A message from the Director of the Public Schools Branch

Yesterday, students walked out to protest a number of concerns they had, mainly revolving around gender equity and the treatment of female students. I want those students to know that we have listened to them and we are taking action to address their concerns.

Over the last couple of days, we have sent additional staff to Charlottetown Rural High School to provide support. Student Services is setting up a support centre at the school for at least the next couple of weeks to provide a safe place for students to discuss their concerns. The centre will offer both educational and counselling support. With a view to long-term substantive change, we are working with the school administration and students to create a working committee that will address the concerns raised by students and school culture.

We know that these issues are not new, nor unique to one school or even our system. These are broad societal challenges that we experience in our schools, however, we are committed to making our schools safe and caring spaces where all of our students are able to thrive. We will be developing a broader plan to address these concerns across our system.

Our school staff care deeply about our students, their educational success and their overall wellbeing. We will work with them to provide professional development opportunities that provide greater insight into issues around gender equity and to better equip them for dealing with associated situations. As the leadership of the PSB, we are also committed to our own professional development on these topics.

Norbert Carpenter
Director of the Public Schools Branch

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A message regarding false rumours, from the Director of the PSB

For several months now, the Public Schools Branch has fielded calls, been sent emails and been pointed to numerous social media posts that make broad sweeping assertions regarding students who identify as cats. Many of these assertions claim that schools have or are in the process of having litter boxes placed in schools. This claim as well as many others are simply false and are causing unnecessary stress to students and staff. The Public Schools Branch supports all students and their personal expressions, however, such conjecture is not helpful and contravenes our Safe and Caring Learning Environment Policy. Concerns related to student matters should be addressed at the school level.

Norbert Carpenter
Director of the Public Schools Branch

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PSB Vaccination Information and Testing Policy

As of October 4, 2021, the PSB has passed a Vaccination Information and Testing policy. The policy requires that the following five groups of people show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter a PSB school or workplace for more than 15 minutes:

  • Volunteers;
  • Visitors 12 years of age or older;
  • Community users of school facilities;
  • PSB staff; and
  • Employees of contracted services providing a front-line service, such as food services, school photographer, or similar.

Please note that visitors to a school or PSB workplace and community users of a school facility, who are 12 years of age and older, will be asked to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to gain access. Those 19 years of age and over must also show government-issued photo ID along with proof of vaccination.

If a visitor is unvaccinated or not able to provide proof of vaccination status, alternate arrangements can be explored, such as virtual meetings or phone calls.

The policy is in effect at all times, i.e. during class times and before- or after-school activities.

The full policy can reviewed at the following link: https://edu.princeedwardisland.ca/psb/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/609_COVID_19_Vaccination_Information_and_Testing.pdf

If visiting a school or PSB workplace, please follow the signage directing you to the appropriate location for providing your proof of vaccination.

We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation and helping to keep our schools safe.

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PSB Board of Directors Special Meeting – October 4, 2021, at 8:15 a.m.

The Public Schools Branch Board of Directors will hold a special meeting on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 8:15 a.m. to table a motion for the Public Schools Branch’s COVID-19 Vaccination Information and Testing Policy.

Members of the public are welcome to attend via Webex virtual platform. If you wish to attend, please contact sxgauthier@edu.pe.ca or 902-368-6850 to receive the link to join the meeting.

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Charlottetown Family of Schools open Thursday and enhanced measures for all schools

As announced by Dr. Morrison today, all schools in the Charlottetown Family of Schools, with the exception of West Royalty Elementary School, will resume in-person learning tomorrow morning. West Royalty will resume on Monday, September 20, 2021.

Over the last few days, the schools in the Charlottetown Family of Schools underwent a deep cleaning. As of tomorrow, the returning schools will follow the enhanced measures under the elevated risk scenario of the Back to School Plan, similar to the guidelines currently being followed by other Families of Schools.

There will also be additional enhanced measures and changes in place across all schools, starting tomorrow:

  • Students in grades 4 to 6 will be required to wear masks indoors at all times and on the bus when physical distancing is not possible, similar to students in Grades 7 to 12. There will be exemptions, as outlined in the Non-medical Mask procedure.
  • After-school and extracurricular activities will resume.

For any students who are required to self-isolate:

  • Whole classes that are required by CPHO to self-isolate will pivot to remote learning provided by their class teacher.
  • Individual students who are required by CPHO to self-isolate will be supported with instructional materials from their classroom teacher. This is similar to when students are out of school due to illness. The learning content provided by the teacher will allow the student to keep pace with their class. The PSB will also assign additional teachers (substitutes) to the school to be a liaison between the teacher and student, and provide virtual learning support to the student.

We understand this has been a challenging start to the year. We look forward to welcoming our students back into our Charlottetown Family schools. For those who are isolating, we will support you along the way and look forward to seeing you in person again soon.

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