Principal's Weekly Message

November 19, 2021

Good afternoon Norseman families!

It is a sunny but chilly afternoon, reminding us that the weather is unpredictable and changing often during the day.  Please ensure that students have appropriate outdoor clothing for recess, lunch and mask breaks.  If it is not a downpour, the students will still go out and should have the appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather.  Layers are always a great solution!  It is also important that student clothing is labelled in case it is separated from the owner.  While we do not have a lost and found (due to Covid protocols), we do have many jackets, hats, boots, water bottles, etc. that make their way to the office or the front foyer after being left outside or dropped in the hall.  It would be wonderful to reunite these items with their owners!

Masks on School Property
Just a reminder that all students and adults must wear masks on school property, especially during drop off and pick up times.  Masks must be worn properly – over the mouth AND nose.  For everyone’s safety and well being, we must follow the guidelines outlined by TDSB and TPH.  Thank you.

Ministry of Education Updates
Yesterday, you would have received an email from TDSB outlining a few updates that were shared by the Ministry of Education related to schools and students. One update of note was that all Ontario public school students will be sent home with five rapid COVID-19 tests to use over the holidays and throughout the return to in-person learning.  We do not have any information about this yet, but we will be sure to share it with you, as well as all the details as soon as we receive it.

For those families who will be travelling over the holidays, you are reminded to review the travel policies and guidelines in advance of the break in order to prevent any absences in January. The link below provides information regarding guidelines, including those for unvaccinated, school-aged children.

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/covid-vaccinated-travellers-entering-canada#children

Spirit Days
We have determined 2 more Spirit days between now and the holidays.  Friday November 26th will be Pajama Day and Friday December 17th will be Winter Wonderland Spirit day (wear your winter or holiday attire).

 

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in their PJ’s on Friday!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal

October 29, 2021

Hello Norseman families,

There was a plethora of superheroes, fairies, witches, zombies, Mario’s & Luigi’s, Beanie Babies, Elsa’s, and Anna’s and much more who travelled through the halls of Norseman today!  Students enjoyed seeing all the different costumes and having the opportunity to participate in some fun classroom-based activities.

We know that on Monday, students will bring many sugary snacks from their Hallowe’en trick or treating.  Please ensure that any snacks brought to school do not include nuts, so that those of us with allergies can feel safe.  As well, limiting the number of treats that are brought to school would be helpful so that students are not loading up on sugar and ignoring their healthy snacks and lunches.

Take Home PCR testing kits
Hospital testing partners have provided take-home/self-collection PCR testing kits (either saliva or mouth swabs) for all publicly-funded schools in the City of Toronto. Sick Kids Hospital is Norseman’s testing partner. The PCR take home kits are available for symptomatic students and staff and asymptomatic individuals who have been identified as close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case or if whole school testing is recommended. The samples are collected at home and dropped off at the school, so they can be sent for processing at a laboratory. Results are generally available in 24 to 48 hours.  If your child is symptomatic and you would like a saliva testing kit, please contact the school.  Instructions on how to complete the testing and how to receive results are provided with the kit.

From School Council regarding parking by and near the school
We want to help out teachers and other school staff as much as we can and one way to do that is to give them a good start to every day.  We will have some parent volunteers out in the parking lot driveways next week to remind families that the parking lot is only for staff.  If you are driving your child to school, please don't use the parking lot driveways even just a little bit!  You can park further down Chartwell beside the baseball fields, or on any of the side streets around the school.  Please be kind to our parent volunteers when you see them, we know that all of us have a role to play in supporting the staff at school who care for our children every day! 

Please see the attached for the areas surrounding the school where parking is allowed. Street Map.pdf  

If you are interested in helping us out for 15-20 minutes even one morning next week, just show up, or send us a quick note at  norsemanjms.council@gmail.com  We could really use your help!

For those who are celebrating, have a safe and Happy Hallowe’en!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

October 22, 2021

Hello Norseman families,

With only one week before our Norseman Hallowe’en, I will repeat the important information regarding our celebrations, outlined in last week’s blast.

  • Regular masks must still be worn and can’t be replaced with costume masks, nor should both costume and regular masks be worn together.
  • Students are able to wear their costumes to school on Friday October 29th.  Props that accompany costumes should remain at home.
  • Sharing food at school is not permitted, so please do not send any treats for your child to share or to hand out to others.

We are looking forward to some Hallowe’en fun!

Parking Lot Woes
We are continuing to have issues in the staff parking lot during drop off and pick up times.  This has been ongoing for many years at Norseman, and we really need your cooperation again to keep our students safe.

The parking lot is only for staff, many of whom have varying start and end times, and must be able to access the parking lot to be able to get to work.

NO parents or caregivers are allowed in the staff parking lot.  This also means that parents should not be driving into the entrance of the parking lot to drop students off on the sidewalk!  If you are driving your child to school, you must find an area to stop, away from the parking lot entrance and exit.  We suggest that if you must drive to school, that you park a short distance away from the school (perhaps along a side street) and walk the final distance onto the property.  Not only does this reduce the congestion of cars but it also helps teach your child how to navigate walking on the sidewalk/road and how to cross streets safely. We appreciate your support in ensuring safe travels to and from school.

Appropriate play outside
Recess is a time for a mask break and for students to have some unstructured play time.  But this also means that students are encouraged to distance themselves from others while not wearing masks and to play safely.  We are seeing an increase in the number of games that suggest violence or physical touching, some based on shows or videos that students have been watching.  Several announcements have been made this week to students regarding appropriate games to play during recess and lunch, and staff on duty are monitoring the games that are being played.  If you remember some of the games that you played as a student at recess, perhaps you might teach some to your children so that they may enjoy them too.

French Immersion Program - Application Information
For families interested in the Toronto District School Board's Early French Immersion program, we offer an online process to apply. The entry point to Early French Immersion is moving to Junior Kindergarten. There will be one transition year wherein students who will be entering Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten in 2022 will be eligible to apply to the Early French Immersion program during the November 2021 application period. Moving forward (2023), the only entry point for Early French Immersion will be Junior Kindergarten.

To apply for the Early French Immersion Program for September 2021, applications must be completed online between November 1 and November 26, 2021.

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 application process, please join us for a Virtual Information Session on one of the following dates:

§November 8, 2021, 7 p.m. 

§November 15, 2021, 10 a.m. 

§November 23, 2021, 7 p.m. 

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

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal 

October 15, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

We were lucky enough to enjoy some warm days this week allowing many classes to work outside and take extended mask breaks.  As our weather changes, please ensure that students are prepared with appropriate outdoor gear for cold, rain, snow, etc.  We really do not want to have indoor recesses, unless absolutely necessary!

Photos
Most photo proofs went home with students today. All ordering is done online and if your order is placed by October 26th, you will have free shipping to the school.  Retakes and will take place on November 25th.  Grade 8 Grad photos have been scheduled for November 11th.

Hallowe’en planning
As we inch closer to Hallowe’en, students and parents will be wondering how we will be celebrating this year. Our routines will be very similar to last year and we have been given some guidelines to keep everyone safe:

  • Regular masks/face coverings must still be worn and cannot be replaced with costume masks. 
  • In line with physical distancing practices, school parades and dances are not allowed.
  • Sharing food at school is not allowed due to health and safety protocols, so please do not send treats for your child to share with or hand out to others.  Even individually packaged items should not be sent, as we are trying to reduce the number of hands that touch any items on a daily basis.


