Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to questions about:
Classroom Organization
Health and Safety
Temporary Transition Option Plan
Drop Off/Pick Up

(Last update September 29, 2020)

Classroom Organization

Q: What will the first day back to school (September 14) look like?
A: The Restart Plan for School is based on organizing school in such a way as to ensure  little or no contact and interaction between students from different “Learning Circles”. Students will be arranged in Grade groups (i.e. both Kindergarten classes will form one Kindergarten Learning Circle) and will be scheduled to be dropped off at the same time, go for recess the same time, eat lunch and go to lunch recess together, and get dismissed together. Each grade will form similar groups and move about the school together. The trick is to keep them apart from other groups as a control measure meant to reduce the chance that children will physically encounter someone outside of their ‘bubble’ thereby reducing contact and the spread of COVID-19.
Managing to create and enforce these complex time tables is proving to be a huge challenge and is very demanding of the Administration’s  time and attention. Once they have been finalized, we will send home information regarding the vital times of drop-off and pickup for each Learning Circle. Primary Learning Circles will enter the school building through the Primary floor door that leads on to the Daycare play area. At this juncture I want to express my gratitude to the Day Care staff and administration for allowing us the use of their playground. Intermediate students will enter and exit the building through the front door. 

Q: I see that there will be 28 students in each [sic] class, would there be enough space between the desks for distancing?
A: We will be maximizing the space in each classroom to make it as close as possible. Under the “Learning Circle” directive, which is designed to limit interaction and contact with students outside of the Grade-level Circle, Physical Distancing protocols are not necessarily strictly adhered to. We have also ordered desk barriers for each child in every classroom which will help in making classrooms safer.

Q: Are children from both classes [of the same grade] going to be interacting together on a daily basis or would they have separate recess and lunch times?
A: They will have the same recess and lunch times as per the Learning Circles requirements of the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Office.

Q: Is the kindergarten playground going to be shared with other grades during the staggered break times? If yes, is there any plan to assist kindergarten students in remaining focused in class activities while seeing other children playing outside?
A: Yes. In order for all students to get some play time and fresh air, other Primary classes will be using the Kindergarten playground. I am certain the teachers are aware of this and will take steps they deem necessary to limit distraction.

Q: Will barriers and partitions be put in place throughout the school?
A: Plexiglass barriers are provided for the office to protect staff from visitors. Delineated areas in classrooms are being used for physical distancing measures when appropriate. In all other instances, the 2m area limit is mandated so that barriers are not required.

Q: What are the occupancy limits for common areas in the school?

First floor staff room – 7 peopleThird floor staff room – 3 peopleJPII room – 37 people
Office – 3 peopleFoyer – 14 peopleElevator – 1 person
Library – 9 peopleLAC offices – 2 people Specialist offices – 2 people
Principal’s office – 2 peopleVice-Principal’s office – 2 peopleMusic room – 4 people
Gym – 179 peopleRm 301 – 5 peoplePlayground – limited to one learning circle at a time

Health and Safety

Q: Would students be directed to sanitize and wash their hands before the start of class? Would teachers give reminders to students when it’s time for hand wash breaks such as before and after snack, lunch and playground times?
A: Yes the teachers will regularly require students to sanitize their hands. Exactly when is up to each teacher.

Q: Would temperature be taken (by teachers/parent volunteers?) i.e. using a non-contact thermometer for staff members and students to ensure everyone entering the school has no fever?
A: No. We are under the direction of the Provincial Health Office not to do this. Temperature monitoring needs to be done by a health professional. Parents are welcome to take temperatures of the children at home.

Q: Would SFX have zero symptom sick policy? What happens when students become sick? Do they need stay home and return to school once symptoms of illness disappear?
A: Yes. If a student exhibits symptoms of being sick, parents will be called to come pick up the child. Students will need to be symptom free before returning to school.

Q: Would teachers or specialists provide mask hygiene and usage instructions to students?
A: Yes. It will be part of their training at school.

Q: For students who are opting in and learning to wear face masks at school, would teachers remind/encourage them to put their masks back on after snack and lunch times?
A: No. Masks are not mandatory and if a parent sends their child to school with a mask that is their decision. Teachers will not be enforcing a rule that does not exist.

