December 18, 2020

Thank you to all of our families for being so supportive and

understanding over the past four months as we have all tried to

do our best to implement and navigate the procedures meant to

keep everyone safe, while not losing focus on our goals related to

equity, achievement and student well-being. We move into this Winter

Break with the expectation that we will return to school on January 4th but we all have grown used to the fact that the reality of COVID in our city is ever-changing and fluid so we are preparing to begin the new year teaching our students remotely if that should be necessary. The Minister of Education has sent a letter to school boards, who have in turn informed parents that it is possible that we may need to switch to remote learning when we return on January 4th and to be prepared for that possibility. To clarify some of the language that is being used in the media, it would not be an ‘extension of the break’ in that we would back teaching and learning, but it would be done virtually rather than in the physical school.

In preparation, please consider the following actions:

•Ensure you have a working device at home. If you do not, please connect with your child’s teacher.

•Login to teacher’s online platform to confirm you have access. Your child should have done this with their teacher.

•Bookmark the Student Virtual Learning IT Support page.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas and celebrations that bring a smile to you and others around you. For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish safe and healthy opportunities to connect, virtually, with family and friends. A new year brings with it new hope. No matter what has happened in the past and how challenging a year is, the prospect of a new year usually means hope for the future. Certainly, this applies to this past year more than ever. Best wishes to all of you for a restful holiday break and a safe, healthy and happy 2021.

Middle French Immersion (Grade 4 Entry) Parent/Guardian/Community Information Sessions

This year, there will be three virtual (online webchat) information sessions for parents/guardians/community members interested in the NEW Middle French Immersion (Grade 4 entry) program.

Please note the following dates/times of the Virtual Information sessions below:

Virtual (online webchat) Information Sessions

January 14, 2021 - 10:00-11:00am

January 21, 2021 - 7:00-8:00pm

January 27, 2021 - 7:00-8:00pm

In order to participate in a live scheduled webchat, please visit the web page below and a link will be available to join on the dates/times outlined above.

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Elementary-School/School-Choices/French-Programs/Information-Sessions

Public Health

Given the changes/more stringent requirements that Public Health has recently enacted with regard to students who are showing new or worsening symptoms that could be COVID-related, we have had a number of questions from parents who are eager to ensure that they are following the correct Public Health protocol.

A quick summary:

•If student has 1 or more new or worsening symptoms they must stay home, self-isolate and recommended to go for testing.

•Siblings of students who have symptoms must self-isolate as well and not attend school.

Question: Is there a child in your household who has one or more of the identified symptoms?

•If the student is symptomatic, their household siblings must isolate as well.

•If the student has symptoms and has an alternative diagnosis, siblings do not need to self-isolate.

•If the student has symptoms and tests negative for COVID-19, siblings can return to school.

Changes for Siblings:

•If the student has symptoms, does not go for testing and is not a close contact of a positive case, the student and siblings must self-isolate for 10 days.

•If the student has symptoms, does not go for testing and is a close contact of a positive case, the student must self-isolate for 10 days from when symptoms started. Their siblings should self-isolate for 14 days as this is how long it can take for symptoms to appear.

•If the student has symptoms and tests positive, the student must self-isolate for 10 days, and siblings must self-isolate for 14 days.

Toronto Public Heath has created a COVID-19 Holiday Guide to share with families.

Click here for a list of testing centres.

Remote Learning

Earlier this week a survey was sent to all parents. Please remember to complete this if you are considering a switch to the Virtual School on February 16th.

Apply for Support for Learners funding - Ontario

This funding is intended to provide parents/guardians with essential financial support for children and youth during these unprecedented times.(This might be a way to offset the cost of technology for home use - e.g., Chromebook).Parents/guardians will receive a one-time payment of $200 for each child up to age 12, or $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs.Please refer to link below for more information.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-learners

Online Donations with Tax Receipt

For those who are interested,

Parents/guardians and members of the community can donate to a school and receive a tax receipt. Simply go to the School Cash Online site and select the school from the drop down menu.

Donors will automatically receive tax receipts through email for donations $1 and over. For more detailed instructions on making a donation online, please see the step by step instructions located here.

School Spirit Wear

Wear it Proud! Today is the last day to purchase Fairmount Spiritwear. Your favourite Fairmount hoodies and t-shirts are available in many colours! Visit the ONLINE STORE to view styles and place your order. When the product arrives, we will arrange for safe pick up or delivery to your front door. You may also choose to pick up your order from the supplier or have your items shipped directly from the supplier to your home for an additional fee. Orders are expected for delivery in early January.

Fairmount Spiritwear Online store link: https://fairmountspiritwear2020.itemorder.com/sale

School Council

Stay connected as a community. The Fairmount P.S. SAC is now on Twitter and Instagram

Twitter: @FairmountPS_SAC

Instagram: fairmount_ps_sac

School Community Event – Virtual Festive Baking

Thank you to our very own Gavan Knox (Fairmount parent and professional baker) for hosting the Virtual Festive Bake-Along last week. This was a great event and certainly helped get everyone in the holiday spirit.

Food Drive

The Fairmount School Council thanks everyone who has supported this year’s food drive. As always, the outpouring of support from the Fairmount community, in-school and virtual school parents alike, has been tremendous. All donations will be transported to the “FeedScarborough” Food bank located at 2229 Kingston Road.

Mental Health Support – Wellness Together Canada

In response to the rise in mental distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has funded Wellness Together Canada to connect Canadians to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional for youth and adults. These resources can be accessed here: https://ca.portal.gs/

Winter Blast

Thank you to Ms. Cane and a dedicated, and hearty, group of Grade 8 leaders who organized a day of outdoor activities for each class on Wednesday. Students got to spend a period outside actively engaged in fun team-building activities. Thanks to:

Christian D. Raidaan F. Sydney D. Genevieve Z.

Austin N. Ethan C. Colin B. Naila R.

Liam S. Grace M. Dillon B. Shaheed C.

Kindness & Caring

The following students were recognized for their display of the character traits of kindness and caring over the past month:

Grace M. Raidaan F. Christian D  .Lucas B.

Patrick B. Shimaya M.S. Amun F. Sydney P.

Stephan P. Nicholas L. Anders E. Kiele K.

Anya L. Ellie F. Ariel F. Dillon B.

Shaheed C. Tucker W. Ashilee E. Amelia S.

Kayden S. Gabriella F. Shayaa N.-R. Maria T.

Nina P. Katie C.-A .Sydney B .Isabelle M.

Genevieve Z .Sydney D. Naila R. Colin B.

Liam S .Austin N. Jager T. Tara M.

Luke B. Robi U .Harley R. Erica A.

Deanna M. Ethan C.

Benjamin Z.


December 11, 2020

As you know, this week was the first time that one of our classes

has had to self-isolate for 14 days due to a student testing positive

for the COVID-19 virus. Thank you to all the parents of the students

in the class as they were incredibly understanding and supportive.

Last week, Toronto Public Health updated its COVID-19 student

screening tool to prevent further opportunities for virus spread.

As part of this guidance, if a child has one or more new, or worsening COVID-19 symptoms, parents will now be required to:

•Keep their child home.

Keep sibling and other children home, even if they do not have symptoms.

•Arrange for the child to get tested or contact their health care provider.

Without testing, the child must stay home for 10 days.

•Monitor the family for symptoms. Adults must stay home if they have one or more symptom.

Click here for a list of testing centres.

In line with this new direction, the COVID-19 Decision Tool for Schools has also been updated.

Here is the updated TDSB Student Health Pass.

Some additional resources shared with us from Public Health:

Know when to Self-Monitor, Self-Isolate or Send your child to school:

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/96e8-COVID-19-School-Scenarios.pdf

How to self-monitor if someone tests positive for COVID-19

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/9712-How-to-Self-Monitor-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Who is a close contact at school?:

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/8e84-Who-is-a-Close-Contact-at-School.pdf

Who is a close contact at work?

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/8e69-Who-is-a-Close-Contact-at-Work-FNL-Banner.pdf

Who is a close contact?

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/986b-Who-is-a-Close-Contact-Banner-FNL.pdf

In the news as of late has been speculation as to whether or not schools will remain closed for a couple of weeks following the Winter Break. We are operating under the assumption that we will indeed return on January 4th. However, should there be an announcement that we are not returning on this date, our teachers will be ready to pivot to the virtual platform for a few weeks. Please remind your child to take home all their personal belongings by the end of next week.

Online Donations with Tax Receipt

For those who are interested,

Parents/guardians and members of the community can donate to a school and receive a tax receipt. Simply go to the School Cash Online site and select the school from the drop down menu.

Donors will automatically receive tax receipts through email for donations $1 and over. For more detailed instructions on making a donation online, please see the step by step instructions located here.

School Spirit Wear

Wear it Proud! The Fairmount Spiritwear Sale is back for a limited time until DEC 16th. Your favourite Fairmount hoodies and t-shirts are available in many colours! Visit the ONLINE STORE to view styles and place your order. When the product arrives, we will arrange for safe pick up or delivery to your front door. You may also choose to pick up your order from the supplier or have your items shipped directly from the supplier to your home for an additional fee. Orders are expected for delivery in early January and will not be available before the holidays.

Fairmount Spiritwear Online store link: https://fairmountspiritwear2020.itemorder.com/sale

Virtual Book Fair

Our Scholastic Virtual Book Fair officially end today. Please see the attachment for details.

School Council

Stay connected as a community. The Fairmount P.S. SAC is now on Twitter and Instagram

Twitter: @FairmountPS_SAC

Instagram: fairmount_ps_sac

School Community Event – Virtual Festive Baking

Join Gavan Knox (Fairmount parent and professional baker) tonight at 6:30pm for our first Fairmount Virtual Festive Bake-Along. Everyone who attends will be entered in a draw to win a prize!

He'll be making some delicious treats for the festive season and you're invited to "drop-in" with the family and join the baking! Register for your ticket and we'll let you know the details & ingredients you'll need beforehand.

Limited participant capacity so don't delay!

Snap a picture of your decorated treats and send to chef@mrmoms.kitchen to take part in our fun competition! The mega-talented Megan Stasiewich (from The Great Canadian Baking Show) will judge the most creative efforts for a chance to win a wonderful prize!

Baking along is not required. Feel free to tune in and see some festive foodie ideas!

Recipes from the session will be made available online after the event at https://mrmomskitchen.wordpress.com

Registration is limited so don’t delay. Click Here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fairmount-virutal-festive-bake-along-tickets-130130256099

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

This past week parents of Grade 8 students were invited to attend a virtual information session to further explain the Grade 8 to 9 transition process. The session can be viewed here on YouTube.

For parents of Grade 8 students in the Virtual School, the Virtual School will be facilitating the course selection process for your child. However, if a student is applying for a high school through optional attendance, the form still needs to come to Fairmount for a signature.

Food Drive

The Fairmount School Council will be holding a food drive in advance of the festive season break. Food insecurity is a huge issue exacerbated by the pandemic and food banks are experiencing a 15% increase in use each week. Many families are in need and we hope you are able to help.Donation boxes to collect non-perishable are in the front foyer of the school. The drive will go up to Friday, December 18, 2020.Below is a picture of what has been collected thus far. The donations have been great but we know we can do even better over the next week. Fairmount virtual school families are welcome to drop off donations at the front door of the school.All donations will be transported to the “FeedScarborough” Food bank located at 2229 Kingston Rd. Thanks in advance for anything you can provide. Every little bit helps!


December 4, 2020

Important Public Health Update

Toronto Public Health just announced today it is has updated

its COVID-19 student screening tool to prevent further opportunities

for virus spread. The TDSB follows direction from Toronto Public

Health and the new screening tool will be effective starting

Monday, December 7th.

As part of this guidance, if a child has one or more new, or worsening COVID-19 symptoms, parents will now be required to:

•Keep their child home.

Keep sibling and other children home, even if they do not have symptoms.

•Arrange for the child to get tested or contact their health care provider.

Without testing, the child must stay home for 10 days.

•Monitor the family for symptoms. Adults must stay home if they have one or more symptom.

Click here for a list of testing centres.

In line with this new direction, the COVID-19 Decision Tool for Schools has also been updated.

Here is the updated TDSB Student Health Pass.

One of the challenges for us this year is the fact that we haven’t been able to engage in many of the activities that make school fun and exciting for the students. While the classroom lessons are, of course, riveting, many students look forward to various extra-

curricular opportunities, field trips, sports teams etc. and many of these traditional activities are not happening this year due to the Public Health restrictions. However, we still want to do what we can to ensure that our students feel part of a community and make school fun. To this end, we are going to have some ‘school spirit days’ for our students to join in. Today was ‘jersey day’ and next Friday will be ‘beach day’, with the following Friday designated as pajama day. We are also starting a door decorating ‘contest’ in which each class will decorate their classroom door in a different ‘winter theme’ of their choice. Our student leaders in Grades 7 and 8 are planning a ‘Winter Blast’ for some outdoor fun for all our students – details to follow in next week’s Falconer.

In September of every year, schools traditionally host a Curriculum Night for parents and guardians to come to the school and hear about a given grade’s areas focus from their child’s teacher. As important as communicating the curriculum is, we also recognize that one of the great things about this evening is the opportunity to connect with our families and that it gives our parents a chance to not only meet their child’s teacher but see the room and school where their child will spend so much time over the course of the year. Our teachers have come up with the idea of sending home a ‘virtual open house’ to their students’ families. Over the next two weeks you can expect to receive a slideshow from your child’s teacher that will give you a kind of window into your child’s classroom.

The lack of a Lost and Found this year is a bit of a challenge, as it turns out that even during a pandemic, kids still lose things. We still want to make sure that lost items can be returned to their rightful owner. Please help by labeling your child’s belongings.

Virtual Book Fair

Our Scholastic Virtual Book Fair will take place from Monday, November 30 to Friday, December 11. Please open the attached letter for details.

School Spirit Wear

Get into the Spirit! The FAIRMOUNT SPIRIT WEAR SALE is back, with your favourite Fairmount hoodies and t-shirts! New colours and styles are available. Brand new this year, we have a special ONLINE STORE to view styles and to take all your orders. The sale is on for a limited time, from NOW until DEC 16th. When the product arrives, we will arrange for safe pick up or delivery to your front door. Or you may choose to pick up your order from the supplier or have your items shipped directly from the supplier to your home for an additional fee. The online store is only on for a limited time, place your orders before DEC 16th.