As a staff, we will consider other ways to celebrate that respect these guidelines and any further details about homeroom Hallowe’en rules or plans will come from your child’s teacher. 

Also, we ask that when costumes come to school that they are chosen with careful consideration of:

  • Respect for other students and community members -- for example, there are costumes for sale that stereotype, misrepresent, disrespect, and dehumanize Indigenous peoples; please avoid them so that all members of our school community feel valued and respected.
  • TDSB’s dress code and safety rules -- costumes still need to meet dress code, and weapon accessories can be left at home until trick-or-treat time on the 31st.
  • Younger students -- some of our little ones may be afraid of the most frightening costumes, so please consider “toning down” the goriest/scariest parts of a costume for the school version.

School Immunization Program 
Toronto Public Health is hosting vaccination clinics for students, in Grade7 and higher who need the following vaccines: Meningococcal-ACYW, Human papillomavirus and/or Hepatitis-B. Read the full letter from TPH and complete the consent formto access.

Instrumental Music Instruction – Grades 6-8
Our students in grades 6-8 will be participating in in-person music instruction provided by our Itinerant Music Instructors, Ms. Tatiana Bouts and Ms. Tammy Kundakcioglu beginning this coming week.  Ms. Bouts will be teaching Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass) to each of the grade 8 classes, while Ms. K will be working with the grade 6 and 7 classes on drumming and other music activities.  All students are included, and their learning will be reflected in their music marks and comments on report cards.  We are excited to welcome these instructors back to Norseman!

YMCA drop off and pick up in the Bus Loop
Parents who are dropping off or picking up students from the YMCA, both in the morning and after school, are asked to park in the Community School parking lot and walk students to the YMCA staff at their door. The many buses coming through in the morning and after school are being blocked by parked cars.  Our drivers are trying to deliver our students efficiently and safely and are asking for your cooperation.  Parents arriving to pick up students after 4 p.m. may continue to use the bus loop.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

October 8, 2021

Hello Norseman families,

The highlight of our week was completing the JK to Grade 7 individual photos!  Our photographers from Edge Imaging had a wonderful system set up, with guidelines for students regarding lining up, removing their masks just before the photo, and entering and exiting the gym.  It went very smoothly, and we are all looking forward to seeing the smiling faces of our students on their class composites!

Reorganization
We received the welcome information on Monday that we were receiving an extra Early Childhood Education (ECE) allocation to allow our small kindergarten class of 15 to accept more students, which in turn lowered the class sizes of all of our kindergarten classes!  We also will be accepting several new students into our grade 2/3 Virtual classroom.  Our new organization of classes will begin on Tuesday October 12, immediately following Thanksgiving.

Curriculum Night
Teachers from grades 1-8 have been reaching out to parents, communicating the dates and times for their Curriculum night next week, whether it be on Zoom, a Google Meet or through Google Slides. Our Kindergarten classes will schedule their Curriculum evenings during the week of October 18-22, due to their recent reorganization.

Reporting a Student Absent
Toronto Public Health has asked us to monitor the reasons for student absences. If your child is ill, please let us know what symptoms your child may be experiencing when you call in to report their absence.  Tracking similar symptoms allows us to get ahead of a possible trend that could lead to an outbreak.  Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving to all Norseman families.  We wish you a happy, safe, and enjoyable long weekend!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal

October 1, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

And just like that, it’s October!  Here are a few things coming up:

Photo Day on October 7th
Individual photos will be taken for all students in JK to grade 7, on Thursday October 7th.   There will be no group photos, but instead, we have asked Edge Imaging to create a composite picture of each class so that students can keep that as a reminder of their fellow students for the year.  Photos will be taken in the north and south gyms, with only one class lining up distanced at a time.  A limited number of students will be allowed in the gym at the same time. Students will enter through one door, have their photo taken and then exit through another door.  All Covid protocols will be followed as per TPH guidelines. Grade 8 students will have their Grad photos taken on November 11th, in lieu of a Fall photo.

Curriculum Night(s)
Teachers will be planning a Curriculum night on October 12, 13 or 14 and will be communicating this to parents once their date has been chosen. We are trying to find times that do not conflict for families with more than one child at Norseman. The information could be in the form of a Zoom meeting or a Google Meet, or through a slide deck or presentation.

School Council Meetings 2021-2022
Wednesday November 17th, 2021 7 p.m.
Tuesday January 18, 2022  7 p.m.
Monday March 7, 2022  7 p.m.
Thursday May 12, 2022  7 p.m.

A zoom link will be sent closer to the meeting date.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

September 24, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

We have had another busy week and can’t believe that we are going to be welcoming October next Friday!  We continue to work on our back to school routines and students are getting back into the “swing” of a new school year.  Teachers are taking time to work with and assess students to have a good understanding of where they need to focus for this first term.  Virtual learning was difficult for all students and we recognize that many students require a soft start to their year.  Our goal is for all students to arrive at school happy and excited to learn!

Terry Fox Walk/Run
Our annual Terry Fox Walk/Run will take place over 2 days, Monday September 27 th and Tuesday September 28 th.  Classes have signed up for a time to run or walk around our field to show their support of the Terry Fox Walk/run.  Donations are to be made directly through the Terry Fox Foundation.    The direct link to our donation page is: http://www.terryfox.ca/norsemanjms.  Thank you for supporting this worthwhile cause.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day)
Classes have been having discussions and learning about residential schools and the impact on children, families and their communities.  A whole school virtual assembly will take place on Thursday September 30 th in the morning and students will also participate in activities focussed on this learning, including a representation of the 3200 unmarked graves of indigenous children.  If possible, please encourage your child to wear orange to mark this day.

School Council meeting
Thursday, September 30th at 7pm is our first SAC meeting of the year!  If you are interested in being a voting member of SAC for the 2021-2022 school year, fill out the nomination form found here:  https://forms.gle/HVYneogEvSCtT8G47  A zoom link will be sent early next week. 

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal

September 17, 2021

Dear Norseman Families,

It has been a very busy week, including having to send 4 of our classes home to self-isolate due to a positive Covid case. I am so proud of our students and teachers for adapting so quickly to online learning with such a short time to prepare beforehand!

When there is a Positive Case
It is important that families follow the guidelines regarding isolating to stop any spread that could occur.  At this time, siblings and family members are not required to isolate if someone else in the family is a close contact.  But, isolating means staying at home and limiting any outside interaction – no playdates, no extra-curriculars (e.g., soccer or baseball practice), no birthday parties, no family gatherings, no shopping, no school, etc.) for the student who is a close contact.

Some of you have inquired as to whether the positive case is in your child’s class or your child’s cohort.  We are not able to provide that information to you for reasons of privacy and in fact, it doesn’t matter because the end result is the same – your child must isolate.  As always, parents are expected to monitor their children for symptoms, just as you do every day when you are screening before bringing them to school.

We continue to wait for the results of the Toronto Public Health investigation.  We expect to receive letters to forward to both staff and students with an outline of when/if students should get tested, how long the isolation period will be and when students/staff  can return to school.  That letter will be emailed to you as soon as we receive it.

