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Hello Parents and Guardians,

Happy New Year to all.  This was not the start-up we expected to kick off 2022, but I guess we have to be ready for anything. We certainly missed having the students at school the first week and were happy to have them back for the past few days.

Please keep an eye on your emails for messaging from the school district.  As we move through the month of January, I ask you to be aware that communication may be coming your way.  The messaging around pandemic updates to parents will come from the board office and then we will be able to add to this message if anything specific comes up regarding Journey Middle School.

Things have a way of changing with little notice these days.  Thankfully for us here at Journey, some of those things that we have been tasked with doing were already in place.  Due to the number of students in our school, we created grade zones during lunch recess, entering the school by separate doors as much as possible, having “traffic directions” in hallways and walking around the outside of the building when changing classrooms.  All of these things reduce crowding, but also make for a calmer, better-regulated student group.

A strong reminder that all staff and students are required to be performing a daily self-assessment, and to seek and follow the guidance of Island Health and/or 811 as necessary.  Simply, stay home if you are sick.

Safety measures that are being reintroduced or “tightened down” are:

  • asking parents/visitors to call the office from outside the school rather than coming into the building to talk to staff in the office;
  • teachers have re-examined the layout of the furniture in their classrooms and have looked to increase spacing between desks and reduce where students are facing one another when this is possible;
  • we will be reemphasizing hand-hygiene practices, and wearing properly fitted masks.  Please ensure all masks are cleaned daily and have the proper fit;
  • with regard to masks, please provide your child with a few extra masks in their backpacks as we hand out a huge number of masks every day.  We will start to keep track more of those students who are chronically not wearing their mask.  This may lead to further discussions with the student and the parent;
  • students will continue to access lockers, but we will be limiting visits to lockers and they will always be supervised in order to limit overcrowding.
  • reminder, we also ask our students to pack in and pack out their garbage, as this enables our custodial staff to focus more energy on keeping our school clean and disinfected.

As Dr. Henry stated earlier this month, there is an emphasis being placed on different sectors coming to their own contingency plans rather than all direction being province-wide.  Staff here have been working to create ‘At home’ learning opportunities for their students in the event of the need for school closures, as per Mr. Stinson’s message at beginning of January.