Fairmount Spirit Wear Online store link: https://fairmountspiritwear2020.itemorder.com/sale

School Council Meeting

Thank you to those who were able to join us for Tuesday evening’s Council meeting. See the attached minutes and preliminary budget for this year. One of the questions that was asked was regarding a possible completion date for work that had been started on the school’s roof. The work is currently delayed as there is a process being undertaken to award the contract to a different roofing contractor to complete the work.

As you know, do to the Public Health requirement to keep our classes/cohorts separate, we have sectioned our yard into zones that students rotate through at recess and lunch. One of the consequences of this is that students sometimes find themselves in an area of the yard that they wouldn’t have chosen to go to if they had the freedom to play wherever they want. We are looking at purchasing additional equipment for students to play with when they are outside. It was suggested at our meeting that some families may have some safe items that they would like to donate for use by one of the classes. So, if you have any safe items such as soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, tennis balls, skipping ropes or any other equipment that you think might be fun for the kids to play with during recess, please send it to school with your child for use by their classroom or one of the other classes.

We’re branching out!

More ways for us all to stay connected as a community. Fairmount P.S. SAC is now on Twitter and Instagram

Twitter: @FairmountPS_SAC

Instagram: fairmount_ps_sac

School Community Event – Virtual Festive Baking

Join Gavan Knox (Fairmount parent and professional baker) on

Friday, December 11th, 6:30pm for our first Fairmount Virtual Festive Bake-Along. Everyone who attends will be entered in a draw to win a prize!

He'll be making some delicious treats for the festive season and you're invited to "drop-in" with the family and join the baking! Register for your ticket and we'll let you know the details & ingredients you'll need beforehand.

Limited participant capacity so don't delay!

Snap a picture of your decorated treats and send to chef@mrmoms.kitchen to take part in our fun competition! The mega-talented Megan Stasiewich (from The Great Canadian Baking Show) will judge the most creative efforts for a chance to win a wonderful prize!

Baking along is not required. Feel free to tune in and see some festive foodie ideas!

Recipes from the session will be made available online after the event at https://mrmomskitchen.wordpress.com

Registration is limited so don’t delay. Click Here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fairmount-virutal-festive-bake-along-tickets-130130256099

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

This week parents of Grade 8 students should have received a TDSB email inviting you to join a Grade 8 to Grade 9 transition information session. For our school the date is December 7th from either 6:00PM – 7:00Pm or 7:30-8:30. This is a virtual session being held via Zoom and is restricted to 3000 families. Given that this means that many likely won’t be able to attend via Zoom, the session is also being live streamed on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9gvsGUiLZklU8VYSnH-Sbg/

A copy of the event is supposed to be made available following the event. A link will be provided in an upcoming Falconer for those who aren’t available on the 7th.

Also, for your convenience, here is a link to a two-minute video that has been made by MyBlueprint for the TDSB related to Grade 8-9 course selection.

https://youtu.be/8B_6qoaNU6Q

November Character Trait - Empathy

A number of students were recognized this week for the empathy they have displayed at school over the past month. Congratulations to:

Dillon B.Katie C.-A.Shaeed C.

Joan H.Maelle K.Natasha P.

Halle P.Misha R.Emilia R.-C.

Greg S.Annie T.Madeline V.

The focus for the month of December will be on Kindness & Caring.

Food Drive

The Fairmount School Council will be holding a food drive in advance of the festive season break. Food insecurity is a huge issue exacerbated by the pandemic and food banks are experiencing a 15% increase in use each week. Many families are in need and we hope you are able to help.Donation boxes to collect non-perishable are in the front foyer of the school. The drive will go up to Friday, December 18, 2020.Below is a picture of what has been collected thus far. The donations have been great but we know we can do even better over the next two weeks. Fairmount virtual school families are welcome to drop off donations at the front door of the school.All donations will be transported to the “FeedScarborough” Food bank located at 2229 Kingston Rd. Thanks in advance for anything you can provide. Every little bit helps!

Funding for Families From the Ontario Government

Families can apply for funding for to help offset costs during this school year to ‘get support for learners’. Eligible parents or guardians will receive a one-time payment of:

•$200 for each child up to age 12

•$250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2021.

Click here for more information regarding this funding and to see the eligibility requirements.

Weekly Calendar

Sunday, December 6

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada and coincides with the anniversary of the death of 14 young women who were tragically killed on December 6, 1989 at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal because of their gender.

To mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, TDSB flags will be lowered to half-staff.

Monday, December 7 – Day 3

Door Decorating Contest Begins

Grade 8-9 Transition Meeting – See Above

Tuesday, December 8 – Day 4

Wednesday, December 9 – Day 5

Thursday, December 10 – Day 1

Human Rights Day – United Nations

Hanukkah Begins

Friday, December 11 – Day 2

School Spirit Day - Beach Day


November 27, 2020

We continue to do our best to stay safe at school with consistent

reinforcement and messaging to our students regarding hand

hygiene, wearing masks, physical distancing, and remaining

within school cohorts. We truly appreciate all your reinforcement

support as well. As the City of Toronto is now in a lockdown situation,

Toronto Public Health has provided a lockdown guide for residents which includes recommending that no get-togethers or playdates with school friends after school, either inside or outside take place. A full listing of the recommendations can be viewed here.

Toronto Public Heath has also provided recommendations for the type of masks that should be used. You can find the recommendations here.

Finally, Toronto Public Health is encouraging the downloading the COVID Alert app. which will send you an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

As always thanks, thank you for your on-going support, cooperation and trust.

Virtual Book Fair

Our Scholastic Virtual Book Fair will take place from Monday, November 30 to Friday, December 11. Please open the attached letter for details.

Food Drive

The Fairmount School Council will be holding a food drive in advance of the festive season break. Food insecurity is a huge issue exacerbated by the pandemic and food banks are experiencing a 15% increase in use each week. Many families are in need and we hope you are able to help.Donation boxes to collect non-perishable food items will be at the front entrance of the school starting Monday, November 30 – Friday, December 11 2020.Fairmount virtual school families are welcome to drop off donations at the front door of the school.All donations will be transported to the “FeedScarborough” Food bank located at 2229 Kingston Rd. Thanks in advance for anything you can provide. Every little bit helps!

School Council Meeting

Our next School Council virtual meeting will be held at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 1st. All are welcome to join. If you are interested in joining the meeting, please email Fairmount_PS@tdsb.on.ca and we will send you the Zoom link.

School Community Event – Virtual Festive Baking

Attached is a flyer for our virtual festive baking event being held on Friday, December 11th at 6:30 PM. You're welcome to join us for some seasonal fun.

Early French Immersion Program

Application process closes today! For families interested in the Toronto District School Board’s Early French Immersion Program (begins in Senior Kindergarten), there is an online process to apply.

To apply for the Early French Immersion Program (SK entry) for September 2021, applications must be completed online by November 27, 2020.

An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants and will be made in the weeks following the close of the application window.

Please note: Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in the same French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application. For more information about French as a Second Language programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french.

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

If you have questions or would like information about specific high schools, it is best to attend the virtual open houses that each school is holding as they will give information about that specific school. (Information is also likely available on their school website.)

It is important to attend these information sessions if you are applying for a special program or a school that is outside of the area where you live (an application for optional attendance).

If you are applying for a specialized program or a school that is outside of the area, you must complete an Application for Optional Attendance, the form can be found here. Parents are welcome to email requests with form attached and Mr. Carson will sign it and email it back to you, or they can be printed at home and signatures can be obtained by the student while at the school.

If you are interested in attending Birchmount Park CI, information session can be found here. Birchmount's BEAP Program's application deadline is today.Birchmount has offered to help those having difficulties with the new online application process and are able to allow a little flexibility with their deadline.However, they ask that families who intend on enrolling, to email them prior to the end of the day today to let them know. They have offered to make a paper copy available to any family that is unable to complete the online registration, as they do not want their new online system to hinder any student that is expressing interest in the BEAP program.

You may contact:

Jo Grundy

Guidance Curriculum Leader

Birchmount Park Collegiate

416 396 6704 ext. 20044

My Blueprint – How to Use Choices: Secondary School Course and Planning Guide

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Information Video

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Website

Academic Pathways in the TDSB

Academic Pathways Fact Sheet

Course Types

Virtual Open Houses and Information Sessions

Choices Course Selection and Planning Guide

Choices: Secondary School Course Selection and Planning Guide

Secondary School Information Guide

Optional Attendance


November 20, 2020

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep our students,

school and community safe.The Toronto Public Health website

has the latest information regarding the current health situation,

guidelines, mental health resources and financial & social supports.

The 13 to early 20’s age group is of particular concern right now with regard to those contracting the virus, so we need to remain vigilant in helping our young people understand the importance of adhering to the appropriate health and safety protocols.

Kindergarten Reorganization

Schools were in the position of reorganizing due to adjustments in enrolment as students who were projected to be in traditional schools opted to learn virtually this year. This necessitated the redeployment of teachers to teach students in the Virtual School. Bricks and mortar schools were recently informed that early childhood educators could also be redeployed to the Virtual School to support the online kindergarten programs, if this was feasible based on the enrolment at a given school. In our case, we were staffed with two designated early childhood educators but our current in-school enrolment only allows for us to retain one. This means that Ms. Surette has been redeployed to the Virtual School for the balance of this year, necessitating the movement of some students between our two kindergarten classes. Thank you to the many parents of students who have had to switch classrooms or have been affected by our requirement to reorganize this year. Your understanding and recognition that adapting to change is a hallmark of 2020 is much appreciated.

Ms. Vignarajah

Our special needs assistant, Ms. Vignarajah, is leaving us. She is a great support to the students in the classes she works with each morning. You may also recognize her from the crosswalk in front of the school where she supports our safety patrollers to help ensure the safety of our students every morning. She currently works between two schools and has been able to secure a morning position at her afternoon school. Her last day with us is next Friday. We wish her all the best.

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

In past years we have had the benefit of a guidance counselor coming to our school to help our students understand and navigate the application process for high schools. This year, all of these guidance counselors have been redeployed to teach at the Virtual School. In the coming months, we will do our best at the school level to ensure that our students and parents are informed as to the high school application process. Below are some links that will help with this process. (The first link is one that wasn’t provided to you previously.)

For those who are simply applying to the high school that is within your catchment area, for our students this is likely RH King, the ‘application process’ will be relatively straightforward and will consist mostly of the course selection process, which we will support our students in completing. For Grade 9, most of the courses are prescribed.

If you have questions or would like information about specific high schools, it is best to attend the virtual open houses that each school is holding as they will give information about that specific school. (Information is also likely available on their school website.)

It is important to attend these information sessions if you are applying for a specialized program or a school that is outside of the area where you live (an application for optional attendance). Specialized programs often require the submission of a package of some sort and, like optional attendance applications, have due dates that are earlier than the course selection sheet due date for students that are going to their home (local) school.

There is a general high school information session being planned for families of schools in our area, likely for the evening of Monday, November 30th. Information and a link will be shared as soon as it is available.

My Blueprint – How to Use Choices: Secondary School Course and Planning Guide

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Information Video

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Website

Academic Pathways in the TDSB

Academic Pathways Fact Sheet

Course Types

Virtual Open Houses and Information Sessions

Choices Course Selection and Planning Guide

Choices: Secondary School Course Selection and Planning Guide

Secondary School Information Guide

Optional Attendance

PIAC (Parent Involvement Advisory Committee) Annual Parent Conference

PIAC invites all parents and caregivers to take part in our 14th annual parent conference – Ready. Set. Engage! Navigating the School Year Together – in partnership with TDSB. Join us in our first-ever virtual conference on November 21 and 22 for two days of workshops for parents and school councils. Connect with others from across TDSB as we adapt to a new educational landscape and school year unlike any we have experienced before. Learn more at: https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Community/How-to-Get-Involved/Conferences/PIAC-Conference


November 13, 2020

While we were not able to have our customary Remembrance

Day ceremony, we did gather virtually as a school community

to reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedom. Thank you to

Ms. Cane and Ms. Cheyne and the students who made this possible.

Visit @FairmountPS on Twitter to see some photos from this day.

Progress Reports/Interviews

Progress Reports and Kindergarten Communication of Learning will be sent home on Tuesday, November 17th. While interviews will not be in-person this year, parents/guardians will have the opportunity speak with your child’s teacher to discuss her/his progress to date. Your child’s teacher will contact you directly to arrange an interview time.

The Progress Report does not contain marks but does indicate how a student has progressed in each of the subjects that have been studied thus far. To best utilize the time during the meeting, it is often best to take a forward-thinking approach and see this time as an opportunity to not only celebrate early successes but to explore what can be done to support a student’s ongoing learning and development of the various learning skills. The teacher, parent and student are working together to ensure that each child achieves their personal best. While our concern for mental health and well-being remains crucial, it can still be paramount while we maintain the highest of expectations for all of our students. Care is essential but we must ensure that this is balanced with the recognition that we all need to challenge each student so that they develop to their potential. It can be difficult but as the caring adults in their lives we must not deny them the gift of struggle. This will also ensure that we help support the development of perseverance and resilience, character traits that will help our children to be healthy and successful. “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.”

PA Day

Please remember that Friday, November 20th is a PA day – there are no classes for students.

COVID-19

Masks/Physical Distancing

Thank you for reinforcing and supporting the children with adhering to the need to wear their masks properly, i.e. over their mouth and nose properly and continually except when outside with proper distance maintained. While masks with an exhaust valve can make breathing more comfortable for the person wearing it, it can spread respiratory particles into the room and therefore should not be used. Scarves or Neck Gaiters are also discouraged because the reality is the students are more tempted to pull them down. The recommendation from Toronto public health has been to have two layers of fabric and adding a filter such as a coffee filter or paper towel to add further protection. More information can be found here.

We are finding that some of our students are coming to school without their mask so please remind them to bring a mask and a water bottle each day.

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

November is typically the time for our Grade 8 students to begin thinking about and planning for their transition to high school next year. Below are some links to various TDSB resources to help support this transition and answer some questions you may have. Note the link for the virtual open houses that each high school will be offering may be regularly updated so continue to check regularly. Grade 7 parents and students may also wish to take advantage of the fact that these sessions are virtual.

