Thunder News Flash – January 8, 2022

January 07, 2022
  • Daily Health Check and More

    With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it is even more important to do the following:

    • complete a daily health check with your child – as work is underway to update the K-12 Daily Health Check app for alignment with updated public health guidance, please click here to use the BC COVID-19 Thrive app for your daily health checks
    • monitor your children regularly for symptoms of illness – if they are sick, they should stay home.  Please click here for information about testing for COVID-19
    • follow all of the provincial restrictions that are currently in place – please click here for the latest information
    • seek reputable sources of information about COVID-19, such as the BCCDC, including how to protect yourself, your family and your community, and what to do if you suspect you have the virus by clicking here

    While we all continue to navigate through routines that are disrupted and changes that seem to come up daily, let’s also remember to be kind to each other and offer assistance to those who need help during these challenging times.

  • School Reopens January 10th

    We are happy to let you know that our school will reopen for in-person instruction on Monday, January 10th.  Even though the school had several closures last week due to the weather and road conditions, school staff were still hard at work planning for your child’s safe return to school.  Here is some important information that you need to be aware of, although there is still much information to come in the near future:

    • the school’s Communicable Disease Plan has been updated, and after some final “tweaks” it will be emailed to all families this weekend, as well as posted on the school’s website.  New information or protocols are highlighted in yellow so that you can go directly to that information, as this is quite a long document.  Some of the most important things to know about this revision are:
      • school gatherings, or staff gatherings will go back to being virtual, including assemblies, staff meetings, REC meetings, our upcoming Open House for new families, etc.
      • we need to do everything that we can to avoid congestion in and around the school, including only one class entering or exiting the school for school breaks, and making some changes to our morning and after school procedures
      • once again we need to limit who enters the school building to only those people who provide services to our students – if parents need to drop off anything at the school such as Gym bags or lunches, there will be a bin just inside the school door
      • wearing masks that are three layers, and fit well, in all indoor spaces of the school, especially as students enter the school each morning, is very important
      • classroom seating arrangements have changed so that all students are facing the same direction, and some furniture has been moved out of the classrooms to maximize space

    By now you have probably already heard a new term – Functional Closure.  If there are a number of staff who are ill, and we are unable to cover their absences through Teachers-on-Call or by reassigning other staff members, it is possible that with the approval of our Superintendent’s Office, the school could have a Functional Closure.  This means that all students would then be learning at home for a period of 3 – 7 days, including the weekend.  At St. James & St. Ann’s School, we are working hard to put plans in place to ensure that there is a continuity of learning for your child.  Part of this will include the following:

    • sending yet another survey to parents for ALL PARENTS to complete regarding the kinds of technology, and the number of devices that you have at home for your children to use, should we have to go to online learning.  This survey will come out shortly, and will help us determine what the online learning would look like
    • on Friday, January 14th, each child in the school will be bringing home a package for work.  This work package will be labelled “DO NOT OPEN – only open in the event of a Functional Closure”.  This will ensure that each family will have work for their children to do that does not require you to print anything, and means that during those first few days that the school is closed, as we put online learning into place, your child will have some activities to do
    • we will also provide families with a list of supplies that they should have at home so that their children are able to complete this work, and it would be a good idea to get this “school kit” together as soon as possible, as we have no idea when a Functional Closure could happen

    More information will be sent home to parents via email or through this Thunder News Flash as it becomes available.

  • Student Masks - Help Needed

    Students in Kindergarten – Grade 7 are required to wear masks in all indoor settings at school, unless parents have informed the school that their child is exempt from wearing a mask.  That means that students must be wearing their mask when they enter the doors of the school each morning.  Many of our students have been arriving at school without a mask, or their mask becomes wet/dirty during the school day and must be replaced.  While the school will always provide a mask to a student who needs one, we certainly have been going through box after box of disposable masks.  This is definitely not good for the environment, as all of these masks eventually make their way to a landfill!  We need your help in the following ways:

    •  Please ensure that your child has at least two masks with them each morning, and that they put one on just before exiting your vehicle in the morning so that they are ready to enter the school when they arrive at the doors.  Regardless of the kind of mask your child prefers to wear, we certainly would appreciate your help with this  
    • We would also request that each child again brings a small package of disposable masks to school with them on January 10th to be used just in case they have forgotten or misplaced their mask during the day.  This would be a huge help to the school
  • Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture

    It can feel like a daunting task to protect your children in an over sexualized culture.  It is important for parents to know that studies show that they have the greatest influence over their children’s risk taking behaviour.  Parents are their children’s greatest protection against a wounding world and the primary educators on how to have healthy life giving lives.  Parents, you are the answer for your children.

    Join Sr. John Mary Sullivan, FSE on Wednesday, January 12th at 7:00pm for this very important Zoom presentation.  To register for this free webinar, please click here.  You won’t be disappointed!

  • Work Bee Postponed to January 15

    The Work Bee that was scheduled to take place at the school today, Saturday, January 8th has been postponed to Saturday, January 15th.  With the Omicron variant, the change in the start date of school, as well as the forecast for snow, it seemed prudent to delay the Work Bee by one week.  Hopefully all parents scheduled for the January Work Bee will be able to make it on January 15th from 9:00am – 2:00pm.  Please complete a daily health check before coming to the Work Bee, and stay home if you are feeling unwell.  Please also ensure that you are wearing a mask when you arrive at the school, and that you bring gloves for both inside and outside work, as well as any small, cordless gardening tools you are able to bring.  Your work around the school, both inside and outside, is much appreciated.

  • REC Meeting - Wednesday, January 12th

    The next meeting of our Regional Education Committee (REC) will take place via Zoom at 6:30pm on Wednesday, January 12th.  The agenda for the meeting will be posted on the school’s website on Monday, January 10th, and can be found by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.  If you would like to attend this virtual meeting, please email the Chairperson, Tasha Mijinke by clicking here to receive the Zoom link.

  • Let's Move Forward Together

    Even though we can get very overwhelmed by all the bad news that we hear constantly, let’s focus on these inspiring words from Pope Francis in his address to young people on December 6, 2021.  “God loves you, so take courage and keep moving forward!  Together, keep moving forward!’  


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