Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As we approach this coming Easter weekend, then the final few months of the school year, Near North District School Board (NNSDB) wants to remind families of the COVID-19 practices that help us maintain safe learning environments for students and staff.
While masking for staff and students across the province is encouraged but no longer required, please remember that there are still situations where students are required to be masked while at school.
Students should remain masked for:
- 14 days upon arriving back in Canada after travelling;
- 10 days from initial exposure when they are a household member of a COVID-19 positive case/individual;
- 10 days after last exposure date when they have been identified as a close contact;
- 10 days total after symptom onset should they test positive for COVID-19;
- 48 hours after getting a COVID-19 vaccine or flu shot.
Masks continue to be available at all schools if students require one.
A reminder that students should continue to do the COVID-19 School and Childcare Screener each day before coming to school.
Masks will no longer be required for students, staff, visitors and spectators in schools, school board offices and on student transportation. Eye protection for staff will also no longer be required. Some students and staff may choose to continue wearing masks and eye protection.
Cohorting and distancing are no longer required in schools. Assigned seats and cohorting will no longer be required in student transportation.
Elementary students can play and learn together across cohorts, classes and grades, indoors and outdoors, and during lunch and recess. Shared spaces such as libraries, tech labs, theatres and music rooms can be fully utilized without distancing.
Limitations on in-person gatherings and assemblies are also removed.
NNDSB continues to use rapid antigen tests (RATs) to support symptomatic testing only for staff and students. Schools are expected to continue distributing RATs to staff and students who return from an unplanned absence.
Many workplaces are short-staffed due to the transmissibility of new variants of COVID-19, and the requirements around self-isolating. NNDSB has been experiencing staff shortages, too.
If schools are not able to safely operate with the number of available staff, NNDSB will close schools. The announcement may be made the night before, the morning of the closure, or possibly even during the day in certain circumstances.
If a school is closed, it will be communicated to affected families by the school through SchoolMessenger. Information may also be shared on the affected school’s social media accounts.
While schools may be closed, learning will continue online when possible. Teachers will reach out to families about remote learning opportunities in the event of a school closure.
Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Services (NPSSTS), the consortium that provides busing services to the four co-terminus school boards, is also experiencing increasing levels of driver shortages due to COVID-19. NPSSTS has provided this communiqué to families to outline steps being taken and how families might be impacted.
Because of a shortage of spare drivers many routes are being doubled, resulting in delays, Sometimes, the driver shortage forces route cancellations. These are posted on NPSSTS’s delays and cancellations page of their website.
Though no longer mandated, NPSSTS encourages everyone to wear a well-fitting mask when riding on a school bus.
In addition to staying informed via the board’s website, families can find NNDSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We thank our school communities for their cooperation as we work hard to ensure our schools stay safe and open for learning. NNDSB will continue to update families in a timely manner.
Near North District School Board