Q & A Session- Questions Wanted!

Have questions about the return to school? Would you like to better understand daily routines or have questions for the School Council or School Administration? 

In partnership with the Principal and Vice Principal of Gledhill, the Gledhill School Council is planning a Q&A session Tuesday October 6th from 7pm – 8pm and would request that you submit questions you would like addressed in advance. We ask that questions are related to school-wide inquiries, specific questions related to your child should be addressed with your child’s teacher or the School Administration one-on-one. Please send questions to thegledhillguardian@gmail.com by Thursday October 1st.

More to come soon on virtual meeting details.

Welcome Back Gledhill!

For those families joining in-school learning at Gledhill, we look forward to welcoming your children to school beginning September 15th! 

This year is obviously going to look different as the health and safety of our students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic is prioritized. Physical distancing measures, traffic flow measures, increased signage, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices have been put into place to keep everyone in our Gledhill Community safe. 

If you haven’t already heard from your child’s teacher you can expect to hear from them on Monday, Sept 14th. 

Here are a few ways you can help to set your child – and our school – up for success as we begin this journey together: 

Prepare a back-up child care plan! If your child is denied entry into the school due to symptoms or exhibits symptoms during the school day they will need to be picked up as soon as possible. It is of utmost importance that your child stay home if they are ill. If your child becomes ill while at school, the parent/caregiver will be contacted. Please pick your child up as soon as possible. This is key to preventing an outbreak at Gledhill. 

Come prepared with your daily screening self-assessment. A parent/guardian can sign the TDSB Student Health Pass daily and the student/adult will show it to staff at the entry door OR a parent/guardian completing can complete the daily assessment on the TDSB Health Screening App, and the student can present their name to a screener who can verify their entry status. Coming prepared with this every day will make the morning process easier for everyone. Learn more about the self-assessment and verification process at www.tdsb.on.ca/healthscreening

Help us reduce crowding and put good routines in place by only having one family member/caregiver drop children off to their teacher in the morning. Please do not linger at drop off once your child has met their teacher. Parents/caregivers will not be allowed to enter the school with their children. 

Be on time. School begins at 8:40am. Although new protocols may mean extended time outdoors before entry, the instructional day begins at 8:40. Everyone’s cooperation to be on time will assist in smooth processes for all. 

Pack a litter free lunch that students can manage independently [e.g. opening items, no need to warm food etc.]. Please note that all lunch garbage will be returned home at the end of each day. 

Send a water bottle (or 2!) that comes to school filled and returns home each night to be cleaned. Gledhill has 1 water filling station on the lower level, and the 

School Council has purchased Brita water dispensers with filters for all classrooms for refilling if necessary. 

Be sure your child is prepared for outdoor learning and play each day (e.g. hat, sunscreen, dressed for the weather). Your child’s teacher will communicate any specific plans/needs for outdoor time. 

Send students to school with everything they need for the day. Any forgotten items will be dropped at our front entrance, using a contactless delivery process. Please send lunch with your child in the morning to avoid dropping off items at lunch time. 

Discuss with your child how to manage their masks/mask changes during the day. Anyone entering the building requires a mask. The school will have masks available for those who arrive without one or who need a replacement during the day. 

Remind your child about the importance of practicing good hand washing and hygiene throughout their day. 

At the end of the school day, please clear the meeting space as quickly as possible to reduce crowding. 

Remember to model physical distancing when chatting with other adults. 

And finally – Pack your positivity and your patience! This is new terrain for everyone, and there will be a learning curve. Everyone will appreciate your (and your child’s) support, cooperation, and patience while we work through this challenging time together. 

Have a wonderful first week back! 

Sincerely, 

The Gledhill School Council

Return to School – Questions and Some Answers

Return to School: 

Your questions, answered (mostly). 

A short while ago we asked you (via Facebook) for questions you have related to specific Gledhill operations for the return to school. 

Our School Administration, staff and teachers are working very hard to get everything ready – and safe – for our students. Much is still unknown, and things could change at any time based on ongoing developments from the Ministry of Education, TDSB, or other variables. Your patience and understanding are so appreciated during these challenging times. 

