Information for CTS Families

September 1, 2020.



Good Morning CTS Families


I know there has been a great deal of information in the last few weeks about school and how it will look this fall, and you have a lot of questions about what the school experience will be like for your child this year. Hopefully many of your questions will be answered by this letter. Please note that this is the current plan, and as we saw in the spring, things may change significantly and often over the coming months.


In-class Instruction

If you are choosing the option of in-class instruction, your child will come to school each day for full school days. This option most resembles a regular school year. In this option, while physical contact will be discouraged, physical/social distancing within a classroom and a cohort will not be enforced.


The Ministry of Education is directing elementary schools to organize students and staff into cohorts of no more than 60 people. These cohorts will generally be comprised of two classes (three for kindergarten), their teachers, and any educational assistant (EA) working in that class. No one  can be part of more than one cohort. Staff who move between cohorts will be required to wear PPE. Currently, there will be 7 cohorts at CTS.


As usual, students will spend most of their time in their own class with their own teacher and classmates. Within their own class there is no need for social distancing. We will gently encourage students to refrain from physical contact with classmates. The only other people at school that the students in a class can interact with directly without social distancing is the other class(es) in their cohort. Students in the same cohort can do learning activities together and play together during recesses.


To facilitate this, a number of changes to the school schedule and recess routines were made. To make physical distancing between students of differing cohorts possible, students will be eating their lunches during class instructional time and only half the school will be going out for recess breaks at a time, to their assigned play areas.


Overall, the school day is shorter to accommodate these changes. The daily and weekly instructional (teaching) time has not decreased from the past.


The groupings and daily schedule are as follows:


Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:50 School Start School Start School Start School Start School Start
Recess 10:20-10:35 Cohorts 1, 2, 3 10:40-10:55 Cohorts 4, 5, 6, 7
Outside Play Lunch 11:50-12:20 Cohorts 1, 2, 3 12:25-12:55 Cohorts 4, 5, 6, 7
2:27 School Dismissal School Dismissal School Dismissal School Dismissal School Dismissal


The school grounds will be divided into play zones for all recesses. A cohort will be assigned on a rotational basis to a play zone. Students can only play in their designated zone. These will be rotated regularly so that all students will have access to all play areas over the school year.

Please prepare your child for this situation, as it may mean not being able to play with all friends at school.


Option 5 – Hybrid Learning (under district consideration)

If your child enrolls in this option, it will likely start sometime in the second week of full time school (Week of Sept. 21). The decision about the details of this option are continuing to be resolved at the district level. It will involve primarily home study with limited in-class instruction on a rotational basis throughout the week.


We will be in touch about school start/orientation for this group, as details become known. For now, we will include all students in the scheduled start up as follows.


Orientation Days

As you know first days of school have been postponed and rescheduled in order to allow us to welcome children in a safe and respectful way. Teachers hope to maximize the ability to work with students around our facility, explaining and teaching about all the safety protocols, how we enter and leave spaces, hand hygiene, designated play spaces and generally what the school day will look like. In order to minimize contact between cohorts while this important first orientation is taking place we have organized our first two days into 2 hour pods. We appreciate that this may mean more than one drop off for families over these days, but are very hopeful of your flexibility as we help our students to feel safe and comfortable at school. Every student in grade one through five will attend a single, two hour session. Kindergarten transition has been created based on a more typical year start over the period of a few days, although shortened.


Families should receive notification shortly of each child’s first day (or kindergarten transition) schedule.


Drop Off and Pick-Up

Students will line up outside at the designated area for their division at both drop off (beginning of the day) and pick up (the end of the day). Parents are encouraged to leave the outside area as quickly as possible, and practice social distancing with others while on the school grounds. Students are encouraged to avoid playing on the school play areas just prior to and after school. Please remember they have been working hard to maintain safe distancing in designated areas within their cohort groups.


Parent and Public Access to the School.

All exterior doors, with the possible exception of the front main doors, will remain locked throughout the day. Parents may not enter the school with their child. Parents may come in the front doors of the school and speak with office staff if maximum numbers of occupants in the area has not been surpassed. Parents and the public may not go further into the school than the office. If at all possible, we would appreciate an email or phone call to the office to make an appointment, so that we can assure you are not waiting.


At Home Morning Health Checks

It is expected parents will do a health check with their children before bringing them to school (See list here ).


All students and staff with common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other respiratory symptoms must stay home and should seek advice from their health care provider.

If a child displays COVID like symptoms, please call 811 and follow the direction of the agent from the 811 call.


Teachers will check in with children about their health before they enter the school. If there are concerns, and the parent is still there, the teacher will discuss the concerns with the parent. If need be, I will discuss the situation with the parent.

For any absences from school please call the attendance line at 250-361-3706 or email


Procedure if a student shows COVID-like symptoms at school

For symptoms see the Daily Health Check Example linked above.


The child will be separated from others in a designated space, and will be asked to put on their mask.


Office staff will contact parents, to pick up as soon as possible.


Custodians will be notified if anyone with symptoms of illness has been in the building to ensure deep cleaning of areas used. If needed, the classroom will be evacuated to outside while the custodial staff cleans the room.


Please know that we are following all Provincial Health Officer and Ministerial guidelines in regards to cleaning and sanitization, and are doing everything we can to keep everyone healthy and safe.


Pack in/Pack Out

As part of the overall health and safety plans for schools, we will be asking students and staff to take home all items they have brought with them to school for lunch or snack. This includes garbage and compost.


Students should bring a water bottle each day (with a spare if necessary), as all our fountains are still closed.


Please make sure your child is able to independently open all food containers and packages that are sent to school.


Hand sanitizer

Should you choose to send this with your child, it must be kept for personal use (in a backpack), not shared and should be scent free please.


School Supplies

All student school supplies should be individually labelled with your child’s name. The supply lists are on our school website.  See the lists here:  Grades 1-5, please DO NOT bring your supplies on your orientation day.  Please wait and bring your school supplies on Monday, September 14.  Kindergartens, please bring your school supplies on your orientation day (September 10 or September 11)


Uniforms and Crested items

Will not be enforced, but children are free to wear the components of these.


Indoor shoes

We appreciate it if you are able to send a pair of clean shoes to stay at school for use during the day. They need not be new, but should have non-marking soles, be clean and correctly fitting. This helps our custodians keep our building clean, especially when the weather turns, and protects our gym floor.


Welcome Back Barbeque and Meet the Teacher

As I’m certain you understand, we are unable to host these events at this time. We are working together to plan a ‘meet the teacher’ event. Thank you for your patience as we work through our options. Stay tuned!


We are truly looking forward to our year together and believe with everyone working together as a team, we can make this a good learning experience. I know that there has been a lot of information to process. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to getting to know everyone in the months ahead.




Sue Ottenbreit




***If you did not respond to the district survey regarding choices of educational instruction, please contact the school office directly as soon as possible at 250-382-7231**