For your convenience, here is a list of the embedded links contained within the attachment:

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Information Video

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Website

Academic Pathways in the TDSB

Academic Pathways Fact Sheet

Course Types

Virtual Open Houses and Information Sessions

Choices Course Selection and Planning Guide

Choices: Secondary School Course Selection and Planning Guide

Secondary School Information Guide

Optional Attendance

Toronto Public Library (TPL)

TPL continues to reinstate services as part of their Toronto Public Library (TPL) continues to reinstate services as part of our reopening plan. Many of our branches are open for browsing and borrowing of materials, as well as Wi-Fi and computer access. Here are some free services and resources that may be of interest to our students and their families.

Library Card registration Sign up for a library card to access a wide array of materials, both in-branch and online, including fiction, non-fiction, CD’s, DVD’s, and more. TPL Kids Site Explore our site for fun activities like jokes and riddles as well as homework help including research tips, databases to find articles and other reliable sources for school projects and free tutoring help daily from Brainfuse.

Online Programs

From story times to STEM activities, author visits and workshops, explore and discover online programs at tpl.ca/programs and our YouTube channel.

Accessible Reading with CELA

Centre for Equitable Library Access provides free reading material in accessible formats for library customers of all ages with print disabilities (any visual, physical, or learning disability that makes it difficult to read conventional print). Learn more about CELA on our Accessible Collections page.

PIAC (Parent Involvement Advisory Committee) Annual Parent Conference

PIAC invites all parents and caregivers to take part in our 14th annual parent conference – Ready. Set. Engage! Navigating the School Year Together – in partnership with TDSB. Join us in our first-ever virtual conference on November 21 and 22 for two days of workshops for parents and school councils. Connect with others from across TDSB as we adapt to a new educational landscape and school year unlike any we have experienced before. Learn more at: https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Community/How-to-Get-Involved/Conferences/PIAC-Conference

Registration opens soon!

Families of Junior Kindergarten Students - Early French Immersion Program - Application Information

For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's Early French Immersion Program (begins in Senior Kindergarten), there is an online process to apply. Attached please find an important information package.

To apply for the Early French Immersion Program (SK entry) for September 2021, applications must be completed online between November 2 and November 27, 2020.

An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants and will be made in the weeks following the close of the application window.

Please note: Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in the same French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application.

For more information about the Early French Immersion (SK) application process, please join us for a Virtual Information Session on one of the following dates:

November 2, 2020, 7 p.m.

November 12, 2020, 7 p.m.

November 19, 2020, 10 a.m.

For more information about French as a Second Language programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french.


November 6, 2020

School Council

Thank you to the parents and guardians who were able to join

Us on Wednesday evening for this month’s School Council meeting.

One of the agenda items for this meeting was to determine who

would be official members of Council should there be an item that

requires a vote.

This year’s members are:

Jodie Blazo Alejandra Cabezas Pat Dean

Sanjeev Desai Gavan Kno xLorna Larmour

Barb Lederman Julianne Lee Tanya Meinen

Carolyn Penheiro Diana Pialis Ashley Plona

Sarah Tunney Laura Wilson

The Executive positions for 2020/2021:

Co-Chairs: Julianne Lee & Gavan Knox

Treasurer: Sanjeev Desai

Secretaries: Lorna Larmour & Barb Lederman

As always, meetings will continue to be open to all of our parents and guardians and everyone is most welcome to join us as we focus on working collectively to make our school a great place for all of our kids.

Remembrance Day

While we will not be able to have our customary assembly/ceremony for Remembrance Day in the gym, we are looking at alternative spaces to mark the occasion and support our students’ understanding and respect for Remembrance Day. If the weather cooperates, we are considering the possibility of using the space behind our school so that we can safely come together to recognize the sacrifices that have been made for us.

Reports/Interviews

Progress reports and kindergarten communication of learning will be sent home on Tuesday, November 17th. While interviews will not be in-person, your child’s teacher will contact you to arrange a virtual or phone interview during that week.

Families of Junior Kindergarten Students - Early French Immersion Program - Application Information

For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's Early French Immersion Program (begins in Senior Kindergarten), there is an online process to apply. Attached please find an important information package.

To apply for the Early French Immersion Program (SK entry) for September 2021, applications must be completed online between November 2 and November 27, 2020.

An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants and will be made in the weeks following the close of the application window.

Please note: Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in the same French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application.

For more information about the Early French Immersion (SK) application process, please join us for a Virtual Information Session on one of the following dates:

November 2, 2020, 7 p.m.

November 12, 2020, 7 p.m.

November 19, 2020, 10 a.m.

For more information about French as a Second Language programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french.

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

Even though our year has just begun, it is time for our Grade 8 students to begin thinking about and planning for their transition to high school next year. Below are some links to various TDSB resources to help support this transition and answer some questions you may have. Note the link for the virtual open houses that each high school will be offering. The R.H. King session is on November 26th at 7:00 PM. Grade 7 parents and students may also wish to take advantage of the fact that these sessions are conveniently virtual so it is an opportunity to explore high school options well in advance. This might be particularly useful for any student who is considering a special program as finding out admission requirements well in advance can help in preparation of a portfolio, interview or whatever the expectations may be.

For your convenience, here is a list of the embedded links contained within the attachment:

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Information Video

Beyond 8: Grade 8 to 9 Transition Website

Academic Pathways in the TDSB

Academic Pathways Fact Sheet

Course Types

Virtual Open Houses and Information Sessions

Choices Course Selection and Planning Guide

Choices: Secondary School Course Selection and Planning Guide

Secondary School Information Guide

Optional Attendance

Sloley Reconstruction at Neilson

From the City of Toronto:

“We are reconstructing Sloley Ave from Gradwell Drive to Scarborough Heights Blvd in 2021. As part of this work we are replacing the asphalt boulevard on the south east corner of Neilson and Sloley with grass as the median is wide enough to support vegetation.This will both increase the permeable ground area adding positively to the public realm and also further differentiate the vehicle road area with the pedestrian sidewalk area.”

Mental Health and Well-Being Resources for reference.

Need immediate help?

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance use emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of your local hospital.  

If you are not sure if it is an emergency, or just need to talk through the situation, consider reaching out to:

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources – City of Toronto

Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000

Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or texting CONNECT to 686868

Mental Health TO at 1-866-585-6486 for free phone or video mental health counselling for infants, children, youth and families 211 – call 2-1-1 or text 21166 (M-F 7am – 9pm) finding supports in the community such as food banks, housing and more.

Toronto Public Health – (416-338-7600) Up-to-date Covid-19 information for the City of Toronto

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto – (416-408-4357 or text 45645) 24/7 support, 365 days a year, for individuals in crisis

Assaulted Women’s Helpline – (1-866-863-0511 or text #SAFE (#7233) on Bell, Rogers, Fido or Telus). Free, anonymous & confidential 24-hour helpline for women in Ontario experiencing any form of abuse.

Black Youth HelplineWhat's Up Walk-In® | Mental Health Counselling

Weekly Calendar

Monday, November 9 – Day 4

Tuesday, November 10 – Day 5

Wednesday, November 11 – Day 1

Remembrance Day

Thursday, November 12 – Day 2

Friday, November 13 – Day 3


October 30, 2020

While Hallowe’en will definitely look different this year, it was

great to see so many students embrace the Hallowe’en ‘spirit’

and wear a costume to school. In speaking to quite a few students,

those who are not going trick or treating are really understanding

of the circumstances and seem determined to make the most of the

situation and are genuinely enthusiastic about any alternate plans that they may have to make the day and evening fun.

Celebrating a Safer Halloween

Ventilation

The HEPA air filtration units that were delivered to the school last week are now in each of the classrooms.

New Educational Assistant

As you may recall, Ms. Maria Vandenberg retired in September. Next week we welcome the placement of Mr. Scott, who is coming to us from Queen Alexandra Public School. We look forward to meeting him and to the additional support he will provide for our students.

School Council

Attached to Falconer are two documents. One provides information regarding School Council Elections for this school year and the other is a nomination form should you like to nominate yourself or someone else to be a member of the Council.

Elected council members are expected to attend most meetings, and will vote on council spending and decisions when necessary.The Executive positions (chair/co-chair, secretary, treasurer) will be appointed within the elected council members.

Meetings are not restricted to those who are Council members. All parents/guardians are always welcome to attend meetings and provide input and/or ask questions and get involved to the extent that is convenient for them or suits their current situation. Often, some of the most active parents of our school community aren’t necessarily ‘official council members’ but this doesn’t preclude anyone from getting involved.

The nomination forms are due by Tuesday, November 3rd, with the next meeting being held virtually on November 4th. If you are interested in joining the meeting, please email Fairmount_PS@tdsb.on.ca

Families of Junior Kindergarten Students - Early French Immersion Program - Application Information

For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's Early French Immersion Program (begins in Senior Kindergarten), there is an online process to apply. Attached please find an important information package.

To apply for the Early French Immersion Program (SK entry) for September 2021, applications must be completed online between November 2 and November 27, 2020.

An offer of placement in the program (not a specific school) is guaranteed to all on-time applicants and will be made in the weeks following the close of the application window.

Please note: Families with an older sibling currently enrolled in the same French program and who will be in attendance next year are still required to complete an online application for the new student. Please select the “sibling option” within the online application.

For more information about the Early French Immersion (SK) application process, please join us for a Virtual Information Session on one of the following dates:

November 2, 2020, 7 p.m.

November 12, 2020, 7 p.m.

November 19, 2020, 10 a.m.

For more information about French as a Second Language programs, the application process and important dates, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/french.

November is Indigenous Education Month at TDSB

In November, we honour Indigenous Education Month at the TDSB. This month reminds us to centre First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives, histories and contemporary realities as we learn about treaties, Indigenous leadership, achievements, and resistance. Over the course of this month, we take the opportunity to deepen knowledge, to learn about our shared history, and to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

November is Hindu Heritage Month

In 2016, the Government of Ontario declared the month of November each year as Hindu Heritage Month. Further to this, On April 18, 2018, the TDSB Board of Trustees voted to recognize the month of November as Hindu Heritage Month. The theme chosen this year is OM – The Sound of the Universe. The sound OM, or AUM, is energy, a vibration from which all the universe originates. It is believed that form and creation emanate from this vibration. OM symbolizes vibrations of being, life, and consciousness in all worlds and all creatures. By chanting OM correctly, one feels a connection to the creation and transformation of the cosmos. And then, it is traditional to pause, sit in silence, and experience that creative void of complete peace and understanding.

Canadians of Hindu faith have greatly contributed to civic life in Canada for decades, and are a vibrant part of the growth and prosperity of Toronto, Ontario and Canada. November is an opportunity to celebrate the Hindu way of life, examine its impact and contributions to the world culture, and recognize values which promote compassion, tolerance and inclusion – and hey, it is the birthplace of the number zero, without which the binary code in computers could not exist!

Character Education

Character development is about helping students learn and practice positive character attributes. When we build good character, we build strong communities. In the school community, character development is woven into programs and practices. Student success is dependent on a safe, caring and inclusive learning environment where all students feel valued. This starts by teaching our students about the value of character – respecting themselves and each other, making positive contributions to their school and community and thinking critically and creatively. The character trait that will be the focus for the month of November is empathy.

Weekly Calendar

Treaty Recognition Week

Sunday, November 1- Daylight Savings Time Ends – Turn Back Clocks 1 Hour

Monday, November 2 – Day 4

Tuesday, November 3 – Day 5

Wednesday, November 4 – Day 1

Virtual School Council Meeting 7:00 PM

Thursday, November 5 – Day 2

Friday, November 6 – Day 3


October 23, 2020

Thank you again for your on-going support of our routines that

we are following at the school.We feel that our process is

working and we are very grateful to everyone for adhering to mask

guidelines for adults, ensuring the screening pass is completed,

getting tested as needed and ensuring children are well when attending

school. I have participated in meetings with Toronto Public Health and while I have learned many things, one statement that gave me pause was that ¼ of all positive cases in the city cannot pinpoint where they were exposedand that people should assume that everyone we encounter outside of our family is positive. While we don’t want anyone to be overly fearful, this mindset will help ensure we do not let our guards down with regards to physical distancing, socializing outside of households etc. Our students have been terrific inside the building with abiding by expectations with a few friendly reminders. Any additional reminders from families at home regarding physical distancing, particularly outside the building, would be appreciated.

Principal Authority to Dismiss Class Cohorts

As previously indicated, principals have authority to dismiss positive case cohort(s) for self-isolation including classroom, bus, extra-curricular and before/after school programs within the school while waiting investigation from Toronto Public Health. Principals will not ask other staff or students potentially exposed to the positive case outside of the cohort(s) to self -isolate. Any additional dismissals and communication to the school community will be done under the direction from TPH.

Thank you for continuing to use the Revised Screening Pass on a daily basis. As you know, the new pass has categorized symptoms differently.

  • Those that require self-isolation, testing or an alternate diagnosis immediately (Section 1)
  • Those that require 24-hour symptom free and can return if one (1) symptom; and isolation, testing or alternate diagnosis if two (2) symptoms

Toronto Public Health has also provided a Back to School Confirmation Form which will allow parent(s)/guardian(s) to confirm that the child is healthy and is able to return to school.

Ventilation

Yesterday we took delivery of 13 HEPA air filtration units which will soon be installed in classrooms throughout the school.

Winter is coming……

We know that winter weather will soon be upon us. This reality will require us to make some adjustments to accommodate additional items such as boots and winter clothing. We will do our best to make adjustments to provide spacing for additional items and prevent crowding indoors amongst students. For now, consider putting a pair of sweatpants in your child’s backpack as we have had a number of students call home this week for a change of clothes as a result of getting wet while playing at recess.

Hallowe’en

We know not everyone celebrates Halloween, but for many, it can be a source of fun for both children and adults.However, due to rising cases of COVID-19, Toronto Public Health does not recommend hosting or attending in-person gatherings for Halloween this year. TPH is also recommending that traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating not take place. While Halloween will look different this year, we still want to encourage a fun way to celebrate with the children if they wish.Students may dress up in a costume if they wish to on Friday, October 30th with the following guidelines as outlined from Toronto Public Health:

Face masks are still required; a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask and should not be worn over a cloth mask as ¡t may make ¡t difficult to breathe.

