Park West School

Shared Health - Shared Responsibility

COVID-19 – Communication to Parents/Guardians
Shared Health – Shared Responsibility
October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in numerous ways, including how our schools operate.  There is a certain amount of risk involved in attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite our precautions.   It is not possible to totally eliminate the risk.  But we can control and manage it if we all work together.  We have been quite successful in Atlantic Canada controlling the impact and spread of the virus.  Fortunately, so far, there are no known cases of COVID in any schools in Nova Scotia.

Our shared health and wellness is our shared responsibility.   School and home need to work together to keep our students, families, and staff safe and healthy during this pandemic.  Our collective goal is to reduce the risk of introduction and transmission of the virus in our school and community.  Together we can do this. 

Schools in Nova Scotia continue to take their direction from provincial Public Health authorities.   Students and families must follow all protocols and guidelines prescribed for schools by Public Health.  During this pandemic our continued health and well-being depend on our shared actions at school and home. 

It is essential that families continue to monitor the health of their children each day before they come to school, using the COVID- 19 Daily Checklist.  Copies of the Daily Checklist (in various languages, including English, French, Chinese, Arabic, Filipino, Korean, and Spanish) are included in this email at attachments.

Please keep your child at home if they are ill, even if their symptoms are mild, and even if they are not COVID related.  Contact 811 for consultation.  By monitoring daily, you are doing your part to protect your shared health.

Facemasks:
• All students (grades PP – 12) are required to wear a mask when travelling on the school bus.
• When at school, all students (grades 4 – 12, including grade 3 students combined grades 3 and 4 classes) are required to wear masks at school.
• Students must wear their masks (including in hallways and common areas of the school) when they are unable to socially distance by 2 metres.  If students are seated two metres apart and facing the same direction, they may remove their masks while seated at their desks. 
• Masks can be removed when students are eating and drinking or taking part in indoor physical activity when a mask cannot be worn.  Masks are not required during outdoor activities. 
• Each student was issued two cloth face masks at the beginning of this school year.  Students are responsible for wearing a mask to school every day.  We have a very limited supply of disposable masks for those who forget. 
• Public Health has encouraged us all to socialize the wearing of masks as a measure to protect our collective health.

Health and Wellness Reminders:

• Frequent hand washing is essential.
• Frequent use of hand sanitizer is essential.
• Practice good cough and sneeze hygiene. 
• No sharing is caring.  Students should not be sharing food, personal belongings, school supplies, etc. when at school.
• Students should avoid bringing toys to schools (especially stuffed animals/plush toys).
• The sharing of technology should be limited.  Any equipment shared at school will be cleaned after each use.
• Students in grades pre-primary to nine will remain with their classes (i.e. in cohorts) throughout the day, as much as possible, with limited interaction.
• When at school students should follow instructions on all COVID related signage, including signs on doors and directional arrows on the floors and walls.
• Students who are unwell (for whatever reason) should remain at home until feeling better.  Sick children should not be sent to school.
• Any students who become unwell at school will have a separate location in the school where they will be supervised, while they wait to be picked up by a parent/guardian.
• If a child feels unwell or begins to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, a parent/guardian will be contacted for pickup. 
• If your child exhibits COVID symptoms, contact 811 to receive advice from Public Health on what to do next, including when/if the child can return to school.
• Each student should bring a filled water bottle to school every day.
• At Park West we will continue to operate daily with staggered recess and lunch period schedules.
• Junior high students will not change classes for various subjects.  Teachers will move instead.
• Junior high students will not be permitted to use lockers to store their belongings during the day.
• Movement throughout the building during the day will be limited for students, as much as possible (eg.  elementary students will not go to the music room or library for those classes). 
• Our cafeteria food service remains suspended.  Our cafeteria is closed until further notice. 
• No unauthorized vehicle traffic (including parent/guardian vehicles) is permitted on our school grounds during the school day (8:00 am to 3:00 pm).
• Students should leave the school grounds promptly at dismissal time.  
• Parents/guardians, and non-essential visitors, are not permitted inside the school building.
• If parents/guardians are dropping off or picking up their children on school property they must practice social distancing. 
• Remind your children to wash and hand sanitize their hands before and after they touch their library books and classroom books that have been borrowed and taken home.
• As much as possible we are maximizing opportunities for outdoor learning (especially physical education classes).  Students should come to school dressed appropriately for the outdoor learning and play.
• Continue to talk to your children about the Public Health measures at school so they are prepared and know what is expected of them.
• For this Hallowe’en foods and beverages will not be permitted to be brought into school by students/parents/guardians for the purpose of sharing with others. 

Information and Resources for Parents/Guardians

• For accurate and up-to-date information on the CORONA-19 virus , including prevention tips, visit https://novascotia.ca/CoronaVirus/
• Additional information can be found on the following websites:
o EECD (Education and Early Childhood Development) >  www.ednet.ns.ca
o HRCE (Halifax Regional Centre for Education)  >  www.hrce.ca
o Park West School > www.pws.hrce.ca