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We've Had the Wake-up Call. Now it is Time to Act.

It has been a hard week at Fern, particularly for the families of children and the teachers who are isolated.

We know everyone is concerned about their own child's well being, but we are asking you to see the big picture and to think of how you can help the broader community. 

Minimize Your Contacts
 
Whether your child is in a class of 15 or 28, whether you have 1 child or 4, please reduce your close contacts. You don't know how many kids in your child's class have siblings, whose parent or caregiver might be a front-line worker, whose parent might be at risk, or who lives with a grandparent. We have spent a lot of time worrying about class size, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. A small class doesn't help you or your child's classmates if your close contacts outside school remain wide. 

Not all of us can be in a room of 20, and not all of us can choose to work from home. However, we can all choose to keep our contacts outside of work and school as limited as possible to help out every other child in that classroom. 

We know it is difficult. We've become used to seeing friends and family, but it's up to you to limit your family's contacts, regardless of the size of your child's cohort. 

Talk to your Senior Students about Masks and Conduct off the School Grounds 

We need to alter the Grade 7 and 8's actions on masking and lunch. Children would never leave home if they didn't push back against rules, but this is different. They need to get on board with the rules, and it needs to happen now. 

It is not okay for kids to clump together on the sidewalk immediately beside the school, refusing to put on a mask when asked by a teacher. It is not okay for kids to congregate in groups on Roncy without masks. It is not okay to stand on lawns neighbouring the school without masks. This is what is happening among our grade 7 and 8's, and we need parents to take action. 

Grade 7 can be tough -- for the OG Fern crew, their classes are full of new faces. For the Howard, Garden, and handful of kids from other schools, it's a new building and new teachers. There is a lot of adjustment and social weirdness. This year, there is no Pinecrest camp for them to get acquainted. No clubs, no teams, no intramurals. To add to all of this, we're asking them to mask or distance. 

Please work with your tweens to come up with ways for them to make safe choices when you and their teachers aren't watching, and to be respectful of our Fern neighbours and our community members on Roncesvalles. 

Primary Parents -- Please Back Up 

We have heard that teachers have been getting a bit too much love from our Primary parents. We know you want to be with your grade 1-3 until the last possible moment, and some barnacles are difficult to remove from parental legs, but drop-offs need to be shorter. 

Please do not get so close to the teachers and the door. Please put your child in line, then move out of the way. Especially at Door 8, with its awkward funnel shape, there are too many people getting too close to the teachers. Door 5, (on the other side, closest to monkey bars), is also a problem area. 

Please give the teachers some space. They really love to see you, and they are thrilled you are so engaged in your child's life, but please be engaged from the edge of the yard, and not immediately in front of the door. 

Remember, Masks are Mandatory on School Property 

Please be reminded of the new TDSB rule as of Thursday: Please wear your mask on school property.
Surprise us with your new mask design. We don't get out of our home offices much. 

Connecting with New Families 

We have a large influx of new families every year in kindergarten, extended French, and Grade 7. It is tough to connect with them. If you know one or more of these families, please forward them the link to the blog: http://fernavenuepublicschool.blogspot.com/ We need everyone in our community on board, and we need to be able to communicate with them. 

Let's keep finding ways to support one another. All the best to the kids and families in isolation this weekend. 

Remote hugs,
Alison McLean 
School Council Co-Chair

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