Consider making the cloth mask a part of the costume

Since students are required to wear masks, ¡t is recommended that students not wear costume makeup, from below the eyes to ensure their face coverings are not dirtied.

Candy and treats are not to be brought for sharing – normal lunch and snack procedures will be maintained

The recommendation and guidelines from Toronto Public Health can be found here: Celebrating a Safer Halloween

Trick or Treating Alternatives

Hallo-wise infographic

(The last graphic suggests, ‘Enjoy a spooky dinner at home with people you live with.” This might be a bit of a stretch if this is all you are doing to replace trick-or-treating. Besides, every time I cook it is already considered a spooky dinner!)

Confirmation of Personal Information and Permission Forms

Earlier this month, you should have received an email from the TDSB regarding on-line forms, permissions, media release etc.The subject line would have been TDSB Online Form and you probably received it the first week of October. If you have not had an opportunity to complete the documentation please do so at your earliest convenience.

Switching between Virtual and In-Person Learning

Last week the TDSB adjusted the schedule to request a switch between the two learning

models (in-person and virtual). The next opportunity for elementary students will be offered at the end of January 2021. There will no longer be an opportunity for elementary students to switch in November. This change of the initially communicated plan was done in an effort to maintain current classes and teacher assignments, in both in-person and virtual classrooms, until the New Year to ensure greater consistency and stability.

Parent as Partners Virtual Conference

As advertised on the TDSB Website a virtual Parent as Partner Conference is taking place this weekend. The ‘virtual’ means that the conference itself is presented virtually but it is open everyone; parents of students in the Virtual School and those in the traditional school setting.

https://www.parentsaspartners.ca/

School Council

Attached to Falconer are two documents. One provides information regarding School Council Elections for this school year and the other is a nomination form should you like to nominate yourself or someone else to be a member of the Council.

Elected council members are expected to attend most meetings and will vote on council spending and decisions when necessary.The Executive positions (chair/co-chair, secretary, treasurer) will be appointed within the elected council members.

Meetings are not restricted to those who are Council members. All parents/guardians are always welcome to attend meetings and provide input and/or ask questions and get involved to the extent that is convenient for them or suits their current situation. Often, some of the most active parents of our school community aren’t necessarily ‘official council members’ but this doesn’t preclude anyone from getting involved.

The nomination forms are due by Tuesday, November 3rd, with the next meeting being held virtually on November 4th.

Calendar

Monday, October 26 – Day 4

Tuesday, October 27 – Day 5

Wednesday, October 28 – Day 1

Thursday, October 29 – Day 2

Friday, October 30 – Day 3

Saturday, October 31 – Happy Hallowe’en

Sunday, November 1- Daylight Savings Time Ends – Turn Back Clocks 1 Hour


October 16, 2020

Thank you for your continued understanding and support in

following the health and safety protocols mandated by Toronto

Public Health. I suspect that one of the primary reasons that we

have yet to see a confirmed case of COVID at our school is due to the

abundance of caution that our families have show with regard to

following Public Health guidelines and we appreciate those who have kept their child(ren) home when they are not well and even keeping asymptomatic siblings home ‘just in case,’ even though this is not required by Public Health. Your partnership is appreciated and critical in order to keep our school community safe for everyone.

Daily Health Pass/Symptoms

Please continue to sign the revised Health Pass daily to confirm that your child was screened at home and does not present with any of the identified symptoms. Moreover, having all of the passes signed enables the teacher to begin the school day that much quicker. The new pass categorizes symptoms differently. There are those that require self-isolation, testing or an alternate diagnosis immediately (Section 1). There are those that require 24-hour symptom free and can return if one (1) symptom; and isolation, testing or alternate diagnosis if two (2) symptoms.

The new form acknowledges children who have an existing health condition identified by a health care provider that gives them the symptoms. Those children should not answer YES, unless the symptom is new, different or getting worse. Importantly, look for changes from your child’s normal symptoms.

COVID-19 Decision Tool for School Students

Back to School Confirmation Form

Toronto Public Health has also provided a ‘Back to School Confirmation Form’ which will allow parent(s)/guardian(s) to confirm that the child is healthy and is able to return to school. This form is for students who are sent home from school because of suspected illness or a child identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Your child can bring it to school on the day that they return.

Self-Isolation of Cohorts – Principal Decision Guide

The Toronto District School Board follows direction from the Government of Ontario, which has provided a recommended process for school boards to follow in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school or administration site. The TDSB also works closely with Toronto Public Health, which is responsible for determining if an ‘outbreak’ exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented as well as supporting contact tracing efforts.

The guidelines that we are to follow are frequently updated and modified to reflect that changing situation. One of these recent updates by Public Health included giving authority to principals to dismiss a positive case cohort(s) for self-isolation including classroom, bus, extra-curricular and before/after school programs within the school while waiting investigation from Toronto Public Health. Attached is an overview of the Decision Guide for principals to follow.

Reorganization

Thank you for your understanding with regard to the reorganization which was just implemented. The loss of two of our classes and two of our teachers (Mr. Markovski and Mr. Brown) had necessitated a fairly large-scale restructuring that affected most students in the school with either a change of class and/or a new teacher, new classmates and, at a minimum, a change in timetable. The TDSB now has some 66,000 students registered in the Virtual School with thousands having just switched between the options, with many more going virtual than returning from the Virtual School.

The next deadline to request a change in educational setting was set for November 6, 2020 but news released today is that, in an effort to bring greater stability, the November date to switch from one form of learning to the other will not be an option.

At this time it would appear that the end of Term 1 in February will be the next opportunity to move to the Virtual School or switch back to in-person learning.

https://www.cp24.com/news/elementary-school-students-can-no-longer-switch-between-virtual-and-in-class-instruction-in-november-tdsb-1.5147778

Parent Conference Opportunity

This year’s virtual conference takes place over two days – Saturday, October 24th and Sunday, October 25th, which will include two amazing keynotes as well as a host of breakout sessions that you can choose to tailor to your own interests and needs. Learn more at www.parentsaspartners.ca

School Council

Last week we held our first School Council meeting of the year. Thanks to those to who were able to join the meeting. The work of the Council will definitely look very different this year, but the support and input are, as always, much appreciated. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 4th. Details will be given closer to that date.

Safety Patrol

Community officers from the Toronto Police Service (43 Division) were here last week to train our students who have volunteered to be part of our safety patrol crew this year. I know that you will support our kids as they work to help keep other students safe.

Terry Fox Run

Last week’s Terry Fox Run was a great success as classes took turns taking part in the run. We raised $570.00 as our donation to the fight against cancer and in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Terry's Marathon of Hope. If you wish, it isn’t too late to donate at: http://www.terryfox.ca/FairmountJPSScarborough. Receipts are emailed immediately and there is no minimum donation! Every dollar counts!

Outside Learning/Weather

Up to this point, we have been extremely fortunate with the weather as it has enabled us to go outside for recesses and lunch and for teachers to conduct some lessons outside. As we move into soggier weather next week, and colder weather in the weeks and months to come, please ensure your child is dressed to be outside for extended periods of time.

October 7, 2020

Pending Reorganization

Last night parents received an email from the TDSB regarding

pending reorganization in schools. I want to let you know that

this does impact our school. I’m sending this message to you so

that you won’t be surprised if you receive a letter indicating that your

child is affected by our reorganization. Though we don’t have a large number of students leaving our school to go to the Virtual School, we already had some of our classes well below the allowable limit of students per class and given the need to meet the staffing needs of the Virtual School,

We will continue to have 2 kindergarten classes and 3 intermediate classes, but we are losing one primary (grades 1-3) class and 1 junior (grades 4-6) class.

Obviously, losing a class in each of these divisions means that some students will need to move to a different class. However, the implications of this reorganization are a little more far-reaching in that we are also losing a few teachers, based on seniority, which means that almost all of our students are going to be affected in some way. For example, Mr. Brown is one of the teachers we are losing, which means that Ms. Cane will need to teach French to all of our junior and intermediate classes, which necessitates moving one of our other teachers to the intermediate division. So, you may very well receive a letter at the end of this week informing you that your child may be switching to another class and/or getting a new teacher beginning next week. We came into this year knowing that parents and students would have at least three opportunities to move to and from the Virtual School, which could result in reorganization for us. (We may need to consider adding resiliency and flexibility to our list of monthly character traits for 2020-2021.) The next opportunity to request a switch to or from the Virtual School is November 6th, to take effect on November 23rd.

Daily Student Health Pass

Prior to coming to school each day, please remember to screen your child for Covid-19 symptoms and, if they are free of symptoms, sign their Health Pass.

Student Health Screening Assessment:

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/94e5-Survey-poster-Schools.pdf

Student Health Pass:

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/docs/Revised%20TDSB%20Student%20Health%20Pass.pdf

Students who do not have a Health Pass require screening which delays the teacher starting the class or from the student being able to join the class that has already started.

In advance of this weekend, wishing you a harvest of blessings, good health and good times. Happy Thanksgiving!


October 2, 2020

Thank you for your help and support as we know that many

parents and guardians spoke to their children about the

Importance of students staying in their assigned zones at recess

and lunch time and for reinforcing the need to wear masks and

maintain their physical distance. Fewer reminders were needed this

week. Thanks also to the parents for your co-operation in wearing a mask when on school property as this was as Public Health requirement that was announced last week.

Public Health Updates

Our community has been tremendously supportive and understanding with regard to signing the daily Health Pass and keeping their children home if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or if they need to pick-up their child from school if they develop symptoms after arriving. Yesterday it was announced that the province is changing the screening guidelines.

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58629/ontario-revises-covid-19-screening-guidance-for-schools-and-child-care

Our direction from the TDSB is to continue with the screening that we currently have in place until our processes and procedures can be updated, which should be in the coming days. Importantly, there is the recognition that identified symptoms are new or worsening but also different from your child’s baseline health status or usual state. More detail is provided for some of the symptoms which brings more clarity and not all symptoms carry the same weight with regard to our collective course of action. In the end, if your child isn’t feeling well, like in any other year, you need to keep them home, whereas in previous years we probably would have said you should keep them home.

“My child has a runny nose, what should I do? If your child’s only symptom is a runny nose, you should keep your child home and monitor their symptoms. When they feel better, they are ready to go back to school and no Covid test is required. If they get worse or develop other symptoms, contact your health care provider for more advice.”

A number have parents have asked if a child can come to school if their sibling is being kept at home because they are showing a symptom or symptoms. The answer is that others in the house who are not demonstrating symptoms can go to work or school. Some feel that it is prudent to keep the sibling home to be on the safe side but this is the parent’s choice.

COVID-19 School Decision Guide:

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Return-to-School/Health-and-Safety/COVID-19-Guidance

Know When To Self-Monitor, Self-Isolate or Send Your Child to School:

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/86cb-COVID-19-School-Scenarios.pdf

Immunization clinics that are provided to Grade 7 students in schools every year have been cancelled for this year as s part of the City’s COVID-19 response.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-school-vaccine-changes-1.5745898

Vaccinations won’t be provided at school but are available from a student’s health care provider. Vaccines provide individuals with protection from non-COVID-19 diseases. Students visiting their health care providers for scheduled or urgent visits should not delay vaccinations at this time. Parents of Toronto school-aged children must provide their child’s vaccination information to Toronto Public Health.

https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/immunization/get-immunized-children-youth/report-student-immunization/

Reorganization

September 30th was the deadline for the first opportunity for parents to switch to or from the Virtual School. We did not see a significant decrease in our overall numbers in that 8 students who are with us currently are going to the Virtual School after Thanksgiving and 1 student is returning. We will hear early next week if we need to reorganize some of our classes, which would take effect on Tuesday, October 13th.

Picture Day

If we are allowed to have a school photo day at all this year it will not be until after the new year.

Grade 8 Graduation – Class of 2020

Sadly, our in-person Grade 8 graduation that was originally scheduled for June 22nd at Birchmount Collegiate and then rescheduled for October 14th has had to be cancelled. Details of a virtual graduation celebration, including the time and date, will be coming soon.

School Council 2020-2021

Our first school council meeting this year will be a virtual meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, October 6th beginning at 7:00 PM. Everyone is welcome, including our families who are currently also part of the Virtual School as, we know, you are still Fairmount families at heart.

If you are interested in joining the meeting, please email us at Fairmount@tdsb.on.ca to request the link.

You can also connect with our community through Facebook at Fairmount P.S. SAC.

If you have any discussion items you would like to add to the agenda, please email one of our co-chairs, Julianne Lee at juliannefrank@gmail.com

This year is the 40th Anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope and Fairmount Public School is proud to be continuing the legacy of one of our greatest heroes.

Our students will be running/walking at various times throughout the day on Friday, October 9th. (Rain date is Tuesday, October 13th.)

Please join us and consider supporting this important cause by donating to: http://www.terryfox.ca/FairmountJPSScarborough.

Together, we can all make a difference.

September 25, 2020

Thank you for your on-going support of the school and your

cooperation with helping to make our start a success.

While things are different, we certainly are getting into more of a

daily routine.

Screening

Thank you for being very explicit and intentional with the child(ren) prior to coming to school each day and signing the required Health Pass on a daily basis. Most students are arriving to school with their pass signed, which greatly expedites the entry process and allows for teaching and learning to begin that much quicker.

Beyond obvious seasonal allergies that are normal for the child, please ensure that your child(ren) are completely symptom free when you go over the questions before school. If they have any symptom(s), ‘new or worsening’, they must be kept home. As much as we might want to, we at school are not in a position to make a judgement as to any of these symptoms and keeping a student home is definitely preferable for all than us having to send them home with one of the identified symptoms. This is a link to Toronto Public Health with the procedure. This link to COVID-19 testing centres and pharmacies that are now providing the testing.

https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-what-you-should-do/covid-19-have-symptoms-or-been-exposed/covid-19-assessment-centres/

What To Do If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms

The TDSB has updated the response plan and has provided explicit new guidelines and have made some modifications. The guidelines indicate that symptomatic students must remain home and are advised to seek a COVID-19 test or seek an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider. Students who do not receive a COVID-Test or an alternative diagnosis must self-isolate for 14 days and may return only AFTER the 14-day isolation period and are symptom free. Anyone with a close contact of a positive case (ie sibling, parent) must also self-isolate.

