Parents » Maintaining Safe Schools

Maintaining Safe Schools

END-OF-YEAR MESSAGE TO ADSB FAMILIES 
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LATEST UPDATES FROM ADSB, MINISTRY, &/OR ALGOMA PUBLIC HEALTH
 
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REMINDERS FROM ALGOMA PUBLIC HEALTH
We must continue to choose our actions wisely to keep our schools and our school communities healthy and safe :
  • Stay home if you're sick.
  • Keep two metres distance from people you don’t live with.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Wear your face covering.
  • Remember to practice kindness.
  • To stay safe, we should all stay local.
 
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COVID-19 UPDATED SCREENING TOOL 
Updated: March 03, 2021  Changes to the COVID-19 school and child care screening include: updated symptom screening criteria and sibling/household isolation information.

Answer the questions to help you decide if you should or should not go to school/child care today. 
  • Everyone in your household must stay home if anyone has COVID-19 symptoms or is waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms.
  • Stay home until the person with symptoms gets a negative COVID-19 test result, or is cleared by public health, or is diagnosed with another illness.
  • This screening cannot diagnose you. If you have medical questions, consult a health care provider or your local public health unit.  
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If you as a parent or family have any questions, please be sure to contact the main line at your child's elementary or secondary school. ADSB school phone numbers can be found by following the red link.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 
(January 13, 2021) Masking will now be compulsory for all students in Grades 1-3. Reasonable exceptions on the requirement to wear masks will apply. This masking requirement will be additional to the existing requirement for students in Grades 4-12. Students in Kindergarten will continue to be encouraged to wear masks, but it is not required. We continue to have a supply of washable, reusable masks at our schools to support families who require them.
 
Masking requirements will also be in place for specified outdoor activities where physical distancing is not possible. The use of masks for students in Grades 1 to 12 will also be required if/when students are being transported by ADSB or Algoma Huron-Superior Transportation Consortium (AHSTC).  
 
The following information with respect to removing and storing a non-medical mask is provided by Public Health Services Canada:
How to remove a non-medical mask or face covering:
1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
o If none is available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
2. Remove the face covering by un-tying it or removing the loops from your ears.
o Avoid touching the front of the mask when removing it.
3. Store the face covering in a paper bag, envelope, or something that does not retain moisture if
you will be wearing it again.
4. After removing the face covering, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
Additional information on masks can be found by following this link to Public Health Services Canada.. 
Last updated: March 03, 2021
Changes to the COVID-19 school and child care screening include: updated symptom screening criteria and sibling/household isolation information.
  • Everyone in your household must stay home if anyone has COVID-19 symptoms or is waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms.
  • Stay home until the person with symptoms gets a negative COVID-19 test result, or is cleared by public health, or is diagnosed with another illness.
  • This screening cannot diagnose you. If you have medical questions, consult a health care provider or your local public health unit.  
 
Cleaning Infographic
 
As the identification of 2019-nCoV is very recent, it is unlikely that any hard surface disinfectants today include this virus on the label claim. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended in the past that for another coronavirus threat (MERS-CoV), disinfectants with a coronavirus claim would be suitable for disinfecting environmental surfaces.VERT-2-GO SABER has a specific coronavirus label claim and a general virucidal claim. VERT-2-GO SABER is a natural choice for hard surface disinfectant when coronavirus disinfection is a concern.
 
ADSB offered a Summer Wellness Line through the summer of 2020 to provide support for all caregivers of ADSB students, as well as students themselves. Trained counselling staff provided everything from wellness tips to struggles with excessive worry and depressed mood. Our counsellors were also able to provide support to parents regarding parenting questions and talking to young people about COVID-19 in age appropriate ways.
 
While the Summer Wellness Line is now closed, we moved back to school-based support services beginning on September 1st. 
 
ADSB now has our full complement of school counsellors available along with our board’s multi-disciplinary team to assist with transitional supports. In addition, we also provide two (2) Mental Health Workers in schools that specialize in supporting high school students with more complex mental health needs. We have also established great partnerships with our community mental health service providers and hospitals throughout the district to assist with additional support services.
 
