SNCDSB Covid-19 Reopening Guidelines

SNCDSB Covid-19 Reopening Guidelines

Best Practices To Keep Everyone Safe and Healthy

The health and safety of workers is a top concern amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this time all stakeholders must place an increased focus on health and safety in order to keep facilities open and safe.

All measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be done in compliance with requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated Regulations and public health directives issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health. In addition, below are a set of resources, tips and best practices to help employers prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Guidelines for Staff and Individuals Accessing our Buildings

Protecting Yourself and Coworkers

Coronaviruses are spread through close contact, including at work. Here are some helpful tips to prevent the spread of infection:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
  • If you use a tissue, discard immediately and wash your hands afterward.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid high-touch areas, where possible, or ensure you clean your hands after.
  • Where possible, wear gloves when interacting with high-touch areas. Do not touch your face with gloved hands. Put on and remove gloves in a manner that avoids contamination of the hands. Ensure you wash your hands after removing gloves.
  • Wash your clothes as soon as you get home.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • If you are ill: notify your supervisor immediately, complete the self-assessment and follow the instructions you get.


The symptoms of COVID-19 can resemble a cold or the flu. At this time, it is recommended that any individual worker who is experiencing any symptoms related to cold, flu, or COVID-19 should be sent home. In addition, we advise you to immediately self-isolate and complete the online self-assessment or call either:

  • Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000
  • Your primary care provider (for example, family physician)

Please review the Self-Assessment Sheet

Please read the following very carefully.

According to Health Canada, symptoms can appear in as little as a few days, or as long as 14 days after being exposed to someone with the disease. COVID-19 can cause a range of symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

For some people, the symptoms are like having a cold; for others, they are quite severe or even life-threatening. It is important to check with your healthcare provider and follow instructions about staying home or away from public spaces to prevent the spread of the virus.

The virus typically spreads through coughing and sneezing, personal contact with an infected person, or touching an infected surface and then the mouth, nose, or eyes.

Close contact with a potentially infected person or touching potentially contaminated items (such as desks, keyboards, counters, door handles, hard surfaces, elevator buttons, etc.) are likely to pose the greatest exposure risks. Also, close contact with other people increases the risk of exposure to someone who may be infected.

Accessing SNCDSB Sites Protocol

We ask all staff and individuals that are entering our sites to abide by the following guidelines:

  • Enter site through the main entrance only
  • Stop at the check-in station and follow the following steps:
    • Wash your hands
    • Wear the reusable face shield and/or mask that is provided by the Board. (you will be denied entry to the site if you do not wear it). All staff including supply staff and volunteers will be provided a reusable Face Shield.
    • Read Self-Assessment Sheet and leave the site if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms
    • Head directly to your workstation or classroom and remain there unless accessing other areas within the facility
    • Maintain physical distancing of 2 meters at all times
    • Eat at your station or in your classroom
    • Bring your own food and cutlery
    • Do not share food or cutlery with other individuals
    • Abide by photocopying schedule and wash/hand sanitize your hands prior to touching the photocopy machine
    • It is recommended that you use a tissue to touch the photocopy machine
    • Wash your hands when entering or using all common areas
    • Respect physical distancing when accessing common areas
  • Using the designated washroom facilities:
    • Wipe seat with disinfecting wipes before and after using the toilet
    • Wash your hands immediately after usage of facilities
    • Wipe doors and any surfaces that you have touched
    • Wash your hands a second time prior to exiting the bathroom
    • It is recommended that you use a tissue on the door handle or use your feet when exiting the facilities.
    • Dispose of wipes in garbage cans

Package Delivery Protocol (for receiving packages)

  • Wear gloves during the whole time
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • When possible, request a contactless delivery
  • Request the driver to place the package down rather than handing the item directly to you to maintain physical distancing
  • Avoid the use of shared materials
  • Use your own pen when signing for the delivery and avoid the use of shared pens
  • If you are required to use a stylus or your finger to sign for receipt of the delivery, wipe down the keypad before use
  • Open the package in the designated area
  • Upon opening the delivery immediately dispose of the packaging and the used gloves
  • Sanitize the item
  • Clean and sanitize exposed areas
  • Clean and sanitize any areas the package came into contact with such as tabletops, counters, or floor area (where it was placed), etc.
  • Wash your hands immediately after cleaning and sanitizing the potentially exposed areas

