Weekly Newsletter – September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020  / 7 Tishrei 5781

Shabbat Begins: 6:45 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 7:47 p.m.   
Parsha: Ha’azinu: Deuteronomy 32:1-52

It’s no understatement that we want everyone at King David to be as safe as possible. The well-being of our students and staff is of the utmost importance for the school. We’re often asked: what are we doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission? 

Well, for a start, that “we” is all of us. We are all working together as our school family always does. You, as parents, are ensuring your children are healthy and well before they come to school. All our students and staff are wearing approved masks inside the building at all times. Of course, we follow the Public Health Officer (PHO), Ministry of Education (MOE), BCCDC, and WorkSafeBC rules and guidelines. We have signs with reminders about mask wearing, washing hands and physical distancing all over the place, and of course, plexiglass barriers too. Visitors are restricted entry, so school tours and in-person guest lecturers are out. 

But that is just part of the story.

Air Quality

The air circulated throughout the school is controlled by our Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system. To ensure good indoor air quality we adhere to a rigid maintenance schedule and we have adjusted our air flow to mix in more fresh air from outside. We have ordered upgraded MERV 13 air filters, and we are adding a special UV light filtering system to kill viruses and bacteria that may not be filtered. We are also in the process of adding another HVAC unit to add more air circulation to the hallways. All classrooms have had more return air locations added, which increases air circulation, and with the help of a parent volunteer who procured special window-opening poles, all classroom windows are opened each day. If you are wondering, these changes alone cost about $70,000.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Surface cleaning is another priority. We have approached this in three different ways. We purchased two special, hospital-grade, electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. One is a backpack sanitation sprayer that allows our custodial team to treat the entire school every night and during the day as needed. The second is a hand-held unit that we use to sanitize equipment between class (e.g. musical instruments, microphones, art tools). As a back-up to this, we are also applying a safe, long-lasting sanitizer that treats all surfaces and kills viruses and bacteria for three months before being reapplied. Additionally, we have hired an extra part-time custodian whose job is to clean surfaces like door handles, washrooms, microwaves and stair rails. Finally, everyone does their part: all classrooms have wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers and a hearty supply of disinfectant wipes. The total cost of all of this is upwards of $40,000. 

These are not easy times for all of us in schools. We feel the weight on our shoulders more than ever to ensure that everyone is safe. We also pay attention to the emotional wellness of our students and staff. This pandemic is not just about physical well-being. In these first weeks, I have seen smiles under the masked faces of our students and staff, smiles that stem from being together and getting as close as possible to a routine and normalcy that abruptly changed last spring. Be sure to speak with your children about how they are feeling and encourage them to speak to one of our counsellors if there are ways we can help them feel more safe and comfortable at school.

We all need to continue to do the good work we have started together this year to maintain our safe and caring school with a tempered, calm resolve.

This week, having completed their COVID Food Safe courses, our Grade 10 and 11/12 Foods classes were able to cook in the Foods room for the first time this year! Students, in small groups, were tasked with creating and cooking or baking an item of their choice, all within 30 minutes. The only catch: they had to include the traditional Rosh Hashanah ingredients of apples and honey.

The results were creative and delicious! Students made apple crisps, scones, muffins, and more!

Every year, our Post-Secondary and Career Counsellors, Jodi Cristall and Abby Remick, arrange to have a variety of colleges and universities present to our Grade 11 and 12 students and parents to help them choose their path after high school. This year, although they look a bit different, we’ve already kicked off the presentations by holding them virtually via Zoom!

It is that time of year when giving thanks is at the top of our minds. Celebrating the High Holidays and with Thanksgiving in a few weeks, we are motivated to contemplate all of the wonderful things in our lives and express gratitude for them. This is especially important this year! 
At King David we encourage the development of a sense of gratitude all year long so that we feel proud, thankful, and joyful. As a school, we are grateful every day for the support received from students, families, alumni, staff, and the broader community. Your support allows us to provide students with the inspiration and preparation to lead lives of meaning. 
Each fall, we reflect on the previous school year and all that we have accomplished as a school and as a community. Please click on the image below to read our Annual Report.

Shabbat Shalom and Gmar Chatimah Tovah!


JFGV Israel Trivia Night
with host IQ 2000

Thursday, October 15
7:00 p.m.

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