Hello Dunsmuir Middle School Community,
I hope that this email finds you well. As summer winds down, I wanted to send some information about school start up. As you are likely aware, the startup of September 2020 presents some unique challenges. As such, things will look a little bit different to begin this school year. Please know that as we approach the school year, the safety and wellbeing for ALL is of the utmost importance. We have been working since July to enact measures and make organizational adjustments to ensure we are following the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and the Ministry of Education (MoE).
**The Ministry of Education may make further announcements that causes us to adjust our district and school-based plans. In this event, we will adjust and communicate as needed in as timely a manner as possible. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we work through these very complex and ever evolving times.**
We are looking forward to seeing all of the students and staff back at Dunsmuir in September. I am confident that we will all work together in supporting each other to experience success and a positive school year for all.
Please see below for some specific information, dates and times regarding school start up related to students:
- September 10- 9:00-11:00- Grade 6 students ONLY– will meet on the field in their division (staff will be there to ensure students get into the right division). We will guide each student to the right place. Students will be taken to their class for a welcome, introductions and an orientation around safety, hand washing, masks, entrances and exits, etc. Students will make their way home following this orientation.
- September 10- 1:00-3:00- Grade 7 students ONLY– will meet on the field in their division (staff will be there to ensure students get into the right division). We will guide you to the right place. Students will be taken to their class for a welcome, introductions and an orientation around safety, hand washing, masks, entrances and exits, etc. Students will make their way home following this orientation.
- September 11- 9:00-11:00- Grade 8 students ONLY– will meet on the field in their division (staff will be there to ensure students get into the right division). We will guide you to the right place. Students will be taken to their class for a welcome, introductions and an orientation around safety, hand washing, masks, entrances and exits, etc. Students will make their way home following this orientation.
- BUSES: for middle school students, buses will not be running until September 14. Students will need to organize their own transportation to and from school for the orientation at the times specified above. Students will be given assigned seats and will be required to wear face masks while on the bus.
- Monday, September 14 will be the first full day of school for ALL students. Students will be reminded to use their Learning Groups entrance/exit.
- Please see the Ministry of Education link provided for more information about the guidelines we were following as it relates to COVID-19 https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-return-to-school
- Dress for the weather: on most days, students will go outside for lunch time. Please be sure to dress appropriately for the conditions.
- Lockers: to begin the year, students will not store items in their lockers. Please only bring what is required for school and be prepared to store these items in a backpack in their classroom.
- Some examples of measures being taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19:
- While students will have their typical divisional class, students will be organized into learning groups of no more than 60 (students and staff). This means that there would be (1) other class, at the most, that your child would interact with throughout the school day (outside time at lunch, Physical Education and possibly other learning activities). These learning groups will remain consistent. There is to be NO physical contact while in Learning Groups.
- Students will have assigned staggered outside time for lunch. During this time, they will be assigned a specific location with their Learning Group so as to allow physical distancing from other Learning Groups.
- Each Learning Group will have a specified entrance and exit into and out of the school.
- As per MoE guidelines, students will be required to physically distance and wear facemasks while outside of their Learning Groups. Facemasks will be worn in common areas of the school. Each student and staff member will be provided with 2 reusable facemasks.
- As per MoE guidelines, “Every student and staff member will be given two masks when they return to school in September. Under the updated health and safety guidelines, masks are required for all staff and all students in middle and secondary school when they are in high traffic areas like school buses and hallways, and anytime they are outside of their classroom or learning group and they cannot safely distance from others. Students will have the choice to wear a mask in the classroom. Staff will have the choice to wear a mask when interacting within their learning group. Everyone must treat each other and those wearing masks with respect. Even when wearing a mask, staff and students will still be required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their learning group. Exceptions will be made for students and staff who cannot wear masks for medical reason. **please note, should there be a medical reason a child cannot wear a mask, a medical note from a Dr will be required.
- At approximately 8:40 am, students will be able to enter the school using the appropriate entrance/exit. At this time, they will make their way to their classroom and remain there until school begins. They will be supervised by staff during this time.
- To begin the year, students will remain in their classrooms for all classes with the exception of Physical Education.
- We will follow the guidelines for hand washing/sanitizing set forth by the Provincial Health Officer and the MoE. Hand Sanitizer will be readily available for students and staff.
- Markings will be placed throughout the school to indicate traffic flow and reminders of physical distancing as well as mask wearing while in common areas.
- Visitors (anyone who is not a student or staff member) will only be able to enter the school by appointment.
- Please note that this does not represent an exhaustive list of all of the measures put in place. Further to this, such as the times require, we will adjust and adapt as needed to ensure we are doing all we can through the lens of safety for all students and staff.
- Class changes and Learning Groups: the staff at Dunsmuir spends a great deal of time in the spring to create balanced and equitable learning environments. We take a wide array of variables into consideration through this process and consider each of the 900 children individually. Please be aware that requests for class changes will not be considered at this time.
Once again, we look forward to welcoming students back to school in just a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we hope you all have a wonderful end to your summer.
Dunsmuir Middle School
3341 Painter Rd,
250 478 5548