Retour en classe (anglais)
Yesterday, the Minister of Education announced that students will return to school on January 17th, 2022. We are happy to welcome our students back to our schools on Monday. Here is an update following the Ministry of Education announcements.
We have received and distributed to our schools the three-layer masks for students. These masks will be given to students when they arrive next week. A reminder that masks are mandatory inside for all our students, and it is important to wash cloth masks daily.
Students will be required to actively screen daily and isolate themselves if they have symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status. Decision tools will be shared shortly in order to help families better understand the new process.
Confirmation of self-screening
As per the ministry guidelines and following public health recommendations, the confirmation of self-screening must be completed daily. For students in kindergarten to grade 6, parents must access the parent portal to do so. For students in grades 7 and 8, teachers will show them on Monday how to complete it daily. For students in grades 9-12, they continue with the process already in place.
Principals may have other approaches for some families who are unable to use the parent portal.
During the first week, we will follow up to support families who need help or training. From the second week onwards, students who have not completed the self-screening or for whom the confirmation has not been done, will not have access to classrooms and parents will have to come and pick them up at school.
In some areas, vaccination clinics may be offered in a school in collaboration with the public health office. To access the clinic, students must have parental consent. If a clinic is offered in one of our schools in collaboration with a public health office, the principal will forward the information to parents.
Rapid Antigen Testing
As of January 17, we should have enough rapid tests to provide two to all elementary students in face-to-face learning, as well as to all school board staff who have contact with students. We will also be receiving a large quantity of rapid antigen tests for distribution to secondary school students; these additional rapid tests will be delivered the week of January 17. We will distribute them as soon as we receive them. Principals will share information with parents about the use of these tests and how to proceed.
Supports for students who must isolate
We are developing a plan to best support our students who must isolate due to being symptomatic or having family members who are symptomatic. It will be shared soon.
Data on student and staff absenteeism will be shared with the Ministry of Education on a daily basis. The Ministry will publish information on the Ontario.ca website beginning January 24, 2022. At this time, no data will be posted on the board's website. With regards to sharing information with parents, we will continue to follow the direction of our public health units.
We expect higher than normal absenteeism among students and staff. We are committed to keeping classes and schools open. However, if absenteeism is too high, we may be forced to close classes or schools for safety reasons. In such circumstances, we will contact the affected families as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the decision may be made on the morning of the closure. We recognize that such closures can be challenging for our families, and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
We thank you for your continued cooperation and patience.
Director of Education