Students Return to School Plan

The reopening of Superior North Catholic District School Board Schools is guided by the following principles:

  • Protecting the health and safety of students and staff
  • Follow the guidelines set out by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Provide students with some familiarity with school routines for social/emotional/academic learning
  • Provide clear expectations for staff and students during this new learning

Guidelines for Full Return to School Model with Enhanced Safety Measures

Due to our small classrooms sizes, we are fortunate to be able to offer in-school full day instructions with enhanced Health and Safety Measures. Please refer to the following articleCOVID-19: Recommendations for School Reopening about recommendations from Sick Kids Hospital on School Reopening.

Staff are asked to adhere to the reopening guidelines to ensure their safety and the safety of their students.

The following expectations and procedures are in place to ensure the health safety and hygiene standards are met.

In general:

  • All movement around and within the building is to happen with the expected 2 meters distance
  • Students and staff are not to be in school if they show any symptoms of illness and must be symptom-free for 48 hours before returning
  • Staff and students may not enter the building before their arrival time
  • Students will access the building at the bell or at the staggered time. Students may not access the school before the bell.
  • Staff and students will enter the building through the main entrance and head directly to their classroom or workstation
  • Schools may choose alternate entrances or several entrances for different groups of students. This decision will have to be made with the approval of the school Superintendent.
  • Students will line up for dismissal and are brought outside by their teacher

Expectations for Students

  • Students will be allowed in the building at the assigned staggered start time (bus arrival may be staggered)
  • Students enter the building without parents at their assigned entrance door and head directly to their classroom
  • Students must sanitize hands when entering the classroom
  • Students must adhere to the 2-meter rule when entering and exiting the building
  • Students are to bring only the minimum that is needed
  • All student belongings are to be taken directly to their classroom with them
  • In order for these arrangements to work well, it is really important for students and parents to stick to these times and guidelines as much as possible
  • Students who arrive late must enter using the main entrance. Students need to sign in at the office and go directly to their classrooms.
  • Students will be taken to the dismissal point by teachers. When parents are there to pick up their child, the student will be released by the teachers.
  • Walkers may leave school.

Dropping Off/Picking Up Students

  • Parents will arrive at the assigned staggered start time and dismissal time (if staggered time is put in place). It is very important to keep to these times to encourage social distancing.
  • Parents drop off their child/ren outside of the building.
  • Parents are encouraged to allow their child/ren to make the last part of the journey into school independently.
  • Parents will wait in their car and will pick up their child/ren at the doors


In discussion with the consortium and awaiting their plans.

Students Class Grouping

To prepare for the in-school learning model, teachers in consultation with EAs and the principal will be asked to create groups of up to 15 children that become a class for the duration of the year. The class size maximum of 15 is based on a classroom size of 750 square feet. Classes are assigned in accordance with the square footage of the classroom. This list will have to be approved by the Superintendent and Re-opening Committee prior to the opening of the school.

Entering and Exiting the Classroom

Beginning of the day:

  • Students will bring all their belongings with them to the classroom, including their coats and bags
  • Students will place their coats on the back of their chair and their bag(s) next to them
  • Students must wash and rinse their hands thoroughly for 40 seconds (PS Handwashing Lesson)
  • Once their hands are washed, they are then ready to begin the day

During the day:

  • Students must wash their hands throughout the day; this is at the beginning of the day, after recess, after using the facilities or any other time they re-enter the room or it is felt hand washing is necessary
  • Physical Education is cancelled until further notice. Teachers are encouraged to bring students outside to play in lieu of physical education or practice DPA in the classrooms.

