Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

In Touch – September 24, 2021

Date: September 27, 2021 | Categories: amethyst | Tags: newsletter

1515 Cheapside Street
London, Ontario, N5V 3N9
Tel. (519) 453-4400 / 1-866-640-0044
Fax (519) 453-4193
Website: pdsbnet.ca/amethyst
Twitter: @AmethystSchool
Mrs. Sherry Eacrett (Manager of Student Living)
Ms. Angela McHardy (Principal)

September 24th, 2021

Amethyst’s mission is to provide a safe place where students, families and staff find support to learn, grow, discover and ultimately “Believe in Themselves”.

We had beautiful weather for our Tie Dye shirt Spirit Day. Students enjoyed participating in this activity. They will wear their shirts next week for our Terry Fox run that will take place on Wednesday, September 29th. Shirts will be washed and given back to students next week.

Congratulations to Charlie G. who won the WOW Belt award last week. Way to go!

September 30, 2021 marks Orange Shirt Day and the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We wear orange to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Please bring an orange shirt to wear on Thursday.

On Tuesday, September 28th we have scheduled our school photos. Order forms were sent home last Friday. Please return order forms on Monday if you have not already submitted it. On photo day you can support the local food bank by bringing a non-perishable food item with you when you get your photo taken. If you send a non-perishable food item you will receive a free set of 8 mini portraits, no purchase necessary. At this time students will only have individual photos done. Group photos will take place at a later date if restrictions allow them.

Our first Parent Council meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, September 28th at 5:30 pm. We will hold elections at this meeting so please return the nomination form if you have not already done so. All parents are invited to attend Parent Council meetings and a Zoom meeting link will be sent out for you to join.

For a number of years, Demonstration Schools have purchased a program for reading instruction called Lexia Core 5. This program focuses on decoding, fluency and comprehension practice and is closely aligned to the skills that the students are working on in the school with their Empower teachers. The work begins with a placement test that assesses the skills already acquired and skills yet to be learned, and then delivers activities at the level appropriate for each student. The program provides direct instruction and immediate feedback to the student. Especially important is that the program is adaptive and adjusts to a student’s pattern of responses as necessary. When an individual continues to have difficulty with a concept, teachers will be alerted so that we can provide the necessary support to the student. Students will get the greatest benefit from using this program for thirty to forty minutes per day. It would be beneficial for each student to complete 30 minutes of Lexia on each day of the weekend in order to consolidate skills and prevent a backward slide in progress. We are able to monitor each student’s progress every week and share progress with students for assessment and feedback.

It is important that your student works independently while using Core5. Do not assist with correct answers as that will influence the learner’s progression incorrectly. The program is adaptive and responds to the child’s responses, correct or incorrect.

If you have not yet sent in $12 for the Student Agenda, please send cash or a cheque payable to Amethyst School to the office on Monday.

Please be sure to put any money that you send in and a separate envelope or baggie, clearly labeled with student name and what the money is being sent for.

Wishing you all a wonderful first weekend of FALL!

Ms. McHardy

Student Homework and Lodging Update

Students have been busy this week after school as homework is increasing. We give them a break for snack and some outdoor mask free time before settling down for homework. Once their homework is complete around 4:30 pm, we play some cooperative games, utilize the gym or games area and work on our Kindness Program/Social skills programming. We have found that the students are settling into this routine quite nicely.

As mentioned in last week’s update we have started the Kindness Program this week at school and in student lodging with our “Tag You’re It” cards showcasing students who completed acts of kindness; we look forward to learning who the recipient of the first “Kindness Award” is. Students and Counsellors took advantage of the nice weather at the start of the week and made use of our beautiful outdoor property to enjoy some mask free time playing sports, going for nature walks and playing games outside. We had a couple cold and rainy days here this week where the students utilized the gym and the games area with their peers and counsellors and also socialized, played board games and worked on arts and crafts in dorm with their peers. Time flies when you are having fun.

Have a great weekend,

Student Homework/Lodging Team

COVID-19: Question of the Month

Q: Are there any changes to how cases and contacts will be managed win schools this year?

A: Much of the COVID-19 guidance for schools has remained the same this year. However, there have been some changes that are important to be aware of. Below are some of the key updates to the guidelines for how cases and contacts will be managed in schools.

  1. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the students in the case’s cohorts (classroom, before/after school program) will continue to be considered close contacts of the case and dismissed for self-isolation. However, close contacts that have no symptoms AND:
    • are fully immunized; OR
    • are previously positive, will generally not be required to self-isolate.
  2. The self-isolation period for close contacts is now 10 days from last exposure to the case, rather than 14 days.
  3. Return to school protocols for symptomatic individuals that have tested negative or received an alternative diagnosis from a healthcare provider now varies based on the type of symptoms.
    • If an individual is experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea/vomiting, diarrhea), they can return to school once symptoms have resolved for at least 48 hours.
    • For all other symptoms compatible with COVID-19, the individual can return to school once symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.
  4. Individuals that have no symptoms AND are fully immunized OR previously positive, will generally not be required to self-isolate if a household member (eg. parents, siblings) has COVID-19 symptoms.

Please be sure to reach out to your school’s Public Health Nurse with any questions or concerns regarding the guidelines.

*an individual is fully immunized >= 14 days after receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (eg. Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca) or their first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (eg. Janssen/Johnson & Johnson).

**an individual is previously positive if they tested positive for COVID-19 <= 90 days ago AND they have been cleared from their initial infection.

Daily Checklist for Elementary School Families

  • Before school, screen your child for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Pack an extra mask in a labelled and sealed container/bag
  • Pack a reusable water bottle and litter-less lunch
  • Practice physical distancing at all drop off and pick up zones
  • Put any reusable masks in the laundry when your child gets home

Daily Checklist for Secondary School Students

  • Before school, screen yourself for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Pack an extra mask in a sealed container/bag
  • Pack only what you need and can carry in your backpack
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Use hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly
  • No sharing with others (eg. food, drinks)
  • Put any reusable masks in the laundry when you get home