August 24 Parent Update
We are committed to the success and safety of your children over the 2020-21 school year. Below you will find details regarding the protocols that will be in place at MRCS according to the guidance we have received from the BC Health Authority and BC Ministry of Education. This guidance is being updated frequently and we may make further adjustments to adhere to the latest information.
As a staff team, we are implementing strategies that will protect our students and staff while maintaining the relational connections that are the beating heart of our school. We are eagerly anticipating a safe return to full-time in-class instruction next month.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
We will maintain Tuesday, September 8 as the first day back to school. Students will attend a regular day of class that will focus on orienting the students to the new health and safety procedures at the school.
Although public schools require some extra days of preparation before welcoming students into the classroom, our staff are back onsite full-time as of September 1 and many are already preparing for your child’s return.
PICK-UP & DROP-OFF SCHEDULE
There is a staggered schedule for student drop-offs and pick-ups according to your family’s last name. It is generally expected that parents will remain in their vehicles when they drop-off or pick-up their children:
Revised August 26, 2020
Families are asked to assess the health of each student before bringing their child to school. Please revisit this list each morning:
Daily Health Checklist »
If a student shows any COVID-19 symptoms at school, there are safety protocols, as directed by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, in place to protect students and staff:
- The child is given a mask and waits in an isolated room
- The school contacts parents/guardians to take the child home
- Staff clean and disinfect exposure areas
- The school notifies public health officials
Then public health:
- Contact traces to identify potential COVID-19 exposures
- May recommend testing
- May recommend 14-day isolation if necessary
- Gets in touch with close contacts
- Provides follow-up recommendations as needed, which may include suspending in-class learning
Parents will be notified if their child has been in contact with a COVID-positive person and needs to self-isolate. Students will receive learning support while self-isolating.
HYGIENE & CLEANING PROTOCOLS
- Students and staff are required to practice healthy hand hygiene as indicated in the chart below
- Hand sanitization units are available in multiple locations around the school
- There will be a reduction in shared technology (Grade 9-12 students are encouraged to bring their own laptops or iPads if possible)
- Shared surfaces will be cleaned after use
- The school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before each day of instruction
MASKS ON CAMPUS
Under the updated health and safety guidelines, masks are required for all staff and all students in middle and secondary school when they are in high traffic areas like school buses and hallways, and anytime they are outside of their classroom or learning group and they cannot safely distance from others.
Middle and high school students can either bring their own masks to school or a mask can be provided by the school upon request.
- Desks will not be arranged in groups where students face each other, but will be aligned in the same direction while giving each student as much space as possible
- There will be no shared supplies
- Our school HVAC system vents outside and provides fresh air circulation throughout the school building
- Individual classrooms (including the portables) will open windows as much as possible to optimize fresh air circulation
SCHOOL SUPPLIES & FOOD
Since there are no shared supplies this year, each student should label his/her supplies (including a water bottle) for his/her own personal use. The current school supply lists can be found here:
Students are asked to refrain from sharing their food or bringing birthday treats/gifts into the classroom to distribute
Learning groups are a recommended public health measure to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Organizing students and staff into learning groups helps to reduce the number of different interactions and potential exposure to COVID-19 and supports better contact tracing if there is a confirmed case in a school community.
Learning groups for elementary and middle school cannot exceed 60 students. Learning groups for high school cannot exceed 120 students.
When class is in session, students will primarily spend their time within their own classroom units. Learning groups will be utilized when entering or exiting the school, for designated bathrooms, and for recess and lunch breaks.
The MRCS learning groupings are as follows:
- Kindergarten-Grade 1
- Grades 2/3
- Grades 4/5
- Grades 6/7 (Hiller/Olding)
- Grades 6/7 (Unger)
- Grade 8
- Grades 9/10
- Grades 11/12
HIGH SCHOOL PROCEDURES
The physical constraints of our high school were an issue before COVID-19 and continue to be a challenge given the hallway congestion that often occurs. As a result, students will remain in designated classrooms and the teachers will come to them this year. The high school teachers who will be in contact with more than one learning group will wear a mask to abide by the guidelines for this situation.
To further reduce student contact across learning groups there will be:
- Learning groups assigned to staggered lunches and breaks in specific classrooms
- Microwaves available in each classroom
- No offsite privileges
- No use of lockers
- Only the use of the upstairs floor for high school students in the school building
- Only the use of the doors on the north side of the school building for entering and exiting the high school (no entering/exiting by the front doors)
HOT LUNCH & PARENT VOLUNTEERS
We love our Hot Lunch Crew and the incredible meals they have been making for our students and staff! We are sad to announce the suspension of our hot lunch program, but it is a necessary step given the circumstances. If you pre-ordered hot lunch last year and pre-paid for those orders, you have two options:
Contact Stephanie Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a refund
Contact Stephanie Carroll at email@example.com to give the school permission to keep your payment as a donation that will be eligible for a tax receipt if it is over $20
As well as the Hot Lunch Crew, we appreciate all of the parent volunteers who help at the school throughout the year. In order to keep the minimal amount of people onsite while adhering to the learning group model, we need to restrict parent participation for the time being. As a result, there will be no parent volunteers or parent drivers until further notice.
PARENTS/VISITORS IN THE SCHOOL
All parents who wish to come into the school building are asked to make an appointment through the office (604-465-4442 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Parents and visitors are required to wear a mask when entering the school building for their appointment.
INTRODUCING MRS. OLDING
Mrs. Olding is excited to be teaching in Middle School with Mrs. Hiller from September to December this year (to cover the remainder of Ms. Brown’s maternity leave). She has been teaching for over 15 years in a variety of grades and subjects, but her favourites are PE and English. Mrs. Olding will always think of Port Coquitlam as home, but she also enjoyed living in Victoria when she was in university and in Calgary for a couple years shortly after she started teaching. When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Olding serves as part of the ministry team at her church. She loves riding her bike, skiing, her two kids, her husband, and Jesus! Make sure you wave or say ‘hi’ to Mrs. Olding when you see her this fall!
Please visit our website regularly for information regarding the:
Before the first day of school (on September 8), we will send out another communication to let you know about the:
- Class line-up areas
- Procedures for library, music, and chapel times
- Revised parent-teacher interview process
- Ordering of MRCS clothing
- Latest updates from the BC Health Authority and BC Ministry of Education