From the Office – Nov 2020

It appears that November has welcomed us to winter early this year and the snow just might be here to stay. We sure got dumped on last week and the communities are all working to dig ourselves out of the snowdrifts. There’s a pile of it left in the school yard so the students are enjoying it at every level.

Speaking of playing in the snow, I’ll repeat some details I send to you each year at this time. Please remind your students to wear the proper warm clothes to school again this season, including snow pants for elementary students headed outside to slide around and play in the snow, as well as for any of our students being picked up by bus.  Bus Drivers do have the authority to refuse students entry to the bus if they don’t have proper clothing for cold weather.  In the case of a breakdown, all students should have proper clothing to ensure they are safe and warm on the bus while waiting for support to arrive. W

A change has been made on the policy of bussing in cold weather – a combined temperature and wind chill that drops to minus 40 degrees at 6am will cancel buses for the morning run. That announcement can be made at  In previous years that would cancel the trips for the day – the new practice will be that if the temperature improves then the bus will run in the afternoon. Classes will never be cancelled on those days – the school is required to remain open for those students who do make it to school, including those whose parents drive them in. Class work will continue and students can look for online work posted by their teachers to keep up on those days.

I’ll offer the Cold Cats program for students again this year for students in grades K-7. Again, remember that this is an option on the indoor recess days for students who still want to go outside for some fresh air and outdoor play. I’ll be supervising them on those days on the playground. They can go back in when they get cold or once they’ve had enough, but it’s sure a great option for many of them to get some fresh air and exercise, even though its that cold. Please ensure those students are prepared with warm clothing and accessories so they can enjoy the recess. Call or email the school to sign up your Cold Cat student to be on our list. We even have long sleeve Cold Cats shirts for sale for $10!

We’re closer to the end of November than we are to the start and so I’ll bring up December and our annual Christmas lunch and the Family Fun night – both are traditions we will have to cancel this year like so many other items. That said I know that the staff is working on a few in-school ideas that will be done instead in December and I thank them for their creativity during a continuing year of changes.

The media has a lot of details this last week about large schools moving to a “phase three” which includes cutting the attendance of students in school by half each day. We have a plan in place should that time come for Hanley School and we’ll follow the directions of the school division on the particulars of what our plan will need to take into consideration. Ours will prioritize the most vulnerable students in K-6 and our red zone students and keeping their programs moving ahead within the school building each day. It will also have intentions of scheduling some of the other students in grades 7 to 12 but will not include the majority from the junior high and high school that will instead move to an online format. The plan takes into consideration the possibility of older students who can watch over younger Dundurn School siblings as needed and allows many parents of elementary students to continue their careers and work situations. It does rely on many grade 8 to 11 students to be responsible during this time and focus on learning at home. No plan like these phases is perfect but this one does support our most vulnerable students and we would hope if it comes to that it’s only needed for a short time. If we get to that point this year, we’ll send out a formal announcement by email to each family.

The first round of evaluations is now over and that includes the first Quad classes completed for High School students. We are not sending home paper copies of report cards this year and I’ll again direct you to the PowerSchool Parent app that will give you access to all the details of those marks and comments on the progress your children are making this year. The portal is set to be open at the end of the day Tuesday so it can be viewed. Teachers are always reachable by email or phone calls at the school if you have questions or concerns on the details of the student progress reports.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. Talk to you soon.