We will provide updates and fill in blanks as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we hope you will find the below information, provided by the school administration and/or from the TDSB, helpful in getting ready for a safe and successful return to school. You can always contact the school directly with further questions as well. 

We can’t wait to see you (from a safe distance, of course)! 

PPE 

Are face shields ok instead of masks for JK-grade 3

Face masks are required for all students. Masks will be provided to students who arrive at school without one. Face shields may be used in ADDITION to masks if desired. Reasonable exceptions regarding the requirement to wear masks will made be on a case-by-case basis. Students will have regular outdoor breaks where use of masks is not required. 

What are your PPE numbers? How often will items be replenished? 

All staff members will be provided with required/appropriate PPE (medical masks and face shields) as per the board/ministry. The school has also purchased additional PPE, including clear face masks where required, for staff to ensure there is plenty available. The school administration is also providing kits to all teachers/classrooms with extra supplies, including masks, shields, gloves, sanitizer, soap, paper towel, tissues, tape, etc. 

How and when will masks be distributed for children? 

According to the board/ministry, children arriving to school without masks will be provided with one before entering the building. 

WASHROOMS/HYGIENE

How often will washrooms be cleaned/sanitized? 

Caretaking staff will perform routine cleaning of general facilities through the day and will conduct enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces (light switches, hand rails, door handles, etc.) twice daily. 

Gledhill’s caretaking staff is highly responsive and will respond quickly to cleanliness/supply issues in washrooms as they arise/are alerted throughout the day. 

How often will washrooms be checked for supplies and cleanliness? Will we have enough of all cleaning supplies to replenish immediately? 

Caretaking staff will perform routine cleaning of general facilities through the day and will conduct enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces (light switches, hand rails, door handles, etc.) twice daily. 

How will washrooming work on the first floor for children not in Kindergarten classrooms? 

Washroom breaks will be scheduled in consultation with teachers and linked to (yet to be determined) staggered recess and lunch break routines. Teachers will be responsive to additional student washroom needs. Classes without washrooms in them will be using other shared washrooms in the school – NOT the Kindergarten washrooms. (Only students assigned to classrooms with washrooms in them will have access to those washrooms.) 

Handwashing times will be built into daily routines, including after washroom use, recess and lunch breaks. 

How will washrooming work on all floors? (Will there be schedules, etc.?) 

Washroom breaks will be scheduled in consultation with teachers and cohorts and linked to (yet to be determined) staggered recess and lunch break routines. Teachers will be responsive to additional student washroom needs. Handwashing times will be built into daily routines, including after washroom use, recess and lunch breaks. 

Signage will be placed outside of washrooms with maximum capacity and distancing reminders. 

The toilets, sinks, and stalls that were broken – have those be fixed and will they be maintained? 

All maintenance has been completed. 

How do we ensure soap and paper towel is properly available and used? (A long-standing problem, as we know) 

Soap and paper towel supplies will be readily available in washrooms. Classrooms will also have supplies for regular hand cleaning (soap/sanitizer, etc.) 

Will more water bottle filling stations be installed? Will water fountains be turned off? 

Currently schools with at least 1 water filling station will not receive more. Gledhill currently has one near the gym. Water fountains will be bagged. The administration is looking into ways to have filtered water available in classrooms. 

How will hand washing/hygiene be made available to classrooms without sinks? 

Hand sanitizer and hand cleaning will be part of regular practiced hygiene routines, and regular washroom breaks will be scheduled. (All classrooms on the 1st floor have sinks.) 

VENTILATION 

Can you provide a summary of Gledhill’s HVAC/heating system, and its functionality at the moment? 

Mechanical HVAC systems have been checked during the summer months to ensure they are operating as designed. All air intake screens/grates have been cleaned. Frequency of filter changes has been increased. In addition, the intake settings will be adjusted to increase the amount of fresh air and reduce recirculation. 

Do all classrooms have windows? Do all of those windows open? 

All Gledhill classrooms have windows that can open to approved regulations. 

What will happen for ventilation in winter if windows can’t be opened due to weather? 

The HVAC system will provide ventilation. 

USE OF EXTERNAL SPACES

We have a huge schoolyard — can classes go outside at all? 

Yes, classes will be going outside regularly. Teachers can take classes outdoors within school grounds or to surrounding areas with proper permissions. 

