Leadership Pumpkin Carving Competition


Once again, the Somerset Leadership Team is hosting a pumpkin carving competition here at Somerset.  It is optional to enter the competition. Carvings must be done at home, and brought to school on Wednesday morning (Oct. 28th). Pumpkins will sit in the lobby to be judged. Pumpkins must go home on Thursday or Friday afterschool.  Get your creative Halloween juices flowing, and enter the contest! 
Thanks,  Somerset Leadership Team

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Lifetouch Orders

Lifetouch Photo Orders are due back Wednesday, October 7th. Families also have the option to order online at mylifetouch.ca

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Here are the minutes to the September 29th Home and School Meeting

Anita Conohan called the meeting to order at 6:10pm. 

Mrs. Conohan informed Home and School that she is very pleased with the September start up for the 2020/21 school year, and how students are working well following the Covid-19 Protocol that are in place. Enrolment to date is 158 students with 22 students starting Kindergarten. Mrs. Conohan also updated Home and School on staffing for this school year. 

A question was asked about the Hot Lunch Program, and whether or not the menu will change. The menu is a two week menu that will stay in place and at this point will not change.

The Breakfast Program is up and running following CPHO Guidelines. Students receive buttered toast in their classroom at the start of each morning from Monday to Thursday. Alternative options are available for students who require gluten or lactose free products. On Fridays, students will have yogurt tubes or individually packed cereal delivered to their classrooms. The time to toast and butter the toast each morning takes time for 2 to 3 staff. 

The idea of having a parent volunteer help with the breakfast program was suggested and Mrs. Conohan welcomed the idea. 

One concern brought up about the Breakfast Program was the cost. There is a great concern that the school only has enough money for this program to last until Christmas. Ms. Conohan handed a letter to attendees to give to businesses within the community asking for donations to the Breakfast Program. It was also suggested that the school send this letter as an attachment to all parents, so that no one is missed who may be able to donate a gift card for the program. Mrs. Conohan has also applied for $1000 from the Breakfast for Learning Fund, but has not heard anything yet.

Parent /Teacher Interviews will happen as planned, but with CPHO Guidelines in place. More to follow on this in the next month.

The outdoor classroom is on hold, and the Home and School will be updated on the classroom at the November Meeting.

Mrs. Conohan gave Home and School Forms to Jennifer Duffy, who will fill them out for the parent council. The dues for the year will be given to the school and Mrs. Wervers will write the cheque from the school account. 

The Provincial Curriculum has been revised to support students during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Teachers have set up their own web pages that can be accessed through the school website. A question was asked about whether or not teachers are ready for a second wave of Covid-19 and will students be made more accountable for their learning if this does happen. Mrs. Conohan assured the Home and School that teachers have been working to set students up using an online component in their learning.  

Cleaning Protocol is going well and students are taking a responsible role in keeping their classrooms clean.

A decision about the Christmas Bizarre will be made in the near future.

There will be no fundraising for this school year.

Christmas Concert – a decision on what the concert will look like this year, will be made in the near future.

Concern about Minister of Education Brad Trivers capping kindergarten enrolment at 18, however there are 22 students in the school kindergarten. Ms. Conohan informed Home and School that the class is split into two separate groups in the morning and there are two teachers with these students in the afternoon.

The District Advisory Council will meet Wednesday, Sept 30 at 6:30pm. Our Breakfast Program funding will be brought up at that meeting. 

Spooktacular will take place and will follow CPHO Guidelines. The leadership students will again plan the Spooktacular. There will also be Orange and Black Day for Hallowe’en. 

Mrs. Champion will be speaking to the students about pumpkins. 

Discussion about the soccer nets took place and whether or not the soccer netting should stay up all year. Ms. Conohan said that since this the netting purchased by Home and School, it was a Home and School Decision. The decision was made to keep the netting on the nets all year. Home and School is waiting on the receipt from Mr. Nicholson to reimburse the money to him.

Discussion about the grade 4, 5, and 6 soccer nets took place as well about whether or not netting would go up on those nets.

HPV Vaccination will take place for the grade 6 and 7 students on October 7th. Jennifer Duffy will organize treats for those students on the day they receive their vaccines.

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Hot Lunch Program for Ordering Milk

The Hot Lunch Program for MILK orders is now active.  It is for parents wishing to order milk for the weeks starting September 28th until October 9th.  Deadline to order will be Monday, September 28th at 8 am.  If you have not previously registered in the Hot Lunch Program, the directions are under the Hot Lunch Program tab.

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Message from School Occupational Therapist

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Operational Plan Link

https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publication/somerset-consolidated-school-operational-plan

 

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Message from the PSB – May 20th, 2020

‘It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ – E. L. Doctorow

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Have you ever noticed when driving late at night that the road ahead is pitch-black? Even though our headlights are on, we still can only see a little ways down that road. This limited sight line requires us to stay attentive with our hands firmly on the wheel to navigate the part of the road we can see, so we can safely make the entire trip. The same can be said for how we navigate our lives and plan for the future during this pandemic.

While we do not know what will happen in the distant future, we don’t need to. We can trust others for leading and caring for us, have faith in the contributions we can make, and navigate the unknowns as they arrive. We can successfully travel the whole journey through COVID–19 that way.

Our recent planning and navigating has ensured the Respite Program is off to a smooth start. The program is being utilized by 215 students and has been a welcomed support to their parents and caregivers.

Planning is also underway for some PSB staff to safely return to their work places. Custodians and cleaners started back to schools full-time this week and administrative assistants will be back part-time next week.