More detailed screening tool
The screening tool continues to be of the utmost importance.  Here is the link from TPH for a more detailed questionnaire and how to make a decision regarding coming to school:

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/994c-Screening-Questionnaire-Child-Care-Day-Camp-School.pdf

Dogs on the yard at Drop off and Dismissal
Dogs must be leashed and kept close to their owners.  Caregivers are not to approach line ups with a dog, and instead must distance from the pavement. There are many children that are not comfortable with dogs, regardless of their size, and become frightened when dogs are excited and jump up on them.  Please be considerate of others.

Permission Click
Permission Click is the start of year permission forms sent to parents via email to complete regarding granting permission for various school-related activities (e.g., media forms, phys. Ed. participation forms, etc.)  Please complete this for each of your children as soon as possible.  We understand that there have been some glitches, but please keep on trying.

Students at lunch time
If students have been given permission to leave school property at lunch, they are expected to continue to practise physical distancing.  Please remind your child of the Toronto Public Health guidelines.

School Council meeting
Thursday, September 30th 
at 7pm is our first SAC meeting of the year!  If you are interested in being a voting member of SAC for the 2021-2022 school year, fill out the nomination form found here:  https://forms.gle/HVYneogEvSCtT8G47  A zoom link will be sent closer to the date.  Hope to see you there!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

September 10, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

What a wonderful sight it was to see so many students and families out on the Norseman yard on Thursday morning!  It was obvious by the excited voices, smiling eyes and positivity that everyone was so happy to be seeing each other and back to school in person.  Even the weather cooperated with sunny skies and not too warm temperatures.

Students settled in quickly to their classes and our many routines.  Most routines are similar to last year with a few small changes.  Students are wearing masks at all times while indoors, except when eating lunch.  When out at recess, students may take off their masks for a break, while maintaining their distance from others.  Students are cohorted with one other class in specific zones at recess time to allow for free play.  

Before coming to school, parents must complete the health screening with their children.  If the screening is completed on a device, students may present the QR code as proof of their completed screening.  Those without devices must bring a signed and dated Student Health pass indicating the completion of their screening.   Every morning, teachers are required to check each student's Health screening pass.  Students are not admitted to the building if they do not have a signed pass or a QR code.  In these instances, students are brought to the front of the school where office staff must then call each parent to complete the screening questions before students are able to join their classes.  Please remember to complete these passes as it then allows all children to begin the day in their classroom at the outset.

Thank you so much for your support of both your children and the staff.  We are looking forward to a wonderful year of learning together.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Wednesday June 30, 2021

Hello Norseman families,

We made it!  Despite so many different changes and “pivots”, we managed to complete the 2020/2021 school year.  Congratulations to all our teachers, students (and parents) for persevering through to the very end!  Now we can look forward to sunny days and summertime activities!

As always, at the end of the school year, we have to say goodbye to several staff members who have ended their short-term work with us or who have moved along to other positions at different schools.  We thank them for all their contributions to Norseman and wish them well in their endeavours!

  • Ms. Vanessa Baez completed the school year for Mrs. Romeo.  We hope to see her next year as an occasional teacher.
  • Ms. Tonya Stanislawska completed the year with the grade 7’s from Ms. Blanke’s class.  We hope to see her as an occasional teacher next year as well.
  • Ms. Heather Bialkowski wore many different hats this year teaching gym and dance/drama as well as supporting many of our younger students in their learning.  We look forward to welcoming her as an occasional teacher next year too.
  • Ms. Christine Williams spent the whole year teaching in a grade ½ class.  She is moving on to other positions for September.
  • Mr. Steve McKendry-Lisi spent the whole year teaching in one of our kindergarten classes.  He is moving on to other positions for September.
  • Ms. Kelly Muir has spent several years as both a kindergarten and a grade one teacher.  As her family has moved a little further away from Norseman, she decided to secure a position that is a shorter commute from home.

To all of those students and families who are moving from the Norseman community, we wish you the best as well!

Selection Form

Earlier this week, you received communication from the TDSB regarding the Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning.  Families can complete the Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning online from August 5 to August 12.

An email with a Selection Form link will be sent on Thursday, August 5. Families with two or more children will receive a separate email and link for each student. Families must complete the Selection Form using the link provided.

While requests for Virtual Learning will be accommodated where necessary, we strongly encourage all students to select In-Person Learning. Based on our TDSB data about how students feel they learn best, and available data with respect to students returning to in-person learning, we feel confident that this is the best choice for students following what has been a challenging year.

For more information, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/School-Year-2021-22/Selection-Form.

Happy summer and best wishes to all of our Norseman community!  We look forward to seeing you in the fall.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday, June 18, 2021.

Hello Norseman families,

We are down to single digits in our countdown to the end of the school year.  The month of June has absolutely flown by!

Retrieval of Belongings
Earlier this week, you received information regarding the retrieval of belongings from the school.  The schedule was organized using the last names of families, so that we are able to spread out the number of people coming to the school during each timeframe.
(*grade 8 students have made alternate arrangements with their teachers)

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday June 24 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Last names beginning with A – D

Friday June 25 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Last names beginning with E – K
                         12:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Last names beginning with L – O

Monday June 28 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Last names beginning with P – R

Tuesday June 29 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Last names beginning with S – U
                             12:30 – 3:00 p.m. – Last names beginning with V - Z

When you arrive at the school at your designated time, please:

  • conduct self-screening measures
  • enter and exit through the front doors
  • use hand sanitizer and wear a mask 
  • respect all physical distancing requirements, staying at least 6 feet away from others
  • drop off any items at the entry (include your child’s name, teacher and list of items returned)
  • retrieve belongings from classroom quickly
  • put any garbage in the bins provided
  • exit school property promptly

Remember to bring a bag!

If someone else will be picking up on your behalf, please let the school know. Non-essential items, such as notebooks and pencils, that are not picked up will be discarded. Clothing and personal items will be packed up and stored until the fall.

Returning borrowed Technology
Any borrowed technology, including laptops, iPads, charger cords, or Chromebooks must be returned to the school on Wednesday June 30 or Friday July 2 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  If you are leaving early for the summer, please return it to the school on any school day before the end of the school year.


TD Summer Reading Club
The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program for kids of all ages, interests, and abilities. This free Club is offered at all of our Toronto Public Library branches. The Club celebrates Canadian authors, illustrators, and stories, and inspires kids to explore the fun of reading their way, with the goal of building a lifelong love of reading.  Kids can visit a Toronto Public Library branch to pick up their free reading kit to track their reading.    The TD Summer Reading Club kids website will go live on June 15 at tdsummerreadingclub.ca 

For more information see the digital program brochure or family information letter.

Toronto Public Library Summer Wonder 

TPL’s Summer Wonder is a set of virtual programs and activities for children 6-12 and their parents/caregivers. Each feature of Summer Wonder is designed to promote wonder, creativity, and discovery, and encourages families to read and learn together all summer long.   From June 14 to September 4, kids and families can post a question on our Wonder Wall, take part in a Creativity Challenge, and access a range of programs including Arts & Performances, Author Visits, Camps & Workshops, French, and STEM. Families can find all of these program listings online at tpl.ca/summerwonder.  

