Important Updates for Back to School

Dear students and parents,

As we begin the 2020 – 2021 school year, we would like to welcome all new and returning students and staff.  Our staff is so excited to see all of our students on September 8th and we are eager to get our school year started.  This school year will see many changes in the movement and interactions during the school day, but one thing that has not changed is our commitment to providing a learning environment that is safe, nurturing, creative, and supportive.  We understand that you may be experiencing a level of anxiousness with the new protocols we have put into place, but we are here to help and support you during this time of change.

One change in our daily routine is the morning drop off and school entrance. In the morning, parents will be dropping off their child(ren) at the front corner of the school.  Students will exit the vehicle and parents you are to exit through the roadway in front of the school and out the front driveway.  Parents you must remain in your vehicle.  Students in grades K-3 will enter the school at the back door and students in grade 4-8 will enter through the side door.  This will allow students the ability to enter their cohort zones directly.

At the end of the day we will have a staggered dismissal.  All students will be dismissed from their cohort entrance, but unlike the morning routine, parents will be able to park in the back parking lot to pick up their child(ren).  Bus students will be dismissed at 3:00, students being driven will be dismissed at 3:05 and walkers will be dismissed at 3:10.  Similar to the drop off protocols, parents will be unable to exit their vehicle.

The Public Schools Branch has hired a cleaner to clean common areas and surfaces throughout the day.  This will be in conjunction with the regular cleaning that already happens.  As announced on Friday, the CPHO and the Department of Education now require that all students travelling on a bus must wear a mask.  Also, students and staff in grades 7 and 8 are now required to wear a mask while transitioning from class to class or during emergency procedures.  It is strongly recommended that students in grades K to 6 wear a mask during transition times and emergency procedures.  All students will need a mask with them during the school day.

 

If you have not already read our operational plans, here is the link:

Click to access georgetown_elementary_planning_template.pdf

We encourage you to read our plan and contact us to discuss any questions or concerns.

If there are more general questions you may have, this link has been created to help assist you with the answers. We encourage you to consider this as well:
https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/back-to-school-faqs

We appreciate your support and look forward to working together.  Please call the school if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Sheryll O’Hanley

A Message From The PSB

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

The Public Schools Branch would like to send congratulations and best wishes to our 2020 Graduates. We want to congratulate all our grade 12 graduates on their many accomplishments during their education journey these last 12 years. We hope they enjoy the recognitions and ceremonies that are being planned for them next week to mark this major achievement.

We live in interesting times that we will always remember. Our 2020 graduates will certainly never forget the year they graduated. Even though our graduates are leaving public education during a worldwide pandemic, they have remained focused, pushed forward, and developed skills of resiliency that will carry them well into the future. Their determination and resolve has been inspiring.

This is a time for our graduates, to reflect on and celebrate their accomplishments, efforts, and actions with their parents, family and friends. Our graduates have achieved so many great things to get to this stage of life, and in doing so, they have created endless possibilities for themselves. We wish all graduates the best of success in what life has to offer as they head to university, college, the work force, or other pursuits. We encourage our PSB graduates to continue to fill chapters of the amazing story they are writing. #classof2020

COVID-19 Response to Mental Health Concerns

A Child and Youth Urgent Mental Health Care service is now available for children and youth ages 18 and under with urgent mental health needs or very high emotional distress. Children and youth with urgent mental health needs can call the virtual clinic for support and assistance. Children, youth, and their parents can call toll free at 1-866-833-5443 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily to connect with trained Health PEI mental health clinicians, who will provide a thorough risk assessment, help to stabilize any crisis, and connect to appropriate community supports.

Outside of the Child and Youth Urgent Mental Health Care hours, individuals requiring urgent mental health support can also access the Island Help Line (1-800-218-2885), Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868), their local emergency department, or 911. Community Mental Health Services, Student Well Being Teams, Strongest Families, and other community partners will continue to be available for all non-urgent mental health questions and concerns. For information on these services contact your local Community Mental Health office or Mental Health and Addictions Information Service at 1-833-533-9333.