End of the day:

  • Students put on their coats and place their bags on their back/shoulder
  • Students wash their hands before lining up to be taken to their exit

Expectations Around the Usage of Materials

Classrooms and the use of school materials:

  • Custodians will maintain the sanitizing of the classroom and materials
  • All materials must be washed daily. If they cannot be washed they must be packed away.
  • All school materials stay at school; no home materials are brought to school with the exception of pencil boxes, which then stays at school
  • Students bring their own pencil boxes from home that remain at school
  • Teachers will assign a basket of material for every student, which may include scissors, glue, crayons, markers, workbooks, literacy and numeracy resources, manipulative etc. Teachers will determine what needs to be included in the basket. The basket and materials will be provided by the Board.
  • Students cannot bring personal toys to school
  • Students may not share materials

Toys and manipulatives:

  • Kindergarten teachers are asked to select toys and manipulatives for their students to use during the day. These items must be easily washed in the dishwasher at the end of the day.
  • All materials, toys and manipulatives to be washed after school
  • Soft toys and pillows/cushions/blankets are to be removed from the classroom.
  • iPads, chromebooks, laptops, computer mouse, etc. must not be shared while using
  • Need to be wiped before and after use several times daily with wipes
  • Students must wash hands before and after use

Other materials:

  • Promethean Board markers must be wiped down after each use
  • Class pencils/pens/scissors/glue sticks/rulers are assigned to students and used by the same student for the year
  • Other art materials i.e. paints, pastels etc. used, cleaned and then packed away
  • No playdough/plasticine/clay is to be used unless it’s included in the students basket and no sharing occurs
  • iPads and chromebooks are not to be shared and students will be asked to wipe them before and after use.

Classroom libraries:

  • Classrooms will not have classroom libraries and instead:
    • Kindergarten: a small selection of books will be available daily. Once a child has read the book, it is to be packed away and cleaned at the end of the day.
    • Grades 1 to 8: students have their reading book/s which they keep with their other belongings. If it is finished it is then cleaned and packed away.
    • Teachers have a box of books relevant for the day which they use, clean and pack away.

Health and Safety Guidelines

Emergency Learning: Health and Safety Guidelines

Sick Students:

Students who show any signs of illness may not attend school.

Principals are asked to choose a room in the school that will be used for sick students in consultation with their Superintendent. This room will be used as an isolation room for students with symptoms. The gym may also be utilized if more space is needed.

Parents are asked NOT to send their child to school if he or she is showing any symptoms of illness and NOT to send their child/ren to school if any member of the household has symptoms of Covid-19.

Students who show signs of illness or have a temperature of 37.8 C (100 F) or higher will be sent home from school. The students will be asked to stay in a dedicated room and wear a mask while waiting for their parents to pick them up. Chairs are placed at a minimum of six feet apart. Adults are asked to wear PPE while supervising the ill students (gowns, gloves, masks and face shield).

The office will phone a parent and/or emergency contacts to arrange the immediate pick up of their sick child. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit will be contacted for direction for next steps.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing:

Students will enter school at the main entrance, one at a time, two meters apart and will remain two meters apart the entire school day.

Two-meter Distance:

  • Two-meter markers will be placed throughout the school
  • Students will be separated by two meters throughout the school day both in the class and when transitioning to/from recess.



  • All adults and students will be wearing masks. Masks are mandatory for students Grade 4-8. We highly recommend JK-3 wear masks. Please note in Grade 3/4 splits, masks will be mandatory for all students.


Cleaning of the Building:

  • Hand sanitizers will be placed inside each building entry door, outside classroom doors and in every classroom
  • High touch surfaces like banisters, door handles, light switches, elevator buttons etc. will be sanitized on a continuous basis throughout the day by the custodians
  • Toilets and sinks will be sanitized on a continuous basis throughout the day by the custodians

Bathroom Procedures

  • Students are asked to wash their hands in their classroom prior to using the facilities
  • A limit of two students accessing the facilities at a time
  • Markers of 3 meters (6 feet distance) are indicated outside the bathroom doors in order to help student with social distancing

Breakfast Club, Lunch and Snack Procedures

All students will eat snacks and lunch in their classroom.

Breakfast clubs will be operating during the entire school year. Volunteers are asked to wear masks or face shields and gloves while in the building. Breakfast will be provided to classrooms in an individual paper bag, one per student. This will be delivered to the students prior to their arrival. No contact will be made between volunteers and students.