Updated Mask Guidelines

Due to a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Toronto and Ontario, a new expectation that has just been announced is that parents/guardians/visitors, are now required to wear masks outside on school property. Thanks for your cooperation with this.

Students – Zones/Physical Distancing

We need your help. If this were a ‘regular’ year, the overall tone of the school and behaviour of our students has been outstanding. However, we are having issues helping some of our students appreciate the gravity of following the new procedures as directed by Public Health. Specifically, students need to remain in their specified zone with their class/cohort when outside for recess or lunch. The second is that they may remove their masks when they are outside, but only if they maintain the 2 metres physical distance from others. We recognize that this expectation is very much contrary to typical behaviour for all of us, but particularly children who just want to play as they always have. We continue to emphasize the importance of this non-negotiable rule that must be followed in order for us to do our part to prevent any of our students, and their families and extended families, from getting sick. Students who are finding this Public Health requirement too difficult to follow should consider switching to the virtual school in order to keep everyone else safe. To be clear, our youngest students have been the best at following the new expectation. Students in our intermediate division are the ones who are having the greatest difficulty appreciating the risk inherent in such behaviour. While difficulty assessing risk is common for students this age, and the behaviour they are engaging in has never been considered potentially dangerous in the past, times have changed and our practices have to change too if we want to prevent an outbreak at our school and in our community. Thanks for reinforcing this with your child(ren). Your help is appreciated.

School Council

Our First School Council Meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 6th. More details will be sent shortly.

Terry Fox Run

This year is the 40th Anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope and Fairmount Public School is proud to be continuing the legacy of one of our greatest heroes.

Our students will be running/walking at various times throughout the day on Friday, October 9th. (Rain date is Tuesday, October 13th.)

Please join us and consider supporting this important cause by donating to: http://www.terryfox.ca/FairmountJPSScarborough.

Together, we can all make a difference.

Ms. Vandenberg (Educational Assistant)

Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse… we are saying goodbye and congratulations to our incredible educational assistant Ms. Vandenberg, who will be retiring this week after a wonderful career that has culminated in the last 10 years at Fairmount. We wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life.

Week At A Glance

Monday, September 28 – Day 5

Yom Kippur Ends

Tuesday, September 29 – Day 1

Wednesday, September 30 – Day 2

  • Orange Shirt Day - a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.
  • Ms. Vandenberg’s last day
  • Deadline to inform us that you would like to switch from in-person learning to the virtual school or from virtual to in-person learning. Takes effect on Tuesday, October 13th.

TDSB Recognizes Orange Shirt Day on September 30, 2020

In 1973, 6 year-old Phyllis Webstad was excited to wear her new orange shirt to her first day of school. Phyllis says of the shirt, "it was so bright and exciting—just like it felt to be going to school!" When she arrived at St. Joseph Mission Residential School, her shirt was taken and never given back. For Phyllis, "the colour orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn't matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared."

Established in 2013, Orange Shirt Day recognizes the legacy of the Residential Schools System for First Nations, Métis and Inuit families and communities. By wearing orange, we acknowledge the history of Residential Schools in Canada and we honour Survivors.

(The next opportunity to switch is request deadline November 6th to take effect on November 23rd.)

Thursday, October 1 – Day 3

Friday, October 2 – Day 4

September 18, 2020

 On behalf of the staff at Fairmount, I would like to thank you for

your patience and flexibility and welcome back all of our families

from last year and extend a warm welcome to the new families

who have joined our community. The last school year was one like no

other and this one has already proven to be one unto itself as well.

We are thrilled to be back in school and are very happy to see many

of our students have returned. We will do our best to make school as interesting and as fun as it should be but there will be many new policies and procedures that we are required to implement for the purpose of keeping everyone safe. Our hope is that these are temporary but following them is precisely the way to best ensure that they are in fact an interim measure. While we, of course, will implement all procedures that are required of us by Toronto Public Health and the TDSB but in doing so we may find that there may need to be adjustments after we put them into practice. I thank you in advance for your understanding and support. While it may look a different this year, I look forward to an exciting and fun year of teaching, learning and exploring. As always, we will make the best of the situation in which we find ourselves. On behalf of the staff we would like to welcome back all of our families from last year and extend a warm welcome to all of the new families who joining our community.

You will soon receive an email from the TDSB with an electronic version of some of the forms that need to be completed each year, specifically those in the larger box below. Please let us know if you do not receive the TDSB email or if you prefer to complete all of the forms in hard copy.

The Lunch Permission form and the Medical Form will go home in hard copy.

Forms Include:

Medical Forms

All applicable sections must be filled in. If a section does not apply, please put a line through it.

Lunch Permission Forms

Complete the section that is applicable to your child. A if they are staying for lunch and B if your child can leave school for lunch

Codes of Conduct Form

Walking Excursion Permission

Student Media Release

Permission to Leave School in Severe Weather Conditions

Use of Personal Email Address

Anti-Spam Legislation

Accepting the Board’s Code of Conduct and On-Line Conduct

This allows teachers to take students off of school property but within our immediate community

One section is for outside media and the other is for our own school use such as photos on our Twitter feed

This applies only to Grades 6-8

Allows us to communicate with you via email

This allows us to send you electronic messages that may promote or advertise if it involves a cost or a fee

Generally, classroom information will be sent to you by your child’s teacher and more school-wide information will be shared through newsletter format of the ‘Falconer’. The information from the Falconer is also on our website, which can be found at https://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/fairmount

You can also follow us on our Twitter account - @FairmountPS

The other attachment with this email includes some general school procedures/policies/information that you may find useful. Please understand that changes to some of these routines are possible and even likely if related to our evolving approach to handling issues related to Covid-19. Any changes to any of these items will be communicated as they become known to us or should we be in a position to change our practices in an effort to be more responsive to the needs of our students and community. 

Parent/Guardian Information Guide

2020-2021 School Year

Fairmount Public School

ANAPHYLAXIS AND LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIES

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex, or exercise can also cause a reaction.Ninety percent of serious food allergic reactions are caused by peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, milk, fish, soy, egg, wheat, sesame, and food additives.

The Toronto District School Board’s Policy and Guidelines for Supporting Anaphylactic students is reviewed annually with school staff, including lunch supervision staff. Working together with parents and students, a key goal is to work towards making the school “Allergy Safe”.Current registration procedures require parents to inform the school of life-threatening allergies and parents are required to assist the school in developing a specific plan for the child.

If your child has life-threatening allergies you must:

  • supply the school with information regarding the specifics of the life-threatening allergies
  • make an appointment to meet with the principal, office administrator, or teacher to develop an individual plan for your child
  • provide 2 up-to-date epinephrine auto-injectors for your child (students, where age appropriate should carry one with them at all times and an extra one should be left with the office)

Ways everyone can help:

  • NO NUTS PLEASE –please avoid sending peanut butter or products with peanuts, sesame, tree nuts, or other nuts listed in the ingredients
  • feel free to visit www.tdsb.on.ca for more information.

STUDENT APPOINTMENTS

If you need to pick up your child for an appointment, you can call ahead and we can have your child waiting for you when you arrive or you can pull up to the front of the school and call the office and your child will be called down to the office and sent out to you. If your child is too young for this ‘curb-side pick-up’ or if you don’t have your phone, please use the intercom at the main entrance and your child will come down to the office.

At the end of the day, students will exit the building through their designated dismissal door, not the front door.Please arrange a suitable location to meet your child outside the school building.

ASSEMBLIES

We will not be able to hold our usual monthly assemblies in the gym this year but we will still teach, celebrate and recognize various student achievements and positive behaviour and citizenship through various means, including the awarding certificates.

ATTENDANCE REPORTING

Absence: When your child will be absent or late please call 416-396-6240 and provide the necessary details.Please try to call before 8:30 a.m. to leave morning attendance information and/or 12:30 p.m. to leave afternoon attendance information.When student absences are known in advance please send a note to your child’s teacher with the specific information.

Late Arrival: If your child arrives after their class has entered the building they will need to enter through the front door and go to the main office to sign in, at which time they will be marked late. Students are required to enter the classroom with a late entry slip as an indication of arrival through the office.If you need to pick your child up for an appointment you please call ahead so that we can have your child ready and waiting for you outside the office for when you arrive. Thank you for following our routines as they are in place to ensure the safety of all students.

We remind all parents/guardians/care providers that interruptions in classroom entry and exit cause distractions which require time adjustments and limit the learning experience.Consistent attendance and punctuality are essential in providing a successful education for all students.

SAFE ARRIVAL CALLS FROM THE SCHOOL

When the reason for a child’s absence is unknown, the automated call-out system will contact a parent/guardian, at the first and second contact numbers provided, to confirm that the student is safe.Please ensure you press “2” after listening to the automated message as an indication that you have received the message, otherwise the automated system will continue to call you. If it is not possible to locate a parent/guardian, the emergency contact listed on the student’s information card will be called. Please notify the school immediately if a home, work, or contact number changes during the school year.

CELL PHONES

Your child may have a cell phone. However, unless they are being used in the classroom with the permission, and under the supervision of a teacher cell phones are not be used at school. This means that they are to be turned off and to remain out of sight at all times throughout the school day. This includes texting and social media, even during recess and lunch breaks. This allows students to focus better in class. Students are also not allowed to photograph or video-record schoolmates during school hours unless they are under the supervision of a teacher. Phones not powered off will be held by the teacher or the office for the remainder of the day, with a phone call placed home to inform parents. We ask that all calls to and from the school please be made through the office.

We understand that this can be a contentious issue for some of our older students but we are asking for your understanding and support with this particular issue.We understand that many students may be very responsible with regard to appropriate cell phone etiquette, but the reality is that some students do engage in inappropriate behaviour that lead to issues such as cyber bullying and taking of pictures of others without their consent.

We understand that your child may have a cell phone for safety reasons, such as walking to or from school, but it isn’t required for safety while they are at school. Moreover, despite what some students may feel, a little less ‘screen time’ isn’t going to hurt them as we encourage them to focus on their work, play, and interact with others in person

CODE OF CONDUCT

Students are expected to behave in a responsible and acceptable manner when they are at school or participating in a school event.Behaviour expectations are regularly reviewed throughout the year.

Consequences for infractions are also discussed with students, and parents need to be aware of the policies that govern our consequences.Please read the following sections in your child’s agenda: the Code of Conduct, Student Athletes Set an Important Example, Getting The Most Out of Excursions and Field Trips, Code of On-Line Conduct and Consequences of Inappropriate Student Behaviour Chart,so that you are able to discuss behaviour expectations and consequences with your child and support us as we implement our model of progressive discipline.

Fairmount is a great place to learn. The Code of Conduct is used as a guide for our behaviour.Staff and parents must work together to teach our children how to behave responsibly and appropriately.

The Code of Behaviour guides actions and interactions.It provides a guide for all students and adults to follow while at Fairmount and supports us in teaching students how to behave responsibly and appropriately.

Responsibilities of Students:

  • help maintain a safe and clean learning environment and dress appropriately
  • be prepared and ready to work with teachers and other students
  • respect others by valuing the ideas and efforts of others regardless of race, culture, religion, gender or language and respect the property of others and the school
  • obey the rules developed in the Safe Schools Policy
  • report any strangers or inappropriate behaviour immediately to a staff member

Responsibilities of Staff:

  • be punctual and prepared, and be a positive role model for students
  • provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for learning
  • comply with school rules and the completion of assigned duties
  • communicate information about student behaviour, progress and attendance to student, parents, and administration, and ensure that each child experiences success
  • help each student develop confidence and a healthy self-image

Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians:

  • act as a partner with the school and ensure that students attend school regularly and on time
  • assist in preparing students for school through the provision of a proper, nutritious diet and appropriate dress
  • ensure that students have adequate sleep and a quiet place to work
  • maintain communication with the school regarding changes in student circumstances, attendance and other concerns that might affect the student’s progress or behaviour
  • encourage students to develop a positive and responsible attitude toward education, the school, school staff and school-related activities

Progressive Discipline

The Toronto District School Board believes in progressive discipline, a whole-school approach that uses a continuum of interventions, supports and consequences to both promote positive student behaviour and address inappropriate behaviour. The philosophy of this approach is to use disciple that is in proportion to the severity of the behaviour as well as keeping in mind the previous disciplinary history of the student. The range of interventions or consequences used by the school include strategies such as:

creating contracts with students

time outs/detentions

loss of privileges to participate in specified school activities

individual or group counseling

restorative practices/restitution for damage or stolen property

suspensions

Parents will be contacted and informed of the behaviour so that school and home can work together to implement any necessary interventions. The action of the school will also look at the needs of the individual student (i.e., special education, cultural sensitivity) and meet Board policies on anti-racism and equity.

CONTACTING YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER

Parents are encouraged to contact the teacher(s) if they have any concerns about academic progress or social needs at school.Email is often the easiest way to contact them but alternatively you can call the school or send in a note to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss your concerns. Unfortunately, face-to-face meetings are being discouraged at this time, so telephone conversations are likely the best way to engage with your child’s teacher.

COVID-19 RELATED ITEMS

Entry

All of our classrooms that are currently in use have sinks so students will wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer. This process will take place every time a student enters the classroom. While we have hand sanitizer, students may wish to bring some of their own for their exclusive use.

Screening

All people entering the school are required to conduct a COVID-19 (self) assessment prior to entry on a daily basis. Parents are asked to conduct an assessment at home and sign and date your child’s Health Pass each morning in order to expedite the entry process. It is important to keep your child home if they present with any of the symptoms. While we recognize that many of the symptoms are relatively common and do not necessarily indicate the person has the virus but the protocol that we are required to follow for a student who presents with one of the symptoms is quite stringent and, assuming that the student simply has one of the symptoms and it isn’t COVID related, it is far more convenient to keep your child home for a day than to have to take them for a COVID test or, alternatively, keep them home to isolate for 14 days. There is an option to screen with the paper Health Pass or to use the ServiceNow Health Screening App but, for now, we are going to just use the paper Health Pass.

