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Blog: Monday, September 14th, 2020

Principal's Update on Sep. 13

Happy Sunday!

Looking forward to our first full week of school!  We will continue to provide information as questions/comments arise.  During this new school year, not question is a "bad one."  Already, we have switched our procedures a few times (even this weekend) as we continue to try to be more efficient.

Smoke in the Air

The forest fire smoke has been some of the worst we have seen in Abbotsford for some time.   The forecast says it is supposed to go away somewhat by tomorrow morning.  I will decide if students go outside at recess and lunch in the moment as going outside is an important part of the student day. If your child's health is in question with the smoke and I choose to send them outside,  please tell them to sit down, relax, and don't run around.   If the smoke is the same as it is today, I don't see myself sending the kids outside for both recess (25 minutes) and lunch play (30 minutes).  Our new staggered lunch results in a very long afternoon so it will be good for students to be outside for some of the day if able.  

Students who have allergies and/or are injured

We don't have the space or person power this year to have students in the office for injury and allergies etc.  If you feel the environment is not  something you wish for your child to be outside for (snow rain etc), please keep them at home or pick them up for recess/lunch outside play.  Students need to be prepared for all types of weather please!   A key part of the Ministry of Education School re-start plan is students and staff being outside as much as possible.

Combined Classes

I have had a few questions in regards to why we have so many combined classes this year.  The simple answer.....the numbers are the numbers!  We have max class sizes due to the Provincial collective agreement.  Class sizes are:  20 max in K, 20 in K/1, 22 in Gr 1-3, 24 in Gr 3/4 , 28 in a Gr 4/5 combined and 30 in a grade 5.

Most grades this year had approximately 50- 60 students in them (Gr. 5’s have 62 which doesn't fit into two 30's!).  On average, 9 families in each grade chose the transition program in each grade which resulted in around 50 students in each grade and 13 face to face divisions.  If divide the number into 2, 25 just doesn’t fit very well into above limits.  We had 51 in K post transition which resulted in an immediate combined class.  52 Gr. 5’s automatically resulted in 3-4/5’s and the dominoes continue to fall.   We currently have 0 face to face spots in our school as well so we had limited flexibility to make things work.  I tried multiple configurations and this was the only one that worked in general.  If I tried to have mostly straight classes, many classes had 1 or 2 students in a combined class.  I am aware that many schools have had to go to combined classes.  

Tooth Fairy

One thing I always enjoy during my year is students visiting me with their lost teeth.  They usually would receive a tooth holder and a sticker.  Every 5th student was put into a draw for a mini robot.  This year, I unfortunately won't be handing these out to students as we are limiting/not allowing non essential visits to the office. I will give teachers the holder and stickers.  I have asked teachers to take pictures of the students to send to me.  Parents can send pictures to me as well if you wish with your child's new smile!  Please email tooth pictures to auguston@abbyschools.ca.

Recess/Lunch Schedule

Click here: Instructional Schedule with Recess and Lunch

Thank you for your continued support

Mr. Colbert