PSB Director’s Message

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Click here to view a message from Director Parker Grimmer.

I am standing in front of one of our schools today because these are important places, and one of the places where learning happens for students. Within our schools and PSB offices, we are now planning and preparing for students and staff to safely return to school in September.

These last days of the school year, much like the last months, have been like no other. We have all been doing things much differently than we have in the past. 2019-2020 has been a busy, demanding, challenging, at times frustrating, but ultimately a successful year for students and those who have worked with them including parents and staff. We hope everyone is able to reflect back on some positive, productive, and successful moments.

We want to take a moment to recognize the efforts of students, parents, and staff. Thank you for your patience, energy, commitment, teamwork, willingness to try new things, and do old things in new ways. These words come from sharing and observing what we have seen on the journey with our educational community these last weeks. Our shared success is reflected in the accomplishments of our students, and we should be pleased with our efforts working together to assist in their success. We have learned once again that good things can happen, even in the most challenging circumstances, when we work together.

We haven’t been perfect though. I can’t tell you how many times COVID-19 has proved my thinking to be wrong, or how some days our planning in the morning was no longer current or helpful by the afternoon. While we made inroads into how we supported students and families in need, we still have work to do to provide more equitable learning for students. We have all learned so much through this pandemic, including the importance of reflection and the need to routinely adjust our thinking and actions. I want to genuinely thank students, parents, and staff for supporting us, even through the times when we and our circumstances seemed most uncertain.

Planning is underway to bring students and staff safely back to our schools and work spaces. The provincial government’s Fall Education Readiness Committee has been working to determine the plan for returning to school in September and the PSB is working with the Chief Public Health Office and our partners at the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning to determine the best configurations for buses, schools, and workspaces.

We also need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that learning in school might need to look differently next year. We will make every effort to communicate plans in a timely way so all of our educational partners can prepare as much as possible.

While there is still some uncertainty to all this, we know with certainty that students are best served when we work together. We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as we work through planning to return to school. We look forward to the 2020-2021 school year, with all of the challenges and opportunities it will hold.

Congratulations to those who have graduated, are moving to a new school, or who are retiring as one of our valued employees. We are also excited to welcome new students, parents and staff who will be joining the PSB next year!

I wish every members of our PSB educational community a safe, restful, and happy summer!

Until September, take care,

Parker Grimmer


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Year End Celebrations-June 22 & 23, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students,

Friday, June 19 marked the end of the home learning for the 2019-2020 school year. I want to thank all the students and parents for all their hard work with the home learning lessons.  It was challenging in many ways and rewarding in other ways.

Tomorrow, Monday, June 22 at 11 AM we will recognize our grade 6 students in a social distancing drive by ceremony. We look forward to acknowledging their years at West Kent Elementary. We wish them well as they prepare to enter junior high and experience new learnings in band, in late French Immersion and in cooking, art, technology and perhaps sports,  just to name a few. I encourage students to participate in as much as they can and don’t be afraid to take on leadership opportunities. We wish our grade sixes a safe and enjoyable summer and all the best in junior high.

Tuesday, June 23  we will say good bye to our kindergarten to grade 5 students, at the scheduled times below. Teachers will have your third term report card, school supply receipts, and a treat for you. It is also a time to return Chromebooks and pay school supply fees, if you haven’t already.

We look forward to seeing our students over the next two days. We want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable summer. We look forward to seeing everyone again in September. We will be sharing more detailed information about September during the later part of the summer. In the meantime if you have any questions please give us a call or send an email.

Schedule for Tuesday, June 23  K-5 Closing

8:30-9:20- 3A, 3B, 3Z, 2A


10:50-11:50- KB,KC,2B



Ms. Ellsworth, principal, West Kent

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PSB Director’s Message

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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


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School Supply Fee


School Supply Fee of $40.00 is due by Friday, June 12. You have 3 options for payment: via HotLunches ( closes at 11 PM on June 12), cash or cheque. Staff are at the school Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have only received about 35% paid so far. We urge parents to make payment soon. Teacher take advantage of sale prices over the summer to stretch the money as best they can as its difficult to purchase all they need, even with the special prices. If you would like to pay a little at a time please contact Lena in the office and she will discuss options with you. Thank you for your support of these timelines and if we can help in any way please let us know.

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PSB Director’s Message

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 It’s free and confidential.

For more information on how to work from home with kids in a pandemic, click the link: 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

Parker Grimmer

Public Schools Branch
P.O. Box 8600
Charlottetown, P.E.I.  C1A 8V7
(Phone)368-6841 (Fax)368-6843


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PSB Director’s Message

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

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Student App’t/ Respite Reminders-Tuesday, June 2

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

As of June 1 teachers are permitted to meet with students at the school to provide academic and well being support. Teachers and/or parents can request an appointment time with the teacher. Tomorrow, June 2, we welcome our first students, at West Kent, for the first time in 2 months.  We look forward to seeing those of you who have appointments.

Reminders during appointment times:

Enter via main entrance

Exit via grade 2/3 doors, at scheduled time

There may be more than 1 student arriving at the same time. We ask everyone to remember to respect social distancing as students get signed in and are asked 2 questions:

  1. Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside of PEI in the past 2 weeks?
  2.  Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms:cough, headache, fever/chills, sore throat, marked fatigue, sneezing, congestions, body aches, and runny nose?

Students attending respite will be asked to enter and exit via the main door for their scheduled times. Staff will meet them at the door and bring them back up after their scheduled time is over.

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow and working with the students face to face for the first time in 2 months.

We remind everyone to respect social distancing rules and effective hand washing practices. If students are wanting to wearing a face mask parents/guardians are asked to provide those for your child.

Any questions or concerns please let me know.

Ms. T. Ellsworth

Principal, West Kent Elementary

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Pick Up of Personal Items-A few points

  1. Pick Up of Personal Items:First of all we are excited to see students and families tomorrow if only for a few minutes. We continue to miss you immensely.
  2. We will do our best to provide some parking spaces in front of the bus lanes for parents, and you are welcomed to drive through the bus lane and staff can hand you your child(ren)s’ items.
  3. Lost & Found will be set up in the gazebo, so if you are missing items you will have to park to check for your item(s) in the lost & found
  4. Return all library books, classrooms books, borrowed school items, recorders, or any items that belongs to the school. Exception: Chromebooks will be returned after June 19th.
  5. School Supply Fee: Good news, HotLunches is set up and active now for you to make payments for school supply fees. Parents who already have a HotLunch account can pay for your student entering Kindergarten in the fall. You can pay school supply fees through the siblings account. We just ask that you send an e-mail to the HotLunch address provided so we can track the payment. School supply payments, through Hot Lunches can be made up until June 12.  We will still be accepting cheque or cash tomorrow as previously communicated. Note: if you are not able to make full payment we would be happy to accept partial payments.

Reminder of the pick up Schedule for personal items tomorrow is as follows:

8:30 2A, 3A, 5A, 6A and siblings

10:00 1Z, 3Z, 1C, 1B and siblings

11:30 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B and siblings

1:00 KB, KC, 4A, 6B

See you tomorrow,

Ms. Ellsworth


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PSB Director’s Message

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

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 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 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.

Thank you for your work and continued support.

Take care,

Parker Grimmer

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PEI Literacy Alliance Summer Tutoring

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: 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.
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