2020-2021 Welcome Letter

2020-2021 Welcome Letter

Dear GCPS Families: 

It is back to school week for our students and we are excited to welcome them to the 2020-2021 school year!

As you know, we have been working to prepare our school for their return.  We have adjusted school entrance ways, hallway access and classrooms to optimize safety and learning.

A reminder that all Grade 7 students, plus the students in our specialized program, will have their first day on Wednesday, September 16th.  

Our Grade 8 students will have their first day on Thursday, September 17th.  

Grade 7 students will attend their 2nd day on Thursday, September 17th and all students will attend on Friday, September 18th.

If you are driving your child to school please try to arrive as close to 8:30 as possible.  As well, we are asking that you make a loop around Abbotsford Rd. to Morrena Rd. and drop them off at the sidewalk (see red x’s) rather than driving into the regular student drop-off area at the community center side of the building.  This will help students maintain social distancing by not clogging up the bus drop off area.  Staff will be outside to help direct students to where they need to be. 

When picking up "Please park a block and walk" to the sidewalk to meet your child.

** Please be respectful of our neighbours and follow the posted speed limit **

We will be following Covid-19 protocols and ask that you do the same.

  • There will be signage and information when you arrive at school to guide you.

  • All students in grades 4-12 must wear a mask.

  • All students and staff will sanitize their hands each time they go in and out of the school and the classroom.

  • We will be practicing physical distancing inside the school and in the yard.

What families can do to prepare:

Getting to School Safely – Bus Transportation, Walking, Drop offs

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) is experiencing severe driver shortages and have made many route changes and cancellations.  OSTA has posted the full list of cancelled routes according to school here. Families - please check the list and plan for alternative transportation to school.  Note that due to continued uncertainty, OSTA warned that further routes may need to be cancelled. Parents should sign up to the OSTA Parent Portal to receive latest updates, including bus cancellations, and confirm the status of your child’s bus route.

Traffic Safety 

With more parents dropping their children off at school, traffic safety is more important than ever.  Please consider using the OSTA walking route maps posted on the school website to help children walk to school safely. Parents are asked to consider parking a few blocks away from the school to help avoid congestion near the school. It’s also important to remind your child about traffic safety when walking or biking to school.

School Supplies 

The Four Most Important Things for Students to Bring to School Each Day are: 

1. Backpack and lunch 

2. Mask (Grade 4-12 bring daily) 

3. Refillable water bottle- LABELLED 

4. Dressing in layers 

School supplies are voluntary. The school will have supplies available for students. Some families prefer to buy them, and if so, this voluntary supply list provides an idea of the kinds of supplies that are used by grade. School supplies cannot be shared between students in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. If a student brings supplies, they should be labelled and stored in a pencil case (or a resealable plastic bag) for personal use. Students will be keeping all supplies in buckets at their desk. If you choose to send supplies, keep it to a minimum and replenish throughout the year. 

Class Sizes – Many parents have been asking about class sizes and I know how important this issue is to everyone.  All of our class sizes meet Ministry, District, and Ottawa Public Health guidelines ( class size requirements).   Our class sizes range from 20 - 28 students depending on program and classroom size.  

We have taken a look at class size relative to classroom spaces.  To meet physical distancing requirements and to provide the necessary work space for students and staff, we have relocated these classes to some of our larger classroom spaces. In some of those classrooms, depending on the space configuration, we have taken additional measures such as providing table shields.  I want to reassure you that we have taken every precaution to follow all guidelines and provide the safest environment for our students and staff.  

Teacher Contacts – We have worked extremely hard to reduce the number of teacher contacts your child will have. This year no homeroom class has more than 4 teachers. In most cases, all core academic subjects will be taught by the homeroom teacher. Additional teachers are then added for some of the specialized subjects such as Music, Visual Arts, and French.

We know that 2020-2021 will be a different year, but we are so fortunate to have a school community that is committed to making this a success.  Watch for more information from the school and from your child’s teacher.

Please remember that we can all help to keep school safe by following public health guidelines. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


Angela Chaplin, Principal    and                         

Julie Corrigan,  Vice Principal

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