For more information see the Summer Wonder flyer.


If you will be leaving school early for the summer, please let us know either by emailing Maureen.huddleston@tdsb.on.ca or calling 416-394-7880.

Have a great weekend!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday, June 11, 2021.

Hello Norseman families,

We definitely had a taste of summer this past week with the sunshine, heat and humidity.  Although I am disappointed that students are not back in person, I was happy that students did not have to sit in very hot classrooms during the day!  A look on the bright side!

School Council Meeting
Please join us for our last School Council meeting on Thursday June 17 th at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

School Organization in September
In mid-August all TDSB families will receive directly from TDSB a Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning (2021-22). At that time, families will have up-to-date information on the status of the pandemic and vaccinations for school staff and students, and will be in a better position to make an informed decision. Visit the TDSB website for more information, available in multiple languages.

https://www.tdsb.on.ca/School-Year-2021-22/2021-22-Selection-Form

Parent selection of In-Person or Virtual Learning in August will affect September student class placements at Norseman. Currently we are placing all Norseman students (In-school and VS) in Bricks & Mortar In-School Learning at Norseman. We will need to adjust as necessary at the end of August, once selection results are received. 

Return of Borrowed Student Devices
Families that have borrowed technology from TDSB are being asked to return it to the school when they are finished with it.  If you are leaving before the end of the school year, devices including power cords can be brought to the school beginning June 14 th.  Please bring the technology to the front door between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and we will accept it there.  If you require technology until the last day of school (Tuesday June 29), please bring the device and power cord to the front door of the school on June 30 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

2021-2022 School Year Calendar
The Ministry of Education has approved the TDSB’s 2021-2022 School Year Calendar . The first day of classes for students will be September 9, 2021. Visit the TDSB website for the full calendar , including PA days and holidays. 

Graduations and End-of-Year Activities
In line with the guidance from Toronto Public Health about the importance of “virtual” events, all TDSB schools will continue with their previously planned virtual graduation ceremonies. At Norseman, we will continue with our Virtual Graduation Ceremony at 3:30 pm on Wednesday June 23. An invitation with more information will be sent to grade 8 parents next week.

2021 Summer Well-Being Guide
This guide has a variety of culturally-responsive resources and accessible activities for students and families. Information on where and how to reach out for help is also included. In addition, on page 3 of the guide, there are details and contact information to register for various Summer Groups offered by our Professional Support Services Staff for students and caregivers. See below for information.

2021 Summer Well Being Guide

Internet Safety
We continue to stress the importance of internet safety and knowing what your child may be watching.  Click on the link for more information. https://mediasmarts.ca/parents

Have a wonderful weekend!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday, June 4th, 2021.

Hello Norseman families,

In recognition of the indescribably tragic discovery in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory, the flag at Norseman and all other TDSB schools is being flown at half-staff for 9 days (until sunset on June 7th), in memory of the 215 children.  Please reach out to me or your child’s teacher if you need help processing this event or if the impact of this news is affecting your family in any way that overlaps schooling.  For tips on speaking to children about tragic events, recommended by the Social Work department, you may wish to refer to the following document:

file:///C:/Users/031772/Desktop/Speaking%20with%20Students%20About%20Tragic%20Events.pdf

With the announcement from the Ontario government on Wednesday afternoon, we now know that students will not be returning to school in person before the end of the school year.  While it may be disappointing, teachers and students can now make plans for the next few weeks, knowing that the learning will continue online. 

We know that there are many questions that require some answers regarding the end of the school year.  For example, we must make arrangements for students to retrieve their belongings from the school and we may have to change our plans for graduation. All of these activities must adhere to any guidelines and directives that are determined by both Toronto Public Health and Toronto District School Board. At this time, we do not have any further information to relay to you.  However, as soon as we receive it, we will share it with our community.

Families that have borrowed technology from TDSB are being asked to return it to the school when they are finished with it.  If you are leaving before the end of the school year, devices including power cords can be brought to the school beginning June 14th.  Please bring the technology to the front door between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and we will accept it there.  If you require technology until the last day of school (Tuesday June 29), please bring the device and power cord to the front door of the school on June 30 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

We thank you for your support and patience as we navigate through the month of June.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal   

Friday, May 28, 2021.

Hello Norseman Families,

June is just around the corner!  But someone forgot to tell Mother Nature as I watch the snow falling outside!

Please note that Friday, June 4th is a Professional Activity Day and there will be no school/online learning that day.

TPH and Covid-19 Vaccine News
Vaccines are safe, effective and are the best way to protect your child, your family, and our Norseman community from COVID-19. Vaccines will help students and families to safely resume normal activities as soon as possible. Ontarians aged 12 to 17 are now able to book an appointment for a free first dose of the vaccine. There will also be special “youth and families clinics” happening throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21. Depending on where you live, some clinics will offer appointments and others may be drop-in clinics.

To help your child and your family to make an informed decision, the Government of Ontario has developed a fact sheet based on expert medical advice and scientific information. It covers several key areas including:

  • Safety of the vaccine for youth
  • Why vaccination is important
  • Effectiveness of the vaccine for youth

Please visit this dedicated webpage that shares how to book and prepare for your child’s vaccination appointment. You and your child are also encouraged to talk to your health care provider or contact your local public health unit if you have questions about the vaccine. 

Technology Update
In preparation for the start of the 2021-22 school year, families that borrowed devices (e.g. iPad, Chromebook, Internet Hub) from the TDSB or from Norseman will be asked to return them by the end of June.  As soon as we know whether we will finish the year in person or online, we will provide you with more details.   Devices and all power cables, cases and chargers that were delivered with the device must be returned.  All devices that are not returned by July 2 will be administratively locked, preventing student login. Students enrolled in a TDSB summer program may continue using the device for the duration of the summer program and should return the device in September.

Please Let Us Know Your Plans for September!
Are you moving? PLEASE LET US KNOW!

September is coming and we are busy planning already. If are moving and your child will not be returning to Norseman please let us know as soon as possible to assist us in making the most accurate classes possible. Please inform Ms. Huddleston in the office directly: Maureen.huddleston@tdsb.on.ca .

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday, May 21, 2021

Hello Norseman families,

Another week of remote learning but a few changes to our everyday situation.  A small light at the end of that tunnel, with the opening of some outdoor activities and being able to gather outside with up to 5 people!  I know that we are all hoping for things to continue opening up as the cases decrease.  We still do not have any information on whether or not schools will open again before the end of June.

Selection Form
This past week you will have received an email from the TDSB advising you of an online Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning for all families to fill out in mid-August.  Families will be able to make an informed decision regarding their choice with more up to date information than is available now.  Details about how online learning will be delivered will be communicated at that time as well.

More information about the Selection Form for In-Person and Virtual Learning will be emailed directly to families in August. All information and the selection form will also be made available on the TDSB website.

Bicycle Safety
With warmer weather approaching, children may be participating in more outdoor activities like bike riding. To help keep children safe while playing outdoors this summer please follow social distancing and all other guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health.

When children are riding their bicycles, parents and caregivers can take steps to protect them.

Here's how:

1.An adult should always supervise children 10 years of age or younger when they are using a bicycle or other wheeled sports equipment. Even older children may need on-going supervision when riding near the road.

