Dear Staff and Families,
On Wednesday, the Government of Ontario announced they were lifting many health and safety restrictions at schools. As a parent, with a child in our system, I fully recognize the many sacrifices we have all made throughout this pandemic, and the stress and strain it has put on all of us as a Catholic community.
As we move into this next phase mandated by the province, I am hopeful that this is a step in the right direction which will lead to a return to our normal school routines. As has always been the case, we will implement these Ministry requirements in consultation with our Public Health Units keeping the health and safety of our students, staff and community at the forefront.
To provide clarity, I wanted to communicate with all of you the following list of changes:
Starting March 21, students and staff will no longer be required to wear a mask at school, in school board offices and on student transportation. We understand that not all staff and students may feel comfortable attending without a mask, and all are welcome to continue to wear a mask if they so choose. Wearing a mask at school is recommended for individuals who are immunocompromised. Additionally, we will continue to provide schools with personal protective equipment, including masks, and rapid antigen tests. Enhanced cleaning and ventilation will remain in place.
As of March 21, on-site screening will no longer be required for students and staff. Those attending school should continue to self-screen using the province’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool.
Cohorting and Reporting
Starting March 21, the province will no longer require cohorting of students outside or inside.
The board will continue to post a daily attendance summary and report absences according to direction from the Ministry of Education.
There have been changes to the requirements around the need for close contacts of COVID-19 cases to isolate and they are less stringent to how they were in the past. These changes depend upon who is symptomatic in your household and your vaccination status. It is extremely important that you use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. every day, to ensure you are not isolating unnecessarily.
Schools will once again be able to gather together in liturgies, assemblies, graduations and in other celebrations as a Catholic school community. We will work diligently as a board to ensure that any of the gatherings are done in the safest way possible.
March Break Travel
For those who are travelling internationally during March Break, please note under current federal travel requirements and upon return from international travel, individuals must wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including schools and child care), maintain a list of all close contacts, and monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for your first 14 days in Canada.
I would like to reinforce that as a parent and a staff member, it is your choice as to whether you or your child choose to remove your mask. As a respectful Catholic community we will ensure that whatever your decision is, it will be honoured and accepted.
Rest assured that all schools will continue to have in place all necessary health and safety measures in terms of hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and disinfection and having made significant improvements in ventilation and air filtration. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work together to keep our students, staff, and school communities safe while transitioning to a more hopeful stage of the pandemic.
Chair of the Board