Thank you to those who sent me feedback on the benefit and value of these weekly communications that began back in mid-March. It is my hope that these messages have been helpful. Next Wednesday will be the last letter for the 2019-20 school year. Plans are in the works to make it both a video and written message.

Until then, take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director

A Message From the PSB

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

A friend recently shared with me a message from the Prince Edward Island Public Service Commission about working from home with kids during the pandemic. The information is very helpful and I have drawn from it to share several important points for your consideration.

Many parents and staff are still working from home as they continue to manage the realities of dealing with COVID-19. We are all beginning to understand that working from home might continue for some time, at least part-time. Many are working alongside their family members, including children and may find this to be a challenge. There are a few positive things that we can all do in these situations.

Approach unpredictable times with flexibility. Being flexible helps us to better adapt to changes happening at home or with our workday. The positive side of being flexible is we are never going to feel stuck doing things “the one right way.” We can learn from our efforts, make revisions, and try something else without judging ourselves harshly. It is important to be kind to ourselves when we struggle and our day doesn’t unfold with our work and family the way we planned it would.

Find relief. Life is tough sometimes, really tough and at times we need to find relief in the simplest of things. Nature, family, music, cooking, art, gardening, exercise, reading, etc. can give us the break we need from our struggles so that we can recharge and refocus. Positive things will happen for our families and ourselves when we find ways to get some relief from life’s challenges.

Seek support to gain solutions. It is important to reach out for emotional support to those you trust.   Professional support can also help us gain new skills and strategies to manage our priorities and struggles. To access advice and find solutions to problems that are affecting work, family or your well-being, contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-239-3826 or eap@gov.pe.ca. It’s free and confidential.

For more information on how to work from home with kids in a pandemic, click the link: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2020/how-to-try-to-work-from-home-with-kids-in-a-pandemic/. The article includes practical and helpful suggestions to support working from home while managing students of various ages.

Take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Message From The PSB

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

As we move into June and the last month of school for the 2019-2020 school year, Public Schools Branch (PSB) staff are working diligently on the many year-end tasks and are planning and preparing to ensure success for September 2020. In accordance with the provisions of Phase 3 in Renew PEI, school staffs have more opportunities to support students and families throughout the month of June.

Teachers are available to schedule in-person appointments with students who wish to review their learning, the Respite Program is being offered in all PSB schools, some teachers are connecting with students through Google Meet, and PSB consultants and school counsellors have begun to reach out to families needing specialized supports. Home learning will continue until June 12 for high school students and June 19 for K-9 students.

Schools have been very successful in finding ways to maintain connections and relationships with students and families. As we continue to navigate our changing landscape and find our way through these unprecedented times, we want to thank students, families and staff for their efforts and for working together.

Take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Message From the Public Schools Branch

We have been very impressed with the work of our teachers, who have migrated to home learning platforms with tremendous efficiency and creativity during this global pandemic. Teachers have been very busy preparing lessons, providing feedback on learning, connecting with students, working through year-end transition processes and supporting the social and emotional well-being of students. Teachers have and continue to be available to students and families through various means of communication.


Like all Islanders, staff at the Public Schools Branch (PSB) have been very encouraged with recent messaging from the province and the Chief Public Health Office (CPHO), including the positive trend toward lifting restrictions on mobility and gatherings in PEI. As home learning continues to unfold, we are able to consider broader opportunities to connect and engage with students and families. We would like to provide you with an update.


In accordance with the provisions outlined in Renew PEI, new possibilities for staff and students to connect at their respective school will be available. With the easing of restrictions, PSB staff may be available to provide additional support to students.


As restrictions are being lifted, PSB staff are excited that there are greater opportunities to connect with students to support academic and well-being needs. Teachers will be reaching out to their students with options they can participate in.


In addition, Respite Programming will begin operating at all 56 PSB schools. Please contact respite@edu.pe.ca or (902) 368-4997 for more information.


Student Services consultants and specialists will be in contact with families as additional supports become available. For more information please contact supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca or (902) 368-5155.


