Message From The Board

Dear TDSB Families, 

As we enter the third week of school, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has just released updated guidance with regard to extra-curricular activities such as sports, clubs, bands, and fields trips. They are now recommending the gradual return of extra-curriculars as schools establish routines and cohorts, and are confident in health and safety protocols. This is very encouraging news as we know how important these activities are to students’ mental and physical health and overall school experience.

TPH guidance about extra-curricular activities including clubs, bands (with exception of wind & brass instruments) and sports with mixed cohorts includes the following:

  • The gradual return of extra-curricular activities should begin with students between the ages of 12 and 17 (those eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination)
  • High-contact and high intensity activities (such as football, field hockey & basketball) are only recommended outdoors at this time. Masking is not required when participating in high intensity activities outdoors. Masks and physical distancing should be considered when possible.
  • Low contact and low intensity activities (such as clubs, bands and some sports) are permitted indoors. Masking and physical distancing is required for indoor activities.
  • Guidelines should be developed to limit the number of clubs/extracurricular activities/cohorts a student can participate in at any one time
  • Individuals from different schools and mixed cohorts limit interactions to the outdoors.
  • Guidelines should be developed for spectators to limit the spread of COVID-19.

TPH guidance about field trips includes the following:

  • The gradual return of field trips should begin with students between the ages of 12 and 17 (those eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination)
  • A gradual return of field trips can occur, when health and safety protocols including infection prevention and control procedures are well established in the schools, taking into consideration low risk activities and settings.
  • Field trips should only proceed when COVID-19 vaccine confirmation for volunteers is in place.
  • Encourage virtual field trips where possible.
  • Outdoor field trips are lower risk compared to indoor field trips.
  • Overnight field trips are not currently recommended.

For the full guidance document provided to Toronto school boards, please visit the City of Toronto website.

Counting Down the Hours :)

Firstly, we'd like to start by acknowledging everyone's patience and trust that you have placed upon us here at West Prep. Thank you! 

We're excited to start the 2021-2022 school year amidst the continuing situation that we all face.  Working together in the past bodes well for us as we continue moving forward.  Our main goal has always been to make our school as safe and welcoming as possible for all of our students and staff in order for learning to happen. We have done it before and we will do it again, as a team and as the West Prep community!

As you are aware, students across the province will be learning either in person at school or in a virtual classroom environments.  This year virtual classrooms will be attached to schools.  Here at West Prep we have a virtual kindergarten classroom and a virtual grade 6 classroom, being taught by our very own staff.  With this, we welcome all of our new friends and families coming from other schools into our virtual West Prep classrooms! 

West Prep families were surveyed back in August and based on responses, we recently received our updated student numbers and associated staffing allocation. As we work to reorganize our school, please be advised that classroom assignments based on our school model from last spring has changed. Class lists have been modified to take into account several factors in order to maintain Toronto Public Health covid-safe cohorting of students in schools, to the best of our ability.  Please be aware that everything may change again as there is a strong possibility that we will need to realign classes again before the end of the month, based on current enrolment.

In the meantime, we have put together our West Prep Operational Guidelines based on the TDSB's Return To School document in the slide deck below.  Please take a look through it, as it has lots of West Prep specific information.

We appreciate your patience and support and we are looking forward to seeing everyone back at school, in person and virtual! 

Mr. da Luz

Welcome Back!

To our West Prep families,

 

We hope that you have had a restful, fun-filled and safe summer. The TDSB and the West Prep staff have been working hard to prepare for the safe return of our students, on Thursday, September 9, 2021.  We are committed to providing students with regular and meaningful learning opportunities while maintaining a safe environment for our entire school community.  We will, however, remain flexible and recognize that circumstances may change over the course of the year, depending on the evolution of  COVID-19. Our students, staff and community safety will always remain a top priority. 

 

Currently our staff are setting up their new learning environments and have been engaging in professional development in the areas of equity, achievement, and well-being in advance of the new school year.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we finalize the last pieces to getting our school year started.  Please know that your child’s classroom teacher will be reaching out to welcome you and your child/ren to West Prep in the next little bit. 

