September Newsletter

Upcoming Events
Sept 14 – School Pictures
Sept 18 – Terry Fox Run / Corn Boil
Sept 28 – Grade 6 – HPV Needles
Oct 12 -Thanksgiving (no classes)
Oct 20 – Picture Retakes
Nov 11 – Remembrance Day (no classes)
Nov 20 – Parent Teacher (no classes)
Nov 27 – PD Day (no classes)

Welcome Back:
Welcome back to all of our returning students and to all of our new Kindergarten students as well.
It is hard to believe that another school year is here and we sure look forward to working with you and your children in the coming months. We love to see your children reach their full potential as the year ahead unfolds and encourage you to call at anytime, with any questions or comments that you may have. We have a few things to mention to you as the year begins:

•Forms to Sign: There are forms that have been sent home to be signed. Please return to school as soon as possible. Make sure to update the student info sheet with accurate contact info during this time of Covid.
•School Pictures: Are taking place Monday, September 14th. Retakes will be October 20th

School Counsellor: Lori Gard, our School counsellor, is pleased to assist students at Bloomfield Elementary with any matters that can help them experience a successful year. This year Mrs. Gard will be at the school on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and every second Friday. Students can be referred to Mrs. Gard by teachers, administrators, parents/guardians and at times they seek help on their own. Please contact the school if you wish to talk to Mrs. Gard.

Peanuts: Bloomfield Elementary is a peanut-free school. This includes all types of nuts. Students are not allowed to bring any food containing peanuts or any traces of nuts. If your child has peanut butter for breakfast, please make sure he/she washes his/her hands and face and brush his/her teeth afterwards. Slight traces can be dangerous or fatal.

Cooking Lunches
Classes have microwaves to warm up lunches for students. However we ask that students do not bring items such as Kraft Dinner Cups, Mr. Noodles or frozen lunches that need to be cooked. We are finding that this is causing some students to spend their whole lunch time waiting to get food cooked. We are wondering if those meals could be cooked at home and then placed in a container that could just be warmed up at lunch.

Also, just a friendly reminder to please send utensils with lunches. Thanks for your help with this.

Thank You
As the first week of school comes to a close, we want to thank you and tell you how well your children have done this week. We have been thoroughly impressed with their adjustment to all of the new procedures related to Covid. They have grasped these extremely well and I can tell you that they are expert mask wearers. Congratulate them on a very successful first week.

Please Note: The first bell is at 8:45 a.m. and dismissal occurs at 2:45 p.m. Children can be dropped off starting at 7:50 a.m. until 8:20 a.m. at their Cohort Door. We ask that parents do not drop off between 8:20 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. as busses will be here at that time. We ask parents that are picking up their child before school ends to pick up before 2:00 p.m. by calling Raeanne in the office or at 2:50 p.m. at their Cohort door. We ask that students are not picked up between 2:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Please send a note or phone if someone else is picking up your child.

Canteen Service: We have developed a menu based on the Public Schools Branch Nutrition Policy. The canteen service will begin on Monday, Sept 14th. If possible, please pay for the order on Monday morning of each week. Order forms are being sent home today
Monday: Chicken Crunch (Vinny’s)$3.25
Tuesday: Turkey Soup (Maple House Bakery) $3.00
Wednesday: Macaroni & Hamburger (Maple House Bakery) $3.75
Thursday: Cheese Pizza (Vinny’s) – $2.00. Please note that on the 3rd Thursday of each month it will be Garlic Fingers (Vinny’s) $2.00
Friday: Ham sub, Cheese String & Veggies (Foodland) $3.75.

White Milk 50¢, Chocolate Milk 80¢ and Yogurt 50¢ are offered every day. Ice Cream will be offered the last Friday of every month. We will inform you of any changes as the year progresses.
If your child is going to be absent and has ordered lunch that day please contact the school by 9:30 am to cancel your order. Otherwise we have to pay for that lunch. This way we can notify the teacher and have their lunch cancelled or forwarded to the next week. (if we are not notified we have to charge for that lunch since the cost is put on the school)

We are sending home information today as well on the Healthy Food School Program.

Community Notes
O’Leary Minor Hockey Registration:
Will be held at the O’Leary Rink Friday, September 18th from 6 pm – 9 pm There will be a bottle drive during registration in support of Ryan MacKinnon.

Sunday, August 30th

Dear Parents,   I am pleased to tell you that we are continuing to work at being ready for the start of school and while there is still a lot to do, we are getting closer to being ready for the arrival of your children. On Friday of last week, the Provincial Government announced that schools had two options to consider for the return to school. The first option was a regular day for all children on September 8th like we have been planning for. The second option is a new suggestion and it is that in our case, only the new Kindergarten Students would come on September 8th and all students would then come on September 9th. We have been deliberating the positives and negatives of both options over the weekend and ultimately made a decision this morning to go with option #2. This will mean that for Bloomfield Elementary, all Kindergarten Students will begin school on September 8th and all other students will begin school on September 9th. We wanted to get this word out as fast as possible to you as we realize that it will mean a change in childcare for many of you for September 8th. However, we felt that we needed to move forward with this choice for our Kindergarten children as they missed both the Welcome to Kindergarten Evening and the Orientation Day last Spring. For our Kindergarten Parents, you will receive a call tomorrow, Monday August 31st, letting you know which class your child is in and about next steps. For all of our parents, as this week unfolds, keep checking our Website and Social Media as we will have more information for you as we get closer to the start of school. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us. Take care.   Andrew

Wednesday, June 24th

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Click here to view a message from Director Parker Grimmer.I am standing in front of one of our schools today because these are important places, and one of the places where learning happens for students. Within our schools and PSB offices, we are now planning and preparing for students and staff to safely return to school in September.

