Principal's Message

Welcome to W.O. Mitchell Elementary School!

You might be interested to know a bit about the layers of protection we have put in place above and beyond self-screening, social distancing, mask-wearing and proper hand hygiene to keep your children safe while at school. 

Our school is currently set up in zones and students do not interact with students/classes in other zones of the school. They also do not interact with students in other classes within their zone. Each zone has its own entry/exit door, its own hand sanitizer in the entrance, its own bathrooms and its own hallway. Students sanitize their hands each time they enter the building and again as they enter the classroom.

Within the classroom and schoolyard, we have additional layers of protection.

  • all students are assigned a classroom/workspace
  • kindergarten classrooms have table dividers to provide them with an area to eat
  • Students in grades 1-3 and our DD classes have a desk shield. Most of them wear masks but this is an extra layer that the OCDSB provided in those classrooms where mask use is not mandatory.
  • seating plans are formally submitted/saved – there are mini cohorts within the room with students who ride the bus together or attend EDP together
  • students do not change classrooms (the teacher comes to them) and classrooms are not shared be anyone other than the class assigned to that room.
  • Classes have two teachers (one French/one English) on a daily basis. A couple of our classes have 3-4 but those teachers are only in the classroom once or twice a week to teach the arts or DPA.
  • Teachers wear a mask and shield when entering a classroom with students who are not in their homeroom. This includes lunch supervision duty and inclement weather duty.
  • We staggered our recess/lunch breaks so half of the school eats while the other half goes out for recess and then they switch.
  • We looked at traffic flow when creating the staggered recess/lunch break to ensure that a few classes in each zone exited simultaneously to cut down on traffic in the hallway or at entry/exit doors.
  • Each class is assigned a part of the yard to play in at recess and a line to line up in at the beginning of the day and at the end of recess. Our primary classes have dots spray painted on their line to remind them to social distance while standing in line.
  • Students' arrival and dismissal times are staggered and pick up/drop off areas have been spread out to support social distancing.
  • EDP uses the stage and the library. Parents drop off/pick up children using door H near the parking lot.
  • All phys.ed activities take place outdoors.
  • The seating plan on the school bus has students sitting in every other seat (or further) and sitting with siblings rather than by grade.
  • NEW - Classes may use phys.ed equipment outdoors as long as they follow health and safety protocol. A bag of equipment has been created for two classes to share. Students must sanitize their hands at the beginning and at the end of the class. Equipment must be saturated with santizing spray and left to sit for at least 10 minutes. Activities which require touching a piece of equipment with hands should be minimized. 
  • NEW - Now that the weather is getting colder, students are allowed to enter the building as they arrive between 8:00 - 8:15 rather than waiting outside in line. 
  • NEW - Students have been assigned a hook/cubby/locker for boots and snowpants. If coats are wet, they may be left outside the classroom as well. These areas have been assigned with social distancing as the prime consideration. Many classes stagger when students are at the hooks to ensure it is possible to maintain 2m as they get dressed.
  • COMING SOON - We are in the process of creating a schedule and a set of guidelines to allow classes to use the gym for indoor classes. 

I am not going to suggest that we have completely eliminated the risk of transmission within the school but I know we have put a lot of thought into what layers of protection would minimize the risk of transmission and implemented everything we could think of. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions or concerns.
Joanne Favell
W.O. Mitchell Elementary School Principal
(613) 271-1806




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