Springtime in Toronto is always an exciting time! From cheering on our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors’ playoff runs … the excitement that comes with the opening of a new season for the Blue Jays and Toronto F.C. and just the simple fact that we’re able to spend more time outdoors….Spring is here!
This year has been unlike any other year, but our staff continue to work hard to make every student’s experience a positive one in light of everything that we are dealing with. Many days at school we forget that we are in the midst of a pandemic as our staff continue to provide learning and fun for all of our students.
We ask that you please pay close attention to this newsletter as there is lots of information that we all need to be aware of as we continue to keep safe. In the meantime, please stay connected with us through our Twitter page: twitter.com/tdsb_westprep as well as our school website – schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/westprep - to find out more about all of the exciting happenings that are going on at your favourite school – West Preparatory P.S. !
TDSB & Toronto Public Health Protocols
We need everyone's help. We remind everyone that students, staff and families alike are required to wear masks/face coverings on school property at all times during morning drop off and afternoon pick up. All of us need to help maintain the health and safety of our entire West Prep community. Once children and families are off school property, and able to physically distance are they able to take off their masks. Thank you everyone for doing your part in helping us to keep our school open and safe.
Health & Safety
Message from Toronto Public Health
Toronto is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and specifically the variants of concern throughout the city. Nearby schools have recently had to dismiss classes due to positive cases in their communities. Let’s all do our part to keep our school safe and covid free. During this time please continue with daily COVID-19 symptom screening for students, and adults. If anyone in your household has one or more, new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 they should arrange to get tested as soon as possible or contact their health care provider. For more information about COVID-19 testing along with a list of places you can go for testing, please visit COVID-19 testing. Please continue to visit www.toronto.ca/COVID19 to stay up-to-date.
Gatherings on School Property
In compliance with Toronto Public Health and TDSB operational guidelines during the pandemic, we are required to avoid large gatherings. Typically the morning drop-off and afterschool pick-up is a time that we have 100’s of people in our yard. In order to maximize safety at school, we ask all students and families to help by doing the following:
- Upon arrival onto school grounds, everyone: students, staff and families, must wear a mask in the schoolyard
- Students and families please do not arrive any earlier than 8:40am
- Only one family member to drop-off a child in the schoolyard
- Once your child’s teacher is outside, family members are asked to please leave the schoolyard promptly
- Upon arrival onto school grounds, everyone, students, staff and families must wear a mask in the schoolyard
- Kindergarten families do not arrive any earlier than 3:00pm
- Primary & Junior families do not arrive any earlier than 3:10pm
- Students and families please leave the schoolyard as soon as their child/ren has been picked up.
We depend on your help to keep our school open and our community safe. By working together, and by every one of us doing our part, we can keep each other safe.
Toronto Public Health Video
Recently, Toronto Public Health put together this video to help all families understand what we as a school community can do to prevent Covid-19 spread and stay safe both at school and at home. Please take the time to watch this very informative video with your family. https://youtu.be/cVMdD6FDmLM
West Prep Operational Guidelines
Since the beginning of the year we have had to make adjustments to our regular school day due to Covid-19 safety protocols. We have created our 2020-2021 School Operational Guidelines based on Toronto District School Board and Toronto Public Health school protocols. As new information is sent out, we update the easy to read Google Slide Deck in hopes that, if we all do our part, we will keep our school and community covid free. Please take a look at the Google Slide Deck with your family every so often.
Dropping Off Items
We ask all families to help their child to make sure that they come to school prepared with everything they need for the day, lunch, water bottle, running shoes, etc. as visitors to the building are not allowed as we try and maintain a covid-safe environment.
We recently received our allotted number of HEPA filter units from the TDSB. All schools are in the process of receiving these units that will help facilitate air circulation in each classroom. At West Prep we are very fortunate that every classroom in our school has windows that open to allow for fresh air to come into our building. These units are an added bonus to help circulate airflow throughout.
School Mental Health Ontario
During these challenging times, you may be worried about your child(ren)’s mental health and well-being. You may notice that they are anxious or unsettled, and perhaps have told you that they are worried about someone in the family getting the virus. They may be confused about why usual activities are disrupted or may be disappointed to miss something that they were looking forward to. All of these things are very natural at this uncertain time. SMHO has put together a parent resource that can be found here to help us answer some of the questions that our children may have. https://smho-smso.ca/covid-19/parents-and-families/
Sick Kids – About Kids Health
Sick Kids hospital has put together a nice resource/hub that includes resources on COVID-19 and how to help families cope. There are resources on how to support your child's mental health and general wellbeing through physical activity, sleep, nutrition and learning. Also included are videos and audio meditations to help you cope with stressful thoughts and experiences that occur throughout your day. https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/covid-19
Student Drop-Off & Pick-Up
Thank you to everyone who has made safer and alternate arrangements to drop off and pick up children so that our school and community at large is safe for everyone.
DO NOT STOP OR PARK YOUR VEHICLE IN NO PARKING, NO STOPPING AREAS & IN FRONT OF PRIVATE DRIVEWAYS AROUND OUR SCHOOL!