Symptoms

Fever, Cough, Difficulty Breathing, Sore Throat, Trouble Swallowing, Runny Nose, Red Eyes, Loss of Taste or Smell, Not Feeling Well, Tired or Sore Muscles, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

(It is best if the screening is done at home as you are in the best position to determine if your child is truly feeling out of sorts. We do probe if screening and asking questions related to ‘being tired’ or ‘sore muscles’ as there tends to be a perfectly logical answer to these questions that have nothing to do with feeling ‘unwell’ but we are not in a position to make a judgement with regard to some of the others if the student asserts that they have any of these symptoms.

Wellness Room

When a student presents with a symptom they will be escorted to our ‘Wellness (Isolation) Room’ where they can comfortably stay while arrangements are made for them to be picked up.

Health and Safety Practices

  • As outlined by Toronto Public Health
  • Practice physical distancing of 2m as much as possible
  • Conduct daily screening of COVID-19 symptoms
  • Wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your cough or sneeze
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth

Health and Safety Processes – COVID-19

Protocols are changing with regard to how to deal with someone who is presenting with any of the symptoms. You will be kept updated as to changes.

The most recent updated guidelines stipulate that, “An Employee or Student who is symptomatic with COVID-19 symptoms and does NOT go for testing, must self-isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms. After 14 days, if well, they can stop self-isolating.”

Staff and Student Scenarios:

-Close contact with a direct person who tested positive – individual is to stay home and will need to get tested. Negative results and they can return to school after 14 days.

-Person has COVID symptoms – individual goes home and is encouraged to get tested. If the test is negative, they can return to school after 24 hours.

-Person has Covid symptoms and the individual chooses not to take a COVID test – the person can return to school after 14 days if they are no longer showing symptoms.

Mask/Face Coverings

Staff and visitors must wear Level 1 or 2 medical masks when indoors and outdoors when unable to maintain a physical distance of two metres.

Students must wear masks or face coverings while in school, but they are not required to be medical masks.

During the school day, teachers will allocate time for students and themselves to have mask breaks, including outdoor time (if possible) where masks can be temporarily and safely removed and stored.

Consideration should be given as to what a student plans to do with their mask while they are outside. Does your child have a pocket they can put it in? Will they wear a fanny pack? It might be a good idea to keep a spare mask in their backpack and possibly two ziplock bags, one marked ‘clean’ and one marked ‘dirty’.

Outdoor Activities & Recess

Teachers are encouraged to extend the learning environment beyond the traditional classroom and into the outdoors on a daily basis.

Students will participate in recess activities with their classmates in accordance with cohorting protocols and procedures. Masks and face coverings are not required while outdoors.

During outdoor activity, physical distancing must be maintained between different classes/cohorts as they should not mix.

Virtual Learning

For students whose parents/guardians have chosen to continue their child’s learning at home, there are Virtual Schools fully online and staffed by TDSB teachers. Students will take part in synchronous (live/online) learning throughout the day.

Managing COVID-19 in a School

The Government of Ontario has provided a recommended process for school boards to follow in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/operational-guidance-covid-19-management-schools

The TDSB takes its lead from Toronto Public Health, who is responsible for determining if an outbreak exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented. It’s important to note that even though an outbreak may be declared in the school, Toronto Public Health will assist in determining which cohort(s) may be sent home or if a partial or full school closure is required based on the scope of the outbreak. Please note the response will depend on the unique circumstances of each case. In the interests of privacy, information provided to school communities will not identify the student or staff member that has received a positive COVID-19 test. If Toronto Public Health advises that a class, cohort or a school should be closed for a period of time, parents, students and staff will be notified immediately.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES FOR LEARNING – CHROMEBOOKS, LAPTOPS ETC.

Students may wish to bring their own device to school for their exclusive use. In the spring, thousands of devices were collected from school across the TDSB and loaned to students who required a device to continue their learning on-line. In our case, 64 of our Chromebooks were distributed to TDSB students who request a device. Given that virtual schooling has continued, these devices have not been collected and returned just yet. We do still have some technology in the school, but some students may wish to bring their own device and may indeed be more comfortable having a device that is for their exclusive use. Teachers will ensure that these devices are safely stored.

DRESS CODE

We encourage all parents to monitor how their children dress for school each day.Clothing that has inappropriate words or pictures (e.g. racist, promoting drugs or violence, etc.) may not be worn at school.In addition, please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather, as all students are expected to go outside for recesses.

It is essential that all students wear shoes inside the building at all times. In the event of an emergency such as fire or even a fire drill, students will not be able to stop and put on shoes or boots. The chances of slipping on the floor are also reduced with proper footwear. Running shoes are necessary for all gym classes. We request that all students have two pairs of shoes/footwear for school - indoor shoes and outdoor shoes/boots to help us keep our school clean and safe.

DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP

Kindergarten – all entry and dismissal will be from the same door for both classes. Please remember to maintain physical distancing while waiting outside for your child.

Grades 1-8 - Students will line-up at the designated marking for their class in the morning and the classroom teacher will come to get them and lead them to their classroom door. At the end of the day, the teacher will lead them to this same place and dismiss them from here, recognizing that not all students will necessarily be waiting for an adult for pick-up. At lunch, students will be dismissed from their designated classroom door.

STUDENT EMERGENCY CONTACT AND MEDICAL INFORMATION

It is extremely important that all emergency information kept in the office is accurate and up to date. Please ensure that the school office has:

  • The correct telephone numbers for parents and/or legal guardians, daycare providers, and emergency contacts
  • A list of all medical concerns of which the staff should be aware
  • A spare Epi-Pen or inhaler to be stored in the office if your child normally carries one, and where the child is old enough, s/he will transport the Epi-Pen or inhaler with them.

An information card with contact information will be sent home within the next couple of weeks, please indicate any changes on this sheet, and sign it.Please return it to your child’s teacher.

EQUITY POLICY

The TDSB is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. This includes our ongoing commitment to human rights, equity, anti-racism, anti-indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-oppression, and ALL forms of racism and discrimination.

The TDSB values the contributions and engagement of all members of our diverse community of students, staff, parents/guardians, Elders and community groups. Inequitable treatment leads to outcomes that do not accurately reflect the abilities and potential of our students. We acknowledge that equity of opportunity of access to our services and resources are critical to the achievement of successful outcomes for our students and families. The TDSB acknowledges that we must take a focused, explicit, persistent and determined action to identify, challenge and overcome systemic bias, oppression and discrimination. Our school system is built on the principles of non-discrimination, anti-oppression, anti-racism, equitable and inclusive education which is a foundation of excellence in a diverse society and is a fundamental requirement for educational excellence and high standards of student achievement.We are committed to: meeting individual needs, identifying and eliminating barriers, promoting a sense of belonging, and involving the broad community.

The Board and our school are committed to ensuring that:

  • The curriculum of our school accurately reflects and uses the variety of knowledge of all peoples as the basis for instruction
  • All of our students are provided with equitable opportunities to be successful in our system
  • Parents and community groups are provided with equitable opportunities for working with staff and with each other for the benefit of all students
  • Students, employees, parents and community partners are provided with effective procedures for resolving concerns and complaints which may arise from their experiences of unfair or inequitable treatment within the school system

(from the TDSB Equity Foundation Statement)

HOMEWORK POLICY

The research on homework indicates that some regular work at home can increase student achievement.For primary students in Grade 1 to Grade 3, the effect of homework on achievement is negligible and that the positive effect of homework on achievement increases only as the age of thechild increases. Children from Grade 4 through high

school benefit the most from homework.

Doing homework is an important part of schoolwork.There are four types of assigned homework.Each type has a different purpose.

1)Completing work not finished at school.

2)Practising new skills learned during the day.

3)Preparing work for upcoming lessons.

4)Extension activities that expand concepts or skills.

Most homework will take the form of reading, playing games or having discussions with family members.In the late Primary or early Junior grades, homework may become more independent.

Homework will not be assigned to students who are going away for an extended period (e.g., a trip to another country) or during school holidays.

Please visit www.tdsb.on.ca for more information about the TDSB Homework Policy

PRESCRIBED MEDICATION

The Board authorizes the involvement of designated staff in the essential administration of prescribed medication only when all of the following conditions apply:

  • the use of the medication is prescribed by a physician;
  • the medication is essential for a student to continue to attend school;
  • it is necessary that the medication must be taken during school hours or during school events;
  • it is not appropriate for the student to self-administer the medication; and
  • the student’s parent/guardian or other authorized adult is not reasonably able to attend at school to administer the medication.

In order for any student who meets the above conditions to receive medication at school, a parent or legal guardian must give written authorization, with clearly written instructions from a physician. The physician and parent or guardian must complete the appropriate T.D.S.B. form, which can be obtained from the school office. All medication must be given to the principal or office administrator to be stored in an appropriate area. No medication is to be kept in the possession of the student, with the exception of inhalers to control asthma, and Epi-Pens. Students carrying these items must be instructed to never share them with anyone and must know how to use them safely and correctly.

STUDENT ILLNESS

To safeguard the health of others, we ask that any child who feels ill be kept at home.If a student feels ill while at school, parents will be notified to make arrangements for his/her care.If the child has a communicable disease (chicken pox, influenza, pink eye, etc.) or head lice, parents are requested to notify the school as soon as possible. Where serious or persistent health issues are identified or presented, school staff will consult with, and follow directions provided by the Toronto Public Health Department. Minor injuries such as scrapes and bruises will be treated at the school while more serious injuries will result in a call to the student’s parents and/or emergency contacts.

INCLEMENT WEATHER

This year, students will not be admitted early due to inclement weather so please plan your time of arrival and choice of clothing appropriately. Students will, of course, remain inside during extremely cold days, as per board policy, and during truly rainy days but they will be going outside as much as possible as part of their instructional day and to get a ‘mask break’ so please send them to school prepared to spend time outside.

LUNCH ROUTINES

Our lunch hour will look significantly different this year. Students who stay for lunch will eat their lunch during instructional time so that an adult, their teacher, is present. This will look different in different grades but ideally the students will eat while they are working/learning. Students who go home/leave the property for lunch will continue with their work until they are dismissed for lunch at 11:30. At this time, the students who stay for lunch will go outside, to their designated zone for the day. They will remain outside, in their zone, for the entire hour so please make sure that they are dressed appropriately for the weather.

The lunch program has always been for students who have no one at home over the lunch hour and for whom no other arrangements can be made.If there is an adult at home, or if the student is old enough and responsible enough to go home on their own, then a student should go home for lunch.They are welcome to stay on days when they have an extra-curricular activity or on a day when a parent/guardian needs for them to stay.For students who stay on a regular basis, parents must complete, sign and return a Permission To Stay At School for Lunch form to the school before your child is allowed to eat lunch at school.Students staying at school for lunch are expected to stay on school property at all times, unless a phone call or note specifying alternate arrangements is received by the classroom teacher or school office. If you have indicated that your child must stay at school for lunch and it comes to our attention that he/she has not stayed and thus defied your wishes, we will inform you as soon as possible.

Any student who is unwilling or unable to behave in an appropriate manner will have his/her lunch program privileges suspended or terminated.It will be up to the parent to make other arrangements.Please emphasize with your child the importance of good behaviour and a respectful attitude towards the lunchroom supervisors. Please also reinforce with your child the importance of remaining in their designated zone with their class/cohort.

Please ensure that your child’s name is on his/her lunch bag. As well, we ask that students bring litterless lunches, encouraging students to use reusable containers and water bottles. Any uneaten food or packaging from the lunch will be taken home with the student.

Special lunch days (e.g. Pizza Lunch Days) are to be cancelled until further notice. Not that this has happened with students at our school but food delivery services are not allowed at this time.

PARKING LOT

The parking lot on the east side of the school is barely large enough to accommodate school and board personnel, therefore visitors are asked to park on neighbouring streets where street parking is legal. Please help us exercise courtesy with our neighbours by not parking in front of driveways.

RECESS/LUNCH ZONES

One of the many new policies that we have had to implement this year in an effort to keep students as safe as possible is to do what we can to keep classes/cohorts separate from each other. To this end, we currently have 11 Grade 1-8 classes. We have divided our school yard/field into 11 ‘zones’ with each class being assigned a different zone for a given day. (They rotate sequentially each day.)

Students are asked to remain within their zone in an effort to minimize the exposure to other students who are not in their class, thus reducing the overall number of contacts for a student. We recognize that this is restrictive for students and will certainly alter their options during their recess and lunch hour but we are hopeful that they will be able to adapt to this, what we hope, will prove to be a temporary measure. Please talk to your child to help reinforce why Public Health requires us to implement such measures and the importance of remaining in their assigned zone.

REORGANIZATION - SCHOOL/CLASSROOM

In the spring we determine what classes we will have in September and which students will be in each of these classes.This is developed based on our projected enrolment for the upcoming school year.However, sometimes the actual numbers vary from what was anticipated or we realize that we need to better balance our classes by moving some students from one class to another. In a typical year there is one time for reorganization, toward the end of September. This year students/parents have chosen between face-to-face learning in school and attending the virtual school. As a result, our planning that we had done in the spring had to be revised just before the start of school. There will be three opportunities for students to switch from in-school learning to the virtual school or vice versa. This means that we could potentially have to reorganize three more times between now and February. We always try to minimize changes during the reorganization period but a change in our enrolment in addition to the class size limits in all grades will make this more of a challenge. We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation should your child be affected by any changes in their classroom placement and ask that you see it as just one more consequence of the pandemic and the impact it has had on all of us.

Opportunity to Change

Deadline for Requesting a Change

Date the Change of Class Would Take Effect

One Month into School

September 30th

October 13th (day after Thanksgiving)

Following the Progress Report

November 6th

November 23rd

Following the First Report Card

January 29th

February 16th (day after the Family Day holiday)

Daily Routines and Expectations:

  • Coming to School
  • Before Classes Start
  • Leaving the Building and School Property
  • Expectations for Yard Behaviour
    Students are expected to:
    • use appropriate language at all times
    • use recess time to play cooperatively or socialize
    • respect designated play and out of bound areas
    • follow instructions provided by lunch supervisors and school staff
  • Expectation for Using the Washroom and Drinking Fountains
  • Guidelines for General Courtesy
    Students are expected to:
    • use acceptable forms of language and be aware that slang or street language is not acceptable at school
    • remember to use words like “please”, “excuse me” and “thank you”

Students are expected to arrive at school ready to learn and should:
• be well rested
• be dressed appropriately for the weather

• have everything they need for the entire day
(e.g. Lunch, homework, clothing appropriate for outdoor recess, forms, etc.)