How will outdoor classes and cohort recesses be separated/scheduled? 

This plan is still in the works, and will depend on final numbers provided by the Board. Our current plan is to staff recesses and lunch times so that students remain with their cohort. More details to come. 

Is the school planning to use community spaces to socially distance the student population and accommodate smaller class sizes? 

We do not expect that we will need to use community spaces outside of the school for classes. 

Are there any other plans in place to try and increase the ability to distance that you can share? 

Students and staff will practice physical distancing and remain 2m apart to the maximum extent possible. Classrooms will be organized to encourage the maximum space possible between students (aiming for 1m minimum). Floors will be marked with stickers to designate a one-way traffic flow and identifying 2m distances. Signage will be placed throughout the building to reinforce safety protocols. Exterior doors will be designated as either entry or exits points. Current details around Health and Safety can be found at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Return-to-School/Health-and-Safety/Health-and-safety-measures 

We are still working on details regarding drop off/pick up, as well as working with before and after school care providers. 

CLASSES/STREAMS

Is French Immersion happening this year? 

Yes! (Available for in-person and remote options) 

How do I remove my child from French immersion this year? Will there be an opportunity to enter French immersion in grade one instead? 

Please contact the school/principal to do this. Entry to the French Immersion program can only be made in SK – there is no grade 1 entry point. 

Can my child entering SK be put in French Immersion for grade one if she’s not already registered FI SK but spends this year with a native French speaker (at home learning) 

Entry to the French Immersion program can only be made in SK – there is no grade 1 entry point. There is a later junior grade entry point in grade 4. 

How are the subjects that are normally rotated – French, music, PE, etc. working? 

Teachers will be moving to the cohorted classes rather than students moving through hallways to specialized rooms. 

For remote learning in kindergarten: Are children required to log in for ‘x’ hours a day? Is a there a paper/non-screen option? 

This is outlined by the TDSB (not by individual schools). Information on the remote learning requirements can be found at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Return-to-School/Learning-and-Instruction/Elementary – see Elementary Virtual Learning

When will the ‘switch points’ be for remote to in-class options? What will the procedure be? Are all Gledhill students ensured a spot back in class if they want it at a later time? 

It is important to note that, for health and safety reasons, and because of the impact switching would have on staffing, physical distancing and space allocation, it will not be possible to immediately transition between the two models. As a result, an opportunity to enter the Virtual School or to return to in-person learning will be provided at three key dates during the school year as follows: 

October 13, 2020. Request Deadline: Sept 30 

November 23, 2020. Request Deadline: Nov 6 

February 16, 2021. Request Deadline: Jan 29 

Movement from one model to another will be requested through the Principal of the student’s home school (ie: Gledhill). If a switch is required outside of the designated times, a limited number of exceptions may be made and will be reviewed by Principals on a case-by-case basis. 

As there are hard caps for classes, we expect that it may be necessary to put students on a wait list in order to switch to in-class teaching at Gledhill. We are awaiting further direction on this procedure. 

DAILY PROCESSES/LOGISTICS

What time will school start/end times be this year? 

Start time is 8:40am. 

End time is 3:20pm. 

Expectations for the school day are that students will receive 300 minutes of instruction time per day. So, though a given class may not get in to the building right at 8:40am to prevent crowding, etc., the school day will begin for all students at 8:40am. 

When/where can we expect class lists/teacher assignments to be posted? 

Schools are still awaiting final numbers from the TDSB to designate staffing and create class lists. Families will receive a communication from their child’s teacher once this has been established – hopefully no later than Sept. 11th. This communication will include first day procedures including start date (staggered start dates were approved by the Ministry and the TDSB), where to meet, what to bring to school, etc. 

What will be the procedure for morning on the first day of school? 

Students will meet their teachers outside at a designated meeting point which will be communicated prior to their first day. Further details for the first day and routines are still being determined at this time. 

Please expect that it may be required to limit the number of adults/family members allowed in the school yard for drop off to reduce crowding and promote distancing. 

What will arrival and dismissal procedures be/look like in general? 

We will have staggered entry and exits from the school to allow for physical distancing. Further details are till being determined at this time. 

What will the ‘staggered start’ look like? 

