Category Archives: Uncategorized

Minutes from October 6th Parent Council Meeting and Presentation

Hello Gledhill families!

Here are the minutes from our first Parent Council meeting this year. We had 74 people attend online, and were joined by Ms. McAlese, Ms. Bambrick, Ms.Pace and Ms. Jeens. The teachers and school admin were able to answer parent questions that had been submitted prior to the meeting. Thanks to all who were able to attend!

Written Copy of the Meeting Minutes:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15_e3dJkQi-PlSx3GXjKpd-LXsQqffhsl/view?usp=sharing

Copy of the Powerpoint Presentation:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ei2o0XBM3RhXpVWSnb_3sYM4hagmIdyE/view?usp=sharing

Join our First School Council Mtg: Tuesday October 6th from 7-8pm

When: Tuesday October 6th from 7-8pm

Join us for our first virtual School Council meeting when our school administrators and teachers will answer your (previously submitted) questions about the return to school in these challenging times.

All parents/guardians of Gledhill students – in-class or virtual – are welcome to attend. Questions focus on in-school processes and procedures.(Please note as we only have an hour, we will be focusing on the questions that were submitted in advance.)

Have internet? Join us by clicking on the Zoom link below.
No internet? No problem! Join us by phone by dialing one of the phone numbers below.


Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83069325961…

Meeting ID: 830 6932 5961
Passcode: 927214

Call in numbers:
647 374 4685 Canada
647 558 0588 Canada

Meeting ID: 830 6932 5961
Passcode: 927214

Orange Shirt Day- Wednesday September 30th

Tomorrow, September 30th is Orange Shirt Day – an important opportunity to create meaningful discussion with our children about the legacy and lasting impacts of Residential Schools.

Activities and lessons are planned in the school that will foster students’ connection to the Orange Shirt Day motto of “Every Child Matters” and increase understanding of the history and impact of residential schools in age appropriate ways.

Staff and students are encouraged to wear an orange shirt to school tomorrow, September 30th to commemorate the day. Any orange shirt will do!  

Why Orange Shirts?

Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the St. Joseph Mission residential school, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. Hear Phyllis’ story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=E3vUqr01kAk

Nationally, Orange Shirt Day takes place on September 30th. This is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and provides an opportunity to set the stage for belonging, learning, and active reconciliation for the coming school year. It is also an opportunity for First Nations, Metis, Inuit, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

Learn more about Orange Shirt Day http://www.orangeshirtday.org/

Orange Shirt Day Reading List

We regret not being able to make our Orange Shirt Day clothesline happen this year. But there are so many ways to continue the conversation at home. There are many wonderful books available for children of all ages that can deepen understanding of the impact of Residential Schools and promote reconciliation. The following books reflect on the residential school experience and/or reconciliation in different ways; many are available through the Toronto Public Library or through major booksellers. (Note: This list is compiled from various sources.

The Orange Shirt Story, by Phyllis Webstad

When Phyllis Webstad turned six, she went to the residential school for the first time. On her first day at school, she wore a shiny orange shirt that her Granny had bought for her, but when she got to the school, it was taken away and never returned. This is the true story of Phyllis and her orange shirt. It is also the story of Orange Shirt Day, an important day of remembrance for all Canadians.

Shi-shi-etko, by Nicola Campbell

Shi-shi-etko is a young girl who has four days before she leaves home for residential school. Her family has many teachings to share with her, about her culture and the land.

Shin-chi’s Canoe, by Nicola Campbell

This award-winning book tells the story of six-year-old Shin-chi as he heads to residential school for the first time with his older sister. It is the sequel to Campbell’s Shi-shi-etko.

Arctic Stories, by Michael Kusugak

This trio of stories about a 10-year-old girl named Agatha is based on the childhood experiences of beloved Inuit author Michael Kusugak. The book begins with a tale of Agatha ‘saving’ her community from a monstrous flying object.

Kookum’s Red Shoes, by Peter Eyvindson

An elderly Kookum (grandmother) recounts her experiences at residential school – a time that changed her forever. The book has been described as running parallel to the story of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.  “Her tornado had arrived. It rushed up and slammed to a halt just past the wonder world she had created,” writes Eyvindson.

When We Were Alone, by David Roberston

Winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for children’s illustration, this heartwarming story of a grandmother explaining residential schools will bring you all the feels. It’s so beautiful and so gentle, and therein lies its transformative power. Julie Flett continues to dazzle with her highly original illustrations.

47,000 Beads, by Koja Adeyoha and Angel Adeyoha

Peyton loves to dance, and especially at pow wow, but her Auntie notices that she’s been dancing less and less. When Peyton shares that she just can’t be comfortable wearing a dress anymore, Auntie Eyota asks some friends for help to get Peyton what she needs.

I Am Not A Number, by Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer

This remarkable story of Dupuis’ grandmother and her family’s journey with residential schools deserves every accolade it’s received since being published. Dupuis is an advocate for community stories and it shows in her vivid book, a volume that has made it into classrooms and homes across the continent, sparking conversation and building reconciliation through story.

Fatty Legs: A True Story, by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Margaret, an 8-year-old Inuvialuit girl, wants to learn how to read so badly that she’s willing to leave home for residential school to make it happen. When she gets there a mean-spirited nun known as the Raven is intent on making Margaret’s time at school difficult. But Margaret refuses to be defeated.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School, by Sylvia Olsen This collection of fictional stories of five children sent to residential school is based on real life experiences recounted by members of the Tsartlip First Nation in B.C.

As long as the Rivers Flow, by Larry Loyie

Cree author Larry Loyie writes about his last summer with his family before going to residential school, in Northern Alberta in 1944. Lawrence learns things like how to care for a baby owl, and how to gather medicinal plants with his Kokom. Loyie’s story highlights how his education at home was disrupted by the residential school system.

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!

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