These last days of the school year, much like the last months, have been like no other. We have all been doing things much differently than we have in the past. 2019-2020 has been a busy, demanding, challenging, at times frustrating, but ultimately a successful year for students and those who have worked with them including parents and staff. We hope everyone is able to reflect back on some positive, productive, and successful moments.

We want to take a moment to recognize the efforts of students, parents, and staff. Thank you for your patience, energy, commitment, teamwork, willingness to try new things, and do old things in new ways. These words come from sharing and observing what we have seen on the journey with our educational community these last weeks. Our shared success is reflected in the accomplishments of our students, and we should be pleased with our efforts working together to assist in their success. We have learned once again that good things can happen, even in the most challenging circumstances, when we work together.

We haven’t been perfect though. I can’t tell you how many times COVID-19 has proved my thinking to be wrong, or how some days our planning in the morning was no longer current or helpful by the afternoon. While we made inroads into how we supported students and families in need, we still have work to do to provide more equitable learning for students. We have all learned so much through this pandemic, including the importance of reflection and the need to routinely adjust our thinking and actions. I want to genuinely thank students, parents, and staff for supporting us, even through the times when we and our circumstances seemed most uncertain.

Planning is underway to bring students and staff safely back to our schools and work spaces. The provincial government’s Fall Education Readiness Committee has been working to determine the plan for returning to school in September and the PSB is working with the Chief Public Health Office and our partners at the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning to determine the best configurations for buses, schools, and workspaces.

We also need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that learning in school might need to look differently next year. We will make every effort to communicate plans in a timely way so all of our educational partners can prepare as much as possible.

While there is still some uncertainty to all this, we know with certainty that students are best served when we work together. We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as we work through planning to return to school. We look forward to the 2020-2021 school year, with all of the challenges and opportunities it will hold.

Congratulations to those who have graduated, are moving to a new school, or who are retiring as one of our valued employees. We are also excited to welcome new students, parents and staff who will be joining the PSB next year!

I wish every members of our PSB educational community a safe, restful, and happy summer!

Until September, take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director

Respite Feedback Requested

The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and education authorities are seeking feedback from parents, educational assistants, and youth service workers regarding the delivery of individual programming and respite services offered to students with special educational needs during our recent period of home learning due to COVID-19.
Your participation in the survey is important and very much appreciated. Results will be used only to identify the strengths and challenges of the programming provided.

• The survey takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
• Your responses are anonymous and confidential. There is no way to see your name or email address.
• Results go directly to survey coordinators at the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and are recorded on a secure site.
• The survey will close at 4 PM on Tuesday, June 23.
• The link to the survey is https://forms.gle/QpSah14o9Y8L9GsS8

PSB memo

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

The Public Schools Branch would like to send congratulations and best wishes to our 2020 Graduates. We want to congratulate all our grade 12 graduates on their many accomplishments during their education journey these last 12 years. We hope they enjoy the recognitions and ceremonies that are being planned for them next week to mark this major achievement.

We live in interesting times that we will always remember. Our 2020 graduates will certainly never forget the year they graduated. Even though our graduates are leaving public education during a worldwide pandemic, they have remained focused, pushed forward, and developed skills of resiliency that will carry them well into the future. Their determination and resolve has been inspiring.

This is a time for our graduates, to reflect on and celebrate their accomplishments, efforts, and actions with their parents, family and friends. Our graduates have achieved so many great things to get to this stage of life, and in doing so, they have created endless possibilities for themselves. We wish all graduates the best of success in what life has to offer as they head to university, college, the work force, or other pursuits. We encourage our PSB graduates to continue to fill chapters of the amazing story they are writing. #classof2020

COVID-19 Response to Mental Health Concerns

A Child and Youth Urgent Mental Health Care service is now available for children and youth ages 18 and under with urgent mental health needs or very high emotional distress. Children and youth with urgent mental health needs can call the virtual clinic for support and assistance. Children, youth, and their parents can call toll free at 1-866-833-5443 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily to connect with trained Health PEI mental health clinicians, who will provide a thorough risk assessment, help to stabilize any crisis, and connect to appropriate community supports.

Outside of the Child and Youth Urgent Mental Health Care hours, individuals requiring urgent mental health support can also access the Island Help Line (1-800-218-2885), Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868), their local emergency department, or 911. Community Mental Health Services, Student Well Being Teams, Strongest Families, and other community partners will continue to be available for all non-urgent mental health questions and concerns. For information on these services contact your local Community Mental Health office or Mental Health and Addictions Information Service at 1-833-533-9333.

