Update from Director Scuglia (Dec. 15/21)

Dear Families,

With only a few days left until the Christmas break, I would like to share with you a few updates. But first, on behalf of the senior leadership team, I would like to once again express our deepest gratitude for your continued support as we work together to navigate the second year of this ever changing pandemic and provide safe learning environments for our students.

Rapid Antigen Test Kits

The Ministry of Education has provided one box of Rapid Antigen Tests for each student attending school in-person. Families are encouraged to use these optional tests to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 upon the return to school on January 3, 2022. Schools have distributed tests to students along with information about when and how to take these tests. Please see the letter from York Region’s Medical Officer of Health with some additional advice.

Message from the Minister of Education

In addition, please read this Message from the Minister of Education.

Public Health Guidelines

It is essential that we all continue to adhere to public health guidelines over the break, particularly with the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and information about the Omicron variant. As always, we will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available. You are also encouraged to visit the York Region Public Health website for up-to-date guidance.

Returning from Travel

We appreciate that many families have planned vacations over the break, and encourage you to continue to check travel advisories and requirements from the Government of Canada. It is important that families adhere to all testing and self-isolation requirements following travel, to help us protect the health and safety of our students and staff.

Please also be reminded that following York Region Public Health guidance, children under the age of 12 who are not fully vaccinated (2 doses) and travel outside of Canada with fully vaccinated adults may be exempt from quarantine rules, however, they are NOT allowed to attend school or childcare for 14 days after returning home. During this time, students will not qualify for hybrid learning; all learning would be asynchronous. Unvaccinated students who travel within Canada are permitted to attend school as long as they have no symptoms.

Screening Requirements upon Return to School

The Ministry of Education is requiring that students provide confirmation of COVID-19 screening when families return from the winter break. 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. We will implement the same process we used in September.

  • Elementary students will be sent home with a Daily Screening Confirmation Form that parents will sign and return to school each morning after completing the Provincial Screening Tool with their child.
  • Secondary students will receive a daily email reminder with a link to the Provincial Screening Tool. Confirmation that they completed and passed the screening will be done during morning attendance in their first period class.

School Transportation

Thank you students, families and staff for your understanding with respect to student transportation, as many of our bus operators continue to struggle with the delivery of service due to a number of challenges in this pandemic environment.

As we look to the new year we are hopeful our transportation partners will continue to secure new drivers to ensure service delivery, however, as we restart in January, please remember to check the late bus report at https://bp.schoolbuscity.com/Alerts for any potential delays and have alternative arrangements in the event transportation is cancelled, such as in the case of inclement weather. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation

Requesting a Change in Learning Modality

Between January 3 – 14, 2022, families wishing to change their learning modality selection can do so by:

  • Calling or emailing your current school office with your change request;
  • If staff are not able to answer your call, leave a message with your child’s name, grade and the change you are requesting – to either remote or in-person.
  • Families can expect the school to follow up and confirm the request by phone or email.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If no change is needed to your current modality selection, do not contact the school – no action is required.

Return to School in January

While we continue to plan for schools to reopen to in-person learning in January, we are prepared to move to virtual learning if that is required. Should the provincial government make an announcement regarding the timing of the Christmas break, we will communicate it to families as we receive information. Please remind your children to bring home all personal belongings, including personally-owned technology, they may need during the winter break.

On behalf of the senior leadership team, we wish you an enjoyable well-deserved break. May your Christmas season be filled with love, hope, peace and joy.

Yours in Christ,

Dom Scuglia

Director of Education