September 1st, 2021
Return to Bluevale School Plan
Welcome Back Knights!
We are excited to welcome our students back to the classroom! We remain committed to ensuring all health and safety protocols are in place and that our school will continue to operate safely. Your safety and wellbeing are at the forefront of everything we do.
We want all of our families to know that they are a valued partner in their child’s education and we will be making every effort to stay connected as the year unfolds.
We have tried to compile all the specific return to school information we can share at this time in this FAQ doc, which is subject to change based on evolving COVID-19 information. We are also taking a staged implementation going into the fall. We still await guidance around interschool sports from OPHEA and overall we do not want to walk things back as we know the confusion this causes students and their families. Below are links to the board website that also have important information that you need to know. Please continue to stay updated with the WRDSB information.
WRDSB Links for Students & Families:
Modified Semester Model
Bluevale Daily Semester Schedule
All students will attend school in person every day, with their classmates. Students will be learning two courses each day, with one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Students will receive 150 minutes of instruction daily on each subject, with a 40-minute nutrition break in between. The modified semester model allows students to return to school for full days and to take four courses instead of two. Students would take two courses one week and their other two courses the next week. Start times will be similar to pre-pandemic start times while end times will be a little earlier to ensure bus cleaning. Classes will continue to take breaks throughout the 150 minutes. These breaks could include going outside with the teacher. Please dress appropriately.
Bussing information is available by logging into the Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region STSWR.
Student Arrival & Entrance:
All WRDSB staff and students are required to complete a daily COVID-19 Self Assessment Screening before coming into the school building. If one or more signs or symptoms exist, students are not to attend school.
Students will not be permitted to enter the school building until 8:00 am when doors will be unlocked for student entry. Students should dress appropriately for the weather each day, as there may be varying wait times outside as we work to move students safely into the building to begin the school day.
- Upon arrival at the school by bus, foot or vehicle, students will make their way to their designated door and line up in a socially distanced manner as per the markings on the ground outside of each door. Students are encouraged to wear their mask in line while waiting to enter the building.
- Students must be wearing a mask in order to gain entry into the building. If a student forgets their mask, staff will supply one for them at their designated entrance to the school.
- Upon entering the building students will sanitize their hands and then proceed directly to their classroom.
- Students should practice social distancing as they move through the halls, and congregating and socializing in the hallways is not permitted at this time.
Student Entry and Dismissal Points:
Students will enter and exit the building based on their classroom location. Their teachers will remind them which entry and exit they are to use which could change. For example, you may be entering at the start of the school day at one door and then exit out of a different door as your classroom has changed.
- Students will follow hallway signage and directional floor arrows. Please continue to social distance as much as possible as they make their way through the halls, down the stairs and out the door.
Washroom Access and Flow:
- One student per class is permitted to use the washroom at a time.
- Students must follow the washroom capacity guidelines in order to maintain physical distancing.
- Students must wash their hands after using the washroom and return to class immediately as congregating in washrooms/hallways is strictly prohibited.
- Washrooms will have posted occupancy limits
- Urinals will be socially distanced
- Markers will be placed around sink areas to encourage social distancing
- There will be socially distanced markers on the floors outside of the washrooms for students to wait for capacity to be available.
- If a student sees that the washroom is at capacity upon entering, they should exit the washroom and wait on the social distance marker until the washroom is free.
Students will be in school all day and should bring a sufficient amount of food they will require for lunch and snacks. Students may eat lunch in their first period classroom OR may go outside and off school property when dismissed using the designated exit for their classroom.
When outside, continue to physically distance yourself from others, avoid congregating and be respectful of our community. There will be limited entry to the school during the 40 minute Nutrition break. When you re-enter through your designated door, you must be masked and sanitize your hands.
Students who wish to remain in their classroom, will remain in their period 1 location until it is time to move to period 2. Once you have finished eating students are to put their mask back on. Students should bring food in their own containers and take those containers home with them at the end of the day. This includes purchased food from the community. Food, drinks, dishes and cutlery are not to be shared by students. Students will not have access to microwaves at this time.
Prepared food will not be available at this time at the school. Vending machines will not be available at this time. The cafeteria is closed at this time.
Students will perform hand hygiene prior to and after eating.
Nutrition for Learning will be available beginning Sept. 13th, as prepackaged snacks for students each day upon entry into the school.
Water Fountains and Bottle Fillers
Students are required to bring their own water bottles. Water fountains will not be available for use; however, bottle-filling stations can be used to fill individual water bottles. Students will then need to practice hand hygiene before and after filling up their bottle.
- If a student arrives late they must enter through the MAIN FRONT DOORS and report to the contactless sign in before they proceed directly to their classroom.
- All entrances will be locked.
Students are encouraged to schedule appointments outside of their in-school day. Students who must leave the school during the day, should have their parents call (519-885-4620) or email the attendance office ahead of time, and then sign-out with their classroom teacher.
