Navigate Up
Sign In
schools stsylvester stsylvester F5DFF2C3-0EF7-4647-8EDF-793FEB11D580 8469
/schools/Style Library/ci_upload/b3483b41-c0bf-4a5d-b850-bceba5d8ce17n.png?rev=-186652689

As we start a very different school year, I have tried to paste some of the information that has been sent to our parents

Subject: Some final reminders for Monday


CAUTION: External Email - Do not click on links or open attachments you do not trust ***


I’ve given you lots to read so will try to keep this one short

You should have heard about your child’s in person start day by now. Online learning date will be communicated by school board centrally but the current start date is Sept 21 for online learning. 

  1. Please remember to bring your screening passport  on Monday. Your child can not enter the school without this. It was previously felt that daycare students may not need the passport but we have found out that they need their screening for both the school and daycare so please make sure you send the sheet in. For any who can't print for day one, a reminder to send me an email once you have screened.                                                                         
  2. If your child normally goes home for the lunch the strong preference is that they stay at school this year to avoid extra back and forth. If they do go home, we will need them to bring their screening passport back again.                                                                                                        
  3. A reminder that students will not be able to use the washroom before school or at lunch or recess time. Teachers will be providing washroom breaks throughout the day.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  4. We are very short of math textbooks as many students still have them at home. Please try to send these in next week even if you are not coming for in person school (with a fellow classmate or drop off at the school).                                                                                                      
  5. NO PARENTS ARE ALLOWED ACCESS TO THE SCHOOL OR SCHOOL YARD. The only exception will be the end of the day when students from Ms. Ironside’s class will come out the regular recess doors. Parents are asked to wait by the portables to meet them. Ms. Stoner’s Gr. 5/6 class will also come out this way. All  other classes will be picked up from their back door. We have done this to reduce the number of students coming out from the same area (same for recess). Please do make sure to socially distance as you are waiting to pick up your child.

I appreciate your time in reading through the information. I have pasted below previous emails from this week.

Take care and we will look forward to seeing many of you next week.

R. Fernandes

On Sep 10, 2020, at 11:10 AM, Roy Fernandes <> wrote:


I know you continue to have many questions and concerns and I will continue to answer them as best as I can.

My most up to date information is below.

Start date and Teacher contact

If your child is doing in person learning, you will hear from your child’s teacher today or tomorrow with your child’s start date (students are starting on either Monday, Sept 14, Tuesday, Sept 15, Wednesday, Sept 16, or Thursday Sept 17),  and teachers will do their best to review the items below. Please understand that they have to get through their whole class so I’m hoping I can provide answers via this email and at our parent meeting tonight at 6 pm. If you did not receive an email from me last night with info about this meeting, it means you did not confirm you wanted to attend. I will do my best to add you in if you contact me before 4 pm today.

If your child is doing online learning, the school board will not be finalizing staffing until Thursday, Sept 17 with an anticipated first day of online learning to begin on Friday, Sept 18.

Class sizes

Our class sizes for in person learning are currently as follows

JK/SK – 15

Gr. 1/2 – 14

Gr. 2/3 – 15

3/4  - 16

5/6 – 18

7/8 - 19

Online learning class sizes will be set by the board


School bus service will not start until Sept 21. The transportation department will have contacted you if you are eligible for transportation. Of extreme importance is to note that in order to allow social distancing on the school bus, a seating plan will be followed both before and after school. In addition, for the past several years, many students in the Silver Springs apts have been provided busing (especially if under Gr. 3). The board is not providing any busing unless you are at the allowable distance (I believe this is 1.5 km). The main point being, any families on Silver Springs will almost definitely not be provided busing. Please realize that this is not something I have the power to change as it is a board mandated decision.

Screening sheet

A reminder that students will not be allowed in the school if you have not completed the screening passport every day. I have previously attached it and am including it again. If you do not have a printer, we will provide a sheet on the first day. For the first day of school if you do not have a printer, you will need to call the school or email myself or the classroom teacher indicating that you have done the screening at home.  It is essential for you to understand that based on Toronto Public Health criteria, no student will be allowed in the school if the screening has not been completed every day.  The updated sheet is attached again here. (you are fine to use the previous one if you already printed it out). We will give students a duotang to place the sheet in on the first day.COVID_19Checklist+Passport - updated version.pdf 


Everyone in the building will need to wear a mask. When students go out for recess, there are 3 options for their masks – in their pocket, in a fanny pack, or in the classroom. Yes this means different systems in different classes and each option has its pitfalls. We will adapt systems as info changes from Toronto Public Health. Public health has said that masks do not need to be on at lunch time. I understand the concern some may have with this.

