Principal's Message Back to School

Hello, parents and guardians of the Hume School community. 

The Hume Elementary staff are all feeling excited to start the 2021-2022 school year.  The opportunity to work with each of your children throughout the year is a great privilege and fills our hearts in the deepest of ways.  There is a lot of information provided below, so please read carefully and help to get your child(ren) ready for the first day and week of school. 

Below are details on what to expect the first week back.  Tomorrow, Friday, September 3rd, we will be sending out another document that will provide greater detail on COVID-specific protocols for Hume School. 

This is a challenging time for all.  The Hume staff remains committed to supporting a healthy and safe environment for everyone in the school.   

Where does my child go on the first day, September 7, 2021? (*New Kindergarten families please refer to gradual entry calendar)

All students will find their teacher from last year and line up at their class's cone.  Students new to Hume this year will need to locate Mr. Nugent-Smith and Ms. Carter, who will be standing near a cone labeled “Welcome to Hume”.  Mr. Kalabis, Ms. Derow, and our EA team will help to direct folks outside as well.  All teachers will be in the front of the field (Grade 2-5), or back of the school (Gr. 1).  Our new Kindergarten students will not be attending the first few days of school (see gradual entry calendar).  If you’d like, you can escort your child to drop them off, say a very quick hello to the teacher and leave your child in our very capable hands.  We would like to keep the traffic to a minimum and we definitely want to maintain our physical distancing during drop-off.  Please parents if you could move off the school property quickly it would help to support physical distancing for the Hume community. 

What should my child bring?

Students should bring their backpacks, a FULL water bottle, snacks, inside shoes, and a note for primary students explaining what the after-school plans are for the child (bus home, mom or dad to pick up, etc).  Hume provides all the school supplies with the $40 school supplies fee.  The school air exchange system is currently circulating 100% new air from outside.  As such, the building can be quite COLD in the morning.  In the afternoons the building temperature can get quite warm if it is warm outside.  Students (and staff!) should dress appropriately. 

What should my child not bring?

They should not bring any toys, electronics, or extra school supplies.  Please keep things to a minimum on the first day specifically.

Is it half or full days this week?

We are starting with a half-day on Tuesday, September 7.  Buses will run 3 hours earlier than normal so pick up at the school starts at 11:30 am.  If your child is a bus student, expect them home 3 hours earlier than normal.  Wednesday, September 8, and onward are full days ending at 2:30 pm each day.

What’s happening with learning groups?  Can my child play with their sibling during school hours?

We used learning groups last year to keep our contact with other students and staff to a minimum.  This year, the Provincial COVID-19 Guidelines for K-12 settings do not recommend learning groups.  As such, we won’t have learning groups for outside play.  Students can mix outside with their chosen friends and siblings.  We will be maintaining a rotating schedule regarding grade groups' access to particular equipment outside.  We have worked to maintain many routines that will support the safety of staff and students.  We will be maintaining a plan to allow for: safely spaced entering and exiting of the building, controlled movement of staff/students in the building, strategies to prevent crowding.  We will still encourage giving space to everyone when they are inside and outside. 

Can my child go to a friend’s home after school?

Courtesy riders who are not registered for bus service will be slowly implemented this fall.  Registered bus students can ride their own bus home after school.  Students need their electronic name tags to ride the buses in SD8.

What is the mask policy for Hume?  Will my child need to wear a mask?

Elementary students grade 4 and up (along with all staff) are required to wear masks while riding the bus or attending school indoors.  Students in grades K to 3 are encouraged to wear a mask.  Children in K to 3 whose families choose to have them wear a mask will be welcomed and supported by the school staff.  The district will provide 2 masks for every student, but they have not arrived yet. If you think your child needs a mask exemption, please contact Mr. Kalabis via email. 

What about the water at Hume?

There are water fountains available for staff and students when at school.  Please consider sending your child with a full water bottle to school each day.  Labels on the water bottle (and everything else) would really help us out!

Can I as a parent go into the school or onto the playground?

Parents are not allowed in the school except to visit the principal with a pre-arranged appointment.  Please set up an appointment and the principal or the amazing school secretary, Arlene, will meet you at the front doors. 

Parents are welcome to pick up and drop off their children.  At the end of the school day, we have two afterschool programs that often use the Hume fields and playground.  We are asking parents and caregivers to please leave the school grounds promptly after pick-up to allow space for the afterschool programs.    

What is the drop-off time in the morning if I’m driving my child to school?

For right now we would appreciate it that parents drop off their children between 8:10 and 8:20 am.  We appreciate how busy the morning routine can be for families, but please work to have your child at the school on time as this really helps support a safe transition of everyone into the building and a consistent start to the day. 

What happens at the end of the school day?

Students will be dismissed in a staggered format.  The Gr. 1-5 students will be dismissed at the front of the school and the K’s will be dismissed from the back.  We are asking parents to be as prompt as possible when picking up their children after school.  The day ends at 2:30 pm.

What happens if my child gets sick at school?

If a child starts to show COVID symptoms at school, we will call parents, keep the child safe and under supervision while parents come to pick them up.

Can I send my child to school if they show any COVID symptoms?

No.  Students, staff, or other adults are required to stay at home when sick, as this is one of the most important ways to reduce the introduction to and the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Parents/caregivers and students are asked to use one of the following resources to assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory diseases before sending them to school:

the K-12 Health Check app
the BCCDC online Self-Assessment Tool,
call 8-1-1 or speak to your health care provider. 

Safety is our priority for your child, the rest of the children, and the staff at the school.   

What class will my child be in this year?

On the afternoon of September 7, staff will spend a significant amount of time working on class lists for this school year.  We place students in groups where they are most likely to be successful socially, emotionally, and academically.  This is a very thoughtful and intentional process that has to take into account a whole host of considerations that is best for each child and the school as a whole.  Your child might not be in the classroom that they want as there are 235 children to consider in our school at this point.  Thanks for your understanding and patience in this process.  An email will be sent out on September 7th confirming your child’s class and teacher for the 2021-2022 school year.  Students will line up with the assigned teacher and class on the morning of Wednesday, September 8th.  This will be their first day with their class for the 2021-2022 school year.

See you on Tuesday morning!

 

Sincerely, Mr. Kalabis and the rest of the wonderful Hume team.

 

Sacha Kalabis

Principal of Hume Elementary School