Designated Drop-Off and Pick-Up Area and Time Limits around the School
- Old Park Road - 15 Minute Parking: 8:15-9:15 am & 11:15 am-1:15 pm & 3:00-4:00 pm
- Ridge Hill Drive - 20 Minute Parking: 8:30-9:30am only
- Shallmar and Ridge Hill West of Aldburn have longer time limits for parking
- Aldburn Cres. (Westbound Side) - No Stopping/No Parking, 8am to 6pm
- Glenarden Rd.(Northbound Side) - No Stopping/No Parking, 8am to 6pm
When you need to park your vehicle, Shallmar Blvd. is a good area to park your vehicle and to walk safely across the street with the help of our crossing guard. On the west side of the school, Aldburn Rd. on the south side is also viable, but further away from the school as possible. Please make sure to walk with your child on the north side sidewalk. We ask that you be mindful of where you park or stop your vehicle in relation to student safety. Let’s all do our part to make sure that all of our students and families are safe at all times.
Walking To School
With the warmer temperatures and the importance of getting outside as often as possible, many students are now walking to school. Please help reinforce the importance of being safe at all times by following the tips below:
- Practice good role modeling by walking with your child and showing them road safety rules so that they can develop good habits
- Remember children learn from seeing and doing!
- Wear the right clothing. Bundle up in the winter and protect your skin in the summer with a hat and clothing. And always wear sunscreen and sunglasses all year round. Remember to wear bright, reflective clothing or accessories in cloudy or dark conditions so drivers can see you better
- Teach your child to use their eyes and ears. Always stop, look and listen, even if there is a crossing guard, or traffic signals to help them
- Stop and check that cars in every lane can see you and make eye contact with the drivers. Wait until drivers have stopped before crossing the road
- Look left, right and left again. When the way is clear, or all the cars at the crosswalk or intersection have come to a full stop, teach your child to cross the road, and not to turn back or run. Children should be told not to cross between parked cars, or in the middle of a street, but at a corner
- Listen to oncoming traffic and be alert. Make it a rule for your child to not use headphones or cellphones when walking, especially when they are crossing the road. Distractions, even talking while walking, can put children in danger of being hit by a car
- Walk, don't run, while crossing the street. By running, you risk tripping and falling in the middle of the road
Scooters, Roller Blades, Bicycles and Skateboards are excellent modes of transportation, however for everyone’s safety, they are not to be used on school property between 8:15am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. To promote a safe learning environment, students are expected to walk their bicycles to the racks and carry their skateboards, rollerblades and scooters while on school property during school hours. Let’s all be safe!
Dogs on School Property
With the exception of service animals, dogs are NOT allowed on TDSB property AT ANY TIME. It is a health and safety concern for all schools. We wish to keep the grounds and playing areas free from dog excrement and in addition, dogs on school property during the school day pose a potential safety risk for children. Furthermore, dogs should never be left tied up and unattended at any of the school fences. Thanks for helping to make our school and its surroundings a safe place for everyone.
This Earth Hour, millions around the world will be turning off the lights and speaking up why nature matters. Join TDSB schools and offices as we celebrate Earth Hour by turning off unnecessary lights and unplugging electronic devices. Additionally, families and community members can participate on Saturday, March 27 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Consider registering your actions or event at the Global Earth Hour website. We will be celebrating Earth Hour at West Prep on Friday, March 26th. We will be turning off non-essential lights and electronics to do our part.
Day of Pink
On April 21st our students and staff will wear pink to celebrate The International Day of Pink. A day of action, born when a youth in a high school in Cambridge, Nova Scotia was bullied because he wore a pink shirt to school. His fellow students decided to stand up to bullying; and hundreds of students came to school wearing pink to show support for diversity and stopping discrimination. The Day of Pink is more than just a symbol of a shared belief in celebrating diversity—it is also a commitment to being open minded, accepting differences and learning to respect one another. At West Prep and across the TDSB, we participate in the Day of Pink to stand up to discrimination and to celebrate kindness and inclusivity, attributes that are well evident at our school on a daily basis! Join us on April 21st and wear Pink!
April Break camps
The City of Toronto is running both in-person and virtual April Break camps. You can find out more information here: https://efun.toronto.ca/torontofun/Start/Start.asp
Ms. Ramcharan has been extremely busy accepting registrations for the upcoming school year. Children who will be four by December 31, 2021, can start Junior Kindergarten in September 2021. To begin the registration process, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/EarlyYears/KindergartenMonth.
Only parents or legal guardians can register a child for TDSB programs. To Register, parents/guardians must bring proof of their child's:
- age (a birth certificate or baptismal record or passport)
- address that identifies the parent’s name (e.g., two pieces of identification that show an address within West Prep’s boundary, such as an income tax form, property tax bill, utility bill, rental or lease agreement)
- immunization record
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.
The TDSB serves adults at all stages in their lives and careers through our credit programs, general interest courses and ESL classes.
Continue to learn with us!