Students are expected to:
• wait outside until the bell rings
• stand clear of the doors and keep doors closed until the sound of the bell
• remember that the use of the front doors is not necessary if you are at school on time
• enter the building quietly

Students are expected to:
• be ready and quiet when the bell sounds for dismissal

• walk quietly in the halls at all times
• leave the building and school property immediately once dismissed unless they have extra-curricular activities, or require extra help
• wait quietly in designated areas if being picked up by a parent or guardian

• older siblings who pick up younger siblings must pick them up outside the appropriate doors

• students are expected to be picked up promptly at 3:20 pm daily, as this is dismissal time.Your co-operation with this is greatly appreciated.

• particularly now as we try to minimize student movement through the hallways, students will not be allowed to congregate or wait on a daily basis in the front foyer. If for some reason students are not walking home on a given day, ensure you have a pre-selected meeting place



Students are expected to:
• water fountains are currently unavailable for use, so students are asked to bring a refillable container from home. We do have a refilling station for students to use.
• each section of the school has access to their own washrooms. There is a maximum capacity for each of these washrooms which is posted on the door. Students are required to respect this number as it is for their own well-being. They are required to respect the facilities and report any concerns to the office immediately

• walk in the hallways and use ‘indoor’ voices

FAIRMOUNT SCHOOL COUNCIL

The School Council is one of several ways that parents/guardians can support their child’s education. It is made up of an elected committee of parents, staff representatives, appointed community members, the principal, and a general membership that includes all parents of children attending the school. The School Council at Fairmount provides support and advisement for the enhancement of students’ education and meets most months throughout the school year.Nomination forms for specific positions will be sent home each year should we have a number of people who wish to hold the same formal position. However, if a ballot does not come home for the position of chairperson, secretary or treasurer it is because only one person came forward to express a willingness to hold this particular position of responsibility, or two people have agreed to share the role. All parents are welcome to attend council meetings. The meetings are usually held in the school library and the specific dates and times are announced in email format but this year, until further notice, meetings will be held virtually. This year’s first meeting will be in October and a code/link to access the meeting will be sent home in advance.

SCHOOL SECURITY

All schools in the TDSB have a buzzer entry system at the front door.This means that our front door will be locked at all times.If you need to gain entry to the school, please push the button and one of our office staff will speak to you through the intercom and/or then unlock the door via a remote release. All other doors to the school will be locked throughout the day and only opened for student entry and dismissal. All schools are discouraging visitors at this time in an attempt to reduce possible exposure to the Covid-19 virus. However, should you need to enter the school, please call ahead and upon entry, you will see a screening table. Please complete the health screening and the contact tracing form, sanitize your hands and a mask if you do not have one of your own. You may then proceed to the main office, which will be on your right-hand side.

If you are simply dropping off something for your child, you can let the office staff know that you are dropping something off for your child and you can leave it on the table and your child will be called down to retrieve it or it will be delivered to your child’s classroom. (If possible, it is best if the item is labeled in some way in case there happen to be multiple items in a short period of time.)

Kindergarten to Grade 8

8:42 am -11:30 amMorning Program

Recess 9:55 -10:10Grades 1-8

11:30 am - 12:32 pmLunch Break

12:32 pm – Afternoon Program Begins

Recess 1:55-2:10Grades 1-8

3:05 pm - Kindergarten Dismissal

3:20 pm - Regular Dismissal Grades 1-8

To foster punctuality and ensure a good start to the day, students should arrive at school a few minutes before the bell. The recommended time is 8:40 am and 12:30 pm.

The paved area in back of the school is the designated waiting area for gr. 1-8 and supervision is provided from 8:27 -8:42 am.The kindergarten students will enter through their classroom doors at the front of the school (Ms. Friedlander/Ms. Sutherland) and at the east side of the school (Ms. Rosekat/Ms. Surette).

TRAFFIC - STUDENT DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP

The traffic in front of the school during peak times of drop-off and pick-up is an ongoing issue in the community as we are concerned for the safety of our students.

As an Eco-school, we encourage walking to and from school, however, if you drive your child to school, please ensure that you do not pull into the school parking lot. If it is absolutely necessary to drive your child to school, please note that the city has restricted parking on Sloley Road in front of the school so make sure that you are legally parked on one of the side streets, but please be mindful of our neighbours who live near our school. Please ensure that your child is using safety practices when crossing the street to and from school, as we do not want students running across any roads without appropriate supervision. Model appropriate manners and respect by paying attention to and following the instructions of our student safety patrollers who are trying to help keep you and your children safe.

VALUABLEs / PERSONAL ITEMS

Your child must leave valuable items such as jewellery, cameras, cash, or hand-held electronic games at home.The school cannot be responsible for any loss or damage done to these expensive items.We are sorry to say but valuable items do go missing or get stolen.As well, the school will not take responsibility for any loss or damage done to bicycles left in the school yard.Clothing items such as jackets, running shoes, boots, and personal items such as lunch bags and backpacks should be labeled with your child’s name to prevent these items from being lost.

VISITORS’ SIGN-IN BOOK

A reminder that parents for our school, and parents for the daycare, are not allowed to enter the building and go to their child’s classroom. This is a rule every year for the purpose of physical safety, but this year it is required for the purpose of Public Health stipulations. If there is a situation where a parent or caregiver needs to enter the school, they will need to sign-in and out so that tracking information is provided and available so Public Health can be given the information as to who was in the building on a certain date and time should it be necessary.

The visitor’s book is located on the front table as you enter the front door of the school.

VOLUNTEERS

Until further notice, we will not be able to have volunteers in the school. We are hopeful that this changes in the near future.

SCHOOL YARD

Teachers and lunch supervisors are scheduled to supervise specified areas around the school at appropriate times throughout the school day.Rules for safe and courteous play are enforced and suitable language is expected.

  • NO DOGS PLEASE
  • SKATEBOARDS, SCOOTERS, AND BICYCLES
  • BASEBALL BATS, HOCKEY STICKS, LACROSSE STICKS, HARDBALLS ETC…

The school grounds and play areas are property of the Toronto District School Board and under school jurisdiction during the school day. Dogs are not permitted on school property at any time unless for a prearranged student educational program (e.g. CNIB, Kindness Club) or with the principal’s permission.

As an ECO school we encourage students to walk or ride to school.Wearing a helmet to ensure student safety is mandatory as it is the law.The items listed above however, should not be used on school property to avoid injuring other students who share the pavement in the yard. Bicycles left at the school are left at students’ own risk as we are not responsible for any damage or stolen bicycles.

These items should not be brought from home unless special permission has been granted from the teacher or school office.

FAIRMOUNT PUBLIC SCHOOL

SIGNIFICANT DATES

AND

HOLIDAYS

2020-2021

The Dates of Additional School Events Will be Communicated When Finalized

Tuesday, September 15 First Day of School – SK, 4, 8

Wednesday, September 16 First Day of School – JK, 1, 7

Thursday, September 17 First Day of School – 2, 3, 5, 6

Wednesday, September 30 Deadline to request change to virtual or in-school

Monday, October 14 Thanksgiving

Tuesday, October 15 Reorganization Takes Effect

Friday, November 6 Deadline to request change to virtual or in-school

Tuesday, November 17 Progress Reports Go Home

Friday, November 20 Professional Activity Day – No Classes

Parent/Teacher Interviews

Monday, November 23 Reorganization Takes Effect

Friday, December 18 Last Day of School

Winter Break - Monday, December 21 to Friday, January 1

Monday, January 4 School Resumes

To Be Announced School Photo Day

Friday, January 15 Professional Activity Day – No School for Students

Friday, January 29 Deadline to request change to virtual or in-school

Tuesday, February 9 Report Cards Go Home

Friday, February 12 Professional Activity Day – No Classes

Parent/Teacher Interviews

Monday, February 15 Family Day Holiday

Tuesday, February 16 Reorganization Takes Effect

March Break Monday, March 15 to Friday, March 19

Friday, April 2 Good Friday

Monday, April 5 Easter Monday

Monday, May 24 Victoria Day

Friday, June 4 Professional Activity Day – No School for Students

Friday, June 25 Report Cards Go Home

Tuesday, June 29 Last Day of School for Students

September 11, 2020

As we prepare to open our school next week and welcome back our students, or welcome those new to our school and community, we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of all school community members, while also providing the best academic experience possible for students, supporting mental health and well-being, and considering the needs of families and staff.    

As mentioned in the last Falconer, this week we were using the revised numbers of students who have indicated that they will attend school in person next week to revise our classroom organization and staffing models.

Our new classroom organization model, with the corresponding teacher, and entry/exit door is as follows:

(Revised after October Re-organization)

Class

Teacher

Door

Kindergarten A    – Room 12

Ms. Rosekat

Classroom Door #9A at the west side of the building


Kindergarten B – Room 10

Ms. Friedlander/Ms. Sutherland

Classroom Door 9C – at the front of the school



Grade 1 –   Room 14

Ms. Cheyne

Main External Door #8 – near the portables


Grade 2 -  Room 16

Ms. Thompson-West

Main External Door #8 – near the portables


Grade 3 –  Room 5

Ms. Diwan (Ms. Lyons)


External Classroom Door #3C


Grade 4/5 -Room 4

Mr. McCready (Ms. Cole)

External Classroom Door #3B 

 

Grade 5 –  Room 6

Mr. Carr

External Classroom Door #3D


Grade 5/6 – Room 7

Ms. Misner

External Classroom Door #4B


Grades 7/8A – Room 23

Mr. Wood

External Door #3 – near the parking lot at the east end of the school


Grades 7/8B – Room 20

Ms. Laurin

External Door #2 –The door at the end of the hall near room 20 that leads to the front of the school


Grades 7/8C – Room 21

Ms. Jeffrey

External Door #2 –The door at the end of the hall near room 20 that leads to the front of the school


Note that, with the exception of our two kindergarten classes, which will line-up at the designated door, Grades 1-8 students will line-up on the pavement at the back of the school. It is not necessary to search for the appropriate entry door as the class will gather on the pavement on the place indicated for their class and the teacher will meet them there and lead them to their class door. (In many of these cases, the classes will use the external door that leads directly into their classroom.

You will receive an email or contact from your child’s teacher, letting you know which class your child is in to start the year.

The first week of school will be a staggered start. Once a grade starts their first day, they will continue to come for the rest of the week.

Date

Grades

Mon. Sept. 14

No Students

Tues. Sept. 15

SK, Gr. 4, 8

Wed. Sept. 16

JK, Gr, 1, 7

Thurs. Sept. 17

Gr. 2, 3, 5, 6

Fri. Sept. 18

All Students

In previous years, schools often have to reorganize or make some adjustments to classes once it is determined whether or not the projected enrolment was accurate. This year may prove to be a year in which there could be a series of reorganizations depending on changes to our enrolment and the need to do our best to meet the provincial caps that have been put in place in all grades to better manage physical distancing. Some families/students have chosen in-school learning and others have selected to begin the year learning virtually. There are three opportunities that have been communicated as the chance for students to switch from one of these formats to the other. These dates are as follows:

Opportunity to Change to Virtual or In-Person Learning

Deadline for Requesting a Change of Learning Platform

Date the Change of Class Would Take Effect (Reorganization)

One Month into School

Wednesday, Sept. 30

Tuesday, October 15

Following the Progress Report

Friday Nov. 6

Monday, November 23rd

Following the First Report Card

Friday, January 29th

Tuesday, February 16th

These ‘reorganization’ dates could possibly reflect changes in classes and/or teachers for our school and for students. While it is far too soon to predict whether or not this could happen, it is important that you know ahead of time that is a very real possibility.

There are many things about this school year that are going to be very different and new to all of us.

School Hours

Morning Entry Time: 8:42

Recess – Grades 1-8: 9:55-10:10

Lunch – All Grades: 11:30-12:32

Recess – All Grades: 1:45-2:00

Kindergarten Dismissal: 3:05

Dismissal - Grades 1-8: 3:20

Entry/Dismissal Procedures

Kindergarten – all entry and dismissal will be from the same door for both classes. Please remember to maintain physical distancing while waiting outside for your child.

For Grades 1-8. Students will line-up at the designated marking for their class in the morning and the classroom teacher will come to get them and lead them to their classroom door. At the end of the day, the teacher will lead them to this same place and dismiss them from here, recognizing that not all students will necessarily be waiting for an adult for pick-up. At lunch, students will be dismissed from their designated classroom door.

School Preparation

Teachers will be spending time in class discussing and reviewing the necessary protocols related to the wearing of masks and appropriate and necessary hygiene reinforcing the importance of hand washing and using hand sanitizer. Students will notice significant signage in the school detailing these important protocols and arrows and decals on the floor reminding them which side of the hallway to walk on to maximize distance from someone moving in the opposite direction. Teachers have done their best to improve physical distancing in the classroom by best utilizing the spacing of desks and tables and removing any items/furniture that is not essential.

Self-Assessment Prior to Coming to School Every Day

All parents/guardians are required to complete a screening at home to ensure that their child does not have any Covid-19 symptoms prior to arriving at school.https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/94e5-Survey-poster-Schools.pdf

We were anticipating the need to screen students again once they arrive at school but we have just learned that Toronto Public Health has approved the use of a ‘Health Pass’ that is a daily indication from the parent/guardian that a student has been screened by the parent and that they do not exhibit any of the symptoms.

There is an app that can be used or a paper copy that can be brought and shown to the teacher upon entry. We will likely begin with the paper copy of the ‘Health Pass’ and then leave it to the teacher’s discretion as to which method is preferred for their class.

Ventilation

The TDSB has been working over the summer to review building ventilation and filtration systems and is implementing a number of strategies to improve ventilation in our schools and increase the volume of fresh air to the maximum extent possible.

These strategies include:

• Ensure that exhaust fans are running and keep them running for additional time at the end of the school day.

• Ensure clean filters are installed prior to the start of the school year and inspect regularly to ensure they don’t become clogged, or hinder airflow.

• Increase the frequency of filter changes from 4 times per year to 6 times per year to maintain performance.