The TDSB has provided the following as a guideline, however schools may make individual determinations based on their numbers and classes, which have not yet been finalized. 

Teachers will notify students/families of their confirmed start date in their initial email (by Sept 11th). 

Will breakfast club operate? 

Breakfast Club will not be running for the first two months of school at least. We are looking in to other options as we understanding the importance of such programs. Several models (not requiring food preparation e.g. snack program/grab-and-go) are being discussed. We will provide updates as they become available. 

Can children go home for lunch? 

While permitted, it is preferable that children stay at school for lunch. 

Who’s staying in the classrooms with the kids over lunch? 

We are waiting for details/guidance on this from the board. Supervision requirements, staffing regulations, teacher breaks and cohort scheduling are all being taken in to account. 

Another Gledhill family is part of our 10-person bubble. Can make a request that our children be in the same class if possible? 

Social bubbles are unfortunately not part of the consideration for organization of classes. There are many other variables to coordinate and very tight timelines. 

Should we be supplying our children with their own markers, pencil crayons, pencils, paper – any specifics? Will families receive a list in advance of the start of school? 

We are awaiting details on what specifically children will be allowed to bring from home. Students will be provided with required materials (pencils, paper, etc.) at school for personal use. Teachers will communicate any other needs with families/students. (Please note that no soft items will be permitted.) 

WHAT IF…? 

What happens if there is a positive case in the school? What happens if there is a positive case in a class/cohort? Will families be notified of any positive cases in the school? 

From TDSB Website: “The TDSB takes its lead from Toronto Public Health, which is responsible for determining if an outbreak exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented. It’s important to note that even though an outbreak may be declared in the school, Toronto Public Health will assist in determining which cohort(s) may be sent home or if a partial or full school closure is required based on the scope of the outbreak. For more information on this and other safety measures, visit the TDSB website.” 

As per TDSB/Toronto Public Health guidelines: 

In the case of a Covid-19 Positive case, school administrators will verbally inform staff. The school will report the case to Toronto Public Health (TPH) and the Superintendent of Education. TPH will contact positive cases directly and provide a letter directly to other staff/students identified as at high risk of exposure. TPH will provide direction to the board/school on next steps, including letters to the community (only as directed by TPH). 

Students/employees who test positive for Covid-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. No negative test is required for the return to school after this period. 

What are the protocols for when kids get sick with colds? 

If children display symptoms that are consistent with Covid-19, children should not attend school, even if the parent suspects it is only a cold. Families are asked to do the TPH Covid-19 screening before sending children to school each day. This screening will be done again by staff when children arrive at school. 

If a child (or staff) is unwell during the school day, they will be taken to the school Wellness Room. Parents/Guardians will be called. It is important that the child be picked up as soon as possible. If Covid-19 is suspected, it will be strongly recommended that the guardian goes to an assessment centre for testing and self-isolate at home until results are available. 

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Are there any COVID-specific supplies and materials that the administration/teachers need right now? Anything that Council is allowed to fundraise/crowdsource for, or that parents are allowed to gift/donate to the school or to individual teachers? 

We very much appreciate the generosity of the parent community. We will consult with teachers about specific needs, but want to be clear that supplies specifically related to Covid-19 (like PPE) are to be provided by the board.

2019-2020 Yearbook Ordering

ORDER YOUR 2019-2020 GLEDHILL YEARBOOK TODAY!

There’s still time! If you would like to purchase last year’s yearbook, please place your order by clicking the link below:

https://checkout.square.site/buy/UWRZ4F7YNXIRK7P5IHSS5YCV 

The special price of the yearbook for this year is $10 (the school is subsidizing the cost of each book purchased). Yearbooks will be delivered to the school. Expected delivery this Fall 2020.

