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Update to Familes for Jan.17 Return to School
Update to Familes for Jan.17 Return to In-Person Learning
Posted on 01/13/2022

We have received confirmation yesterday, January 12, from the Ministry of Education that our schools will be able to welcome students back to in-person learning on Monday, January 17. 

In light of this news, we want to update parents, guardians and students on the current public health measures we need to follow. 

Prior to coming to school each day, students must do the following:

  • Fill out the Confirmation of Daily Screening Form and return it to school each day. A printed copy of this form was sent home with students before the winter break. A paper copy of the screener can be sent home with students should they need it.

  • Ensure all students wear a clean mask to school, and have an extra mask (or two) in their bag should they need to change it during the day. Students will be provided with a 3-ply reusable mask at school if they want or need one during the day.

Public health units will no longer be providing schools with letters to notify of positive cases of COVID-19 in classes or schools, and this information will no longer be reported to the Ministry of Education. We ask that parents, guardians and students be vigilant in their screening and not attend school if they are feeling unwell, even if their symptom is not a known symptom of COVID-19.

Additional Health Measures in Place

As announced by the Ministry of Education, students will receive rapid antigen tests to use if students show symptoms of COVID-19. Students will also have access to PCR self-collection test kits should they become symptomatic at school. More information on tests and availability will come from your school when we have those details.

New isolation requirements are in place, which families need to be aware of. All household members need to self-isolate if anyone in the household has symptoms of COVID-19. We have updated our COVID-19 Info Centre with additional health information that families will find helpful, including the What to Do If You Have Symptoms Flowchart.

More information on stricter cohorting measures, absence reporting, school activities and other measures will be provided to families by their school as we work through these details with our public health units.

Additional Class or School Closures

As we have previously shared, with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in addition to the new isolation requirements, the effects of the provincial staffing shortage that school boards have experienced since the start of this pandemic will be felt even more. 

There may be times when a class or an entire school will need to move to remote learning on short notice if we do not have enough staff to supervise classes. We want families to be aware of this reality so they can plan for it.

Moving a class or a school to remote learning will always be a last resort, but it may happen the night before or even the morning of. Student safety is our top priority and we must ensure that we have proper supervision for students while they are at school.

Remote Learning Options for Reasons Related to COVID-19

Should families or students decide that they would like to remain in remote learning once schools open for in-person learning, or if students need to be away due to illness, self-isolation or for other reasons related to COVID-19, these remote learning options will be available: synchronous learning (online, in real-time), digital asynchronous learning (independently, on their own time, materials on classroom platform) or printed materials when digital access to materials isn’t possible.

Digital remote learners will be part of the regular class at their home school and will access digital learning materials that will be provided by the regular classroom teacher through Microsoft Teams or D2L. 

Families or students should connect with their teacher or school principal directly if they need access to remote learning or need more information about their options.

If students borrowed a device for the current remote learning period, please return the device and power cord to your school principal when you return to in-person classes. 

As always, we will continue to share information with you as we receive it or if the information changes. If you have questions that are specific to your child or school, please reach out to your school principal directly. 

Ron Ferguson
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board

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