Additional health and safety measures have been put in place as in-person learning resumes on Monday, representatives of both school boards say.
“When we return on Monday/Tuesday, there will be several additional health and safety measures, as well as changes to our current practices,” Rick Petrella, chair of the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, said in a statement Friday. “We have always identified the health and safety of our staff and students as our number one priority, and we will continue to work hard to have in place all necessary health and safety strategies.”
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Secondary students will continue with on-site confirmation of screening for COVID-19 and all elementary students will also be required to screen daily and confirmed through a daily on-site screening test. The screening form can be found at www.bhncdsb.ca/sites/content/files/schools/user4981/Daily%20On-Site%20COVID-19%20Confirmation_0.pdf .
Secondary students at local Catholic schools return to in-person learning on Monday while elementary students return on Tuesday because Monday is a scheduled professional development day.
Health and safety guidelines include high quality masks for all students and N95 masks for staff. Rapid tests, and a very limited number of PCR tests, will be available to students and staff starting next week, Petrella said in a statement to parents.
As well, efforts to maintain physical distancing at lunch and during recess including the reinstatement of cohorting outdoors during recess, will be in place.
For further information about the return to in-person learning at area Catholic schools visit www.bhncdsb.ca/sites/content/files/schools/user4981/Daily%20On-Site%20COVID-19%20Confirmation_0.pdf .
The Grand Erie District School Board is also prepared for the return to in-person learning.
“We are looking forward to welcoming students back to in-person learning,” said JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education at Grand Erie. “Our principals, vice-principals, educators and staff will be working together with families to support building a culture of learning, well-being and belonging in as safe an environment as possible.”
-Enhanced daily screening with daily reminders and confirmation of screening in place.
– Enhanced masking options in place for staff.
– A return to some enhanced cohorting measures, including a focus on maintaining cohorting at recess and breaks, as possible.
– Athletics, choir ensembles and intramurals have been paused.
As well, the Grand Erie board, like the Catholic district boards has installed additional HEPA filters, adding to ventilation enhancement measures that already meeting provincial government requirements.
Roberto said families need to follow the screening process carefully noting it has been updated with more sensitive symptom information and new isolation requirements for symptomatic individuals and their household.
Information about the screening process can be found at www.covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ .
Information about isolation requirements can be found at www.granderie.ca/application/files/1516/4210/4817/COVID-At-Home-Protocol-01-05-2022-BCHU_Jan_2022.pdf .
An initial quantity of rapid antigen tests have been provided to the Grand Erie board and are being distributed to all schools, with a focus right now on elementary schools. The initial goal is to provide two tests for every student and staff member, Roberto said.
For more detailed information about the Grand Erie policies and procedures visit www.granderie.ca/board/parentportal/COVID-19-in-Grand-Erie-Schools/covid-19-guide-families/information-return-person-learning-jan-14-2022 .