Important Information and Resources: COVID-19

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Dear KPR Families,

With almost two months into the start of the 2020-21 school year, it’s great to see all the wonderful learning happening in both our physical classrooms and online. It’s amazing how adaptable, resilient and creative our students and staff truly are.

It’s also remarkable how quickly changes can happen in our day-to-day lives. As always, I have news to share with parents from the past week.
 

Virtual Parent Conference: keynote now online

KPR offers sincere thanks to the 200 parents and guardians who took time out of their busy schedules to join us at our Virtual Parent Conference last weekend. Don’t worry if you missed hearing the expert advice offered by clinical psychologist Dr. Alex Russell. We have posted a recording of Dr. Russell’s presentation – titled Drop the Worry Ball – at http://www.kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/getinvolved/parentresources/parentsconference.html

While you’re there, please feel free to check out the link to this year’s Virtual Information Fair as well. We appreciate the support of KPR’s Parent Involvement Committee in once again sponsoring KPR’s 19th annual Parent Conference, the first one to be held virtually.

 

Equity and Diversity Strategy Thoughtexchange

Please help us shape KPR’s Equity and Diversity Strategy for the next four years. We invite all families to share their perspectives on equity, diversity and inclusion priorities, through a special Thoughtexchange at https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/517289218 .

The Thoughtexchange asks you to offer your feedback on the following open-ended question:

We value equity, diversity, and the dignity and humanity of all people. We aim to remove

barriers to success and engagement, and support equitable outcomes. From your perspective,

please identify 2-3 priorities for our Board's Equity Strategy moving forward.

The Thoughtexchange will be open until November 9. Thank you for your participation!

 

Switching to or from our Virtual Schools

Families: please remember to contact your home school if you wish to switch your children or teens between in-person and online learning. Here’s a quick reminder of the timelines you need to follow to make this change.

For ELEMENTARY students to move from in-person to online learning on the first available start date of Monday, November 2, parents must speak with their home school principal by this Friday, October 23. After that, to move to the Virtual Elementary School (VES) for the next available start date of Monday, November 30, parents will need to speak with their home school principal between November 2-20.  

Families wishing to move their children in the opposite direction, from VES to in-person learning, also should approach their home school principal.

The timeline and process for SECONDARY students are different. The next available entry point to the Virtual High School is Monday, November 23, the start of the second quadmester. Requests to transfer into online learning for the second quadmester will need to be completed by October 30. If you wish to transfer your teen either into the Virtual High School or back to their home school, please start the process by contacting the Guidance department at your home school.

 

Update your contact info!

A quick reminder: please make sure to update your children’s school on any changes in your contact information, such as a new phone number or email address. This will help ensure you continue to receive vital, timely information from the school.

In addition, please remember that you have the option of choosing how the school communicates with you; to do that, please use the School Messenger App or log into https://go.schoolmessenger.ca/#/account/login and click on Preferences. Our newest method of reaching out to families quickly is via KPR’s Text Message Alerts. You can opt into this service now, by sending a text message to 978338 with the message of “Y” or “Yes”.
  

Community representatives wanted

Do you know someone in the community who does not have children in school, but who avidly supports public education? If so, please pass on this call for volunteer community representatives on our Parent Involvement Committee.

KPR is seeking one non-parent community member from each of the Board’s three regions (Clarington, Northumberland-City of Quinte West/Murray Ward, and Peterborough) to join nine parent representatives in advising the Board on ways to encourage meaningful and inclusive involvement in children’s education. Community members are invited to submit a letter of interest by 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 5 to director_education@kprdsb.ca  For information on the Parent Involvement Committee, visit http://www.kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/getinvolved/parentinvolvement.html


Preventing the spread of COVID-19

And, finally, I can’t miss this opportunity to address a topic that is top-of-mind for all of us: preventing the spread of COVID-19. Please remember to self-screen every morning by using the province’s online tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ or by printing the tool from https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid19-cms-assets/2020-10/Screening%20Children%20v1.0%202020-10-01%20FINAL%20EN%20AODA.pdf . Students and staff who feel unwell should remain at home, even if their symptoms seem as minor as a mild cold.

