June 9, 2022 Update:
Here are our planned bell times for the 2022-23 school year for our elementary grades, junior high grades, Early Learning Program and the Kindergarten program:
We do acknowledge there is a lot of discussion about the recent changes to our bell times due to divisional transportation changes. We have done our best to provide the required structures to create our students’ best possible learning environment. Two additional points to address are the lateness of the elementary nutrition breaks and junior high lunch and before-school care.
Elementary Nutrition Breaks and Junior High Lunch
- Our elementary nutrition breaks and our junior high lunch break are later than our current times due to our start times. Therefore, we encourage all our students to eat a healthy, nutritional breakfast. Teachers will be monitoring this issue and providing snack breaks when necessary.
- Due to the later start times, some parents brought forward the issue of before-school care. Earlier this spring, we did a needs survey to help better understand the problem. The results of the survey indicated approximately ten families and 15 students requested support for before-school care;
- Father Leonard Van Tighem does not have the staff or resources to provide a before-school care program;
- We initially approached the It’s a Blast program to see if they could operate an on-site before-school care program. Unfortunately, they are unable. It’s a Blast program will continue to operate an after-school program for our students at Children of St. Martha School. Here is a link to help with their registration process https://itsablastprogram.com/school-year-program/
- We approached the Boys’ and Girls’ Club program to ask if they could provide an on-site before-school care program. They, too, are unable to help us;
- Next, we approached the YMCA Child Care Program. Although the YMCA does not provide a before-school program at school sites, they offer a before-school program at the Cor Van Raay YMCA. This service is for students up to the age of Grade 6. We are glad to tell you the YMCA will support our families and provide before-school care off-site at their facility. In addition, they will bus students from their program to Father Leonard Van Tighem School in the morning. Here is a link to their program: https://lethbridgeymca.ca/BASC-Form Please note that although FLVT is not listed on the website, the YMCA will offer bussing from the YMCA to FLVT.
- We acknowledge this is not a perfect solution; we hope it will help our families.
This week, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division and Southland Transportation informed us of our Grade 1 to 9 bell times for the 2022-23 school year. Here they are:
- Monday to Thursday start time of 8:55 am (when classes start)
- Monday to Thursday end time of 3:40 pm (when classes end)
- Friday start time of 8:55 am
- Friday end time of 1:23 pm
We plan to have a staggered end of the day for our elementary and junior high students, so the exact end of the days is yet to be determined. We are still working on our daytime bell schedule. Also, we have not determined the start and end times for our Kindergarten and Early Learning Program. We will share all our bell times once they have been set.
Please see this document explaining the need to change bell times:
How does this late start time help the rest of the kids/ parents that drop kids off at school? Does this mean our kids will be waiting outside even longer without supervision? Is the school going to open the doors so kids aren’t waiting outside? Having to drop off kids and have them wait outside when they are young has parents worried, about safety for our children.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. At FLVT, we were hoping for similar or earlier bell times. We are later in the morning because we are part of the second bus run. Ideally, we would prefer to be part of the first bus run.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide before-school care before our warning bell. We are in the very initial stages of seeing if a private agency can come in to assist with before-school care. If the issue improves, we will contact our parents.
Please contact the school if you have any further questions.
That decision is not supporting the whole school community. It is helping only the bus group. Lot of children are dropped off by parents earlier due to work commitments. Additionally, there are children who practice sport early afternoon, and may be impacted. I understand the problem about the bus rides, but community needs a more complete solution. That support before school seems to be private and with an additional payment stressing some parents budget. These new times may trigger a safety issue with children left earlier at the school. At the end this is not a solution, and may create a bigger problem with children more exposed to dangerous situation in special in winter. This needs to be reviewed for a different solution.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
The bus routes definitely drive the bell times. Unfortunately, we have been informed the bell times were final. FLVT School does not have the human resources to provide before school care. It the situation improves we will inform our community.