Return to School Planning

Return to School
Posted on 08/18/2020

Beginning our Journey Together


Welcome Back to new and returning Winston Families!

I am pleased to be able to send you the first of many school communications in relation to return to school planning.   We have spent much of the summer planning for our safe and successful return and adjusting plans based on new Ministry and Public Health information.  The Limestone District School Board has now released a number of important information documents that will guide our planning and preparations.   I have included an important link below for your ease of access to these documents and I encourage you to review this information thoroughly and regularly.

Included on this microsite are Frequently Asked Questions and a Family Guide to Reopening Schools which outline many of the measures we are taking to ensure a positive and healthy start for staff and students.   

The Limestone DSB has also sent an email to all families who may be considering opting out of in-class attendance and accessing remote learning for their child.   It is imperative that families who are choosing this option complete the survey early next week.  The link to information and the survey are included below.   After reviewing all of the information,  if you have questions that may impact your decision please do not hesitate to email me to discuss:

Many families have inquried about how best to prepare their children for a positive return to school.  We greatly appreciate your support and partnership and I have included some initial thoughts below:

Positive Messaging -  Children will be looking to adults to determine how they should react to situations,  to provide reassurance and to answer questions/concerns they may have.   Do your best to share positive messaging about the challenges ahead and be mindful about what personal worries and concerns you share.

Begin Practising:  Begin or continue to practice mask wearing and physical distancing in the community and in social gatherings.  Students will need time to become accustomed to these protocols and will need to develop stamina for wearing a mask.   Continue to establish and practice handwashing/santizing routines at home before/after transitioning to new places and spaces.  We will be washing our hands alot during the school day!

Seek Support:  Reach out to other families to share ideas and strategies for preparing students for the new normal of school.  Access community resources to support your child's mental health and well-being or to access support for yourself (see Winston Twitter account for community based sessions).   Email or call the school if you have specific questions/concerns related to your child - our whole team is here to help!

Begin to gather supplies:   Spend some special and exciting time gathering school supplies with your child to prepare for back to school.   We would suggest the following:

- Two or three comfortable masks (mandatory for gr 4-8,  strongly encouraged for K-3)

_ Labelled water bottle (water fountains will not be open,  filling stations will)

_ Individual school supplies and pencil case (pencils/pens, eraser, crayons/pencil crayons, scissors, ruler, calculator for older grades, ) - sharing of materials will be very limited in class

_ Outdoor clothing for a variety of weather conditions (we will be spending an increased amount of time learning and playing outdoors; including during rain/snow etc.)

_  A fanny pack or something similar to carry masks when at recess and any other supplies parents may deem appropriate (small hand sanitizer,  kleenex etc.)

* Families who may require financial support to purchase items should contact Mr.Blackburn via email to arrange.

The entire Winston PS staff are deeply committed to supporting students and families with the beginning of a positive school year amidst the challenges of the journey ahead.   I will continue to send weekly updates via School Messenger email to all families to share information and answer additional questions as they arise.   Start of school procedures, routines will be shared the last week of August including videos to outline this information and visually show the school environment.

*New families/students will be invited to a short visit the last week of August to support your child's transition to school - more info to come.

Your children are our priority and we look forward to focusing on their well-being, safety and care and we begin school in September.

Mr. M. Blackburn