Please take advantage as well of the federal government’s COVID Alert app, to learn of any possible  exposures to COVID before any symptoms appear. You can download the app for free from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

Our local health units also have posted some new and helpful advice for families on celebrating Halloween safely. You can find tips at:

https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/novel-coronavirus-update.aspx#Halloween

https://www.hkpr.on.ca/2020/10/07/halloween-safety-during-covid-19/

https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-social-gatherings-holidays-events/?highlight=halloween#halloween

I wish everyone a healthy and rejuvenating weekend.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc Director of Education

 

 

Friday, October 16, 2020 

Dear KPR Families, 

It’s hard to believe it’s mid-October already! Changing colours, falling leaves and cooler temperatures are a fitting reminder that, even in the midst of change, we can thrive. Our students, staff and communities illustrate this every day, by continuing to learn, grow and succeed, despite the stresses and uncertainties of today. 

Following are the latest updates on education locally and provincially.
 

Virtual Parent Conference: one day away

KPR's Virtual Parent Conference is just one day away, and we’re making it easy for you to join us, on:

Saturday, October 17
9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Theme: Drop the Worry Ball 
Featuring Dr. Alex Russell  

You will be able to “tune in” directly to the Parent Conference on the morning of the event, by simply clicking on the following link:  
https://kprdsb.webex.com/kprdsb/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec88524730938f91cc940009914595b06 

Dr. Russell is a Toronto-based clinical psychologist, a frequent keynote speaker, and co-author of the book Drop the Worry Ball: How to Parent in the Age of Entitlement. We look forward to “seeing” you at the conference, and we thank our Parent Involvement Committee for supporting the conference every year.
 

Equity and Diversity Strategy Thoughtexchange 

As we develop our Equity and Diversity Strategy for the next four years, we invite families to share their perspectives on equity priorities for our school board. Our Equity and Diversity Strategy guides our work in valuing equity, diversity, inclusion, and the dignity and humanity of all students, staff and stakeholders. 

Your participation is important and valued. To gather your feedback, we are asking for your thoughts on one open-ended question. You also will have a chance to consider and assign a rating or ‘stars’ to the ideas shared by others.   

Your thoughts and stars are confidential. You can come back as often as you like to participate in the Thoughtexchange, and, in fact, we ask that you do come back to star some of the new ideas shared by others. The ratings will help us understand the most important areas to focus on in our Equity and Diversity Strategy. 

Here is the question:
We value equity, diversity, and the dignity and humanity of all people. We aim to remove barriers to success and engagement, and support equitable outcomes. From your perspective, please identify 2-3 priorities for our Board's Equity Strategy moving forward.

Please click here to participate: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/517289218 

The Thoughtexchange will be open until November 9. Thank you for your participation and input!
 

Wanted: Parent Involvement Committee members 

KPR is seeking parents who are passionate about student success and parental involvement in schools, to serve on our Parent Involvement Committee. One parent from each of KPR’s three regions will be selected for the Parent Involvement Committee at the following Regional School Council Association meetings: 

Clarington, October 21, 7 p.m., email kpr_info@kprdsb.ca for details

Northumberland, Date TBA, email kpr_info@kprdsb.ca for details

Peterborough area, October 20, 6:30 p.m., email kpr_info@kprdsb.ca for details

The Committee meets monthly throughout the school year to support, and provide advice regarding, meaningful and inclusive parental involvement in all of our schools. For further information on the work of the Parent Involvement Committee, please visit http://www.kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/getinvolved/parentinvolvement.html

Switching to or from the Virtual Elementary School (VES) 

An important reminder: if you would like to move your elementary-age child from in-school to online learning, you must start the process by speaking with the principal of your home school by Friday, October 23. This is the deadline to let us know if you wish to move your child to the VES on the next available start date of Monday, November 2. 