 

We are very excited to see everyone again on Thursday, September 9th!  All students will meet their teachers in the schoolyard (north side of the school).   Your child’s teacher will be holding a clipboard with their name and room number as well.  Please remember, once you come onto school property, that all adults need to wear a mask.  Please do not arrive earlier than 8:40am and please do not remain on our school grounds past the 9am bell...Thank you in advance.   

 

Our school day ends at 3:10pm for Kindergarten children and at 3:20pm for children in Gr.1-6.  Children will be brought outside by their teacher to the same location that they lined up at in the morning.  Your child’s teacher will provide more details.  We know that the 2021-22 return to school is not a return to normal, but it is also not new. It is our sincere hope that we can support students, families and staff as we continue to work together in navigating a safe and happy learning environment for all.

 

Our new TDSB Director, Colleen Russell-Rawlins sent an Update Message to parents on Thursday, August 26th providing board level information. COVID-19 continues to significantly impact how we operate, and at West Prep, we have been busy refining our procedures as we prepare to welcome our students, parents and staff back to the school on September 9th. I remain positive in knowing that we have done this successfully before!  Many of the practices and procedures that were in place last year will remain in place, at least for the near future. Our direction continues to be based on guidelines from the Ministry of Health, Toronto Public Health, the Ministry of Education and the Toronto District School Board. 

 

As you know, the Trustees of the TDSB voted unanimously to have TDSB staff develop a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination procedure which will require all TDSB staff, Trustees, and visitors to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status and to be fully vaccinated to help protect the health and safety of both staff and students. We know that families may have questions about this new procedure and we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. We are reassured that this new measure of protection will help keep our children, families and staff safe this year. 

 

Our school start-up could not happen without the amazing work over the summer months from our West Prep caretaking staff.  Thank you also to our office and teaching staff, who have been busy preparing for the new school year.  Everything that we have put in place is in conjunction with the safety protocols that can be found in the TDSB’s Operational Guidelines, specifically for elementary schools.  There are some new pieces to the safe operations of our school, but one piece that continues and is still relevant to everyone is that All Adults coming onto school property are required to wear a mask, while on our school grounds.  Let’s all do our part to keep our students, staff and community safe.

 

August Selection Form

We would like to thank you for completing the Board Selection form that was shared earlier in August. We recognize and value the thoughts and decision-making that was part of this process for all of our families and know that it may not have been an easy decision to select in-person or remote learning for your child/ren. The TDSB has collated these results and with this information it has formulated new school organization models for in-person and remote learning.  Since we have had to create a new school model based on these new numbers, we have had to adjust our school model.

 

Classroom Organization - As of Sept. 5th

Kindergarten Classes

K1, K2, K3, K4, Virtual K5

 

Primary Classes

1A, 1B, 1C

2A, 2B, 2/3A, 2/3B

3A, 3B

 

Junior Classes

3/4A, 4B

5A, 5B

6A, 6B, Virtual 6C

 

At this moment, the board has a date in February 2022, where they will allow for a switch from in-person to remote and vice-versa.  Until then, any allowance for a change will be a board decision, not a local school decision.

 

As we head into the 2021-2022 school year, we’re doing it without some of our team members.  We would like to say goodbye and wish Ms. Vali Shahinaj all the best in her new adventures as an occasional teacher. I'm sure we will see Ms. Shahinaj around, also thank you to our educational assistant, Ms. Edith Molnar. At the same time, we would like to welcome back Ms. Suh, Ms. Ustianov and Ms. Soanes back to West Prep...we’ve missed them and are happy to have them all join our team in-person.  

 

We would also like to introduce our newest members to our West Prep team, Ms. Stephanie Lang, Mrs. Hanh To and Mrs. Amanda Perri.  I know that they are excited to be here with us and I know they will feel very welcome by everyone in our community.

 

Lastly, we would like to congratulate Mrs. Lampropoulos who retired from the TDSB in June 2021. Mrs.  Lampropoulos supported students, staff and families at West Prep for many years and developed long lasting relationships with everyone that she met. Her dedication and passion to her role, as a teacher, impacted so many within our community. Mrs. Lampropoulos will be missed but we are happy to know that she's starting a new chapter in her life. 

 

On behalf of all of us at West Prep we want to thank you for your patience and understanding and are all excited to bring in the 2021-2022 school year together.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Mr. da Luz