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Letter to Parents and Guardians regarding the Event of a Classroom Closure

Letter to Parents and Guardians regarding the Event of a Classroom Closure
Posted on 03/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We are writing today to notify you of the new direction received from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit regarding testing guidelines and when to return to school. This may result in a classroom or a school being temporarily closed and pivoting to Remote Learning. This could occur for any number of reasons including a staff illness, unavailable supply coverage to replace permanent staff, or a recommendation from public health to name a few. All schools in Ontario will be navigating these potential issues and challenges. Supply staff shortages are not just a local issue but a provincial one.

At Superior North Catholic District School Board we remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our students, staff and communities. We continue to work closely with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and modify our school plans based on their recommendations.

The following directions have been provided by the Thunder Bay Health Unit:

Follow the directions in Ontario's COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool, which are also outlined here:

Staff, students and children with any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home until:

  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result;
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional; OR
  • It has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.

If your child has 1 or more symptoms, they should stay home and self-isolate immediately. Contact the Assessment Centre nearest you to make an appointment for COVID-19 testing. Contact your health care provider for further advice or assessment.

Siblings, parents/guardians, and other household members of individuals with symptoms should also be self-isolating until the test result comes back negative, they are cleared by local public health, or they are diagnosed with another illness. If any household members develop symptoms, they should arrange testing as well.

If any person in your household is considered a high-risk contact of someone who has COVID-19, any students in the household should NOT attend school in-person during the risk period. Work with your child's school to determine alternative options. (Note that this is NOT in the Ontario screening tool and must be considered separately.)

Under the direction set out by Thunder Bay District Health Unit to reduce the risk of COVID-19, it is important that students and staff with any symptom do not attend school until they are no longer at risk of spreading infection. Parents and caregivers must screen their child(ren) every day and keep their child(ren) home if they have symptoms. Schools must send anyone who has symptoms or appears to be unwell home from school.

In the event that a school or classroom would have to shift from in-person learning, students would receive instruction from their classroom teacher from home remotely. As a Google for Education Board, our schools will continue to offer learning to our students through the use of Google Classroom to ensure a smooth transition for our students should this situation arise. We are currently in the process of working on an instructional plan that would support educators' and students' needs. Chromebooks have been provided to all of our students from Grade 1-8 and should a classroom have to be closed arrangements would be made to distribute these Chromebooks for at-home use.

Our schools continue to adapt to a changing situation and we are working to ensure guidelines are followed to protect our students and staff.

Should you have any questions or concerns please contact your school Principal.

Sincerely,

Maria Vasanelli

Director of Education

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