Q: Would teachers be wearing face masks in the classroom as a safety precaution.
A: That is up to each individual teacher. Only Specialist teachers (French, PE, etc) will wear masks as they move around the school.

Q. How will physical distancing be maintained throughout the school?
A: Regarding Public and Parents:
• Public is limited from coming into the office: parents and others are encouraged to call or email instead of visiting the school.
• Parents are prohibited from entering the school: parents are only allowed to drop off and pick up children.

Regarding Students:
• Students will be kept in their learning cohorts for meals, and allowed outside per a staggered schedule for breaks.
• Students will work individually or in physically small groups as much as possible, and will be kept in the same rooms with the same learning group as much as possible.
• Greeting by hugs or handshake is prohibited.
• Hallways and stairs are managed using one-way arrows that direct all to stay to the right.
• Meals will be eaten in classrooms in learning groups and breaks will be staggered to reduce physical interaction.
• Sharing food and drink is prohibited, including direct use of water fountains.

Q: Will there be signage around the school to help with physical distancing measures?
In common areas, such as hallways and stairs, people must walk on the right and follow one-way signage:
• One-way hallways (1st floor heads west; 2nd and 3rd floors head east)
• One-way stairwells (Intermediate stairwell heads up; Primary stairwell heads down)
• Entrance guidelines and sign-in for all staff and visitors (posted and distributed)

Q: What are the protocols for students and staff that develop symptoms while at school? 
A: Any staff or student who falls ill while at school will be isolated, given a mask, and sent home as soon as possible.
All staff and students need to complete an initial health report before return, and will be checked on a daily and verbal basis by their teachers or administrators.

Q: Will masks be mandatory?
A: Two masks will be provided to each staff member and each student upon return to school. In general, masks will not be required as per Ministry of Health recommendations for schools, unless people outside of learning cohorts cannot maintain a 2m physical distance. However, their use is allowed and will not be stigmatized.
• Masks will be required for anyone who falls ill while at school. As such, an inventory of masks will be kept in each administrative area and first aid area. 
• Masks are to be worn by: OFAA and optional for staff that are unable to adhere to physical distancing measures.
• Training of the correct use of masks and information has been provided for all staff.

Q: What are the rules and guidelines for individuals to follow to maintain proper hygiene throughout the day?
• Staff and students will be required to wash hands as frequently as needed, and at a minimum: when arriving and leaving school, before and after eating, after using the toilet, after sneezing or coughing, whenever hands are physically dirty, and when moving between different learning environments.
• Masks are not required unless a person falls ill, or physical distancing is not possible outside of learning cohorts, but their use is allowed and will not be stigmatized.
• Private transportation to and from school is encouraged as much as possible. 

Q: I would like to know what is the school policy and procedure if someone within our community has been exposed to COVID (outside of school) and what are they to do. Do they notify the school and keep their children at home; do their children need to be tested and submit a negative result to the school within 72 hours before they are allowed to return to school? Or is it up to the public health agency to give the instructions?
A: It is totally in the hands of the Provincial Health Officer at that point. Once the case is referred to the PHO then it is beyond our jurisdiction.

Temporary Transition Option Plan

Q: Is my child bound to the choice I select in the Restart Options survey (survey closed on September 3)?
A: Your answer provided is informational only. There is no commitment made through the survey. Parents should expect more information from the CISVA regarding how exactly the TTO will be administered.

Q: Does my child stay home for September if I choose to do the Temporary Transition Option?
A: Yes your child will stay home if you chose the CISVA Temporary Transition Option which will begin on September 21. There is no school from September 14-18 if you chose this option for your child, and your child will not be required to attend the orientation on September 10 or 11.

Q. What happens if we decide to join the Temporary Transition Option? Can we change our minds midway?
A. If you join the Temporary Transition Option (TTO) in September, you must remain committed to it until October 13th (given you submit your request to return to “regular” school by October 6th).
The dates for joining/withdrawing was detailed in the survey email.