2.Make sure children wear the correct helmet properly when they ride. Ontario's bike helmet law requires all children and youth under age 18 to wear an approved bike helmet when riding a bicycle.

3. Keep children away from traffic when they use wheeled sports equipment. Make sure they ride in a safe place.

4. Teach children how to:

            a. steer, brake, and ride in a straight line

            b. wear the right safety gear, and

            c. do a safety check every time they ride a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, use
                     in-line skates or wear shoes with wheels.

5. Be within arm's reach when your children are learning to ride any wheeled equipment.

6. Always walk a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard across a street intersection, instead of riding across.

7. Tell children that you are happy when you see them riding safely.

8. Remind children of the safety rules when they forget.

9. Be a good role model - wear a helmet and safety gear yourself. Children copy what adults do.

Thank you for your continued support.  Have a wonderful long weekend!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday May 7, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

Just a short Blast today as we continue our remote learning.

Unfortunately, we have discovered a bit of a glitch with the attendance robocalls. It appears there is a choice of “technology issues/device issues” when explaining your child’s absence. This explanation does not translate over into the attendance software and therefore does not stop the robocalls. Please do not choose the “technology issues/device issues” reason as a reason for the absence. Additionally, if you send an attendance-related email to your child’s teacher, please cc Maureen.huddleston@tdsb.on.ca  to ensure the attendance remains accurate.

We know that online learning often continues to be a struggle for students and parents.  Please continue to give yourself some grace and allow for those days that it’s just not possible to be online.  We are all doing our best!  That’s all we can ask.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday, April 30th 2021.

Hello Norseman Families,

I hope this Friday Blast finds you well and looking forward to a new month beginning tomorrow!  It is difficult to believe that it is the end of April already!  We certainly hope that the “April showers” we have been experiencing will bring many colourful and fragrant “May flowers”!

“Raising anti-racist Children”
We hope you will join us on Tuesday May 4th at 6:30 p.m. for this Zoom presentation by Michelle Munroe, Central Coordinator for Parent and Community Engagement.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://tdsb-ca.zoom.us/j/92461224262

Meeting ID: 924 6122 4262

Toronto Public Health Town Hall
I have attached a flyer about a Town Hall being provided by Toronto Public Health.  The Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vinita Dubey will be available to provide information and answer your questions about COVID-19, including information about reducing the spread and vaccines.  There are 2 sessions being offered during the first week of May.  No registration is required.

Join our COVID-19 Vaccination Town Hall.pdf 

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal


Friday, April 23, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

What a beautiful sunny afternoon after such a strange weather week!  I couldn’t figure out why the snow looked so different on Wednesday.  It soon struck me that usually we do not have green grass poking through and snow-covered buds on the trees!  Springtime in Toronto is never predictable!

I spoke to several parents of students in varying grades this week and heard that they are struggling to keep their children engaged in remote learning, especially in the younger grades.  We certainly recognize that this kind of learning is very difficult for students and that the amount of time spent in front of a computer screen is not optimal.  Please do the best that you can (both students and parents) and do what is best for your family.  If your child needs a break from remote learning for part of a day, then go ahead and give them that break (and ensure that the break does not involve screen time).  We all have our good days and our not-so-good days and that is perfectly okay!

Internet safety
Along with remote learning comes an increased amount of time that students are spending online.  It is important for students and parents to be aware of online safety and online conduct.  In the next few Blasts, I will be sending some links regarding internet safety for students and tips for parents.  Here is the first one from Toronto Police Services:

http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention/internet.php

Raising Anti-racist Children

On Tuesday May 4 at 6:30 p.m., Norseman JMS will be hosting a zoom presentation for parents entitled “Raising Anti-racist Children”.  The presenter will be Michelle Munroe, TDSB’s Central Coordinator for Parent and Community Engagement.  Michelle’s role is to help parents and the community become active participants in their children’s success, ensuring that all voices are heard.  This presentation has been extremely well received at other schools and we are fortune to be able to offer this presentation to both Norseman parents and the surrounding community.  More information will be forthcoming.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal

Sunday, April 18th

Hello Norseman Families,

As we come to the end of our April break, I hope that you had time to enjoy some family time and time away from our day to day virtual activities.  I know it certainly was not the break that we had been hoping for, with more restrictions introduced at the end of the week, however our priority is definitely the health and safety of our community.

We will begin our remote learning again tomorrow morning at 8:25 a.m. Please ensure that you check the Google Classroom for specific instructions from your child’s teacher.

If your child will not be attending remote learning, please call the School Office at 416-394-7885 to report the absence.

Thank you for your continued support and we will get through this together!!!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Thursday, April 1st

Hello Norseman Families,

We had some April Fool’s Day fun this morning!  There were many pretend critters and insects that were placed in strategic locations to scare staff and students in classrooms.  We managed to surprise students with a “new” morning protocol – a dance party instead of O Canada!

We continue to receive good information from Toronto Public Health to share with our communities.  Please click on the link below to see more information about Covid-19 testing for School Students and Staff JK-12.

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/8dd5-COVID-19-Testing-for-School-Students-and-Staff-JK-12.pdf

Another helpful resource is located on the following link regarding understanding Covid-19 symptoms in students, and can help you determine which Covid-19 symptoms may require testing.

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/9747-Understanding-COVID-19-Symptoms-in-JK-12-Students.pdf

From today’s announcement, it appears that schools will continue to be up and running in person on Tuesday.  We will continue to be prepared to pivot should there be a change to our status next week.  Some teachers are sending resources home today as a precaution.  Please follow the instructions given by the teacher regarding returning them on Tuesday or storing them away in a safe place at home until they may be needed.

A reminder that there is no school tomorrow Friday April 2 nor on Monday April 5 for our Easter holidays.  Please enjoy some rest and relaxation with members of your own household only and observe the restrictions that have been put in place for all of our safety and well being.  The Premier has indicated that the government wants to do everything it can to keep students in class.  It is our hope to keep students in class as well, so we need your support!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

We have had some wonderful weather this week!  Students and staff have enjoyed the warmth and sunshine during Daily Physical Activity (DPA), Phys. Ed., Science and Independent Reading! We will continue to look for ways to be outdoors in the next few months. Please ensure that students are prepared for the weather as we will be going out for recess rain or shine!

HEPA units
On Monday we received 28 HEPA filtration units – one for each homeroom class!  Teachers will be keeping the units running all day and increasing the speed of the system during recess and lunch (they can be noisy while on “high” during a lesson).

Youth Standing up Against Racism
Saturday, March 21st, marked the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racism. This year’s theme is “Youth Standing up Against Racism, #fight racism”.  TDSB and Norseman Junior Middle School is committed to standing up against any and all forms of discrimination and racism. Our goal at Norseman is to create a school culture in support of human rights for all and the desire for every student to challenge racial injustice and intolerant attitudes. As part of our work on anti-racism, we have put our statement on the outdoor Norseman sign, and had our staff and students make a call to action to confront and oppose racism. We have posted individual, class and teacher pledges in our hallways for everyone to see.  We need to work together to take action and fight against racism. The time is now.