• Follow recommended maintenance measures for air handling systems including inspection and replacement of filters.

• In the case of older schools like Fairmount, open windows to provide outdoor air.

Handwashing

Students should wash their hands regularly with soap in either warm or cold water. Hand sanitizer will be provided for classrooms that do not have sinks but our classrooms are indeed equipped with sinks so handwashing can be done in the classroom. While we expect that we will also have hand sanitizer in our classrooms, you may wish to consider sending a small container of hand sanitizer with your child so that they have ready access at any time for their exclusive use.

Water Fountains

Toronto Public Health recommends that water fountains are not to be used to drink water but might be used to fill water bottles. Students are encouraged to carry individual refillable water bottles to come filled from home, though we do have one water bottle filling station in the school.

Lunch Time

Students are strongly encouraged to go home, or make alternate arrangements, for lunch as the lunch hour will look very different this year than in previous years. All students, K-8, who stay for lunch will bring a litterless lunch as they will need to take home any uneaten food or packaging materials from their lunch. All students (K-8) will eat their lunch in the classroom during instructional time, finishing in time for the 11:30 break. At this time, students who go home for lunch will be dismissed to go home and all students who stay for lunch will go outside and go directly to the section of the property that is designated for their class for that day, where they will remain for the entire lunch period. (The rear of the school will be divided into 11 sections to reflect the 11 Grade 1-8 classes that we currently have.) The outdoor Kindergarten area will be divided in two for those in the two classes who stay for lunch.

If your child is staying for lunch, please be mindful of the weather as they will be outside for the entire hour. Any students who go home for lunch or who are permitted to go out for lunch off school property would be expected to remain off property until just before afternoon entry. Students who have performed the active screening in the morning do not need to be actively screened again upon re-entry during the day.

Until further notice, school pizza lunches are not allowed.

Visitors to the School

All school visitors must:

•Enter through the main entrance and conduct a COVID-19 health screening.

•Wait to be invited into the school office to ensure appropriate physical distance.

•Sign-in and out for safety and contact tracing.

•Physically distance to the extent possible while in the office.

•Wear a mask.A mask will be provided if needed

•In the case where families would like to speak with someone at the school, please call or email the school directly.

•Parents/caregivers who require a meeting with a teacher/school staff to discuss non-emergency issues, will do so by phone or virtually where possible.

How can I prepare my child for school?

• Practice wearing a mask at home for extended periods of time.Children can practice wearing their mask while on the computer or other devices.

• Label all of your child’s belongings with their name.

• Decide what will work best for them to store their mask when they are not wearing one and where to keep a spare mask. They could have a fanny pack that could also include a personal bottle of hand sanitizer or bring 2 Ziploc bags (one marked clean and one marked dirty).

• Ensure to wash masks after daily use.

•Pack lunch in reusable containers as everything from lunch will be returning home

• As always, we will make available school supplies for all students. However, if you choose, you may want to consider sending your child with his or her own personal supplies for their exclusive use. We will have any and all necessary supplies available and will do our best to ensure that they are properly sanitized. (Remember when we used to encourage children to share?)

• Be ready to drop off/pick up your child outside of the school so decide where is the best meeting place for you and your child(ren)

Checklists for Families

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/docs/ACCESSIBLE_ChecklistElementary.pdf

School Council - Two Upcoming Events

Saturday, September 12 - Fairmount Clean-Up Day – 10:00 AM. Bring a leaf bag and gardening tools if you can to help beautify our school property.

Monday, September 14Back to School Chalk Art – Anytime – Come by and write a message, create some artwork on the walkways to welcome students and staff back to school

September , 2020

I know that there are a lot of questions that remain about what

our school will look like when we open and what some of the

Procedures will be.

This edition of the Falconer won’t necessarily give you all of the

answers, but I want to let you know where things stand as of this

moment and what you can expect to know and, ideally, when. In a normal year, you would already know ‘everything’ but this year there are still things that we don’t know because we are awaiting the information to make decisions or we are working out logistical issues within the parameters that have been provided to us.

Please know that while we will do our best to put the best possible procedure in place, we may end up changing some things once we put something in practice and find there are things we didn’t anticipate. While we hope this isn’t the case, I want you to know that realistically it not only is probable but is also, though frustrating, a positive thing because we are being responsive and making a change to make the procedure better and more realistic.

Our staff met this week and worked out some general operational/organizational procedures:

Entry and Exit

Each class will line up on the pavement behind the school. This will be marked in some fashion with a pylon and/or markings on the ground. When the bell goes, students from that class will line-up in the same place morning. Teachers will come and retrieve their students from this location. They will need to conduct the Covid screening for the students in their class so if you bring your child to school it is ideal if you can wait until after your child has been screened before you leave in case your child answers ‘yes’ to questions that are part of the screening. At the end of the day, teachers will bring their classes to this same location for dismissal. (The thinking is that we can better ensure that students from different classes are not mingling too closely to each other while in line.)

Typically, during inclement weather, students would be admitted to the building early. This will no longer happen because we cannot cluster a large number of students in a hallway and they cannot go to their classroom prior to the start of the school day. So, on these days, or any day really, come prepared for the weather and to spend time outside.

Teachers will endeavour to take their students outside as much as possible and to provide opportunities for them to take a break from wearing their mask so appropriate clothing for the weather, including rain, is essential.

Students are required to wear at mask when inside so students need to be prepared to put their mask on right from the start of the day upon entry. Masks are not required when students are outside. However, consideration should be given as to what a student plans to do with their mask while they are outside. Does your child have a pocket they can put it in? Will they wear a fanny pack? It might be a good idea to keep a spare mask in their backpack.

Parents Entering The School

A reminder that parents for our school, and parents for the daycare, are not allowed to enter the building and go to their child’s classroom. This is a rule every year for the purpose of physical safety, but this year it is required for the purpose of Public Health Protocols. If there is a situation where a parent or caregiver needs to enter the school, they will need to sign in at the office so that tracking information is provided and available so Public Health can be given the information as to who was in the building on a certain date and time should it be necessary.

For students who exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 or confirm that they have symptoms, they will go to our Wellness Room (isolation room). Parents/caregivers will be contacted and they will need to come to the school and pick-up their child. Note that symptoms include a runny nose and a sore throat, which are also symptoms of the common cold. So, while in previous years you may have very well sent your child to school because it is ‘just a cold’, this year you would need to keep them home because these are also symptoms that are part of the Covid-19 screening process.

Recess and Lunch

While our recess and lunch times will look very different, we are very fortunate to have the give of space behind our school which will make it easier to maintain physical distancing.

Once we know how many Grade 1-8 classes we have, we will divide our yard space into the same number of sections behind our school. (If we have 10 classes then the space will be divided into 10 sections.) When students go outside for recess or lunch, they will be assigned to one of these sections for a given day. It will be an opportunity to go outside but they will be required to stay in the area that is designated for their class.

Students will eat lunches and snacks in their classrooms during instructional time with their teacher where they will remain in their assigned seats. Students need to bring litterless lunches and take home any and all wrappers or packaging. At the start of the official lunch break, students who go home for lunch will go home and those who stay for lunch will go outside for a supervised break in a designated play area for their classroom/cohort.  Outdoor play structures will remain closed in all schools.

So, students who stay for lunch will go outside, to their designated area, from 11:30-12:30. You can see why it is encouraged, where possible, for students to go home for lunch. It would be particularly important for students to be dressed for the weather. (Note that the time for lunch cannot be reduced at the present time because a reduction in the lunch hour would necessitate an earlier dismissal at the end of the day and we don’t have an opportunity for a wide enough consultation with parents.)

We expect that the routine for Kindergarten can remain the same, each class has their own lunchroom supervisor so they can eat in their class and take turns using the outdoor kindergarten space.

Parents recently completed a survey declaring whether or not their child(ren) would return to school or go to the virtual school. For our school, 72% are starting the year at school, 23% are beginning the year at the virtual school and 5% did not complete the survey.

In the spring, we went through a classroom organization/staffing process in order to plan for this year. That information will now be revised based on the new information as determined by the results of this survey. Any time now, we are to receive a new staffing allocation sheet that is based on this new enrolment and the classroom/grade cap sizes. This means that next week we will need to create a new classroom organization model.

This could very well necessitate reassigning students to new classes and reassigning teachers to new teaching assignments. (It is possible, even likely, that some of our teachers could be redeployed to teach at the virtual school due to a reduction in enrolment at our school.)

Once this is in place, you can expect a contact indicating your child's teacher's name, room number, entry door number and specific start date, which will be during the week of September 15th.

As soon as we know, you will be informed as to what this new classroom organization model looks like, which class your child is in and what you need to know for the first day of school.

The first week of school will be a staggered start for students.

This means that not all students will start at the same time, but once your child starts, they will continue to come for the remainder of the week.

Monday, September 14th – No students attend school

Tuesday, September 15th – First day of school for Senior Kindergarten, Grades 4 and 8

Wednesday, September 16th – First day of school for Junior Kindergarten, Gr. 7 and 7

Thursday, September 17th – First Day of School for Grades 2, 3, 5, 6


August 31, 2020

We are excited to start welcoming students back via staggered by grade

beginning on Tuesday, September 15th (more specific information to follow).

There are many questions and concerns that everyone has right now with regard to what the return to school will look like. The purpose of this message is to give you a preliminary overview and share at least some information with you right now. To help ensure and maximize the safety of our staff and students, there are many routines and procedures that we, as a school, have relied on in the past that will now need to change or be modified.  We are asking in advance for your support and patience as we work to make this transition as smooth as possible.  It’s important to note that the online registration survey closed August 29, 2020 for parents to indicate their choice for either a physical return or for a return to school via a virtual school.  If you did not receive this survey via email, phone calls will be made to families with no record of responses on file as the next step in collecting this much needed data. Note that we have learned that there has been some flexibility built into this process with dates for parents to request a change from one option to the other:

Opportunity to Change

Deadline for Requesting a Change

Date the Change of Class Would Take Effect

One Month into School

September 30th

October 13th (day after Thanksgiving)

Following the Progress Report

November 6th

November 23rd

Following the First Report Card

January 29th

February 16th (day after the Family Day holiday)

Below is some of the general changes to anticipate upon your child’s return to school.  More guidelines will follow as teachers return to school to help work out additional logistics and determine how to best operationalize the requirements for our specific school.

Before coming to school, all staff and students are expected to conduct a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 Symptoms (use the other attachment to access screening poster).  Students will enter through their designed doors, a second screening (with a staff member) will take place.  Should COVID symptoms be present (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat with trouble swallowing, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, sore muscles, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) the student will be escorted to a designated 'isolation' room and a parent/guardian will be asked to pick child up as soon as possible. (We may need to come up with a better name for this space!) A future email will let you know which are the designated entry/exit doors for which classes/rooms.

Upon entry, all students will be required to wear a mask. It is preferred for students to bring their own mask but if they do not have one, or have forgotten theirs on a given day, one will be provided. (Students are permitted to wear cloth masks.) Students will also need to use hand sanitizer/wash their hands upon entry into the school/classroom.

Visitors are asked to contact the school for an appointment. For everyone’s safety, where possible, meetings/appointments are to be held over the phone or via online video conferencing if appropriate.

Please ensure that your child leaves home in the morning with all necessary items to get through the day (e.g., lunches, indoor shoes, extra clothes, etc.).  It will not be as easy for parents to drop by the school to drop off items, moreover, it is discouraged. On the rare occasion that a “drop-off” is absolutely necessary, please call the school first in inform of your intent, wear a mask and leave your labelled item (student name and room # or teacher's name) on the table directly inside the main front doors on the right when entering.

Special lunch days (e.g., Pizza Lunch Days) are to be cancelled until further notice.

All school visitors will need to participate in a COVID screening, use hand sanitizer and be masked prior to entering our main office.

Volunteers will not be permitted at this time.

Students will eat lunches and snacks in their classrooms during instructional time with their teacher where they will remain in their assigned seats. Students are strongly encouraged to bring litterless lunches and take home any and all wrappers or packaging. At the start of the official lunch break, students who go home for lunch will go home and those who stay for lunch will go outside for a supervised break in a designated play area for their classroom/cohort.  Outdoor play structures will remain closed in all schools. (This is a general overview of what lunch will look like. The specifics of what this will look like at our school will be worked out with our staff and communicated to you.)

Not that this happens often at our school, but food delivery services are not allowed at this time.

Should your child be able to go home for lunch (which is strongly encouraged), please do not send them back early but instead return them as close as possible to the entry lunch bell.  One of the many discussion items we will discuss as a staff this week is the timing of recesses and lunch and what it will look like and facilitating bathroom breaks to help limit or avoid interaction with other class groups.

Water fountains will not be used to drink from directly so students are encouraged to bring clearly labelled refillable water bottles for use during the school day.  Our water filling station will still be operable along with opportunities to fill water bottles at drinking fountains.

 In the spring, we went through a classroom organization/staffing process in order to plan for this year. This week, we anticipate receiving a revised outline of our enrollment and staffing for this year, based on the number of students who will physically attending the school. This means we will need to work through and possibly change our classroom organization and staffing. Once this is in place, you can expect a contact indicating your child's teacher's name, room number, entry door number and specific start date, which will be during the week of September 15th. We will send you this information as soon as possible but it is unlikely that you will get it before September 8th. "First Day of School' procedures and information will also be sent out in a subsequent Falconer once our logistics are solidified.

Fairmount is very much a community school and is something of a hub for many in the area. Therefore, choosing the virtual school option may have been difficult for some as it means disconnecting from our school. If you have selected the virtual school option but would like to continue to remain connected to this school and receive the Falconer, please email our Office Administrator at lisa.habenschuss@tdsb.on.ca and let her know that you would like to continue .

 In the meantime, please have lots of conversation with your child(ren) about what to expect when returning to school, the importance of washing/sanitizing hands regularly and frequently, get them use to wearing masks for extended periods of time and reinforce the importance of physical distancing.  One thing we know for a fact is that school life will not look the way it did when students left it in March and it’s important for them to have as much knowledge and information as possible ahead of time with an understanding of why things have changed to help alleviate potential anxiety and best ensure that nobody takes home anything other than their homework.

I know that many of us are feeling anxious but please know that that we are here to listen, support and navigate this reopening together.