Front Page News

January Restart Message

Picture of Steve MacGregor
January Restart Message
by Steve MacGregor - Friday, 7 January 2022, 10:54 AM

Hello all, 

I hope all had a safe and enjoyable break these past weeks. 

We have tried to leave space this week for information from the district and the province but are happy to add more school-specific communication today. 

As I believe that I included in my end of December message, things have a way of changing with little notice these days.  Thankfully for us here at Keating, some of those things that we’ve been tasked with doing were already in place.  Due to the number of children in our school, we maintained things like staggered recess times, and entering the school by classroom doors as much as possible, and having “traffic directions” in hallways.  All of these things reduce crowding, but also make for a calmer, better-regulated student group.

A strong reminder that all staff and students are required to be performing a daily self-assessment, and to seek and follow the guidance of Island Health and/or 811 as necessary.  Simply, stay home if you are sick.

Safety measures that are being reintroduced or “tightened down” are:

  • asking parents/visitors to call the office from outside the school rather than coming into the building to talk to staff in the office
  • a pause on almost all field trips, volunteers for in-class activities
  • asking again that as much as possible that parents stay at the perimeter of the school grounds at pick-up and drop-off times.  We know that this is not as feasible for dismissal time for our kindergarten families, but if you could continue the practice of waiting at the edge of the property until about 2 or 3 minutes before the 2:48 bell, that would help us reduce crowding around exit doors.  The kids at all grades are capable of making it to their lineups from points around the school as they do every day at recess.
  • teachers have re-examined the layout of the furniture in their classrooms and have looked to increase spacing between desks and reduce where students are facing one another where possible.
  • we will be reemphasizing hand-hygiene practices, and wearing properly fitted masks
  • with regard to masks, please provide your child with a baggie with a few extra masks as we hand out a huge number of masks every day.  It is preferable that reusable masks are provided from home as the single-use masks do not hold up to the kids playing with the straps and often leads to them needing a replacement from the office in short order.
  • we are also returning to the practice of taking attendance at 9:00 to allow for families who would prefer to arrive a bit later and avoid the busier start-up time to do so without being marked as late. 

We will be able to proceed with Hot Lunch with reduced numbers of volunteers, and visitors providing essential support to students will be able to continue to do so with approval and while following all safety expectations. 

As Dr. Henry stated earlier this week, there is an emphasis being placed on different sectors coming to their own contingency plans rather than all direction being province-wide.  Staff here have been working this week to create remote learning opportunities for their students in the event of the need for school closures, as per Mr. Eberwein’s message yesterday.  Plans for deployment of technology, and support for students with complex needs in such situations were also tasks this week. 

I know that everyone here is SO looking forward to having the children back with us on Monday when we can return our focus to safely reconnecting and learning with the kiddos.