Birchwood staff are excited for the return of students!
As you can appreciate, our school operational plan and the details below are subject to change. This information is meant to address many of the common questions.
We will be sending out weekly communication to parents and providing other relevant materials prior to startup.
*A reminder that the first day of school on September 8th is only for grade seven students. Details of the orientation will be sent directly to grade seven parents.*
Pre-Screening your Children – Every morning we ask that you check-in with your child to see how they are feeling. If your child is feeling unwell and is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that they stay home and suggest you call 811 or your healthcare provider for information. The checklist can be found at the link below.
Student Pre-screening Checklist
If students are going to be absent, please notify the main office by phone at (902) 368-6870 or use the absence notification email found under the contact us tab on our website. Please indicate the reason for the absence.
Students are required to wear a non-medical mask on busses and in common spaces (entering/exiting the building, in hallways during transitions). Students are also required to wear masks during emergency procedures such as fire drills, bus evacuation drills, and lockdown drills. Wearing Masks and PPE in Schools
Student Drop off and Pick Up
Bus routes can be found by visiting the PSB bus portal.
Students should be dropped off at school between 8:15 AM and 8:45 AM. See the traffic plan below. Students will enter the building wearing a non-medical mask, using their designated cohort entrance. When they enter the building they will sanitize their hands and proceed directly to their homeroom for attendance and silent reading. First-class will begin at 8:45. Several staff members will be outside to direct students and assist with traffic. Staff will also be present at each designated entrance.
Homeroom teachers will be sending a welcome email before the end of the day on Friday to indicate which homeroom your child is in.
7A, 7B, 7C, and 7D will enter/exit using the first cafeteria doors
7F, 7G, and 7H will enter/exit using the second cafeteria doors
8A, 8B, 8C, and 8D will enter/exit using the courtyard doors
8E, 8F, 8G, and 8H will enter/exit using the gymnasium doors
9A, 9B, 9C, 9D, 9E will enter/exit using the library doors
9F, 9G, 9H, and 9I will enter/exit using the band room doors
If you are dropping off students, we would ask that you proceed south down Birchwood street from Lapthorne or Gerald streets. Students can be dropped off on the right side of the road and must cross the street using the new crosswalk by the gym entrance. We would ask that parents turn right onto Longworth avenue to promote traffic flow. Please be respectful of local residents by not blocking their driveways. Please do not enter/block the bus lane and do not pass or encroach on a school bus when their lights are flashing.
Dismissal will begin at 2:50 PM and we will follow the same guidelines. We would ask students to leave school promptly so that cleaning staff can begin their duties to prepare for the next day.
Student Drop off and Pickup Map
*If students are late, they must enter using the main door wearing a non-medical mask. They will sign in, sanitize their hands, and be escorted to their cohort area by a staff member.
Foodservice will not be available from Chartwells or the new School Food Program until at least September 14th. We intend to deliver items for either service directly to homerooms when service resumes. More information and to register for the new School Food Program can be found by visiting peischoolfood.ca. We will send out more information in a separate email.
Until September 14th, students in grade seven will need to bring their lunch. Students in grades eight and nine can either bring their lunch or go off grounds. At this time, microwaves will not be available. A reminder not to send items containing nuts or fish. We have staff and students with severe allergies.
Lunch will begin at 11:50. We will be staggering the cohort dismissal at lunch to avoid congestion at the bell. Those students in grade eight or nine who wish to go off grounds for lunch can do so at that time.
Students in grade seven and those in grade eight/nine who choose to stay will eat in their cohort areas until 12:05 PM. At 12:05 PM, students can either remain in their cohort area or proceed to a designated area. For the fall, we want to get students outside as much as possible. All students including those in grade seven will have the opportunity to proceed to Orlebar park. Staff will be on-site for supervision. At 12:40 those students outside and returning from off grounds, will enter using their designated cohort doors, sanitize their hands, wear a non-medical mask, and proceed to their homeroom for attendance.
Schedule and Curriculum
Social Studies and Science will be semestered. This will reduce transitions and provide a more consistent schedule for students. For example, students in 7A will have Science every day for the first half of the year, and students in 7B will have Social Studies. They will then switch at the halfway point of the year.
Students in all grades and programs have additional Language Arts and Math built into their time tables. At this time, the band program will be following the specialist schedule, and students are not permitted to access the change rooms for gym class. Please bring indoor sneakers.
If you need to enter the school, you must enter using the main entrance and remain in the visitor’s zone. You will be required to sanitize your hands, sign in, and wear a non-medical mask. Please wait to be greeted by a staff member. This area is limited to six visitors. We would appreciate a call in advance.
Please be diligent in packing items commonly dropped off at the office. ( binders, gym sneakers, instruments and lunch money for example) In keeping with the guidelines, we would encourage parents to contact staff by phone or email. We will be scheduling virtual meetings where possible.
Initially, students will not be able to use lockers. We will introduce them after routines have been established. As a result, students should take a binder, writing utensils, a calculator, a French English dictionary, a water bottle, lunch/snack, and gym shoes in their school bag.
We will be offering our breakfast program this year but it will begin near the end of September. We intend to offer the program in cohort areas. We will be seeking volunteers.
Student information forms will be distributed on the first day of school. Please update the relevant information on the forms and return them promptly. We depend on this information for communication.
Students will also receive a paper copy of their Google username and password. Please make note of this.
I would like to publicly thank the over seventy staff at Birchwood who have been working together to create a safe and caring learning environment for the upcoming school year. We are looking forward to September 8th and working with you to support your children. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.