Students are expected to be in class while they are in school. Students are not to wander or congregate.
Students who exhibit symptoms of illness while at school will not be permitted to enter or stay in their classroom, and will be moved to a designated waiting zone. Parents, guardians, and/or emergency contacts designated by the family, will be called immediately and asked to pick up their child as soon as possible.
Visitors to the School
We continue to restrict access to the building to essential visitors only. Essential visitors are required to screen, report to the main office to complete the Visitor Portal information, wear a mask and hand sanitize. Appointments / meetings with school staff and administration will continue to be virtual or by phone at this point in time. In extenuating circumstances, approval to enter the school is granted by an administrator.
Student Drop-Off, Pick-Up and Parking
Parents and guardians must remain outside the school (preferably in their vehicles) when they drop-off or pick-up their children, and should not congregate anywhere on school property. Please do not pick up or drop off students in bus loading zones.
Health and Safety Protocols
Mask use will be mandatory for all students. Students may wear their own, or school-provided, non-medical masks. It is important that the mask fits properly and covers both the nose and mouth and that all best practices are followed when wearing and removing the mask. Masks may be removed during nutrition breaks to eat lunch. Students are not expected to wear face coverings while outdoors in their cohort, as long as 2m can be maintained between students from different cohorts. All students should be mindful of physical distancing while unmasked.
- The best face covering or mask is the one that fits comfortably.
- A cloth mask should be made with two or more layers of fabric and be easy to breathe through.
- It should be large enough to cover the nose, mouth and chin without any gaps.
- Plastic masks or face shields are not a substitute for cloth masks.
- Masks should be stored in something breathable like a paper bag, fabric bag or envelope that does not retain moisture, if the mask will be worn again.
- Pack several masks each day and send your child to school with two bags for masks, one labelled “clean” and one “dirty.”
- Instruct your child to put their mask in the “dirty” bag if it gets wet or soiled, and to use a new, clean mask.
- Wash the masks at the end of each day before reuse
For additional information refer to the Public Health Ontario Resource Non-Medical Face Coverings.
Signage and Wayfinding
Appropriate signage will be posted throughout our school and hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and offices. Our school buses and classrooms will be thoroughly and frequently cleaned. In addition, we will have designated entrances and exits. Hallways and stairwells will be designated for one-way flow and physical distance reminders will be placed throughout the building. Health and safety continues to be at the heart of every element of our return to school planning.
Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing need to be followed throughout the day.
Staff and educators will regularly remind students of the importance of proper hand hygiene and assist students as needed. Staff will also incorporate frequent hand hygiene into their daily classroom routines. Signs will be posted at all sinks to remind students of proper handwashing techniques.. Students MUST use hand sanitizer / wash their hands:
- when they arrive at school and before they go home;
- before eating and drinking;
- after using the washroom;
- after sneezing or coughing into hands or tissue.
- after using any common supplies, equipment or devices
- whenever hands are visibly dirty;
It is important to try and maintain at least 2 metres of distance between yourself and other people. Many classroom and school procedures have been put in place to support physical distancing of staff and students.
Students are required to comply with all physical distancing measures that include, but are not limited to:
- Use of specific entrances and exits (both into and out of the school and classroom).
- Specified direction of travel through hallways. There will be more students travelling through the hallways/stairwells this year as we are back to all students being in the building. When practicing distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, hallway contact is considered low risk, transient contact.
- Minimizing the number of students in hallways and washrooms.
- When students move through the hallways they are to move directly to their class/washroom. Students are not waiting for friends or congregating with others.
Students are not permitted to congregate in hallways, common spaces, or washrooms. Students should follow physical distancing cues – floor markings and signs – when lining up to use facilities.
Personal Belongings and Lockers
Lockers will not be available immediately for student use at the start of the school year. We are working towards locker use for this year. Students will be required to limit the number of items they bring to school. Students should leave valuable items at home. The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Smoking and Vaping
No smoking or vaping (use of e-cigarettes) in the school building or on school property; it’s the law. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a school suspension and may result in a fine issued by the Waterloo Region By-Law Office.
Mental Health and Well-Being Supports
We continue to prioritize mental health and well-being as a key condition for learning and flourishing, and as being vital to our well-being.
To support families with the new challenges of this school year, we have provided a number of resources under the Student Well-being section of our Return to School website.
- Five in Five
- Supporting the Transition Back to School Suggestions for Caregivers
- Caregivers’ Guide to Setting the Stage for Return to School
- Are you Ready to Go Back to School?
Please stay tuned for more information regarding Student Cards, student Photo opportunities as well as Clubs & Extra Curricular activities, which will be part of a staged implementation under the guidance of Public Health and WRDSB.
Extra-Curricular Sports will not begin until safety guidelines have been released by the WRDSB.
More extensive FAQ’s are available on the Board Website.
For important updates and information please follow the WRDSB website.
School specific information and updates can be found at: