Newsletter – 2021 February 5


The Lord looks for us where we are, he loves us as we are, and he patiently walks by our side. With his word, he wants to change us, to invite us to live fuller lives and to put out into the deep together with him.

Pope Francis

Enhanced COVID-19 Safety Protocols
On February 4, 2021, the Ministry of Education and Dr. Bonnie Henry had a press conference to announce the enhanced Covid-19 Safety Protocols. They also made the following points:

Masks

  • Mask exemptions remain in place for students and staff who cannot wear a mask for health or behavioral reasons.
  • Elementary school students are not required to wear masks and it remains a family decision.
  • If a student develops symptoms while at school, they must wear a mask while they are preparing to go home.

Physical Distancing

  • Within a learning group (bubble) physical distancing means avoiding physical contact, minimizing close, prolonged, face-to-face interactions (if not possible students are encouraged to wear a mask), and spreading out as much as possible within the space available.

Hygiene

  • Hand washing is the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness.
  • Wash hands with plain soap (you don’t need antibacterial soap)
  • The temperature of the water doesn’t matter
  • Have regular opportunities to hand wash

Stay Home When Sick

  • The BCCDC guidelines for schools are firm. If a student, staff member or any other adult has any symptoms of cold, influenza, Covid-19, or any other infectious respiratory diseases, they must not enter the school.
  • A verbal Daily Health Check is mandatory. This is the parents’ responsibility.
    (OLM Policy: If your child has been sick then a Signed Copy of the Daily Health Check must be submitted to your classroom teacher.)
  • Students, staff members and any other adult (including any family member) must stay home and self-isolate if they have:
    • Gone for a Covid-19 test
    • Tested positive for Covid-19 or are waiting for their results
    • Travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days
    • Identified as a close contact of a confirmed case or outbreak

My Child Has Allergies

  • Students and staff who experience seasonal allergies or other Covid-19 like symptoms that are related to an existing condition, can continue to attend school when they are experiencing these symptoms as normal (Please inform the office or the classroom teacher to avoid confusion).
  • If you notice a sudden change in the severity or type of symptoms your child normally experiences, keep your child at home and seek assessment from a health care provider.

They also revealed updates in the following three areas:

  • Strengthened mask guidelines for middle and secondary students.
    These protocols did not apply to elementary schools.
  • Strengthened mask guidelines for staff in schools.
    OLM had already put these practices into place with the use of our barriers and mask use.
  • Specific guidance for Physical Education
    Mr. Nguyen had already put the following practices in place: equipment is divided into the different Learning Bubbles, high intensity activity is done outside, equipment is sanitized every night, there is minimal physical contact, maximum physical distancing is practiced and students are often reminded.
    Mr. Nguyen not only follows the PHO orders but also adheres to the stringent guidelines set by Via Sports.
  • Specific guidance for music
    At OLM we went the extra mile to ensure that students’ interactions with different adults were kept to a minimum. Students receive music, French and technology for an intensive 8 week term and then rotate to receive another specialty subject.
    Ms. Boots not only follows the PHO orders but also adheres to the stringent guidelines set out by the BC Music Educators’ Association.
  • More detailed protocols regarding staff-only spaces and gatherings
    (Staff-only spaces have occupancy signs and OLM staff have already been going above and beyond the PHO orders.)

OLM Covid Safety Reminders

  1. With increased hand-washing comes a significant amount of waste. Pope Francis challenges all people of faith to be Stewards of the Earth. We would like to remind families that students should bring a face cloth or small hand towel to dry their hands.
  2. Dropping Off
    1. While on the school grounds, all adults must respect the order of the PHO to maintain 2 meter physical distancing, wear a mask and stay in their designated zones
    2. Your child must line up at their classroom door and stay there until the bell rings.
      Before school is not a time to be playing or running around. Please remind your child of this safety protocol before dropping him or her off at school.
      Why? To help students keep safe the Ministry of Education implemented Learning Bubbles. During the school day the staff has gone to great lengths to ensure that students stay within their bubble. We are asking parents to make certain this also happens before and after school as well.
  3. Entering The Building
    1. All adults who enter the building to complete their Parent Participation Hours must use the scanner and check their temperature before checking in.
    2. All adults must go out the front door and are not permitted down the hallway.
  4. If parents have a question we would prefer you either phone or email the office to reduce the number of adults in the building.
  5. After School Pick Up
    1. Children are to go straight home and are not permitted on the school’s playground.
    2. Students are to be picked up by 3:15

Pink Day
In 2008, Premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell proclaimed the third Wednesday of every February to be anti-bullying day.

Pink shirt day was originally started as a protest against a bullying incident at a Nova Scotia high school (Central Kings Rural High).

David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.

The boys sent out a message to their friends that night, and the next morning they brought the shirts to school in a plastic bag. As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. “It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,” Travis Price recalled.

The boys and other students took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.

This act of leadership provides a great example to our students.

The students at OLM will be participating in this event. Students are asked to bring a toonie and to wear a pink to school on Wednesday, February 24th. The funds collected will be donated to support an anti-bullying program.

February Dates of Importance

February 9thValentine’s Day – Celebration for Grades K-2
NOTE: no outside candy or food is allowed to be brought in by parents
February 10thArt Day –Students may dress up as an artist or they may wear their class colour
February 11th & 12thCEC Conference – SCHOOL CLOSED
February 15thFamily Day – SCHOOL AND OFFICE CLOSED
February 24thPink Day – Please go over with your students the significance of this day and their role everyday to exhibit the values of this day.
February 25th100 Day – Celebration for Grades K-2

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