooms and schools are leading us in their adherence to all of the safety protocols required in order to stay open. Our virtual learners have adjusted with us as we continue our journey in the evolving field of remote learning. Through six weeks of school, we fortunately have only one reported case of COVID, yet we cannot let our guard down as we know the virus remains present in our midst.
Requesting a Change from One Learning Environment to Another
As previously outlined in our Return to School Plan, our board was required to establish dates during the school year on which students could switch from one learning environment to another (face-to-face to remote or vice versa). Our first date for elementary students, November 16, is approaching and as you are aware from communication earlier this week, we and your school have asked that you advise us no later than October 23 if you intend to make a switch. This will allow time prior to November 16 to ensure we have teachers and classrooms organized to ensure we are maximizing physical distancing.
It is important to note that while we hope to minimize disruption to schools, classrooms and students, we will be making the necessary changes within our existing staffing complement. This may mean that class sizes and organizations need to be altered in order to welcome students who have elected to make the switch on November 16. We request your patience and understanding during this process. Change and disruption is difficult, especially since we know the sacrifices everyone is making in order to successfully get to this point in the year. A reminder, as well, that subject to Ministry of Education and local RCDHU guidance, our first date for secondary students to elect to make a change will be February 2, 2021, which will also be the next date after November 16 for elementary students to request a switch.
Staying Safe – At Home, At School and On the Bus
We urge everyone to continue to carefully follow all health directives, complete the school screening assessment prior to coming to school each day and continue to manage your off-hours activities to reduce contacts.
We are working this week with our bus operators to remind students who take the bus to continue to wear their masks and sit in the seat assigned to them. It is very important, should the RCDHU need to conduct contact tracing, that we can provide class lists and bus seating plans that are up to date and accurate.
Let us all continue as a Renfrew County Catholic faith community to pray for our health and well-being and for those less fortunate at this time extraordinary time in our lives.