Well, it’s great to be back at school with our students and staff again and I know we’re all looking forward to as positive a year as we can create together with you, the parents and community.
We’ve got a good start going this fall and it’s been a delight to see the smiles on the faces and the students interacting at school this fall. We’ve done as much as we could in the first few weeks to take advantage of this time for the students to experience some of the normal pre-covid school events and opportunities that we thought was reasonable while still possible.
We did make a conscious effort to increase the sizes of the cohorts as we described the groups of students last year. We hope that helps the students in the school make interaction between some classes possible as it was the most difficult part to overcome for the students. We have had some sports teams start up again and to date, have hosted two football games and attended one volleyball tournament. Junior teams are also holding practices and our aim is to work on getting as many of those opportunities back for the students. It’s great to have this part of our school routines back and we hope to keep them going for as long as we can this year.
Today (Sept 14) we were directed to have the students start wearing masks while indoors again, and while I know that makes some parts more difficult, it’s a step made to help keep kids healthy and keep it possible to have students all in the schools and that’s a shared responsibility for all of us. Parents, thank you for doing your part to support that and to encourage your students to be good role models for all of the grades younger than they are.
Like last year, please assess your child’s health before they head to school – if they are showing symptoms of COVID please keep them home for the day and check them again the following day before sending them to school. If students present symptoms at school, we have been directed to have you pick them up similar to last year with the reminder they aren’t to return until 24 hours after symptoms disappear. I understand how difficult that can be and the disruption for working parents. I appreciate the efforts you’ll make to keep our students healthy again this year.
Welcome to the new families and students who have joined our school this fall! We hope you find Hanley Composite School a warm, inviting and safe environment and invite you to contact your student’s teacher with your questions and concerns without waiting. Teachers have been encouraged to do the same thing. Our success in helping all students achieve to a high degree at school is best accomplished when we do that work together.
Welcome also to our new staff. Miss Junop is our new SERT teacher. Mrs. Mellquist is one of our support staff has joined us from Dundurn School. Mr. Hindmarsh is our new Vice Principal and is teaching some middle years courses.
Our calendar was changed at the end of August to include a day off for staff and students on Sept 30 for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Please consider how you can also use this day with your students to discuss the reason for the holiday – a day to honour survivors, families and communities, and to ensure the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of reconciliation.
Lastly before I wrap this up, I recognize that all schools are not perfect but should strive for improvements where we see a need to improve – as a staff we discussed a need to make some improvements with our own school environment. Some students from other years have expressed that they haven’t felt safe and welcome at our school and we want to change those perceptions so all students feel that Hanley School is a good place for learning in a positive environment for all. We hope you also support us in that area as we work on making it a great place for learning.
That’s all for now. For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/. As always, Mr. Hindmarsh and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.