Similarly, if you wish your child to start VES classes on Monday, November 30, you will need to contact your home school principal between November 2-20. 

In other words: 

To start VES classes on:

Register:

 

 

Monday, November 2

By October 23

 

 

Monday, November 30

Between November 2-20

 

 

 

Please note there will be no new start dates in December. We will announce details for January soon. 

If you do choose to transfer your child to online learning, they will be supported by their home school until the next VES start date noted above. Families wishing to move their children from VES to in-person learning also can approach their home school principal. There may be a waiting period before their children can move, however, as the school must ensure it meets all provincial requirements. 

KPR Virtual High School (KPRVHS) 

As noted last week, all Virtual High School classes are full for this quadmester. The next entry point will be for the second quadmester, which begins on Monday, November 23.   

Requests to transfer into online learning for the second quadmester will need to be completed by October 30, so that appropriate staffing can be put in place to accommodate new enrolment levels.

If you wish to transfer your teen either into the Virtual High School or back to their home school, please contact the Guidance department at your home school to begin the process. 

Speaking of online information… 

…with KPR’s increased focus on digital communication and the move by thousands of students to virtual learning, we are no longer printing our traditional “fridge calendar”.  Here are some important dates that were approved by our Trustees and the Ministry of Education earlier this year: 

PA Days:              Friday, November 27; Monday, February 1; Friday, May 14 (secondary ONLY); Friday, June 11 (elementary ONLY), and Wednesday, June 30

Winter Break:    Monday, December 21, to Friday, January 1

March Break:     Friday, March 12, to Friday, March 19 

The dates also are posted at http://kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/resources/schoolcalendars.html

Should there be any changes due to the constantly evolving nature of COVID, we will let parents know. 

Working together to prevent COVID-19 

And, finally, as we find ourselves in the “second wave” of COVID-19 cases predicted by public health officials, it’s even more critical to screen ourselves every morning for possible symptoms of COVID-19. Students and staff who feel unwell should remain at home, even if their symptoms seem as minor as a mild cold. 

It’s easy to do this daily self-screening. Simply use Ontario’s online self-screening tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ or print it from https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid19-cms-assets/2020-10/Screening%20Children%20v1.0%202020-10-01%20FINAL%20EN%20AODA.pdf 

We also encourage you to download the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app, which can let people know of possible exposures to COVID before any symptoms appear. That app is available at no charge at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html 

Take care, and enjoy the coming weekend. 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc Director of Education

 

Thursday, October 8, 2020 

Dear KPR Families, 

As we approach the Thanksgiving long weekend, we would like to extend our sincere best wishes to our students and families.  We are living through historic times, and we continue to be incredibly proud of our students and staff as they adapt to the new realities of our school day. 

Together, they are finding moments of joy, happiness and inspiration, and most importantly, they are learning. 

These are difficult times, without question, but with positive intention we continue to work through challenges as they come, and to do all that we can to ensure the safety and wellness of everyone in our schools. We remain thankful for the opportunity to be together, in person and virtually, engaged in our life’s work and passion: public education. 

We urge everyone to be responsible in our Thanksgiving observations, and to continue to do all that we can to keep our communities healthy. 

Please find below further information as part of our weekly update. 

Important: please self-screen daily!

We remind families and staff that it is extremely important to screen themselves for possible symptoms of COVID-19 every morning, before heading to school. Please use the Ontario government’s updated, online self-screening tool for this purpose. It will help you make an informed decision about whether you should attend school or child care, consult a health care provider, or get tested for COVID-19. 

The new self-screening tool can be completed online at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. A printable version also can be downloaded from https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid19-cms-assets/2020-10/Screening%20Children%20v1.0%202020-10-01%20FINAL%20EN%20AODA.pdf 

In addition, we have attached a copy of the self-screening tool for you to print if you choose. Please self-screen every day. 