Hand Washing

Students will be washing their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer every time they enter the classroom and before they eat.

Washroom use

Students will not be allowed inside the building before school or at any recess time to use the washroom. Teachers will have set times to take their class down to the washroom (3 times for younger grades and twice for older grades). In many ways, this is similar to how a field trip will work as we do not have access to a washroom on the bus or at outdoor locations sometimes. Please make sure your child uses the washroom before they come to school.

Nutrition program

At this point we do not have a nutrition program coordinator so I can not guarantee when the program will start. If you want to have your child take part in the program, they need to bring a clean empty container for the nutrition program food to be placed in each day. The container will not be touched by anyone but your child and the food which is simpler this year (whole banana, crackers etc) will simply be dropped into your container.

Recess times

Our yard will be spread out as follows – JK/SK – in their BRAND NEW yard!!!!      Gr. 1/2, 2/3 and 3/4  on paved part of the yard for week one .  Gr. 5/6 and 7/8 on the field for week one. This will flip by the week. Balls will not be allowed in the yard so please do not send them in. This may change by the end of September.

I highly highly recommend you continue reading the board faq online  which is continually updated

Textbooks or school material

If you have any textbooks or school material at home, please find a way to return the to the school.

Entry and Exit has been explained in previous emails which are pasted below but a reminder that parents are not permitted in the school yard before school or in the school during the day.

As always, feel free to contact me with any other questions you may have.



16) 393-5373


On Sep 9, 2020, at 11:23 AM, Roy Fernandes <> wrote:


You will likely hear from me again tomorrow and possibly Friday as I'm trying to keep you up to date with the most recent information we have. 

3 things for now.

1. As mentioned in the last email, you will be hearing from your child's teacher either tomorrow or Friday if you are doing in person school. Your child's start date will be either Monday, Sept 14, Tuesday, Sept 15, or Wednesday Sept 16.   All in person school students will be in the building on Thursday, Sept 17 onwards.

2. For those doing online school, we have not been given a start date or information on who your child's teacher is. This is being done centrally by the school board.  My current thought is that the start date for online students will likely be Thursday, Sept 17 or Friday, Sept 18. (Again, this is just MY thought). More info will be provided as soon as I have it.

3. Our parent council/town hall meeting will be taking place tomorrow at 6 pm.  If you do not hear from me by 5 pm tonight, it means I have not received confirmation that you wanted to be part of this meeting. The link will be sent to you tomorrow at 5:55 pm.  Again, I have shared most of the protocols and information I have via email, but I am happy to take more questions tomorrow.

Take care and more information soon.


R. Fernan



On Friday, September 4, 2020, 02:04:46 p.m. EDT, Roy Fernandes <> wrote:




This email will hopefully add some clarity to what I know is a very fluid and at times confusing  situation still. There is a lot of information included (please consider this like the start of year newsletter), and all of it is essential to read, so please do so carefully.

As of this point (2 pm on Friday), here is the best information I have.