Elementary Summer School 2021 – Registration Now Open!
The focus of the Elementary Summer School Program is to support student learning and engagement through the month of July. Programs, embedded in Literacy and Numeracy, are developed by the local summer school principal to reflect the local school focus.  Thirty-eight programs are offered to students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, from July 5 – 30, 2021, in-person or online through virtual instruction.

Registration is now open! Click here for a full list of participating schools and registration information.

Earth Hour

Join millions of people around the world and switch off your lights in support of nature and our planet on Saturday March 27th, 2021 at 8:30 p.m.  For more information, click on the link below:

https://latest.earthhour.org/earthhour-at-home?hsCtaTracking=19ae5736-45b6-4b93-88cd-88cc8ca1d699%7Cc980ae46-8b36-4ad4-8a22-8dbb5ca421d7

Fundraiser
Did you have a chance to check out our new fundraiser, Plantables?  Channel your inner green thumb and do some planting this spring!  There are 35+ organic, garden-ready plants to choose from at $4/plant and delivery to your door!
          https://plantables.ca/
          Code:  NorsemanPlants!

Our next School Council zoom meeting will be on Monday March 29th at 6:30 p.m.
 
https://tdsb-ca.zoom.us/j/98935615862?pwd=bDNabFNmcnZYYW5qNzcvTTkvNyt2UT09

Hope to “see” you there!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday March 5, 2021

Hello Norseman Families,

With the arrival of March, we begin our unpredictable weather!  One day it feels like it may be Spring, and the next we have an icy blast of winter.  Students will be going out for recess and mask breaks, so they need to make sure that they have appropriate footwear and outerwear.  An extra pair of socks (or even pants) is a great thing to pop into the backpack at this time of year.

As our March break was postponed for a few weeks (April 12-16 inclusive), we are going to have a little fun during the original March break.  We will call it the “March un-break”!  More details will come next week about some wildly exciting Spirit days and activities.

Toronto Public Health has recently made some additions to their resources that might be helpful to families.  The first is a decision sheet to help determine if students are able to attend school, called “Know when to Self-monitor, Self-isolate or Send your child to school.” It includes some possible scenarios to help guide parents.

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

The second resource explains the meaning of a close contact. “Who is a close contact at school?” is an infographic which shows what is considered a close contact and what is not considered a close contact.  This information helps us to determine which students may need to stay home should we have a positive case reported.

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

Please remember that the parking lot is for staff members only!  It is NOT safe to drop students off in the parking lot or at the entrance or exit of the parking lot.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal  

February 26, 2021

Dear Norseman Families,

The end of this week also brings the end of February.  Despite this year feeling like a very long one, I can’t believe that we are heading into March!  Hopefully Spring will follow before too long as well!!

Entry and dismissal
We continue to request that parents “drop and go” at morning entry.  We all must maintain our distance from other students and parents.  This means that once a child has entered their line or the gate (on their own, not with a parent accompanying them), parents/caregivers are asked to leave school property immediately.  At the end of the day, parents/caregivers are again asked to leave the property promptly after connecting with their children.  As well, masks must be worn by all individuals while on school property.

HEPA filters
HEPA filters are one tool used to help reduce transmission of COVID-19.  At the Board meeting on Tuesday, it was announced that every occupied classroom will soon be outfitted with an institutional grade HEPA filter.  Units will be distributed to schools, starting with elementary schools in areas of the city where there have been higher incidents of COVID-19.  It is expected that all elementary schools will have units by the end of March.  Schools will continue to focus on self-screening, mask wearing, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, hand washing, increasing fresh air through mechanical ventilation and/or opening windows and other safety protocols to keep schools, students and staff safe as well.

Parking lot and Traffic around Norseman
We are again asking for your cooperation in obeying all the No Parking/No Stopping signs on the streets near Norseman.  Parents/caregivers are asked to park several streets away and walk students onto the playground.  We also ask that drivers are watchful of their speed and are not making U-turns or 3-point turns.

At NO time should parents or students enter the parking lot off Chartwell.  The parking lot is for Staff use only!  Please adhere to the signs which indicate this!

Toronto Public Health has some specific Do’s and Don’ts to remind us of our guidelines:

Do:

  • Make use of City outdoor recreational amenities, like playgrounds, tobogganing hills, fitness equipment and designated off-leash dog parks only with people you live with and stay two metres away from people you don’t live with.
  • Restrict gatherings at your home to people you live with only. If you live alone, you may consider having exclusive contact with one other person/household.
  • Always stay home except for essential trips, such as work, school, or healthcare visits.

Don’t:

  • Have get-togethers or playdates with friends, either in your home or outside.
  • Have children who are not your own visit your home, unless you are operating permitted childcare services as defined by the Child Care and Early Years Act.
  • Play shinny or organized hockey on outdoor rinks at any time nor organize social skates with people outside of your household.
  • Meet or gather outside with more than five people.

We all want things to go back to “normal”, but we must follow the guidelines of the “stay at home” order until it is safe to do so!!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

Friday, February 5, 2021

Good afternoon Norseman families,

The sounds of relief and excitement could be heard from parents, teachers, and students when the announcement of returning to in-person school was made earlier this week!  The past 5 weeks have been difficult for everyone and we are all looking forward to face-to-face (mask-to-mask!) learning, with much less time looking at a screen.

There will be some changes to our protocols beginning February 16th.  We have received information from Toronto Public Health that there will be a new screening tool/passport for both staff and students.  While the symptom section will remain the same, the questions will be more stringent (e.g., your child will be required to stay home if ANYONE in the household has symptoms).  We will distribute the new passports once they become available (most likely next week).

It is EXTREMELY important to note that despite the fact that students are returning to in-person school, the rules about gathering still apply (no playdates, sleepovers, birthday parties, lunch dates).

Stay tuned for more information in next Friday’s Blast regarding:

  • New/changes to protocols
  • Returning borrowed devices to Norseman

Please remember that Friday, February 12th is a PA Day and there will be no remote learning (synchronous or asynchronous) for any students that day.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

November 20th

Good morning Norseman families!

By now you will have all received the Communication of Learning: Initial Observations (JK/SK) or the Progress Report (Gr. 1-8) that went home on Tuesday.  Many of you will also have had the opportunity to speak with the teacher, either on the phone or online, regarding student progress.  This is a great time to discuss accomplishments and set goals for the rest of Term One.  We recognize the importance of the parent and school connection, and in working together, we can support our students to do their very best.

There has been a lot of talk in the media about whether schools may or may not be closing for an extended period over the holidays in December.  We have no information about this and will certainly let families know immediately if there is any new information.  We do know that the goal is to keep schools open, as long as it is safe.  Norseman students are doing a good job in following our protocols and routines, with some reminders.  Please continue to reinforce these protocols, including avoiding student get togethers and playdates with friends.  We know that students want to interact socially however, as students interact with others who are not in their cohort, they are increasing their contacts which then increases risk and exposure for many others.  We all need to do our part!

Distancing at morning drop off
There are many parents who enjoy watching their child enter the school building at the morning drop off.  Please remember that we must all distance ourselves from each other and the line ups.  Many of the class lines are long (particularly in the older grades), and at times, parents linger near bench areas which are located near these lines.  We ask that parents please move from these bench areas and instead stand on the asphalt pathway on the field to ensure proper distancing.