With respect to eating and drinking at school, it is expected that:
• Cafeteria services are NOT available for intermediate and secondary students and students must eat in the classroom with the assigned cohort;
• Staff and students will perform proper hand hygiene before & after eating;
• Students will bring their own, individual meal or snack with no common food items and shall eat in the classroom;
• Students are to bring a personal drink bottle that is labelled, kept with them during the day and not shared;
• Water bottles are to be filled rather than students and staff drinking directly from the mouthpiece of water fountains;
• Schools will remove self-serving food items and microwave use is not permitted;
• Multi-use utensils must be cleaned after each use;
• Non-instructional activities that involve students in preparing or serving food are not permitted;
• Third party food services, including nutrition programs, will be delivered in a way that any student who wishes to participate can do so; all surfaces, bins and food containers for food are to be disinfected before and after use;
• Breaks will likely be staggered (depending on school layout and size);
• Weather permitting, breaks are to be outside with cohorts in designated areas (this provides a time for no masks);
• For elementary students, shorter lunch breaks with additional outdoor breaks may be implemented.
Students’ personal items and belongings brought to school (ie. backpack, clothing, sunscreen, water bottle, food) ought to be minimized, labelled and stored separately in lockers or designated areas.
 
Elementary Students 
If you decide to move from in-class learning to remote learning, after the year starts, there may be a transition time to allow us to establish program and staff.
 
If you choose remote learning, you do so with the understanding that you are not able to return to on-site learning until January, 2021 due to health measures, cohorts and contact tracing measures.
 
Secondary Students
If you decide to move from in-class learning to remote learning, we cannot guarantee course availability and the transition may take up to 2 weeks to establish program and staff.
 
If you decide to move from remote learning to in-class learning, this will only occur at the change of the quadmester (mid November, February or mid April) and you must provide 2 weeks of advance notice.
In June, 2020 the Ministry of Education released a Reopening Guideline for schools which provided guidance on how Consortia can work with the Transportation Providers to provide safer transportation for students. The guidelines encourage active forms of travel (eg. walking and cycling) and parents and caregivers to drive students to school where possible, to ease the pressure on transportation during Covid-19.
 
In order to support the return to school 5 days per week, Consortia will likely require more than one student per seat and to operate close to capacity. The use of non-medical masks in Grades 4 to 12 will be required on school buses. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged to wear masks, recognizing this may be more difficult for younger children to do for longer periods of time (exceptions may also be made for students with medical conditions or special needs). There will also be measures put in place (where feasible) to assist with contact tracing in the event a student or driver contracts Covid-19. Students in the same household or cohort will be seated together. Masks and eye protection will be provided for school bus drivers and will not interfere with the safe operation of vehicles, but rather is intended to protect drivers during close contact with students such as boarding and exiting. Enhanced cleaning of buses will occur at least twice daily and hand sanitizer will be available on vehicles.
 
If there are any questions or concerns please contact the Algoma Huron-Superior Transportation Consortium at 705-945-5642.
Schools will work to determine the best way to manage pick-up and drop-off times for students that respect physical distancing measures. These procedures will include students who are bused to school and those who walk. For example, buses may be the only vehicles allowed into the parking lot, while areas may be designated away from the school for parents to park legally and walk their children from there at the designated time. Families will be encouraged to use active transportation, such as walking or biking to school if they live within the walking zone. We appreciate parents driving their children to school to reduce bus capacity, but please be patient with the procedures and protocols that schools will have to establish.
For the safety of everyone in the school, the Health Units are advising us to limit the number of
visitors. Visits to the school and on-site child-care centres will be by appointment only. Wherever
possible, telephone meetings will be held with parents and guardians. If you need to get in touch with someone at the school, you will be able to call or email the school directly. Unscheduled visitors and family members – including parents – will not be able to informally step into the school, including at arrival and departure times, to speak with staff. Aside from scheduled appointments, parents and guardians will only be able to enter the school in case of emergency. Volunteers also will be asked not to come in to schools until health officials indicate it is safe for more visitors to enter.