  • 98 students are returning to St. Sylvester for in class learning and 76 are doing online learning.
  • The school board continues to look at where the teachers will come from for  the online learning and as a result I do not have answers yet on how many students will be in each class in school, as classes may be combined as current St. Sylvester classroom teachers move to online learning.
  • For those students doing in class learning, the first date will be Monday Sept 14. It will be a staggered start which means ¼ of the class will start on Monday, and then half the class by Tuesday, 3/4 of the class by Wednesday and the whole class by Thursday, Sept 17. This will allow a gradual increase of the number of students in the school. Once our classes are set next week, I will be in communication as to who will be starting what day.
  • For those students doing online learning, more information will come from the school board once this is set up but my understanding is that this also would start on Sept 14 (and I would imagine no staggered date for online learning, but that’s just a prediction). 200818 DRAFT K-8 Virtual School Parent Information.pdf 
  • Hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing are three of the biggest safety measures being taken at school. For this reason, please help your child get used to wearing a mask. We have discussed options for how to store masks when your child goes out for recess as they do not need a mask in the yard. At this point, the best ideas have been a storage system with individual pockets by the door OR for students to have a fanny pack that they put their mask in. IF you are able to send a fanny pack in that would be very helpful.
  • Hand washing opportunities will be provided throughout the day. Unscented hand sanitizer will also be beneficial if your child has one.
  • We will not need to adjust recess or lunch times because of the large yard space we have and the reduced number of students .
  • We are still very much in need of lunch time supervisors so please contact me if you are available to help out in that regard.
  • To assist with social distancing in the hallway, all classrooms will be entering and exiting the school at the start of the day, end of the day and before and after recess through their exterior classroom door.
  • Staff have received extra training this week on health and safety measures, remote (online) learning, anti black racism and equity measures and anti bullying initiatives
  • All staff will be having a google classroom set up by Sept 14 and this will be used by students in the school. Students doing online learning will be on a google or brightspace classroom. We have not been told yet WHO will be teaching these classes
  • The current information is that those doing online learning can not return to in person classroom learning until Nov 1 but of course if there is space in the classroom, an earlier return may be possible.
  • Parents are not permitted to be in any part of the school yard or school under any circumstances. I am sure you will appreciate the extreme safety reason to do this and we will be very firm in enforcing this, so thanks in advance for your understanding. If you are going to the daycare, the school yard will not be your way to access, but around the side of the building please.
  • Agendas will be distributed for free to all students for this year. If you are online learning and would like an agenda, please let me know and I will find a way to get one to you.
  • I have not been issuing school newsletters or calendars and have been instead continuing my weekly emails which is likely what makes most sense now as unfortunately, there will not be a lot in the calendar or to report on in the newsletter. Currently, all outside the classroom activities are not permitted (Mass,trips, beyond the classroom, school sports etc)
  • I have tried several times last year to return pizza money for those who paid by cheque or cash but many parents asked for the school to either use it for other purposes or to apply it to pizza lunch this year. There will not be any pizza lunch in the near future so I am again asking for any who would like a refund from the April to June pizza to please let me know by Tuesday, September 8. Whatever money is not returned will be used to update our school tablets and lap tops as we realize they will be in great need for the year ahead.
  • School supplies can not be shared this year so it would be very helpful if your child has their own pencil case with pencils (mechanical pencils if your child uses those), crayons/pencil crayons/markers (not all three necessarily), scissors, glue sticks, rulers etc.   The school will do our best to provide supplies as well but if you can purchase in advance for your child, that will be very helpful.
  • Nutrition program will be different this year and we are hoping to have it running towards the end of September. If you want your child taking part in the nutrition program, you MUST send in a clean plate or container each day for the nutrition program food to be placed in
  • All lunches are boomerang lunches which means all waste (even apple cores and banana peels) should return home. This will help with less contact of surfaces (green bins and recycling). Students should bring a water bottle as the bottle filling station will be active but the water fountain drinking spout will not
  • While there is no money being collected for anything anytime soon, it is essential (bordering on mandatory) that all parents are registered for cash online. I have included the link again for it.
  • For students who are coming to school, they will be expected to have their parent sign off on the attached screening passport each day. The board is currently trying to create an app for this , but until that is done, the screening passport is required. Student Screening Passport.pdf If you do not have a printer, please let me know and we will send the passport home with your child on the first day. I would ask you to reply directly to me the first day BEFORE school if your child is not able to bring the passport in so that we know they have been screened at home.
  • We will be having a parent council/town hall meeting via zoom to address any questions you may have about any of this information. The date is tentatively set for Thursday, Sept 10 at 6 pm. Please let me know if you plan to attend so that I can send the link.

I am fully aware that the start of this school year will not be what any of us expected. I am also fully confident that our staff will be doing everything possible to keep your child safe both physically and mentally while engaging them in the learning process in a very different time. Please know that whether your child is learning in the school or through distance learning, they are still a St. Sylvester student and I will be updating you as best as possible throughout the school year. I am also planning to continue our virtual student/parent assemblies at a time that will work out best for all involved.

Take good care, stay safe and please do not hesitate to be in touch at  with any questions or concerns you may have.


R. Fer


P.S. For any who are nature lovers that would like a non covid related feel good video, have a look at this one​