Q: Will I be able to register my child for After School Chinese if I selected the Temporary Transition Option?
A: [Please refer to Sister Mary/After School Chinese Program]. This will depend if there are spaces available in the after school Chinese program in December when the child returns to full time school.

Q: Will Option 4 students come to school for picture day on October 8?
A: We have scheduled the Option 4 students to come on Picture Retake day on November 4th. Part of our thinking is that there will be fewer students getting their pictures done which should allow for the Option 4 kids to get their pictures done more quickly and without concern.

Q: What is the official way to request for my child to change from option 4 to option 1 to enable him/her to come to school in person in November?
A: The next scheduled time for parents to request a switch for Option 1 from Option 4 is Monday, November 9th so students can return to face-to-face learning on Monday, November 16th.

Q: What is the option for families that are still feeling not ready to put their kids to school yet? Will there be a re-entry opportunity beyond the one in Nov? or the one in Nov will be the last one and all kids are required to come to school in person by default?
A: We have received no further guidelines from the CISVA Superintendents’ Office as to what happens next. I know there are some families that are still not totally comfortable sending their children to school just yet. Whether these options will continue to be offered has yet to be determined. The issue was discussed at last week’s Principals’ meeting and I requested an answer as soon as possible as I know many Option 4 parents are wondering what will happen next. As soon as I receive a definitive answer I will let School Parents know.


Q: Will staff and students share equipment?
A: Bringing containers and utensils from home will be encouraged. Single-use (disposable) products are encouraged where required. Shared equipment are to be wiped down after each use (phones, intercom, photocopiers, laminator, hole punch, teacher supplies). Use of communal equipments will be limited (remove access to the following: microwaves, fridges, coffee pots/makers, kettles, water cooler, dishwasher.)

Q: What are the cleaning protocols throughout the school?
A: Staff and students will be required to wash hands as frequently as needed, and at a minimum when arriving and leaving school, before and after eating, after using the toilet, after sneezing or coughing, whenever hands are physically dirty, and when moving between different learning environments.
• Staff and students will be instructed on how to properly wash hands using soap and water or using hand sanitizer.
• Sanitizing stations will be located where handwashing stations are not available, such as in common areas.
• All high contact surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, stair railings, washrooms, commonly used devices, and frequently used equipment will be cleaned with disinfectant at a minimum twice per day.
• All surfaces in rooms used regularly will be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day, after the space has been vacated for the day.
• Common use equipment, such as coffee makers, microwaves, and utensils have been removed.
• Food is to be brought from home and not shared among staff or students.
• Signage has been posted throughout the school to promote proper hygiene practices.
• All garbage containers will be emptied daily. 
• Handwashing and cover coughs/sneezes posters have been displayed.
• Classroom cleaning protocols are in place. Each classroom and learning area has been supplied with sanitizing supplies.
• Removal of unnecessary items to simplify the cleaning process (coffee makers, shared utensils and plates, mugs). 

Q: What is the school’s daily cleaning plan?
A: School’s cleaning plan:
• Custodian: disinfect high-touch areas, stairwell railings, bathrooms, and barriers twice a day.
• Teachers: disinfect all desk surfaces, light switches, and door handles twice a day.
• Citron (vendor): disinfect all washrooms during scheduled cleaning.
• Nighttime Janitors: dispose of garbage, clean and sanitize the school daily.

Drop off/Pick up

Q: Why do the students need to line up outside? Why can’t the students be let in to school as soon as they arrive? Will they have to wait outside when it is raining/snowing?
A: Bringing the students in by class is part of the protocols laid out by the Provincial Health Officer. We are to ‘stagger’ entry into and out of the building, as well as stagger student access to the playground to avoid any direct encounters with other students from different circles. It is important for all members of our school community to get used to this new system as it may be our system for the entire school year. Even if it is cold, or rainy, and snowing, the fact is our students will be required to enter the building like we are teaching the children now. 

There are bound to be glitches in every system and we did have some today but with more practice, I am sure we will be more efficient.

I know it is frustrating but as Dr. Bonnie Henry likes to say, “This is not forever; it’s just for now.”