Thank you to those who sent me feedback on the benefit and value of these weekly communications that began back in mid-March. It is my hope that these messages have been helpful. Next Wednesday will be the last letter for the 2019-20 school year. Plans are in the works to make it both a video and written message.

Until then, take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director

Memo June 10, 2020

Home Learning Survey: As you are probably aware, the Department of Education, The Public Schools Branch and the Provincial Government are trying to make decisions in regards to what school is going to look like in September. To help with that decision making, they have designed a Home Learning Experience Survey for teachers, parents and students. If you have a moment, it is a great opportunity to provide feedback in regards to your experience with home learning. You can reach this survey from the School Website, Facebook Page or from the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScwbkHE8GAeIpRSMQinCwRNl5grbIqIHzUHWosrqjXTCM7dog/viewform

June 12th Pickup Event: As you are aware, this Friday afternoon and early evening will be an opportunity to pick up items belonging to your children as well as the second term Report Card and the ADL Cheese that your child may have sold. This event will run from 1:00 until 6:00 and we welcome you and your children to come for this. All teachers will be here that day and will have a small treat to give to their students as well. We ask that you come into our main parking lot when you reach the school and form a line to drive along the front of the school. Teachers will be set up along the front of the building with signs for each homeroom class. We will start with Kindergarten classes by the main door and teachers will line up in order by grade with grade 6 classes by the end of the school. Simply pull up to the class or classes that your children might be in and the teacher will give you a bag of items belonging to your child. There will be no need to have to exit from your car. As you go to leave through the second driveway, there will be the lost and found table that you can briefly scan and one last stop for ADL Cheese if your child sold some earlier in the year. The rain date for this event is Monday and we will post on Facebook and the school website on Friday morning if the event is postponed due to weather. We look forward to seeing you and your children on Friday.

Grade 6 Closing: Our Grade 6 Closing is being held on June 25th at 5:30 this year. This event will be quite different than normal and will be a parking lot closing. This means that each graduate will be allowed to have one car attend with the graduate and immediate family in it. As we go through the closing, each car will get to drive up one at a time and the graduate in each car will be recognized. The graduate and immediate family will be able to exit the car at that point for a picture and there will be a photographer present to take pictures in order to speed this along. These pictures will be made available afterwards for families to have. Due to restrictions from CPHO, we will not be able to have extra family and friends present for the closing like usual but it will be live streamed so that other people can watch the ceremony. Over the next week or so, each grade six family will be contacted by a grade six teacher to explain the way the event will work and so that plans can be made. We are excited about this possibility and look forward to seeing our grade 6 students.

Covid19 update

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

A friend recently shared with me a message from the Prince Edward Island Public Service Commission about working from home with kids during the pandemic. The information is very helpful and I have drawn from it to share several important points for your consideration.

Many parents and staff are still working from home as they continue to manage the realities of dealing with COVID-19. We are all beginning to understand that working from home might continue for some time, at least part-time. Many are working alongside their family members, including children and may find this to be a challenge. There are a few positive things that we can all do in these situations.

Approach unpredictable times with flexibility. Being flexible helps us to better adapt to changes happening at home or with our workday. The positive side of being flexible is we are never going to feel stuck doing things “the one right way.” We can learn from our efforts, make revisions, and try something else without judging ourselves harshly. It is important to be kind to ourselves when we struggle and our day doesn’t unfold with our work and family the way we planned it would.

Find relief. Life is tough sometimes, really tough and at times we need to find relief in the simplest of things. Nature, family, music, cooking, art, gardening, exercise, reading, etc. can give us the break we need from our struggles so that we can recharge and refocus. Positive things will happen for our families and ourselves when we find ways to get some relief from life’s challenges. 

Seek support to gain solutions. It is important to reach out for emotional support to those you trust.  Professional support can also help us gain new skills and strategies to manage our priorities and struggles. To access advice and find solutions to problems that are affecting work, family or your well-being, contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-239-3826 or eap@gov.pe.ca. It’s free and confidential.

For more information on how to work from home with kids in a pandemic, click the link: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2020/how-to-try-to-work-from-home-with-kids-in-a-pandemic/. The article includes practical and helpful suggestions to support working from home while managing students of various ages.

Take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Educational Survey

With the appearance of COVID-19 in PEI, our school system was forced to act quickly to provide online, home-based learning. Many people worked diligently to meet the challenge to deliver education online to an entire K to 12 system.

Now that we have had three months experience in this new world of education, it is appropriate to reflect on what has worked well and what has not, to help us prepare for the future.

Through this survey, we are seeking input from parents, teachers and administrators on key issues such as student access to technology and the internet; student comfort and confidence levels with home learning; communication among teachers, students and parents; and concerns about child care.

Your participation in the survey is important and very much appreciated. Results will be used only to identify the strengths and challenges of the home learning experience.

• The survey takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
• Your responses are anonymous and confidential. There is no way to see your name or email address.
• Results go directly to survey coordinators at the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and are recorded on a secure site.
• The survey will close at 4 PM on Friday, June 12, 2020.   https://forms.gle/Aq7CWZr74nzS8mfXA