Operational plans allowing schools to complete essential tasks have been approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. These plans include packing up student items (desks and lockers) and working with families to distribute these items, providing Term 2 Report Cards to K-9 students who have not yet received them, collecting library books or other items on loan etc. Schools will communicate their detailed plans with families soon. Given the difference in school populations and layouts, things may be done differently at each school. However, we can assure you that approved safety guidelines will be followed.

Additional activities and planning include, year-end student transition planning by our Student Services teams, exploring the use of Google Meet for some high school teachers and students, wrapping up Chromebook deliveries to over 1000 students, preparing for summer school, finalizing school supply lists and packaging Welcome to Kindergarten bags.

American novelist E. L. Doctorow’s quotation at the beginning of the message is our reminder that we don’t need to know everything in the future. We need only know enough to make hopeful, wise, and realistic plans. If together we don’t go too fast or deny the limitations, and we stay focused on the road directly ahead, the journey will be much more successful.

Thank you and take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

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Message from The Department of Education – May 20th, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Since March 23rd, our focus has been on literacy, numeracy, and student health and well-being in kindergarten through grade 9. During this time, home learning materials have been provided for students. Our goal has been to provide opportunities for learning, rather than evaluation.

As the year progresses you have been asking about your child’s achievement and report cards. In June, you will receive an end of year report with comments from your child’s teachers. There will not be an end of year achievement mark because we have been focusing on student learning in specific areas of the provincial curriculum.

Students in K-9 will not be retained as a result of COVID-19 and will move to the next grade level.

In the fall, teachers will be using a revised curriculum to teach your child. The curriculum will include key aspects of learning from this school year that your child will need to learn as they continue in the next grade.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning, please contact your child’s teacher.

Kind regards,

 

Tammy Hubley-Little

Director of English Education, Programs and Services

Department of Education and Lifelong Learning

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May 19th, 2020

Good Evening Everyone,

I am happy to provide you with an update regarding picking up your children’s items. Beginning next week, staff will be at school organizing their student’s belongings. All items belonging to a student will be put into a bag and each bag will be labeled. At this time, only staff members are permitted into the school building.

The following week (June 1st – June 5th), parents/guardians will be able to come to the school to retrieve their children’s items. Once I have a clearer picture of the health guidelines/procedures, I will let you know how and when you will be able to come to the school.

Please do not come to the school until I have outlined the proper procedure on how to do so. Thank you for your patience and cooperation on this matter.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Mrs. Conohan

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Message from PSB – May 6th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Welcome to May! Since COVID-19 reached Prince Edward Island, I have been separately reaching out to students, parents, and PSB staff through daily and weekly letters. As we usher in the new month, I am pleased to be writing my first joint letter to all of you. It seems very appropriate to do so as we have been coping with the pandemic together all along.

During his Thursday briefing last week, the Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Brad Trivers recognized students, parents, and staff for their continued partnership in support of learning. He also said, “Our top priority remains the health and well-being of children and we will continue to look at ways to support children and families, address gaps and ensure all Islanders have the necessary tools and resources available to succeed now and as we plan for learning in September.”

Students, parents, and staff are encouraged to read the Renew PEI, Together document which outlines the guiding principles and phased approach to reopening businesses, services and public spaces in Prince Edward Island. www.princeedwardisland.ca/renewPEI  Further information is available on the provincial government’s response to COVID-19, including resources, program applications and important public health information by visiting: www.princeedwardisland.ca/COVID19

Public Schools Branch and the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning are committed to supporting students, parents, and staff during the final weeks of the school year. The safety of our students and staff is paramount and all operational plans for programs and activities will be reviewed and endorsed for their safety. All school-based services will follow public health guidelines that allow for physical distancing, hygiene protocols and the proper cleaning of schools.

I am pleased to share with you additional details around the announcements Minister Trivers made last week during his briefing. The details for some programs and services are still being worked on and we greatly appreciate the support and patience of everyone during this process. We will communicate further details when finalized.

Respite Care

Beginning May 11, several designated schools will open to offer a respite program. Families who have a child that is supported by an Educational Assistant (EA) or Youth Service Worker (YSW) while attending school, may be eligible for a few hours of respite care per week while schools are closed. Please email respite@edu.pe.ca or call 902-368-4997 if you are interested in receiving more information.

Learning Materials

Teachers continue to connect with students and support at-home learning based on a compacted curriculum, and learning resources are regularly being updated and made available online and in paper form. Chromebooks have been distributed to hundreds of students. Student Services Teams also continue to provide supports to students and families.

Ongoing Student/Teachers Connections

Since home learning began, students have been connecting with teachers in many ways. Beginning on June 15, students and teachers may have the opportunity to connect beyond phone calls, emails and approved technology, should they wish. Further details will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Transitions and Closings

During the week of June 22, and in consultation with students and parents, schools may offer innovative year-end and closing activities that will enable students to connect with their teachers and classmates and bring closure to the school year. This may include activities to support students who will be transitioning to new schools in the fall.

Student Well-being Teams

Student Well-Being Teams continue to connect with and support students and their families throughout PEI. The Student Well-being Team’s website has been enhanced to make connecting to a team member easier. If you need some support, please visit the link below and click on your Family of Schools: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/student-well-being-teams

Hand Head Heart Connections TV Shows

The Hand Head Heart Connections home learning TV shows are being very well received by students and parents. If you are not an Eastlink customer or do not have access to a television, you can find episodes of Hand Head Heart Connections on the Eastlink Community TV Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/eastlinktv/videos

Please reach out by email or call our main number at 902-368-6990 if you have any questions or comments. We will respond to you as quickly as we can. Much can be accomplished when we work together. We are grateful to our students, parents, and staff for working together and supporting each other.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

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