Dear Sooke Elementary School families,
By now, you should have received a message from Scott Stinson, the district Superintendent, regarding the return to school plans. There will be more information and changes in the coming days but I wanted you to hear about some of our plans and safety protocols.
- Students in grade 1 to 5 will be given a time for Thursday or Friday (September 10 or 11) to report to school to meet this year’s teacher. We are not spending time with last year’s teacher as we have done in the past. These brief forty-five minute visits will be to review safety protocols and teach students about the new cohorts and playground zones as well as the expectations for travelling around the school. It is also an important time for them to see friends. Our current schedule is as follows:
- Grade 5 students: Thursday, September 10 – 9:00 am – 9:45
- Grade 4 students: Thursday, September 10 – 10:00 am – 10:45
- Grade 3 students: Thursday, September 10 – 11:00 – 11:45
- Grade 2 students: Friday, September 11 – 9:00 – 9:45
- Grade 1 students: Friday, September 11 – 10:00 – 10:45
Your child’s teacher will be contacting you by email the night before classes begin (September 8 or 9) to tell you where their class will line up. Please drop your child and return promptly at their dismissal time to help with congestion and safety.
Busses will be running starting on September 14 so there is no bus available for these visits.
- Monday, September 14 will be the first full day for students Grades 1 to 5.
- Students will be placed in cohorts composed of two classes. These cohorts will be together for outside learning and playtimes. The cohort may come together for other learning times.
- Drop off and pick up times will be our regular school times: 8:50 and 2:50
- Each cohort will be given specific places for drop off and pick up time. This will be explained at the safety visit and will also be sent home from classroom teachers.
- We are reminding families that our school grounds must be drop/pick up and go as much as possible. This is the best way to help keep everyone healthy at this time.
- Our plan includes the playground divided into 5 zones. Four cohorts will be out at a time (maximum). We will have two recess times (10:00 to 10:20 and 10:25-10:35).
- Cohorts will stay in the same play area outside that day. Lunch time is in two sessions as well with some buffer time for moving students in and out of the school.
- Classes with exterior doors will use them exclusively for entering and exiting the building. Those classes who don’t have an exterior door will be divided between two doors (three classes using each door).
- Within their cohort, students will not have to maintain physical distance but with any other group they would. We are awaiting a decision regarding supplies. Please do not send any supplies. Our teachers would still like to have supplies in ‘bulk’ purchased this year as we have done in the past few years. We may have to them divide those into individual bundles for students if that is the directive of the Ministry of Health. We are still awaiting that decision.
Kindergarten parents will receive a separate email regarding the gradual entry with all kindergarten students visiting on Friday afternoon at 1:00 pm and then Monday and Tuesday, September 14 and 15 from 8:50 to 10:50. Wednesday September 16 is the first full day of school for kindergarten students.
- A reminder that schools are open for staff and students; parents will be asked to call to make appointments before coming into the school.
- The bus routes will begin on September 14. The district has asked that if you can avoid using the bus to please do so.
- Lunch program will resume in September. A date has not been announced yet.
At Sooke Elementary, we are finalizing plans and will be able to give you more information if anything changes next week. You will be receiving another survey from the district early next week to help us determine our next plans regarding choice between ‘in class’ and ‘remote’ learning.
Thank you for your continued and patience with all these changes!
Mrs. D. Stoutley