Principal's Message: Welcome and First Week Back

Hello Hume School Community.

Well, it sure feels good to be up and running again for the 2021-2022 school year!  I would like to wholeheartedly welcome returning families and students along with all of our new families and students.  On Tuesday, we welcomed back the majority of our families and on Friday we had our new Kindergarten students for their first half-day at school.  In total we currently have 43 new Kindergarten students joining the school and a total school population of 224 students.  Nice to see all the amazing families calling Nelson their home. 

This first week back you could feel the energy in the air as the students were able to connect with friends across the grades during recess and lunch.  We finished this week with music Friday at lunch, which ignited a spontaneous dance party at the front of the school.  Super fun!

The entire school staff has missed you all and looks forward to connecting with each of you again over the coming days and months.  For some of you, we will be starting a relationship for the first time.  A thank you to the custodial staff who have done a great job in getting all of our school spaces ready for the new year.  A thank you also to our teaching staff and educational assistants who have been working diligently to ensure a welcoming environment for the students and a smooth start-up.  Finally, a thank you to Arlene, our amazing school secretary, who goes above and beyond to deal with so many of the logistics inherent in start-up, all while being the positive voice for anyone calling the school.

We are looking forward also to starting our collaborative work with the Hume School Parent Advisory Committee (PAC).  Our first meeting is set for September 20th, 2021 at 6:30 pm.  Please be in touch with your Hume PAC Chair, Michelle Sylvest at humeschoolpac@gmail.com.  The PAC Facebook page can be found at http://facebook.com/humepac

As you are aware, Hume Elementary School along with the rest of the district schools are following the new Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings.  The new K-12 guidelines have had some changes for everyone to be aware of upon re-entering our school community and some key guidelines are highlighted below.  The language in the guidelines allows for a more ‘normal’ return to the school experience, while still meeting the recommended safety measures as outlined by the Public Health office and the BC Center of Disease and Control.  We are all very much in this together and we will need the support of our parents and school community in assisting in these efforts.

Here’s what you need to know that is new this year:

· Masks continue to be required for all staff and students grades 4 and up. Masks for students in grades K-3 are encouraged to wear a mask and will be supported in doing so. 

· There will no longer be learning groups. Students can now play together with their friends and siblings. However, many transitions and movements of students/adults will be coordinated to reduce the number of close contacts between students/adults in and around the school.

· Field trips are now permitted, as are guests and performances inside the school, with all COVID protocols in place.  However, we will be easing into these possibilities to ensure comfort and readiness prior to the experiences.

· We will now be using the phrase, “Spread out and use space”. Students and staff remain focused on encouraging physical distancing, particularly indoors. 

What we are keeping from last year:

· Students and Staff will continue with regular hand-washing and hand-sanitizing.

· Parents must continue with conducting daily health checks before sending their child to school.

· Parents are encouraged to make an appointment before entering the school. All students leaving for appointments, those that are sick and/or being picked up for whatever reason, etc, will need to be picked up at the front doors of the school.  Sacha (Principal) or Arlene (Secretary) will escort the child to the front of the building.

· Any adult/guest entering the building must wear a mask and sign in at the office.

· Key Health Measure: If your child is sick, even if it is mild, please refrain from sending them to school.  We need to maintain a high standard in this as a community and support both our families and staff in staying healthy throughout the year.

Use the daily health check app: The K to 12 Health Check website and app is an easy way to decide if your child should attend school based on their symptoms. It includes current health guidelines and offers an age-appropriate user experience for K to 12 students.

· Students will line up in bus lines after school; parents can pick up students from the outside.

· Kindergarten will come to school by gradual entry.  Please refer to your email sent to you by those teachers.

· For the month of September and October, we will continue to have students lining up outside.  Teachers/staff will greet and escort all into the building using their class's assigned entrance. 

The following links will provide you with more information:

The Ministry of Health - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-safe-schools

BC Centre for Disease Control - http://www.bccdc.ca/schools

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call.  The Hume School Website continues to be a great place to get more information on the school, see our calendar, and receive updates on school celebrations, principal messages, and announcements.

With gratitude,

Mr. Sacha Kalabis

Principal, Hume Elementary School