As we prepare for schools to reopen for in-person learning, there are a few important updates the Board would like to share with families.
Potential class and school closures
As staff members and students are required to self-isolate with increased cases of COVID-19, schools may encounter operational challenges. Please be aware that there may be occasions when classrooms or schools are required to close to in-person learning and move to virtual learning for a period of time. Schools will notify families as soon as possible when this is the case. Families are asked to develop a routine of checking email regularly at the start and end of every day for important communication from the school and Board given our circumstances.
Information from York Region Public Health
Please read this update from York Region Public Health that includes important information about:
- COVID-19 screening
- what to do if your child develops symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19
- public health measures
As York Region Public Health is no longer actively managing cases and dismissing cohorts, daily screening for students and staff is more important than ever. Similar to the start of the year, students and families will be required to complete the confirmation of screening before coming to school each morning.
As a reminder from our previous message, York Region Public Health has mandated that all students in JK-Grade 12 wear masks throughout the day.
Reporting of Cases
We know families have many questions about the public reporting of school cases, following the Government of Ontario’s announcement that school cases will no longer be reported. In place of reporting COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Education is requiring schools to monitor and report on the number of student and staff absences (personal information will not be shared). The Ministry will be sharing these numbers publicly beginning the week of January 24. We remain committed to being transparent with our families and will ensure this information is accessible on the COVID-19 reporting page on our Board website.
In addition, as noted above, there may be occasions when classrooms or schools are required to close to in-person learning as a result of isolation requirements. We will also share data on classroom and school closures on the COVID-19 reporting page on our Board website.
Transportation schedules for students will be the same as the schedules followed September to December (before the school closures). Students who were attending school and transported during the closure period will revert to their schedule prior to school closure. For more information about your route, please visit: net.schoolbuscity.com.
As bus drivers are also required to isolate with increased cases of COVID-19, bus routes may encounter challenges obtaining replacement driver coverage. Please be aware that there may be occasions when bus routes may be canceled and families will need to make alternate transportation arrangements or shift to virtual learning for a period of time. Schools will notify families as soon as possible when this is the case. Families of bused students are asked to check net.schoolbuscity.com every morning to verify bus runs and cancellations.
Please note that, currently, the forecast for Monday, January 17, includes the potential for significant snowfall. Similar to last school year, we have made the decision to close schools to students when an inclement weather day is declared and school transportation is cancelled. If an Inclement Weather day is declared, all students will be provided with asynchronous learning activities for the day. Please do not send your child to school when an inclement weather day is declared.
Short-Term Learning Model Change Requests
We recognize students may need to move to virtual learning for isolation reasons for a short term. Families should inform their school administration if online learning is needed for shorter term isolation reasons ( e.g., five days).
Long-Term Learning Model Change Requests
When schools reopen, requests may continue to be made to move between in-person learning and remote learning. Families should contact their school about the decision to change learning Models for a longer term. We encourage families to commit to their learning model choice until Family Day, February 21, 2022 Please note that transportation provision for those eligible may take some time to coordinate.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we moved to remote learning for the past two weeks. We look forward to welcoming our students back to in-person school on Monday. For more information and resources, please visit www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening or follow us on Twitter @YRDSB. We will continue to share information with you as it becomes available.