September 2, 2021
Greetings Grade 7/8 St. Mark Students/Families,
A warm welcome to our students joining our community and to those returning for another year at St. Mark. I look forward to this new school year with optimism. Staff have been working hard to prepare for your daughters and sons to return to school. The collaboration between guardians, parents, teachers, students and administrators will undoubtedly be the key to a successful start and a positive school year.
The Return To School
Students will return to school next Tuesday, September 7th. Our school hours are from 8:15 - 2:20. Grade 7 and 8 students will be grouped into homerooms (core and immersion) and will remain with the same group of students (their cohort) for the entire school day. Students will stay in the same classroom with the exception of Physical Education, Music and Drama. This year, students will be assigned a locker. Students will have access to lockers at the beginning of the day, at lunch and at the end of the day. The students will also be able to store items at their desk in their classroom as well.
My MRH (MyStudentinfo.ca) is a dynamic tool to help improve communication with students. As we return to school, students will be able to access their schedules, find their lockers, book guidance appointments, access school announcements and links, and complete their covid 19- attestations quickly and easily. To access My MRH, students may go to mystudentinfo.ca and sign in using their new stu.ocsb.ca accounts. This is firstname.lastname@example.org. The stu.ocsb.ca accounts should be active as of today and should have the same credentials as the old ocsbstudent.ca accounts. Schedules should be available by the end of day on September 3rd, and bookings for guidance appointments will be available on September 7th. Students should check their schedules prior to coming to school and know where their first period class is. If they can’t access it, then no worries! Staff and peer helpers will be available on the first day to direct students to the correct homeroom where they will get their schedules.
What to Bring to School
Here is a link to a suggested list of items that the students should have. Some items have been updated to reflect our new reality. ie. Water Bottles, hand sanitizer, etc. If any families require support with these items, please let us know.
THE FIRST DAY
To help our grade ⅞ students feel more comfortable on the first day of school, we have taken the following steps:
Students will have access to their timetables on Friday, September 3rd, 2021 through myMRH (see above). It’s important that the student knows their Homeroom teacher’s name (this is the same as their Period One teacher’s name).
Peer Helpers, Student Council, the Admin team, and staff members will be able to assist students in the bus loop as well as at the front of the school when they are dropped off.
Students taking the yellow school busses will be greeted by a Peer Helper and will be instructed to take note of their bus number.
All Peer Helpers will have bright red vests on so they will be easily identifiable.
Grade 7 and 8 students taking a bus are to enter the school at the back doors. There will be Peer Helpers showing them the way. (High school students will enter the building using the side doors).
Peer Helpers will also be available in the school building to direct students to their Homeroom classrooms and will be present in all Homeroom classes to take questions and explain their role.
Homeroom will be extended on Tuesday, September 7th so that Homeroom teachers may do tours with their students, go through protocols, go through lunch-time procedures, assign lockers, give students time to set up their lockers, watch safety videos, explain how a ⅞ timetable works and do ice-breaker activities so that students feel more comfortable.
Parents are asked to send their child(ren) with a lock for their locker, a binder, pen/pencil, and paper the first day of school. Dudley combination locks seem to work the best and last the longest.
Periods 3-6 will be at the regular time(s).
At 2:10pm (10 minutes early), Peer Helpers will return to the assigned homerooms and we will dismiss grade 7 and 8 students before our high school students. Peer Helpers and teachers will accompany the students outside.
Staff and Peer Helpers will be in the bus loop to help students find their bus.
Buses /Drop-Off at School
Buses will be running for the first day. We strongly encourage parents to send their sons and daughters on the school bus. Information on buses can be found at the Parent Portal at the OSTA website. All students will be given assigned seating on the school bus. This won’t be completed until the end of the first week (once we have finalized bus lists). Where possible, students will share seats with siblings, and/or students from the same “bubble”. That is, students from the same home room at grade ⅞ or from the same class at HS. Students must wear a mask at all times on the school bus.
Parents who are dropping their children off are asked to do so in the front of the school. We ask for parents/students to be patient in getting into the drop-off area. Parents are asked to pull forward in the lot so that we can maximize traffic flow. We have made arrangements for parents to drop-off/ pick up at the OSU soccer fields (Access on Mitch Owens). The gate will be open by 7:50 am and again at 2:00 pm.
Grade 7 and 8 will eat their lunch in the classroom. Grade 7s and grade 8s will have a staggered lunch period. That is, grade 8 will be in the yard by themselves while the grade 7s will eat in the classroom and then they will switch. There will be no access to the cafeteria. Students will need to bring a lunch from home. There will also be no access to a microwave for heating lunches, etc.
Signage on walls and/or floors have been placed to remind students to maintain a 2-metre distance from other people. In some cases, hallways will be designated one way in the morning before class begins, during lunch, and immediately after class at the end of the school day. Numbers have been placed on the door that show maximum occupancy for high traffic rooms, such as washrooms. There are multiple washrooms designated as grade ⅞ only. Other signage has been posted around the school with important safety information. Teachers and other school staff will be reviewing policies and procedures over the first few days.
Visitors to the School
We are limiting non-essential visitors to the school. Visitors, volunteers and guardians or parents will not be permitted on school property. Guardians and parents will need approval by a vice-principal or the principal to access the school if access is needed.
Students Who Develop Symptoms of Illness at School
If a student shows symptoms, we will contact a guardian or parent to come to arrange immediate transportation home. The student will also be placed in an isolation room away from other students and staff.
Moving forward, we will communicate information with parents - mostly via email - with important updates. Please ensure you are signed up for “General Messages” from the school in your School Messenger account.
Where individual cases of additional support are concerned, we will reach out to parents directly. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone (613-692-2551) or via email.
All the best,
Principal - St. Mark HS