What measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19?
Strategies to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus include:
- Daily screening for all staff and students
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting routines, including daily cleaning for all areas of the school, washrooms and high-touch surface cleaned several times a day and a regularly scheduled deep cleaning when students are not present
- Strict stay-at-home policy for any students or staff exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19
- Physical distancing guidelines
- Reorganization of rooms to allow for more physical space
- Students in Grade 4 to 12 and staff will wear masks when physical distancing cannot be achieved, when browing for books and when using computers.
- Cohorting of students by class where possible
- Hand hygiene expectations when entering and exiting the school, before and after eating
- Continual reminders of the importance of respiratory etiquette (e.g. cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching the face and disposal of used tissues promptly, followed by hand hygiene)
- A no sharing policy, all students should have their own supplies
- Where sharing of equipment is required, the equipment should be cleaned between uses
- Posters to reinforce measures will be strategically placed in classrooms and around the school.
- Guiding foot traffic flow through entrances and hallways by using markers on the floor
- Assemblies and other large school-wide events will be held virtually
What do I need to do before my child comes to school?
Parents should monitor their child for symptoms. Before leaving home each day, parents are expected to screen their child using the Daily Screening Questionnaire. Anyone who reports symptoms should stay home, seek health care advice as appropriate (eg. Call Health Link 8-1-1, your primary health care practitioner, or 9-1-1 for emergency response), and fill out the AHS Online Self-Assessment tool to determine if the child should be tested.
Ensure your child has washed their hands before arrival and that they know to stay 2 metres from their fellow students/teachers. If you are dropping off your child, please do not leave your vehicle.
Please send your child with a filled personally labeled water bottle and a cloth or reusable mask.
What do students do upon arrival at school?
Drop-off/pick-up times will be staggered to limit the number of students entering the building at one time. Staff will be stationed at doors and students will receive a spray of liquid hand sanitizer and then proceed to their classrooms. Please see your school's web site for schedules and procedures.
Will staff and students be expected to wear masks?
All staff and students in Grades 4 to 12 must wear masks in all circulation areas, common areas, when moving around any instructional space, and when working face-to-face or in close contact with any other person. Students in Grade 4 to 12 may remove their masks when seated at their desks, physically distanced from others (including the teacher), working independently, not facing one another, and not moving around the room.
Mask use for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students is optional. Masks may be recommended by teachers of students in Grades K to 3 for particular activities and considered in circumstances where there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.
Students who ride the bus will be in closer proximity to other students on the bus. All students in Grade 4 to 12 are required to wear a mask while riding the bus. Parents are strongly encouraged to consider having their Kindergarten to Grade 3 child wear a mask while riding the bus.
Exemptions will be made for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical or other needs. In this case, the student will be seated 2 metres from other classmates to maintain physical distancing. Exemptions include:
- Persons who are unable to place, use or remove a non-medical face mask without assistance;
- Persons unable to wear a non-medical face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation;
- Persons consuming food or drink in designated areas;
- Persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a non-medical face mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance;
- Persons engaging in services that require the temporary removal of the non-medical face mask;
- Spaces where physical barriers have been installed between persons.
Masks will not be required when outdoors for recess and most physical education classes.
Teachers will endeavour to ensure students who choose to wear masks are not stigmatized.
How will physical distancing be implemented in schools?
Physical distancing (2 metre spacing) is challenging in a K-12 school setting, particularly with younger students.
The following strategies will be implemented where possible:
- Students will be reminded to avoid close greetings (e.g. hugs, high-fives, fist bumps, etc.) and to “keep your hands to yourself.”
- Desks and furniture will be spaced apart to maximize space
- Pick-up and drop-off times will be staggered
- Traffic flows will be managed in hallways and common areas
- Queues will be used where students line up (library sign out, office, water fountains, etc)
- Group activities will be adapted to minimize physical contact
How will students stay safe on the bus?
Students will have assigned seats for the duration of the bus ride. Families will be seated together. Students will be directed to maintain physical distancing while loading and unloading the bus. Students who ride the bus will be in close proximity to other students. Students in Grades 4 to 12 must wear a mask while riding the bus. Parents are strongly encouraged to have their child in Kindergarten to Grade 3 wear a mask on the bus. Seat backs and handrails will be disinfected between each route. To reduce crowding, all families who can make alternate transportation arrangements are encouraged to do so.
What happens if my child exhibits symptoms during the school day?
Should a student exhibit symptoms during the day that student will be moved to a flu isolation room and provided a mask. The school will then contact the parent or guardian to come and pick up their child within ONE hour. Please ensure the school has the emergency contact information should you be unavailable to pick up your child.
What will happen if there is a positive case of Covid-19 in the school?
CTR Catholic will abide by all privacy legislation and allow AHS to take the lead on protocols for informing the community about confirmed cases.
If a school has a confirmed positive case:
- the Zone Medical Officer of Health will work with school authorities to quickly:
- identify when symptoms developed
- identify and contact people who had close contact with the person who tested positive, offer testing, and set the isolation measures:
- people are legally required to isolate for 14 days if they live with or are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19
- only the group of students and staff who came in close contact will be required to stay home for 14 days, and likely not the whole school
- each school authority will:
- notify staff and parents if a case is confirmed at school
- support students and staff to learn or work at home if they are required to self-isolate
If a school has 2 or more cases:
- the school would be considered to have an outbreak
- Medical Officers will assess the spread and exposure risk to determine if it affects multiple grades and areas, or is confined within close contacts of a confirmed case, and provide specific recommendations – an outbreak will not automatically lead to school closure
CTR Catholic will collaborate and cooperate with AHS and follow any recommendations AHS makes with respect to contact tracing, site disinfecting, site safety, and communication.
CTR Catholic will follow all occupational health and safety requirements.
Are parents and visitors permitted in the school?
The number of parent volunteers and visitors in the school will be limited. Parents/guardians can attend the school if they are required. A visitor cannot enter the school if they are ill or any “Yes” to any of the questions on the Screening Questionnaire. All visitors must sign in at the front office.
What will happen if the Ministry announces additional health measures such as reducing the number of students allowed in the building at one time?
In this event, schools may need to divide students into two groups.
CTR would likely divide students into two groups on a two-day rotation according to last names.
- Last name A-K on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Last name L-Z on Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Fridays would alternate A-K and L-Z
What is "Synchronous, Interactive, Live Streaming"?
It is Learning Together Online and In Class.
Live streaming involves some students learning in the classroom with a portion of the cohort participating via live streaming at home. This will involve parental superivision, especially with younger children. Students will attend class from home through a live video feed, have the ability to ask questions, complete assignments and submit assignments.
Select teachers from a variety of grades and schools are involved in this live streaming pilot based on their expertise and willingness to instruct in this way. It is not being offered at all grades and all schools at this time. This option will be also used in the event the Ministry limits the number of students allowed in the school at one time (ie 50%) or if at-home learning is mandated.
Please note: Synchronous, Interactive, Live-Streaming is not the optimal learning experience and will only be used in pilot classrooms, or if the Ministry moves to Scenario 2. In the event the Ministry calls for total distance learning due to a second spike, or in the event that CTR determines there is a significant, prolonged, and school-wide spike in absenteeism due to Covid-19, our schools are preparing to transition to deliver live streamed lessons to large numbers of students learning at home by necessity. The live streaming delivery can be used in either scenario, and unlike our current methods, students will receive direct instruction and normal assessment on the full curriculum throughout the day with the possibility for more interaction, engagement, and support.