We also wish to remind parents of two other important sources of information on COVID:

  • We encourage you to download the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app, which can let people know of possible exposures to COVID before any symptoms appear. That app is available at no charge at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

  • The KPR website has a wealth of information on COVID, including our illness protocol, mental health resources to help support families at this time, details on wearing masks properly, posters in eight languages, and a COVID-19 Reporting page that provides an update on numbers of confirmed cases at schools throughout KPR. All of this information can be accessed from http://www.kprschools.ca/en/COVID-19.html

 

KPR Virtual Elementary School (VES)

With 4,300 students now attending the VES, an intake process has been created to support a successful transition for students and their families. VES students will be able to move from in-person to online learning at the end of each month. This will allow sufficient time for principals and teachers to make the transition as smooth as possible for students. 

If you would like to move your child from in-school to online learning, please start the process by speaking with the principal of your home school.  Families will need to register by October 23 if they wish their children to make the change on the next available start date of Monday, November 2. 

Similarly, families who wish their children to switch to online classes on Monday, November 30 will need to register between November 2-20.  Please note that this process will not occur in December.  

In other words: 

To start VES classes on:

Register between:

 

Monday, November 2

October 9-23

 

Monday, November 30

November 2-20

 

 

Watch for more information on the transition and registration dates for January. 

After registering for the VES and while waiting for their online classes to start, students will be supported by their home school until they transition to the virtual school. They will have two choices during this waiting period: either attend class in person at their home school until the VES start date, or complete work assigned by their child’s teacher at home.

 

Kawartha Pine Ridge Virtual High School (KPRVHS)

At the secondary level, all Virtual High School classes are currently full for this quadmester.  The next entry point will be for the second quadmester, which begins on Monday, November 23.  

Requests to transfer into online learning for the second quadmester will need to be completed by October 30, so that appropriate staffing can be put in place to accommodate the new enrolment levels.

To start the process of transferring to the Virtual High School, parents must contact their home school’s Guidance department. 

Families requesting a transfer to online learning at KPRVHS should be aware that:

  • Students will no longer have a timetable at their home school, and course availability may change if the student chooses to return to their home school later in the school year.  The student will be registered with the KPRVHS and no longer registered at their home school.
  • KPRVHS does not offer all the courses that a regular high school offers, so it may not be possible to match courses.
  • KPRVHS is not able to offer specialized programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB) and skilled trades-related courses.
  • Students are required to participate in a minimum of 225 minutes of daily scheduled synchronous learning (live, real-time learning) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Parents and guardians interested in transferring their teen from the virtual school to their home secondary school also will need to contact their Guidance department to begin the process.

KPR Parent Conference: one click away
You are just one click away from receiving free, expert advice at KPR's Virtual Parent Conference next week.

KPR's 19th annual conference - the first one to be held virtually - will take place: 

Saturday, October 17
9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Theme: Drop the Worry Ball 
Featuring Dr. Alex Russell  

To make participating in the Virtual Parent Conference as easy as possible, we are not requiring pre-registration this year. You will be able to “tune in” directly to the Parent Conference on the morning of the event, by simply clicking on the following link:  
https://kprdsb.webex.com/kprdsb/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec88524730938f91cc940009914595b06 

Dr. Alex Russell is a clinical psychologist, well known and engaging speaker, and co-author of the book Drop the Worry Ball: How to Parent in the Age of Entitlement. 

If you need assistance, have questions or if there are accommodations that would make the conference more accessible for you, please email kpr_info@kprdsb.ca or call 705-742-9773 or toll-free 1-877-741-4577, ext. 2018. 

Sign up for Text Message Alerts

And, finally, we encourage families to sign up for KPR’s Text Message Alerts to get quick updates on school news, attendance, any possible confirmed cases of COVID in their child’s school, and more. You can opt into this service now, by sending a text message to 978338 with the message of “Y” or “Yes”.  

