September 8, 2020, was a big day for Oak Lake Community School families; after 5 months of being away, the doors to the school were opened and staff eagerly welcomed our students back to class! Although this year will look a little different than in years past, having students back in the classroom is a huge step in our goal to seek normalcy during uncertain times.
New health and safety measures have been implemented including:
- all students in Grades 4-8 and all bus students (while travelling on the bus) are required to wear masks as mandated by public health.
- Handwashing and sanitizing is commonplace at OLCS and is stressed even more now as a useful tool in preventing illnesses.
- Classrooms have been designated as “cohorts”. Intermingling between cohorts is minimized as much as possible.
- Our playground has been divided into “Fun Zones” to help ensure that grade level cohorts have designated areas to play and enjoy the fresh air with their peers.
- Physical education and band/music classes are held outside as often as possible to help facilitate social distancing. The gym has recently been divided into squares to provide safe spaces for all students to participate in music classes.
- Increased sanitization of high touch surfaces is also an important part of our back to school plan.
- Town students have been encouraged to go home for lunch if possible.
All of these measures have been put into place in an effort to keep our students and staff healthy and our school open! Please note that as COVID-19 information changes, so may our safety procedures. Despite all of the extra safety measures, it is evident that students are happy to be back! Seeing smiling faces on the playground and happy kids in the classroom has been a huge morale boost for staff and we plan to make this school year one to remember!
OLCS students and staff observed Orange Shirt Day on September 30. From coast to coast, Canadian students explored the significance of Orange Shirt Day and helped honour those impacted by Canadian residential schools by wearing orange shirts. Through Character Education, students at OLCS learned about Mrs. Phyllis Webstad, the face of Orange Shirt Day, and why it is important to study our country’s history. By wearing orange shirts on September 30, OLCS students and staff showed their respect to those impacted by residential schools and acknowledged that “Every Child Matters”.
We are excited to announce that we have a brand-new student council. The student council election for 2020-2021 was like no other this year. Due to COVID-19 safety regulations, we were unable to gather in the gym to listen to student council speeches, but using technology, we were still able to host the election and ensure all students were well-informed of each candidate’s platform. Using Google Meets, teachers were able to live stream candidate speeches right to their classrooms! Each potential student council member wrote a compelling plea for votes and shared their ideas with their peers in an effort to be a part of the 2020-2021 OLCS Student Council. After hearing all of the candidates, students voted in their classrooms and the results were announced Friday afternoon. Congratulations to the candidates for your hard work and the bravery it took to run for a position!
President: Georgie Smith
Vice President: Julie Vachon
Treasurer: Harji Khosa
Secretary: Novaleigh Pirie
I.T. Support: Dylan Williment
Male Sports Rep: Chase Cochrane
Female Sports Rep: Brooklynn Cochrane
Literary Rep: Abby Babiak
Social Committee: Josh Baker, Troy Friesen, Jackson Fleury
Room Reps: Taylor Goulet (Grades 4/5), Denver Gompf (Grade 6)
2020 marks the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Although OLCS was not able to host our traditional school-wide Terry Fox Run, we still believe in the cause and brainstormed ways to make it happen in a COVID-19 friendly way. On Friday, October 2, each classroom hosted their own mini run to support Terry’s vision of a cure for cancer and keep the Marathon of Hope alive in Oak Lake. $308.35 was raised and donated to the Terry Fox Foundation.
We are so grateful for our wonderful OLCS students and their families. Our community schools program, in partnership with First Book Canada, gifted every family with a Thanksgiving package which includes books, tea, and hot chocolate. We invite you to get cozy, curl up with your loved ones, and enjoy a good book on this long weekend!
Important dates in October
Monday, October 12: Thanksgiving
Friday, October 23: MTS Provincial PD Day for teachers
Thursday, October 29: Pizza Hut Hot Lunch
Friday, October 30: Students are encouraged to attend in costume. Special activities will take place in classrooms.