Please follow the below guidelines:

  • All students and staff wash their hands before eating breakfast, a snack and lunch
  • All students and staff wash their hands after eating a snack and lunch
  • Students sit in their designated spot in class for lunch. This spot should be at a two-meter distance from others in the classroom
  • Custodians use the provided disinfectant to thoroughly clean the tables after students have eaten


Lunch is provided at a staggered time. Please consult the following schedule example which will assist you in creating your own school schedule. Students may leave the premises to eat lunch at home at their scheduled time.

Class 1

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person A
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person D
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian A

Class 2

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person A
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person D
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian A

Class 3

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person A
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person D
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian A

Class 4

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person A
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person D
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian A

Class 5

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person B
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person C
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian B

Class 6

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person B
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person C
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian B

Class 7

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person B
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person C
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian B

Class 8

Lunch: 12:00 pm - Person B
Outdoor Playtime: 12:20 pm - Person C
Cleaning Schedule: 12:20 pm - Custodian B

Outdoor Playtime

Students should at least have two recesses during the day. This is imperative for their mental health and well-being. These recesses will also be used in lieu of physical education classes. Please schedule recess during the instructional time.

The revised recess schedule will be created to provide increased outdoor playtime for all students and limit the number of students on the playground at one time. Students go out to play with their classroom teacher and 2 groups of students at a time. Groups of students remain separate outside.

Student expectations for outdoor play:

  • Students are asked to wash their hands prior to going outside to play.
  • Students are expected to follow the school rules and cooperate when instructed and directed
  • Students are expected to adhere to all new procedures so the school can follow the safety guidelines
  • As per the health and safety guidelines, students must play only with their designated group of 15
  • Students who struggle to meet the new expectations will not be permitted on the playground
  • Students must maintain a two-meter distance when playing
  • Students will have access to playground equipment. This access is scheduled by group.

Student Concerns

Staff are asked to closely monitor the emotional well-being of students in the new learning environment. Parents are also asked to share any concerns with their child’s classroom teacher.

We ask you to be particularly aware of the following situations and issues:

  • Reluctant students*
  • Social/emotional concerns including new concerns because of the new learning environment and guidelines, class, friendships
  • Behaviour/disciplinary issues
  • General academic concerns
  • Late and absent students
  • Child protection issues

*students who are not agreeable to coming to school, who have difficulty separating from parents, who refuse to enter the building, who make excuses during the day to be sent home

Concern: Reluctant Student
Response: Staff will make reasonable efforts to encourage students to enter and stay in school. Students who are not able to cooperate easily, a re-entry plan is created with our mental health team.

Concern: Social/Emotional Issues
Response: Staff will report students of concern to their principal and our mental health team. Students may be referred to our service providers.

Concern: Behaviour/Disciplinary
Response: There is an enhanced expectation for students to follow school rules, classroom agreements and cooperate when instructed and directed. Students are also expected to adhere to the new hygiene and distancing procedures so the school can follow the guidelines for health and safety. Teachers are asked to educate their students on the importance and the reason for the new hygiene and distancing procedures. 

If students refuse to respect the above, next steps will be determined on a case by case basis.

Concern: Late/Absence (school and/or online)
Response: Regular recording of attendance and tardies will continue. Parents will be contacted if attendance is a concern. Please follow the Attendance Counsellor Guidelines provided by the Board.

Concern: General Academic Concerns
Response: Please discuss academic concerns as a school team and Principals are asked to bring any concerns to the School Superintendent.

Concern: Child Protection Issues
Response: The same child protection procedures and guidelines are in place. Staff should inform child protection immediately.

Teaching and Learning

This is a new learning situation. Our goal is to provide students with some familiarity of school routines for social/emotional/academic learning in a school environment. Lessons will be designed to provide practice for consolidating skills and will focus on some new learning, where possible. Teachers will use teaching materials, strategies and teaching styles that are familiar to the students. The academic work for students will be as familiar and as independent as possible. Spiraling and narrowing of the curriculum is recommended in order to help reduce the learning gaps.

Please note: we may need to change our plan due to the current circumstances and revert to the hybrid model or distance learning.


SNCDSB Cleaning and Disinfection plan  

Sick Kids - COVID-19 Recommendations for School Reopening

Ministry of Education: Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak - Child Care Re-opening

Infographic on 2020-21 Re-Opening Plan
"Together We Educate Heart, Mind and Soul."