Holiday Gift giving
It is that time of year when we often exchange gifts.  Gifts would need to be wiped down or quarantined for 3 days.  All individuals are encouraged to practice hand hygiene before and after touching packages/gifts. Toronto Public Health has indicated that we consider gift cards or donations to charitable organizations in lieu of gifts.

Food drive
Norseman will again participate in our annual food drive.  Extra care will need to be taken in these different times.  Bins will be put in the front foyer to collect the items.  Students will bring their items brought from home and put them directly in the bin.  There will be no collection by older students from the classrooms and no counting or sorting of the items.  Again, TPH has asked that families consider monetary donations to the food bank in lieu of food items.

Spirit Days
We have determined several Spirit days over the next few months, and students can show their spirit by participating.
–November 27 – Pajama Day
-December 18 – Festive Friday – winter/holiday attire
-January 22 – Hat day

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

November 13th

Good afternoon Norseman families,

We have again been fortunate with the weather this week however; I feel there is a change in the air coming! With the temperatures vacillating, it is wise for students to wear several layers of clothing so that they can either put on or take off items to remain comfortable. You may even wish to tuck a pair of mittens and a hat into their backpacks as it can get very cold when the wind whips across the field. It won’t be long before the snow flies and proper footwear will need to be worn as well!

Remembrance Day
On Wednesday November 11, Norseman JMS acknowledged Remembrance Day. This is a day we honour generations of Canadian men and women, from all parts of the country and diverse backgrounds, who have served our country at home and abroad.  Students in several different grades created artwork, reflected on peace and researched information to share with the whole school via a virtual assembly that each class streamed in their own classroom. Classes also spent time discussing the courage and sacrifices made, which supports students in understanding our history and how to continue our focus on peace.

Norseman Heights Park
During school hours, Norseman JMS has been given permission to use Norseman Heights Park as part of our regular playground. However, it continues to be open for community members to use. Students have been reminded to be respectful and to share the space appropriately. We are also asking students to stay away from the fences that back onto the field.

Lost and Found
We are trying NOT to allow a lost and found to accumulate. Labelling items and clothing is more important than ever. We will be taking regular photos of items that have been found and will post them on the Norseman website. If you identify something from those photos, please email (Maureen.huddleston@tdsb.on.ca) or call (416-394-7880) and we will arrange for it to be given to your child to take home.

Report cards will be sent home on Tuesday November 17th.Parent/teacher virtual interviews or phone calls are being arranged for next week, based on the individual teacher’s schedule.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright
Principal

November 6th

Good afternoon Norseman families!

What a gift we received this week with the warm and sunny weather!  Classes spent many periods outside enjoying the opportunity for fresh air and learning.

As indicated last week in the Blast, teachers would be communicating with you this past week regarding curriculum for this school year.  Teachers chose different ways to connect with you (emails, newsletters, Google Meets, slide shows).  If you have any questions about curriculum, please contact your child’s teacher.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Report cards will be going home on November 17th.  In preparation for parent-teacher conferences set that week, we will be using https://www.schoolinterviews.ca/ again to book interview times with your child’s teacher. The system will open on November the 9th at 9 a.m. for parents to begin booking appointments. Please click on the link and type the code: v6de5 to see the available times and dates set by your child’s teacher.  The system will close on Friday November 13th at 4 p.m.  As visitors are not permitted in the school, all interviews will be done virtually or by phone.  Please connect with your child’s teacher to determine how interviews will be conducted.  A separate email about parent-teacher interviews went home today as well.

Dismissal
When students have been dismissed, the expectation is that they (and their parents) leave school property immediately.  Please do not remain on the school grounds to chat or play.  If students leave on their own, you should expect them to arrive home shortly after dismissal. This guideline comes from Toronto Public Health who recommend that we limit gatherings of any size. Remember that you are the role models for the children and they will follow your lead!

Enjoy the lovely weekend!

Carolyn Wright
Principal

October 30th

Happy Halloween!  It was a great day at Norseman, full of costumes and classroom activities!  It was even more difficult to tell students apart wearing both masks and costumes!

Daylight’s Savings time
Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night to allow for our change back to Eastern Standard Time.  We are looking forward to brighter mornings for the next few weeks.

Picking up Students early
If you arrive at the front door to pick up your child early from school for an appointment, please ensure that they have checked out through the office before you leave.  Please ask your child, “Did you check out at the office and speak to someone there?”  We must ensure that students have connected with the parent who is picking them up.  Thank you.

Meet the Teacher/Curriculum night
As our start to the year was very different than other years, we did not have our usual Meet the Teacher or Curriculum Night in September.  Teachers will be communicating about curriculum with parents next week (November 2-6).  Each teacher will determine how they wish to communicate this.  It could be via a Google Meet, an email, Google Slides or a handout.  This communication will serve to address questions about what students will be learning this year in preparation for Progress Reports in November.

Permission Click/Beginning of the Year forms
We continue to be missing many permission forms from parents.  These forms are very important in allowing us to continue with regular school programming. 

Just a reminder: in saying ‘no’ to TDSB media means that your child’s picture cannot ever be taken at the school for any reason (e.g., Student recognition).

Also, if you refuse emails under the anti-spam column, we cannot send you any emails from the school ,the teacher or the School Council.  Emails of a “commercial nature” are not sent through the school.

We must have permission for students to participate in Phys. Ed. activities and any walking excursions. Beginning Monday, students without this permission will remain at the office and not participate.

Should you prefer to complete these forms on paper, please call the office (416-394-7880) and we will send you the paper forms.

Early French Immersion Application Process – SK Entry
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 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.

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal

October 23rd

Hello Norseman families,

We’ve had another great week.  Despite some rainy days, we managed to get outside almost every recess or lunch hour!  Students really need that fresh air and a mask break.

Permission click
Both the TDSB and Norseman sent the link to the Start of Year forms to be completed online.  If you haven’t already done so, please ensure that you complete these forms (one for each student that goes to Norseman) so that we have the most up to date information.  These forms also include permission for classes to take neighbourhood walks and media release forms.  We appreciate your attention to these forms.

Halloween
Norseman will celebrate Halloween on Friday October 30th.  Students are invited to wear their costumes to school that day.

There will be no large school-wide events and no parade.  Halloween activities will be permitted to occur in the classroom with the class cohort. No candy/treats or other Halloween items will be permitted to be brought to school by students or staff due to possible contamination from wrappers.

Please note that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask and should not be worn over a cloth mask as it may make it difficult to breathe.  Consider making the cloth mask part of the costume!  Since students are required to wear masks, it is not recommended that students wear costume make-up from below the eyes, to ensure their face coverings are not dirtied.


Toronto Public Health has created some Halloween messages with creative suggestions and alternatives for Halloween.  Please see the links below.

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/967f-Celebrating-a-Safer-Halloween-During-Covid-19.pdf

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/96ba-Be-Hallow-wise.pdf

https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/8f3b-Safer-Trick-or-Treating-Options.pdf

Have a wonderful weekend!

Carolyn Wright
Principal

October 2nd

Happy Friday, Norseman families!

