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SHPS Re-alignment Update

08 Oct

Dear Parent(s)/Guardians(s),

Following up on a previous letter sent to you earlier this week by the TDSB on teacher staffing and classroom changes at elementary schools, I am providing you an important update about the classroom reorganization taking place at our school.

Every September, schools review the actual number of students in each class compared to the initial projected enrolment. Classes are then reorganized, as required. We do our best to plan for the new school year, but there are always factors, such as new or departing students, that affect how classrooms are organized.

Typically, these adjustments are made approximately two weeks into the school year. Because the start of the school year was delayed this September as a result of the pandemic – to September 15 – we are at that two-week point into the resumption of classes when we are ready to reorganize our classrooms. While this is a routine process that happens every school year, adjustments will be more significant this fall as a result of COVID-19, the creation of the Virtual School, students changing their preference for Virtual School or in-person instruction and the importance of keeping class sizes as low as possible for health and safety reasons.

With more students enrolled in the Virtual School and fewer students attending in-person than projected, adjustments must be made to ensure that teachers are allocated where students are attending.  Further, we had fewer students accept offers of placement in the gifted program at Summit Heights this year, resulting in fewer students in our gifted classes.

As a result of changing student enrolment at our school, we need to reorganize classrooms.   The TDSB has removed one gifted class from our school.  The result is our school will have 3 gifted classes as of October 13, 2020:

Grade 4/5 Gifted – Mr. Chen
Grade 5/6 Gifted – Ms. Samson
Grade 6 Gifted – Mr. Eschle

Ms. Mercer will be teaching in the TDSB Virtual School.

These are the only changes to our school (other than placing some students returning to in-person learning from the Virtual School) at this time.

While these changes will impact class sizes, please know that these adjustments will not exceed the TDSB’s original targeted class size limits or the gifted class cap, so that health and safety standards relating to classroom size and social distancing can be maintained.

In addition, this reorganization requires the establishment of new cohorts (groups of students) within our school, including the addition of students who have recently switched from the Virtual School. We have consulted Toronto Public Health (TPH) about these changes and we are taking the following health and safety measures:

  • TDSB Student Information Services will keep track of the specific details (impacted students, impacted teachers, specific dates, etc.) of all cohort changes and provide this information to TPH to conduct efficient contact tracing, should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school.
  • Enhanced cleaning will occur prior to the classroom changes taking place.
  • We will also continue to ensure mask/face coverings, social distancing, handwashing/sanitizing and daily school and classroom cleaning.

We understand that changing classes and/or teachers may be difficult for students and families, especially during an already challenging school year. Please know that students will continue to be supported as we make this transition. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during this reorganization. Please contact me if you have any additional questions.

The parents of those students who are moving classes have been contacted today by phone.  If we were unable to reach you, we left a voicemail and sent a follow-up email .  Therefore, at this point, the re-alignment process for Summit Heights has been completed.

Sincerely,

Bill Mah,
Principal
Summit Heights PS

 
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