Back to School Communication 2020-2021

August 31, 2020


Dear SQMS Parents;

We at South Queens Middle School hope you and your family are enjoying a safe summer. School is back in session on September 8, and after almost 6 months apart, we are excited to welcome you back. With COVID-19 rates at low levels, students will return to school following the full opening model outlined in Nova Scotia’s Back to School Plan. To learn more about the plan, please visit

We know you have a lot of questions. We do not have all the answers yet, and the answers we give now may change depending on the health of Nova Scotians. If conditions change, our approach will change, including a possible move to either a blended learning model or at-home learning model. The direction to move to a different learning model will be given by Public Health as they assess COVID-19. Should this happen, we will let you know as soon as possible.

As you may have already heard, there are some key changes coming to school in September.

Please rest assured our teachers will communicate safety protocols to students on September 8th, and these protocols will be regularly reviewed and updated.

Please note the following protocols and review with your child(ren):


  • Students should not be dropped off before 8:05 am unless they can wait outside where they can physically distance from others.  Students WILL NOT be able to congregate in the lobby of the school before the first bell goes.


  • Schools will limit outside visitors, including parents/guardians. Drop offs and pickups will be done outside, and people will not be allowed to congregate in groups outside the school, as per the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Schools (see Appendix A). Use of schools after hours by other organizations will be limited.


  • Students will be staying in Homeroom Bubbles (Cohorts) all day including recess and lunch breaks. By keeping students in the same group and limiting interaction between groups, schools can significantly reduce exposure should there be a case in the school.  Teachers will be travelling to students to teach their subjects.


  • Each homeroom cohort will have a designated area outside.  We will be staggering when the students leave the building for recess, lunch and dismissal to ensure students from other cohorts do not come in contact with each other.  Cohorts will use different exits.


  • It is an expectation that students come prepared to go outside (i.e. sweaters, proper footwear, etc.).  This is not only for recess and lunch breaks but classes will be held outside as much as possible for many subjects.


  • Mask use for all students who ride a school bus will be required. Bus notes will only be allowed for custodial arrangements, day-care, and employment needs. Students will not be accessing different buses for any other purpose. This helps with reducing the risk of viral spread and makes contact tracing easier.


  • Our classrooms and hallways are not big enough to ensure physical distancing, so students and staff will be wearing masks for most of the day.


  • If your child does not have a mask for the first day of school, there is a mask available for him/her at the school.  Pick up will be Tuesday, September 1- Friday September 4 from 10am-12 noon daily.  If these times do not work for you, please contact us at 902-354-7640


  • Schools will be cleaned daily with an enhanced emphasis on disinfecting surfaces and common areas, including classrooms. In addition, high-touch surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day.


  • A “no sharing” policy will be in place. Supplies will be provided to those students who do not have them. If sharing of learning equipment or technology is necessary, the equipment must be cleaned between uses.


  • Signage will be visible throughout the school as reminders about frequent hand washing and physical distancing when possible.


  • Students will be eating in their homerooms and meals will be delivered there. Based on Public Health guidelines, students will not have access to our Cafeteria until further notice, but we are working on a plan for families to be able to pre-order meals with a reduced menu through our Cafeteria.  Each meal will be individually wrapped/packaged for individual students. This includes breakfast programs as well.
  • Unfortunately, the use of microwaves is not allowed.  If bringing a lunch, please ensure students have food that does not need to be heated. 


  • Students will not be able to access drinking fountains but we have a filling station at each end of the school. Students are encouraged to bring a filled water bottle every day.  The school board is not providing water cups for students.  At no time are students able to drink from a drinking station without their own bottle.  It is understandable that students aren’t allowed to share water bottles or drinking cups. 


  • Students will not have access to lockers, so what your child brings to school stays with them all day and goes home with them each night. Please limit personal items due to space in homerooms. 


  • Large gatherings are not permitted in schools this year. This includes concerts, tournaments, assemblies and ceremonies.


  • Fundraising events, including dances, have been cancelled until further notice. We are starting to receive information on school sports and this information will be communicated soon.


  • Stay Home When Sick

The Nova Scotia guidelines for schools are firm. If a student, staff member or any other adult has any symptoms of a cold, influenza, COVID-19, or any other infectious respiratory disease, they must not enter the school. Please review the COVID checklist (see website and FB page as well as the attachment with this letter) with your child every morning before coming to school.

While these measures will become commonplace in schools across our province, we want to provide you with additional details about what your child’s day will look like for this year.  This information will be coming to you in the next few days and it will be called the “SQMS Return to September Plan 2020-2021”.   

When you receive it, please review this important document as it does highlight significant changes that your family should be aware of for the upcoming school year. We will be sharing more SQMS specific updates before September 8th.

We realize there is a lot of information about new routines and changes. But, there are some things that haven’t changed.

We are still committed to providing the best education and support for your child. Our school will continue to be a welcoming space where we focus on positive relationships between students and staff. When you are talking to your child about coming back to school, please let them know we are excited to see them again. Working together, we can all help students feel safe and supported when they return to school.

Let’s keep the lines of communication open to make this a positive year. Please reach out if you have specific questions or concerns.



Terry and Stacy

Celebrating SQMS

Well....we didn't get to do our traditional end of year awards ceremony but the staff thought we should still celebrate the success of our students so Ms Wilson and Mr Killam organized our "ceremony"! This year our coaches gave out our traditional sports awards and the staff decided on some special awards to give to some of our Grade 8 students.

Ms Laura Wilson stepped up to the plate and developed this awesome video to capture the accomplishments of some but to also celebrate all of our students with as many clips and pictures as the staff could find from our very short year. Thank you Ms Wilson (and everyone else who contributed!)

We are so very proud of each and every SQMS student! Hard work and perseverance definitely pays off!! We are especially proud of the way you all conducted yourselves during the last 4 months! It definitely was not easy but you did it!!!

We want to wish our Grade 8s all the best as they head "up the hill" to LRHS! Go forth, do great things and always be kind!

To our Grade 6s and 7s...we cannot wait to see you next year! We don't know yet what that will look like or when it will happen but we will be so happy when it does!!!

Please enjoy our video!  Click on link below




Dear Families:
A link to your child's Term 3 Report Card and/or IPP report has been emailed to the parent/guardian email that we have on file in our system. The password is your child's birth date and you must include the dashes as indicated.
In some instances, you will need to look in your Spam/Junk folders for the link.
As per Term 2, a few families will be receiving their report cards via Canada Post and they were delivered to the post office to be mailed today as well.
Please note that this report card will not have any marks for Term 3 and will only have comments for English Language Arts/French Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.
If you are having issues accessing your child's report card please email
Thank you for your continued support!
SQMS Administration


Dear Families,

Hope you are all doing well!  We just wanted to update you with the plan for Term 3 report cards and what you can expect them to look like.

The plan is that the report card will be emailed to you following the same procedure as Term 2 report cards (through email).  If you received the Term 2 report card via mail, that will still continue.  We are planing for Term 3 report cards to be delivered between June 24th and June 26th.  This is to give us some room in case any glitches arise.

We have been given direction from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development as to what the report cards will look like.  What you can expect to see is a comment only for Math, English Language Arts/French Language Arts, Science and Social Studies.  All other subjects will be left blank.  You will also notice that there will not be a mark given for any subject; the column for where the mark should be will have N/A as will the Learner Profiles.

If you have any questions about the report card, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Stewart ( or Ms Thorburn (

Thank you again for your continued co-operation and support!

SQMS Administration 


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