You can opt out of these messages at any time by simply replying to one of the Text Message Alerts with “Stop”.  If you choose not to opt in to text messaging, you can still receive school information via email. You can also decide which types of communications you receive, and how, through the School Messenger App under Preferences, or by logging into https://go.schoolmessenger.ca/#/account/login

We wish everyone a healthy, relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc Director of Education

 

 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Dear KPR Families,

As I write this update, it strikes me that nothing is more predictable this year than its unpredictability. With that in mind, I would like to share with you a few new developments that have taken place since last week’s update.

New COVID-19 Self-screening Tool

The provincial government this week released a new COVID-19 self-screening tool for families and individuals to use every morning. The new tool, which goes into effect immediately, is meant to help families and individuals make an informed decision about whether they should attend school or child care, consult a health care provider, or get tested for COVID-19.

The new self-screening tool now has two sets of questions about possible symptoms. The first set asks about symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. Children with any of these symptoms will still be advised to stay home until they receive a negative COVID-19 test or other medical diagnosis. 

The second set of questions asks about symptoms that are common to other illnesses as well, such as runny nose, headache and nausea.

  • Children who have only one of these symptoms will be advised to stay home for 24 hours, after which they can return to school or child care if their symptoms are improving.
  • Children with two or more of these symptoms will be advised to stay home until they consult with a health care provider and receive a diagnosis other than COVID, or a negative COVID-19 test.

Another change in the symptom list is removal of abdominal pain and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

The new self-screening tool is attached here. All KPR schools will follow these new directions. Please self-screen every day.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Health authorities this week notified us of a confirmed case of COVID-19, at Highland Heights PS in Peterborough. In addition, there is a probable case of COVID at the YMCA GTA child care centre located within the John M. James PS building in Bowmanville. Both schools are responding as directed by Durham Public Health and Peterborough Public Health. In both cases, we have worked closely with public health officials to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the ill individuals while they were infectious. The health unit called close contacts directly and advised them as to any next steps they must take, such as self-isolation and/or testing.

Highland Heights PS, John M. James PS and the child care centre are still open, and individuals who were not contacted by their health units may continue to attend school and child care, including the after-school program.

Meanwhile, we are pleased to report that the three individuals at Adam Scott CVI who were confirmed last week as having COVID-19 have been recovering well at home. 

All KPR schools are continuing to follow all preventive steps identified by health officials, including thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all areas; frequent and proper handwashing by everyone in the building; wearing masks; and maintaining physical distancing to the fullest extent possible.

We also remind all families and staff of the importance of daily self-screening, using the new screening tool attached.

COVID Alert App
We also want to remind you of the Government of Canada’s new COVID Alert app, which can be downloaded for free to let people know of possible exposures to COVID before any symptoms appear. That app is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

Text Message Alerts from KPR Schools

Text message alerts are a quick and easy way to receive information about school news, attendance, and more. We will also be using text message alerts to notify families about confirmed cases of COVID in their schools.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to opt into this service now, by sending a text message to 978338 with the message of “Y” or “Yes”. 

You can opt out of these messages at any time by simply replying to one of our messages with “Stop”.  If you choose not to opt in to text messaging, you can still receive school information via email. You can also decide which types of communications you receive, and how, through the School Messenger App under Preferences, or by logging into https://go.schoolmessenger.ca/#/account/login

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WiFi at Schools

We know that not all KPR students and families have access to WiFi.  As we work to support our communities in these challenging days, we have designated all our schools as public WiFi hotspots. Members of the public may access the internet at no charge from outside our buildings. In using this resource, we encourage everyone to follow public health directives and maintain physical distancing. Please click here to see the instructions for accessing the WiFi.

 

Important Online Health Resources

Are you a KPR Staff member?

Find information regarding:

  • Payroll
  • Leaves (Medical, Parental)
  • Staffing
  • Who to contact

in our Staff FAQ here:    https://kprweb.kprdsb.ca/