September 2020 Principal’s Message
Oh, how I have longed for this day the past 5 ½ months, to see students in our school building. All of our teachers have been in the school this past week, getting things ready for our re-entry plan; they too are excited to see your children. I thought many times during my online teaching from mid-March to the end of June, that teaching is a performance of sorts, and that our audience, or at least my Math 9 audience, were reluctant to turn on their cameras. As a result, I often found myself teaching to a screen of blank squares, with very little interaction. It became clear that I need that interaction with students to keep myself going. This fall, I am looking forward to being able to read students’ faces, to be able to gauge their understanding, while in front of me in a classroom setting.
It’s always been difficult to forecast what a school year will bring. This year even moreso. Even with all the new Alberta Health Services protocols in place, I hope you can appreciate my next statement: though we are not going to be able to prevent the flu, colds, stomachaches, etc., we ARE going to do our best to prevent COVID19 from entering our building and that is where we need YOUR help. Please go through the COVID19 checklist every morning. If your child is sick or exhibits any of the symptoms, please DO NOT send them to school. As teachers, we have always provided students with work if they missed days of school. This has not changed.
A few important notes for you to consider:
- We are encouraging all students to go home for lunch if possible. We are very cognizant of the fact that our lunch break is only 40 minutes long, so to help accommodate a staggered release, we will dismiss students for lunch at 11:50 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays (for a 50-minute lunch break), and at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesdays (for a 45-minute lunch).
- Please remember that Wednesdays have an earlier afternoon dismissal time of 2:30 p.m.
- Students who eat lunch at school will be asked to eat in their classroom and then go outside for some fresh air and a chance to burn off some energy.
- Due to health restrictions, please do not send your child with lunches that need to be warmed up, as no microwaves will be available.
At this time, we are asking all parents/guardians to not enter the building unless it is by the front door. Please wear a mask, disinfect your hands when you come in and go directly to the office where we can assist you. Please establish a meeting spot outside of the building if you are picking up your child(ren). Unfortunately, the road in front of the school will remain gravel for the school year, so please be careful. Please NOTE: the parking lot will NOT be available as a drop-off for students this year due to ongoing road construction.
I know that September is an expensive month for many families, but our programs need your assistance. We ask that you please pay your resource fees ASAP or make arrangements at the school office. We accept cash, debit or e-transfers for all fees. You may use the following email address for all e-transfers: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Picture Day – September 14th – LifeTouch will be coming in to take our pictures again this year. They will be following appropriate health protocols to keep everyone safe.
Hot lunch order forms will be available online at stirlingschool.ca and/or there will be a few available at the school office. October’s hot lunch order form is due September 23rd. Parents who are preparing the hot lunches will have aprons, gloves and masks for the duration of meal preparation. Grade bins will be delivered to classrooms, where teachers will hand out food to those who ordered hot lunches.
Parent Council will hold their first meeting on September 23rd, at 8 pm in the student gathering area. Please wear a mask and disinfect your hands upon entering the building.
If you have any questions, please look through the document linked below, as it provides many details related to school re-entry throughout the province: GET THE FACTS: BACK TO CLASS FOR 2020–21.