Schools are excitedly working on plans for High School Graduations and year end closing activities, within the public health guidelines outlined by the Chief Public Health Office. While activities will not look the same as in previous years, schools are committed to offering a unique experience to mark the end of the school year and wish their students well.

Parker Grimmer
Director
Public Schools Branch
P.O. Box 8600
Charlottetown, P.E.I. C1A 8V7
(Phone)368-6841 (Fax)368-6843
tpgrimmer@gov.pe.ca

Summer Tutoring Program

PEI Literacy Alliance – Ready Set Learn Summer Tutoring Program

The PEI Literacy Alliance is excited to launch their Ready Set Learn summer tutoring program for another year! Because of Covid-19, the process to apply is a little different this year. Parents – please click the following link to get started: https://peiliteracy.ca/ready-set-learn/ The application form for Ready Set Learn will open Monday, May 25.

Ready Set Learn is a free one-to-one tutoring program for children in grades K to 6 who need it the most. Each child selected for the program will receives 1 hour/week of free tutoring for 8 weeks over July and August in a fun and positive learning environment. For younger children this may be two 30-minute sessions a week. Changes to this year’s program due to Covid-19 include:

  • Tutors will work one-to-one with children virtually through Zoom Classroom.
  • Each child will receive a Literacy Kit to be used during tutoring sessions.
  • Parents will have to sign a legal waiver.

Message From the PSB

‘It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ – E. L. Doctorow

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Have you ever noticed when driving late at night that the road ahead is pitch-black? Even though our headlights are on, we still can only see a little ways down that road. This limited sight line requires us to stay attentive with our hands firmly on the wheel to navigate the part of the road we can see, so we can safely make the entire trip. The same can be said for how we navigate our lives and plan for the future during this pandemic.

While we do not know what will happen in the distant future, we don’t need to. We can trust others for leading and caring for us, have faith in the contributions we can make, and navigate the unknowns as they arrive. We can successfully travel the whole journey through COVID–19 that way.

Our recent planning and navigating has ensured the Respite Program is off to a smooth start. The program is being utilized by 215 students and has been a welcomed support to their parents and caregivers.

Planning is also underway for some PSB staff to safely return to their work places. Custodians and cleaners started back to schools full-time this week and administrative assistants will be back part-time next week.

Operational plans allowing schools to complete essential tasks have been approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. These plans include packing up student items (desks and lockers) and working with families to distribute these items, providing Term 2 Report Cards to K-9 students who have not yet received them, collecting library books or other items on loan etc. Schools will communicate their detailed plans with families soon. Given the difference in school populations and layouts, things may be done differently at each school.  However, we can assure you that approved safety guidelines will be followed.

Additional activities and planning include, year-end student transition planning by our Student Services teams, exploring the use of Google Meet for some high school teachers and students, wrapping up Chromebook deliveries to over 1000 students, preparing for summer school, finalizing school supply lists and packaging Welcome to Kindergarten bags.

American novelist E. L. Doctorow’s quotation at the beginning of the message is our reminder that we don’t need to know everything in the future. We need only know enough to make hopeful, wise, and realistic plans. If together we don’t go too fast or deny the limitations, and we stay focused on the road directly ahead, the journey will be much more successful.

Thank you and take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Car Parade Route for Friday!

Tomorrow (Friday, May 15) our staff parade will be leaving the school at 2:30pm and heading to loop around Maple Crescent, Cedar Ave and back down North St.
We will then see students on George St, Glenelg St, Fitzroy St., then along Water St and Richmond St.
We will then head out to Burnt Pt Rd and Prestige Rd before coming back into Grafton St., Victoria St., Durham St, and East St.
We will then take Victoria St up to the North Royalty Rd., and the Morrison’s Beach Rd.
We will then return down the Kayes Rd., the Moar Rd., and end at the bottom of East Royalty Rd.
We will post our progress as we go on this FB page, so you’ll know when we’re coming.
We are so excited to see everyone!
😃🚘🚙🚗🎈🎉