Dear Parents and Guardians, it is with great anticipation that we look forward to welcoming students back for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. It will be wonderful to see students in our hallways once again.
The purpose of this communication is to share with you the Return to School Guidance Document prepared to guide staff and families as they prepare for Startup. To access (through the NNDSB website) please follow this link: Return to School Guidance Document
The information contained within this Guidance Document falls within the Ministry of Education's current parameters and meets both provincial and local health authorities' regulations. It is critical to note that information and directives are in a state of frequent change. The material on the website document will be updated once received to reflect the most recent Ministry directives and public health recommendations.
As well, this material covers broad issues that impact all of our schools in the District. Please look for specific information, unique to your school communities, to come from your principals shortly.
Before highlighting a couple of items in the document, we would like to express our appreciation for reaching out with questions and concerns about sending your children back to school this September. This information has informed our research, planning and decisions over the last months.
Here are a few important items for parents and guardians as you prepare your children for the new school year (for the full document, and considerably more information, please access the link above).
- The NNDSB will use the "Conventional Model" with enhanced public health protocols directed by the Ministry of Education. This model will have students attending school five days a week, in direct or indirect contact with a maximum of 50 (Elementary) or 100 (Secondary) students daily.
- Parents and Guardians continue to have the option through completion of the NNDSB Survey (link below) to request their child(ren) not attend school physically but participate through At-HOME Distance Learning. (An extended deadline for the closing of pre-registration by completing the survey is Monday, August 24, 2020, at 4 p.m.. Suppose you have already preregistered your child(ren) but have changed your mind regarding your selections. In that case, you may register again, and it will automatically replace the previous information with your most recent entries). NNDSB Survey
- Student safety and well-being are the number one priority as we return to our school. Self-screening your children at home prior to them coming to school each day is critical for our school communities to be pro-active in preventing and reducing the spread of Covid-19. The following is a link to the Health Unit's Self-Screening Assessment: covid-19.ontario.ca. Students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear a mask indoors. Students five years and older will also be required to wear a mask to board a school bus and for K-Grade 3 students wearing a mask while in NNDSB school buildings is highly recommended. Hand-washing/sanitizing and physical distancing is required of all individuals entering our buildings, and training will be provided on these and other safety measures to both staff and students. Cleaning protocols of the building and the spaces used by students and staff is significantly enhanced.
- A staggered entry for all students to begin school is being considered to support the necessary health and safety processes and protocols required. Once a decision is made it will be immediately shared out with families.
The above items are a small fraction of the information you will find in the full Return to School Guidance Document (link provided above).
Finally, we believe this Guidance Document supports the Board's position that students' and staff's health and well-being is critical at this time, and that in combination with effective teaching and learning, is the correct stance as we welcome students and staff back to school.