DEADLINE FOR ORDERING YEARBOOKS IS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

For more information, feel free to reach out to Clear Images at 1.844.992.5327 or email us at info@clearimages.cawww.clearimages.ca

Advocacy Letter for the TDSB

Hello Gledhill Families:
As you have likely heard by now, the Ministry of Education released it’s Guide to Reopening Ontario’s Schools late last week. The TDSB also released it’s reopening guidelines.
A TDSB “School Board Committee of the Whole” special meeting took place this morning (August 4th) to discuss and vote on the suggested guidelines.
We know many of you have ongoing concerns about the plans and guidelines as currently outlined.
Despite the short window to advocate in advance of today’s meeting, we wanted our school community to have its voice heard.
The result is the attached letter which has been forwarded to the Board and Trustee, as well as our school administration and our MPP.  Special thanks go to the Secord P.S.
School Council who provided us access to a great template from which to work. We tried to incorporate many of the common concerns we have been hearing, both generally and those specific to our school context. Given the time constraints, we engaged the Gledhill School Council Executive, as well as other council members and several parents/guardians in the creation/ adaptation of this letter.
Thank you to everyone who helped pull this response together. It was signed and sent by the Council Executive for consideration at this morning’s meeting.

Farewell Message

We’ve been through a lot this year – but we went through it together!

We wish our Gledhill graduates our congratulations and all the best in your future adventures.  We wish everyone a safe and fun summer.
Thanks to everyone who submitted artwork for the Quilt of Courage. Check out the finished product here: https://vimeo.com/432002796   (password Gledhill)
Have a wonderful summer!
GLEDHILL TIGERS

Gledhill’s Quilt of Courage

Deadline Extended!

Submissions welcome until Friday night for our Gledhill Quilt of Courage.

It can be anything – a drawing, piece of art work, chalk art, poem, or even just write us a message telling us:

I am feeling ___________ or I look forward to _____________.

Just take a photo of your finished creation and email a JPEG to us at thegledhillguardian@gmail.com.

Then watch for the finished product next week!

20200617_091458

Gledhill Quilt of Courage

Gledhill Quilt of Courage 2020-06-04 07-52-15

 

Gledhill Parent Council Update

AN UPDATE FROM THE GLEDHILL PARENT COUNCIL

It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 weeks since we’ve been together at school!

We hope everyone is doing well and finding your way through this new (temporary) normal. We sure miss seeing all the kids and staff, and chatting with our fellow parents and caregivers.

As you can imagine, lots of things have been up in the air as we await updates from the Ministry of Education. (The TDSB and our school administration often learn new developments at the same time we do.)

We did want to provide a few updates on some decision that have been made…

1) Pizza Lunches

Clearly, we had an abrupt end to our planned Pizza Lunches. In order to make sure you get your money’s worth, we will be rolling over any previously paid pizza lunch orders to the fall of next year for returning students. Should your child not be returning to Gledhill next year and you wish to receive a refund, please contact the Pizza Lunch team at GSCPizza@gmail.com by Friday, May 29th.

2) Family Fest

Much to our disappointment, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Family Fest for this year. We will miss this opportunity for fun, community building, and fundraising for our amazing Council-supported events, but we know you understand. We hope to be back next year – better than ever!

3) Parent Council Meetings

In conjunction with the school administration team, we have made the decision to cancel all remaining Parent Council meetings for this school year. We were concerned about accessibility of all parents to join us remotely, and are obviously rather restricted in what we can do/plan for currently. We hope to re-group before the (hopeful) return to school in the fall, and will communicate any plans via the blog and Facebook page.

We know that this is a time of many unknowns, especially as we near the end of the school year which brings with it many transitions. Rest assured that our school administration team is hard at work supporting families and planning for next year. We know that things like graduations, Kindergarten orientations, and orientations/open houses to DA Morrison and other special placements would typically be happening at this time of year. These items are on the radar of staff and plans will be communicated to relevant families as they become clear.

Stay tuned for information on a council-led creative expression initiative coming soon. We hope you’ll participate.

Thank you for your understanding and support. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at thegledhillguardian@gmail.com

Finally, a big THANK YOU to the school staff, teachers, custodians and administration team for your continued hard work during these unprecedented times.

Until we meet again, take good care!

Gledhill Parent Council

April is Cooperation Month

Hi Gledhill families!

The Character Trait for April within the TDSB is Cooperation!  Check out the great video that our Kindergarten Team made to promote and show our students how they are working cooperatively together!

https://drive.google.com/a/tdsb.on.ca/file/d/1B2YoA9rnjn9JVBa6Hdn5xg4TQSOvk6am/view?usp=drive_web

GLEDHILL TIGERS