September 1st, 2023
Dear Abraham Erb Families,
Welcome to the 2023 – 2024 school year! We warmly welcome all of our new and returning Abraham Erb Otters! This is going to be a lengthy communication, and I thank you in advance for reading it all as it contains valuable information about many things.
When Does School Start?
The first day of school is Wednesday, September 6th. It will be a full day of school for all students at Abraham Erb. Our day begins at 9:10 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Our nutrition break times have changed slightly this year. Nutrition break #1 will continue to be 11:10 – 11:50 a.m. Nutrition break #2 will now be 1:50 – 2:30 p.m. Please keep these times in mind if you are planning to pick your child up for an appointment.
Tuesday, September 5th is a PD Day. There is no school for students. Read about the Professional Development Day for staff.
Who is my Child’s Teacher?
Families should be able to log into School Day over the Labour Day Weekend to see their child’s teacher. The information is not available any earlier as we are still registering new students and organizing our classes. When you log into your School-Day dashboard, select your child from the drop down menu above the calendar, then click on the “Schools and Groups” menu on the left hand side, then click on “Your Classes”. This will give you a classroom code – please use the list of Classroom Teachers to find out your teacher’s name and room number. For anyone who is unable to find out classroom assignments in advance, our staff will all be outside on the first day of school at the beginning of the day to welcome and direct students to their line-up locations.
Arrival to School
We would kindly ask that families make every effort to have their child arrive at school before the 9:10 a.m. bell each morning. Upon the 9:10 a.m. bell, students will join their designated line-up and enter the school as a class. Please talk to any of our staff on the yard if you are having trouble locating your line-up location – we will be there to help you! Important morning routines commence right at the beginning of the day. If a student arrives late, they must report to the front doors of the school and ring the bell. Though we understand that this may happen on occasion due to unforeseen circumstances or medical appointments, we do encourage all students to arrive on time at the back of the school for 9:10 a.m.
What to Send to School With Your Child
Please ensure that your child is sent to school with everything they need for the day (e.g. lunch, coat, water bottle, completed homework, etc). If you wish your child to have an organizational tool, please consider the purchase of a planner for them (e.g., at Walmart, Staples). New this year, we will be providing each student with a plastic portfolio to bring important communication to and from school. We’d ask for your cooperation in ensuring this portfolio travels to school in your child’s backpack each day.
We would ask that all students have indoor and outdoor shoes. Indoor shoes may remain at school.
Remember to clearly label all belongings with your child’s name.
In keeping with public health guidelines, masking remains optional. If you would like your child to wear a mask, please send extras with them for use during the day (e.g., if a mask gets soiled an needs to be changed). Students are also permitted to bring their own hand sanitizer to the school for their personal use during the day, though we ask for your cooperation in NOT sending highly scented products (e.g., the ones from Bath and Body Works) as there are staff and students on site with severe scent sensitivities and allergies. Hand sanitizer will also be provided throughout the school and hand hygiene (i.e., washing with soap and water, using sanitizer) will be practiced frequently throughout the day.
We will continue to offer Pizza Days this year in partnership with Panago Pizza. Stay tuned for more information to be sent out on School Day.
Nutrition for Learning Program
We will be continuing to offer our Nutrition for Learning Program, which will provide healthy, nut-free snacks for students in all our classrooms. All students will have access to these snacks during the day under the supervision of their teacher.
Parking Lot Reminders
Please do not use our parking lot for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up of students. This is particularly important from 8:55 – 9:10 a.m. and 3:25 – 3:40 p.m. when there are many student pedestrians on school property and our school buses are on-site. Parking is available on side streets adjacent to the school to use for drop-off and pick-up purposes. Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students safe.
Meet the Staff Night
We are looking forward to hosting a Meet the Staff Night on Wednesday, September 13th from 6 – 7 p.m. and we cordially invite you to drop in and see us!
We are excited to share that Photo Day (photos provided by Edge) will be on Wednesday, October 4th. Individual photos will be taken of all students this day. Class photos will occur later in the year.
Our first meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, September 20th from 7 – 8 p.m. Stay tuned to School Day for more information to come, including how to self-nominate to be part of this year’s School Council.
Students Who Are Sick or Become Sick During the Day
It is imperative that we have parental cooperation in keeping sick children at home. No child should be sent to school sick in any way. If a child becomes sick during the day, we will call parents and the child must be picked up immediately. The child will be kept in a safe location under supervision until they are picked up. A child should not return to school until they are healthy and able to participate fully in the classroom program. We’d ask that all parents have a plan in place should a child develop an illness during the school day and need to be picked up.
