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NEWS
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October Update

Welcome to October!
The first month of school went well; although there were a few changes as the weeks went on.
Thank you parents for your continued support and understanding as the Fern Hill School community navigates its’ way while operating during a pandemic.

Changes to Screening and COVID testing requirements
This week the Ministry of Health announced changes to the COVID testing requirements for children.
Children with symptoms should stay home for 24 hours and parents should monitor their symptoms.
The new guidelines break down the symptoms and make recommendations for when isolating at home is required and when it is necessary to contact your health care provider regarding any required testing.
The change is testing requirements does not mean that children with symptoms can attend school – children exhibiting any symptoms should stay at home and not return until they are symptom free for 24 hours.
I will be re-doing the October Screening Booklets this week and will be sending home new ones by the end of the week.
Should you have any questions about when children should stay at home, please phone or email into school.
Thank you to the many parents who have sent emails and phone calls asking questions and updating us on your child’s status.
On Monday I think that we will be welcoming many children back to school!

School requirements – indoor shoes
Now that October has arrived we have noticed that the cold, rainy weather has come along with it. This past week there were many days when students wore rain boots to school and parents sent indoor shoes back and forth. (Sometimes indoor shoes were forgotten.) The rainy weather brings a lot of dirt, leaves and wet mulch into the school (and in a few weeks’ time it might be snow!).
To help to keep the school stairs, hallways and classrooms clean, we will now return to having the students keep indoor shoes at school (a pair of dress shoes and a pair of running shoes). They will wear “outdoor shoes/boots” to and from school and will change footwear once they come indoors.)
It was a good idea to wear just one pair of shoes for the day when we started school, but now the students are very familiar with the classroom routines and keeping their distance from one another at the lockers and cupboards.
Your child’s indoor shoes may be sent to school this week. The 2 pairs (a pair of dress shoes and a pair of running shoes) will remain at school.

Google Classroom (for Grades 1-5)
The teachers in Grades 1-5 now have Google Classroom ready to go. The teachers have been sending home information about Google Classroom and instructions for using it. (Students in the upper grades have been practicing at school as well.) Students will be able to use Google Classroom to obtain their work when they are absent from school. This will work well for when students are absent for a few days. When absent for a short time, students will not need to email their work back to the teachers. They can bring their completed work back to school when they return. The teachers will not be using Zoom for short term absences by only a few students.
Should we find that the schools will need to close, then Google Classroom will be the program that the teachers in Grades 1-5 will use; teachers would use Zoom as well for the virtual component.

Moodle (for Grades 6-8)
The teachers in Grades 6-8 will use Moodle. Moodle has been running since the start of the school year. The students are familiar with how to access their schoolwork when they are not at school. This works well for when students are absent for a few days. When absent, students in Grades 6-8 should also be emailing their teachers to find out what work needs to be returned by email and what work can be brought back to school when they return. The teachers will not be using Zoom for short term absences by only a few students.
Should we find that the schools will need to close, then Moodle will be the program that the teachers in Grades 6-8 will use; teachers would use Zoom as well for the virtual component.

** There may be times when the teachers may be required to be away from school. In those cases, the teacher may be able to Zoom teach the entire class that is at school. (This would be on a case by case basis, as sometimes it may not be possible to Zoom.)

Note:
Students in the JK & SK programs will continue to receive any work from their teachers by email if students find that they will be away for a period of time.
Students in the Remote Learning Programs with Mrs. Bitar and Ms. Doyle will continue to receive their work through email.

School Photos
Every October school photos are taken for the school year.
I will be contacting the school photographer this week to see what the procedures and protocols will be for this year and what the possible dates would be.
I will keep parents updated on this.