Parents » Safe Return to School - January 2022

Safe Return to School - January 2022

Vaccination Consent Forms
(February 1, 2022) Today, School Boards were directed by the Ministry of Education to send vaccination consent forms to all families of students aged 5-11 years, noting that, “While  individuals aged 12 years and older have higher rates of vaccination, the government, in partnership with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is working to increase vaccination rates for children ages 5-11 on a voluntary basis, to further protect against COVID-19 and variants. To date, 18.6% of children 5-11 years of age have been vaccinated with first and second doses.”
Please find below a consent form that you may complete and return to your child’s school by February 8th.  Please note that this does not mean that a daytime vaccine clinic will be held at every school. Returned forms will be reviewed and where sufficient interest is warranted, clinics may be offered.  If you require a paper copy of the consent form, please call your child’s school and one will be sent home with your child.  
It is important to note that participation in school-based clinics is voluntary.  Under no circumstances will a child be vaccinated in a school day clinic without parental consent.  
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ALL elementary and secondary students must self-screen, every day, before coming to school. Once at school, teachers will be asking students to confirm that they have self-screened. Students will be asked to raise their hand to confirm that they have self-screened. As this is a new practice for elementary students, we appreciate your support in reminding young children that their teacher will ask and that they are to raise their hand to confirm they screened at home. This daily on-site screening will only occur for the first two weeks of school. To assist you with screening your children, please follow this link to the online screening tool.  Or you may wish to print a copy of the symptom chart.
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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(January 18,  2022)  This week, all elementary students who are attending school in-person will receive 2 Rapid Antigen Test kits to bring home.  Secondary students will also be receiving Rapid Antigen Test kits once elementary distribution is complete.  These test kits can be used if your child is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or requires testing.   Instructions on how to use the Rapid Antigen Tests kits are attached below.  Please note that regardless of the results of the Rapid Antigen Test, students are expected to isolate for at least 5 days when experiencing a symptom that is related to COVID-19.
testing chart

Students in Grades 1-12 must continue to wear a cloth (triple layer is best) or medical mask and masking continues to be strongly recommended for Kindergarten students. Other face coverings (ie. neck gaiter or handkerchief) are no longer permissible.  The government is providing students with expanded access to free, high quality three-ply cloth masks. These will be available to students and although not mandatory, students will be encouraged to use them.  The purpose of this measure is to encourage students to use a higher quality mask than some of the single or two-ply masks that some may currently be relying upon, given the spread of the Omicron variant.   

Students in Grades 1 to 12 are required to wear properly fitted  masks indoors, including in hallways and during classes, as well as on school vehicles. Masks may be temporarily removed indoors to  consume food or drink, with a minimum distance of two metres maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible within a class cohort.

Students who require a mask exemption are to contact the school Principal. (Note: School staff, visitors and bus drivers are also required to wear medical masks and, depending on their role, additional personal protective equipment).

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.. 
We would appreciate your participation in voluntarily letting us know if your child is vaccinated, using the following.  ADSB Student Voluntary COVID Vaccination Status
As noted, the information will be collected and stored by ADSB and shared with your child’s school Principal and with Algoma Public Health, if necessary, to facilitate timely COVID-19 case and contact management.
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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ADSB has offered a Summer Wellness Line through the summer of 2021 to provide support for all caregivers of ADSB students, as well as students themselves. Trained counselling staff provide everything from wellness tips to struggles with excessive worry and depressed mood. Our counsellors are also able to provide support to parents regarding parenting questions and talking to young people about COVID-19 in age appropriate ways.
In September, we will move back to school-based support services and will have 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.