Conestogo Public School
September 2023 Reopening – Information for Parents/Guardians
Welcome back and welcome to the 2022-23 school year! It is so great to have our students back! A few important reminders for this school year.
Always, the most up-to-date information is on the Conestogo website (https://con.wrdsb.ca) and/or the Board website (http://www.wrdsb.ca). Please subscribe to our school website, so that you can be notified of new posts right away.
We will also be communicating to families via School Day. This is also the location to order and pay for pizza (once a month) as well as pay and complete permission forms for your child for school trips. If you do not yet have School Day access, please contact our school secretary Mrs. Bauer to get set up. It is very easy, and free.
Please read the information below thoroughly. The aim of this document is to inform you about what is happening at Conestogo this year.
Connecting with Staff:
As our staff are busy organizing and supervising students upon entry daily, if you would like to connect with them please send them an email or call the school office at 519-664-3773 to leave a message for them to connect with you. This way, they can connect with you when they have more time to have a meaningful conversation.
Public Health has advised that there is a continued recommendation for all staff, students and visitors to assess their health before entering our buildings using the online self-assessment provided by the Government of Ontario. It is extremely important that Parents/Guardians are duly informed of their essential responsibility to screen their child BEFORE they send them to school or WRDSB Extended Day program each day to ensure that students stay healthy at school. When students are sick or are exhibiting symptoms of illness at school, parents/guardians will be called to arrange a prompt pick up.
You are encouraged to please use the Ontario Self-assessment site daily prior to coming to school
Your Child’s School Day
Conestogo Public School hours remain the same: 9:20 to 3:40. There are two nutrition breaks: 11:20 to 12:00, and 2:00 to 2:40. There are 10 half-hour periods in a day.
For students who walk or are driven to school:
- Students are encouraged to arrive as close to 9:20 as possible and will go directly to their line-up. Please DO NOT send your child to school early.
- Students are encouraged to leave the property shortly after dismissal at 3:40 and should come to the front door and buzz the office if they can not find the adult picking them up.
- If dropping off your child by car, there is no vehicle access to the school parking lot – please either drop off your child on a side street or park and walk your child to their line up location
Infection Prevention and Control Measures
For hand hygiene, students are encouraged to either wash hands thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer when either hand washing is not feasible, or if hands aren’t soiled. Students in most classes will be encouraged to use their classroom sink to wash hands, and before eating. When a classroom doesn’t have a sink, alternative arrangements have been made for hand washing locations.
Hand sanitizer will be made available in each classroom, as well as at stations throughout the school, and in the main office and staff work areas. Students can bring hand sanitizer in from home, but it is not to be shared with others.
Masks / Face Coverings
Although it is no longer mandatory to wear a face mask at schools in Ontario, the WRDSB still recommends wearing a mask as a means of preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses (as per the Board of Trustees motion). The self-assessment tool also recommends wearing a mask for 10 days after the onset of any symptoms of illness in public settings such as schools.
Students are encouraged to cough or sneeze into their sleeves
Increased and Improved Ventilation:
Upgraded filters are being used on all HVAC units (MERV-13 or highest available standard), increased filter changes to 5 times yearly on HVAC units, increased fresh air intake into all ventilation systems and provision of HEPA units to designated areas as per the Ministry of Education.
Students Needing to go Home
Any student who is sick or showing symptoms of illness will come to the office and a phone call will be made to parents/guardians to arrange a prompt pick up from school. Please stay at home for a minimum of 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea) to ensure symptoms of illness are improving before returning to school.
If your child exhibits COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school (ie., the Self-Assessment tool gave a red screen), please DO NOT SEND THEM – call the school and report the absence.
Cleaning / Disinfecting
Custodians will continue with daily touchpoint disinfection and providing Board-approved disinfectants and products for staff to use.
Students must enter and exit the school by their designated entrances to ensure a smooth transition into and out of the school.
Parents can drop their children at these designated entry/exit doors for morning drop-off —
The following are the line-up locations by class:
JK/SK – Kindergarten doors
Grade 1 – Back door
Grade 2/3 – Back door
Grade 3 – Back door
Grade 4 – Parking lot door
Grade 5 – Parking lot door
Grade 6- Parking lot door
Grade 7 – Intermediate back door
Grade 8 – Intermediate back door
Teachers will let classes in at the bell one class at a time. The rest of the students will wait patiently to be admitted into the school.
Picking up your children at the end of the day will occur outside at the exit doors or at a designated meeting location outside.
If your child arrives late, please bring him/her to the front door, ring the bell and speak with Mrs. Bauer. If your child is in Grades 1-8 the student will be buzzed in and your child can walk independently to class. If your child is in Kindergarten, Mrs. Bauer will meet them at the door and escort them to class.
If picking up a child early in the day (e.g., for an appointment, etc.) please send a note with the child or an electronic message to the homeroom teacher. Indicate the time you will be picking up the child. When you arrive:
- Ring the front door bell and speak with Mrs. Bauer — indicate you are picking up a child as previously arranged, and wait outside
- Your child will NOT be waiting; rather, once you arrive, please allow an extra 5 minutes for the child to be readied and brought to the office.
Most teachers will be using Google Classroom or the D2L platform with their students. Teachers will be posting any relevant information they feel is necessary on this platform based on the age of the students. Please connect with the classroom teacher if you have any questions on posted items. This will be utilized in a variety of purposes this school year.
All students will need a change of shoes (especially during winter, early spring and inclement weather) which will stay at school. Proper running shoes will be needed for all students K-8 for gym times. For younger children, the teachers will be in touch regarding the idea of also including “just in case” clothes.
All students Grades 1-8 receive 4 periods of gym a week (5 day cycle).
All Kindergarten classes receive 2 periods of gym a week (5 day cycle)
Grades 7 and 8 students will be changing using the changerooms near the gym. If your child requires an accommodation for changing, staff will ensure that a plan is available as we have a few stand alone washrooms which are gender neutral. Grade 7 and 8 students can purchase Conestogo phys ed clothing or bring their own appropriate clothing to change into.
The library is open to all classes K-8 for library visits. Staff sign up their classes a minimum or once a week. Library books can be signed out and returned.
Mrs. Kellough is our Library Clerk and is at Conestogo from 9:50-2pm daily to support classes and students.
- Grades 7 and 8 will use Lockers
- It is recommended that students have a lock, although this is not necessary.
- In Grades JK-6, students’ belongings will be on hooks and/or cubbies.
Students will NOT be able to leave the school at nutrition breaks. If your child normally walks home at nutrition breaks, this year they will need to remain at school.
Students go outside for the first 20 mins of each break and eat during the second 20 mins in their homeroom classrooms.
|indoor lunch time
Outdoor/Land Based Learning:
Classes are accessing our amazing outdoor space throughout the instructional day for learning opportunities. There is a zone schedule so classes can use all spaces on the property for different types of activities which ensures that both time and space is given to support this learning.
Monarch Waystations: Our K-8 students created and planted native plants that once established, will attract butterflies and a variety of insects and biodiversity to explore, learn and engage with the land.
I look forward to connecting with you throughout the year and getting to know the Conestogo community. I wish your child an excellent and productive school year!
S. MacNeill, Principal