Hello Laurelwood Community,

I welcome you to the 2020 – 21 school year!  It has certainly been a different start to the year. Some students will be at school in-person and others will be learning at home in the Distance Learning program. Preparing the school for students to return has been a long process and continues to change almost daily. Each school completed a School Safety Site plan so that everyone entering and working in the building are aware of the routines and procedures. Students will be full time as of September 18th but life for them will be very different.  Public Health protocols say that each classroom has its own cohort and should come in contact with no more than 50 people while at school. This has led us to make decisions that have changed the school day. These changes are outlined in the newsletter that was sent to families at the beginning of this month. As we begin living through these changes we will no doubt find those processes that work and those that don’t. Therefore we will modify and change those that don’t work.  You will be updated on all changes and modifications through School Day.

This year, Laurelwood’s overall population has grown as we welcomed Abraham Erb’s grade 6 students into grade 7 plus we still have those moving from grade 7 to grade 8. The result sees our overall population to be 712 students. At this time we have 526 students back at school in-person and 186 students participating in Distance Learning.  Therefore, our school has reorganized losing 2 classes and having 2 teachers take on the Distance Learning role.  Families have the opportunity to change their child(ren)’s mode of learning this term on October 16th to be transitioned on November 10th. This could also mean changes for school organization. The second chance will be in February.

On a different note; we congratulate Mrs. Bishop who retired in early September. She has been at Laurelwood for 21 years and has been a well known and loved teacher to many of our students. We wish her the very best in retirement and know we will all miss her.

We have new staff joining us this September including:        Mrs. Blair – Office (W), Ms. Bourassa – Library (Th, F), Ms. Fowler – EA, Ms. Furlong – DECE (welcome back), Ms. Harlock – Gr. 3/4,               Ms. MacKenzie – gr. 7 , Mr. Roberts – Gr. 8, Ms. Shah – Kindergarten, Ms. Gonzalez – DECE,                 Ms. Hallman – Distance Learing, Ms. Ali – lunchroom supervisor and Ms. Wall who is at Laurelwood as part of the Board’s Distance Learning team.                                                                                                        This is a talented group of new staff added to our already excellent group of teachers who will be making the learning this year the best it has ever been in person or online!

We make every effort to communicate regularly with our school community, usually though  an e-mail program called School-Day.   With School-Day, information and updates are sent directly to your email account!  Contact the office if you have not already signed up. This is an important part of our communication strategy so we appreciate you getting connected.  Other forms of communication such as planners and visiting the classroom and office are restricted.  The hot lunch program is not available at this time nor are the usual community meetings such as Meet the Teacher evening. 

Our school website is another way we are able to keep in touch. Please sign up at the bottom of the school’s homepage to receive notifications from our website directly to your email when something new is posted. 

Over the course of the fall, I look forward to having the opportunity to get to know each one of you better. I do hope that you take the time to phone (519-884-9999), email (heather_preddie@wrdsb.ca)


Heather Preddie