We encourage all families to use the daily Covid screening tool located on both our Abraham Erb school website and the WRDSB website.
If your child requires medication at school, please note that only prescription medication can be administered by school staff and must be stored in our main office. The appropriate paperwork must be completed in the office prior to any medications being administered. Also, please be aware that over-the-counter medication (e.g. Tylenol) is not permitted to be administered by staff. If your child requires over-the-counter medicine of any sort, a parent must come to the school to administer it to their child.
Communication with our Families
Communication with our families is of utmost importance to us at Abraham Erb. We are proud of our efforts to try to reduce the amount of paper we use and we are pleased to continue to use School-Day and our Abraham Erb website (abe.wrdsb.ca) to communicate school announcements, reminders, and newsletter items. We’d encourage all families to subscribe to both the WRDSB (wrdsb.ca) and Abraham Erb websites (go to each website, scroll down to the bottom of the page, enter your email under “Stay Connected”).
Most communication during the year will be sent to families electronically via School-Day. School-Day will also continue to be used for the collection of money if needed during the year. Over 95% of our families are registered with School-Day and we’d like to increase this to as close to 100% as we can this year. Please go to school-day.com to register. Families already registered on School-Day do not need to register again as all 2023-2024 information (class, teacher) will automatically be updated. All new Abraham Erb families will receive a personalized letter during the first week of school containing a “secure key match code” with which to register their child(ren) on School-Day. Families can also register their child by using the unique 9-digit Ontario Education Number found at the top of their child’s report card.
School “Start Up” Packages
The WRDSB sent out 2023-2024 School Year Information on our website this week. Abraham Erb “start up” packages will be sent home during the first week of school. Your child’s start up package contains some important paperwork which must be completed, signed and returned to the school. In addition, there are some important forms that need to be completed on School Day. We’d ask for your cooperation in completing and returning items as promptly as possible. Interested families can also access information about purchasing student insurance packages in School Year Information on our website.
*** Action Required – Remember to log into School-Day. Under “school items”, choose “forms” and complete the 3 forms for each child in your family. Thank you!
Abraham Erb is a Peanut-Free and Scent-Free School
To ensure the safety of all of our Otters, we’d kindly ask for your cooperation in refraining from wearing strongly scented body sprays and perfumes in the school and ensuring that your child(ren)’s lunches and snacks are peanut/nut-free. In addition, all WRDSB schools also ask that parents refrain from sending peanut butter substitute products (e.g. Wow Butter) in lunch bags as it is very difficult to distinguish from real peanut butter. We really appreciate you working with us to keep our school environment as risk-free as possible for our anaphylactic students and staff.
Additionally, we’d ask for your cooperation in not sending any food items/treats to school with your child to share with others (e.g. on special occasions like birthdays, holidays). If it is an important tradition for your child, please consider non-food items such as special pencils, stickers, etc. As we navigate allergies, food sensitivities, and special dietary needs, only non-edible items will be distributed to students. Please do not send cake, cupcakes, candy or other food items to school to be shared with other students. If food items are sent in, we will not be able to serve them and will send them home with your child.
We also believe that each family needs to determine what food their children eat. This is one reason why students are not to share their lunch food. Exceptions to this, such as special class celebrations or making food together to support the curriculum, will be communicated to you by your child’s teacher.
We have a number new of staff on the Abraham Erb team! We give a warm welcome to teachers Mrs. Barlow, Ms. Duquette, Ms. Sullivan and Mme Wu. We are also fortunate to say “welcome back” to Mrs. Cressman, Mrs. Skilling and Mr. Moffett. We are thrilled to welcome educational assistants Ms. Brule, Mrs. Avci and Mrs. Doherty, along with custodian Mrs. Nash, to our team. We are lucky to have these awesome folks joining our staff!
Over the summer, we bid adieu to educational assistants Mrs. Albrecht and Mrs. Lang. We wish Mrs. Albrecht warm wishes in her retirement!
I am truly honoured to be Principal at Abraham Erb Public School – may the 2023-2024 school year be one that is filled with much learning and adventure!
Important Upcoming Dates
Wed., Sept 6th – First Day of School – Welcome Back!
Wed., Sept 13th – Meet the Staff Open House – 6 – 7 p.m.
Wed., Sept 20th – First School Council Meeting (virtual) – 7 – 8 p.m.
Wed., Oct 4th – Photo Day (Individual photos only)
Fri., Oct 6th – PA Day – no school
Mon. Oct 9th – Thanksgiving Holiday – no school
Wed., Nov 8th – Photo Retake Day
Mon., Nov 13th – PA Day – no school