We have now finished our second full week of school and are into the month of October!  The weather is certainly changing and we recommend that students ensure they are dressed for these changes.  Layers are always a good idea so that students can easily remain comfortable.  Windows will continue to be open throughout the year to allow for some fresh air, so students need to think about what they may need both inside and outside.  Even on those damp and rainy days, we hope that students can be outside for a mask break.  Please invest in some boots and umbrellas for those days.

Agendas

Some of our teachers ordered agendas for students to use this school year.  We have just received information that agendas may be used.  They will be for student use only to keep track of due dates and assignments.  Teachers will not be collecting them or initialling them every day, nor will they be using them to communicate with parents.  If you need to relay information to the teacher or have a question, please send the teacher an email.  If a teacher needs to contact you, they will either phone or email you.  There will be no charge for agendas this year.

COVID-19 School Decision Guide

I had hoped to share the COVID-19 School Decision Guide with you, however, the Ontario government announced yesterday that it is updating its COVID-19 school and child care screening guidance. As the TDSB takes its lead from Toronto Public Health (TPH), consultations are taking place with TPH on next steps.  Additional information will be shared once the school guidelines have been updated.

Norseman Community School Programs

Please note that Norseman Community School Programs have moved to Fairfield Seniors Centre (80 Lothian Ave) for the Fall Session.  They have adopted Covid safety precautions in their programs with disinfecting, physically distancing, and smaller group sizes where necessary.  To register you will require a family and client number. To obtain this information please contact 416-396-7378.  For information on registration including what programs will be offered please visit www.efun.toronto.ca

Coyote Sightings in the neighbourhood

We have received several recent reports of coyote sightings in the area (we have not had any sightings on or near school property).  As a result, we would like to remind students, and all members of our school community, to be aware of their surroundings, not to approach an unfamiliar animal, and walk with a buddy to and from school.

Coyotes are cautious and non-confrontational by nature, and it is not unusual to see these animals in many parts of our city.  However, it is important to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of students and staff.

If you encounter a coyote, here is some information from Animal Services that may be helpful:

  • Encourage the coyote to keep moving by shouting and gesturing aggressively.
  • There is probably a food source either in your yard or your neighbour’s yard. To stop a coyote from coming into your yard avoid feeding your pets outdoors, store garbage, recycling and organics properly, and remove dense brush and weeds to minimize hiding spots.
  • If you see someone feeding a coyote, call 311 as it is against City bylaws.
  • Coyotes are naturally timid and flee when confronted aggressively.  Never run away from a coyote.

The following actions teach coyotes to fear humans:

  • Be Big – Stand up and raise your arms in the air. Appear as large and threatening as possible
  • Be Loud – Stomp your feet, clap your hands, and yell “go away coyote” to alert people nearby.
  • Be Threatening – Throw a tennis ball or a small pebble or stick at the coyote, but only to show the coyote who is boss – not to injure!
  • Avoid turning your back, maintain eye contact and slowly back away.

Take care and stay safe.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Carolyn Wright

Principal

September 25th

Hello Norseman Families!

Important Changes to Mask Guidelines

As our procedures change, so do the procedures of the TDSB.  Many of you may have seen Ms. Kim and I out on the yard this morning reminding some parents/caregivers to wear masks.  Last night the TDSB refined their mask guidelines, which has a significant change for everyone on school property.

School visitors, including parents/guardians, are required to wear a mask/face covering when indoors and outdoors on school property, such as during pick-up and drop-off.”


For the full changes to the guidelines, please click on the link below:

Mask Guidelines Updated

As well, there are some masks that are not approved for use.  Some commercially available masks have exhalation (breathable) valves or openings that make the mask more breathable for the person wearing it. However, these masks also allow infectious respiratory droplets to spread outside the mask. Masks with exhalation valves are therefore not to be used because they do not protect others from COVID-19 and do not limit the spread of the virus.

Start of the Year forms

At the beginning of the school year, parents/caregivers are asked to complete a myriad of permission forms (walking excursion forms, medical information, Phys. Ed. Forms, etc.)  The Start of Year Forms package will be made available to parents/guardians digitally again this year. The forms will be emailed to all parents/guardians with an email on file between Monday, September 28, 2020 - Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The Start of Year Forms will be completed for all students (both in-person and virtual). These forms are associated with the student and therefore will move with the student, regardless of the learning model chosen.

Switching from or Returning to In-Person Learning

We recognize that parents/guardians and/or students may want to switch between in-person learning and Virtual School. It is important to note that, for health and safety reasons, and because of the impact switching would have on staffing, physical distancing and space allocation, it will not be possible to immediately transition between the two models. As a result, an opportunity to enter the Virtual School or to return to in-person learning will be provided at three key dates during the school year, as outlined below. 

Movement from one model to another will be requested through the Principal of the student’s home school. If a switch is required outside of the designated times, a limited number of exceptions may be made and will be reviewed by Principals on a case-by-case basis.

Opportunity to Change           Date the Change of Class             Deadline to Request Change

One month into the year            October 13, 2020                            September 

30, 2020

After the progress report            November 23, 2020                         November 6, 2020

After the First Term report          February 16, 2021                            January 29, 2021

Orange Shirt Day

On Wednesday, September 30th, we acknowledge and honour Orange Shirt Day.  It is a time to reflect on the effects of Residential Schools on First Nations and to continue our journey towards reconciliation.  We invite our students to wear an orange shirt on September 30th to support the initiative “Every Child Matters” and to create a school culture centred on anti-racism and anti-bullying for the upcoming year. Please check our Twitter account @NorsemanTweet on September 30th to see the activities students will be doing in their class.

When Students are unwell

When students complain about being unwell, we take it very seriously.  If the student shows signs of a covid symptom:

  • The student is immediately brought to our wellness room and parents are called.
  • The parent is encouraged to go for testing or to speak to their healthcare provider and should self-isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms unless
  • They have been tested and have a negative result (see process below) or
  • They have received an alternate diagnosis from a healthcare provider

If test results are negative or they have received an alternative diagnosis from a healthcare provider,  and the individual has not had a high risk exposure to COVID-19, they may return to school 24 hours after being symptom free.  But if they are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, they must remain in self isolation for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
 

If you are a close contact of a positive case:  You must self-isolate for 14 days from your last contact with the positive case and monitor for symptoms  Speak to your healthcare provider and go for testing  Remain in isolation for 14 days regardless if test results come back negative for COVID-19.

If you have been called to pick up your child due to illness, please keep the main office up to date regarding your follow up process.

Absences and missed school work

Students who are at home ill, will obviously be unable to complete the in-school program and need to take the allotted time to rest and fully recover.  Typically, the greater part of a school day and most in-school lessons are based on oral discussion, shared efforts, and hands-on manipulation.  As a result, this cannot be duplicated at home and teachers will usually be unable to provide take-home work for students who are absent.  If a teacher has posted homework on a Google Classroom for the entire class, this work can always be accessed.  Otherwise, students who are at home and on the road to recovery can engage in independent reading and writing, and research of information related to other current units of study.  If the students are unaware of their units of study, teachers can provide this information, if requested.  Since teachers also need to follow the same health guidelines, supply teachers cannot be expected to provide this information for students who are at home.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!  Enjoy the lovely warm weather this weekend!

Take care and stay safe,

Carolyn Wright

Principal

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