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Attestation and Daily Screening – mandatory for students attending in person

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in HWDSB (Dashboard)

Family Updates:

Latest Update: COVID-19 Update to Families #27 – October 8, 2020 or

Past Updates

School Reopening Procedures:

With the 2020-21 school year underway, HWDSB is focused on two key areas:

  • The safety and well-being, of students, staff and families; and
  • Establishing a renewed sense of school community, with new routines for everyone.

Please review the procedures below for students and families so everyone can have a smooth start to the school year.

ENHANCED PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

SECONDARY SCHOOLS OFFICE OPERATIONS SPECIALIZED SERVICES

 


ENHANCED PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES

Student Screening

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board wants to provide a safe and healthy learning and working environment for both students and staff. Parents/guardians/caregivers, school staff and students (over age 18) must be aware of the screening process for students, prior to daily entry.

Parents/guardians/caregivers and students over age 18 will perform daily screening of their children/themselves (if over age 18) before arriving at school. Find the COVID-19 school screening online, pdf.

Prior to beginning school on September 8, parents/guardians/caregivers and students over age 18 must complete a one-time attestation.

Please note the following:

  • Students will not be allowed to attend school until the attestation is complete.
  • Parents/guardians/caregivers or students (over age 18) will complete the attestation through the Parent Portal App.
  • School administration will contact any families who have not completed the attestation for each child.
  • If parent/guardian/caregiver is unable to complete the attestation through the Parent Portal the following options are available:
    • Print and sign a copy of the Attestation (downloaded from the HWDSB website) or email a signed copy to the school (Office Administrator to input into PowerSchool)
    • Schools to make paper copy available should the parent be unable to complete the attestation otherwise.

Strict exclusion protocols are in place for symptomatic students and staff.

Student Masks

All students will be required to wear a non-medical or cloth mask while indoors in a school or on a bus, including in hallways and during classes. Outdoor times like recess can be used as opportunities to provide students with breaks from wearing masks within their cohorts, provided proper physical distancing measures are taken.

Masks must cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping. This increases the benefits of mask wearing.

Students may wear their own non-medical masks provided the students’ own mask can be worn in the appropriate manner. Non-medical masks will also be made available for students.

Mask Instructions

Putting on a Mask

  • Practice hand hygiene before putting on, taking off or adjusting mask.
  • Non-medical masks should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • Be large enough to completely cover the nose, mouth and without gaping.

The City of Hamilton offers this helpful illustration on mask usage.

mask graphic

 

 

 

 

 

Safely taking off a mask

  • Practice hand hygiene before and after removing your mask
  • Remove mask by pulling ties or ear loops away from your ears
  • Touch the ties only and not the mask
  • Put mask into a clean bag or onto a clean surface and keep it separate from other items
  • If folding, fold so that the interior of the mask is touching together
  • If not folding, face the interior of the mask away from surfaces like a table

Exceptions

Reasonable exceptions on the requirement to wear masks will apply. There are a variety of reasons why a person cannot wear a mask and students and staff are asked to continue to be kind to each other and support everyone in the community as we work together to stop the spread of the virus. The signage that has been developed include images of individuals with and without masks.

Exceptions to wearing a mask will follow a similar process to other accommodations and will be made on a case-by- case basis following the process below:

  1. HWDSB will communicate with students and families regarding the purpose of wearing a non-medical mask.
  2. Educators will teach students how to safely use and care for a non-medical mask.
  3. Parent/guardian/caregiver, adult student (age 18 or older) will complete a Student Mask Exception Attestation Form which attests to the need for an exception, and submit same to the principal. Forms can be submitted through PowerSchool or downloaded from the Board website and emailed to the school. This process will begin on September 2nd.
  4. The Principal will document those that are exempt in PowerSchool and retain the signed paper copy in the office for a period of one year.
  5. If a student (over 18) or a parent/guardian cannot access an electronic version of the attestation form, the student/parent/guardian may call the principal to attest to the exception for the student and the principal shall document same in PowerSchool until such time as a hard copy of the attestation can be delivered to the student (over 18) or parent/guardian and the completed attestation form uploaded to PowerSchool.

Exemption criteria:

  • underlying medical, developmental, sensory or mental health reason which inhibits my/my child’s ability to wear a non-medical mask in the manner required by the Ministry of Education or Public Health authorities
  • anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the mask without assistance, in the manner required by the Ministry of Education or Public Health authorities.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Increase the frequency (minimum twice a day) of cleaning and disinfecting objects, equipment and frequently touched items or surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, accessible push buttons, hydration stations, light switches, washrooms (toilet and faucet handles), desks, tabletops, eating areas (e.g. tables, sinks, countertops), phones, photocopiers, staff areas including fridge handles, microwave buttons, elevator/lift buttons, as well as faucet handles in all rooms, railings, cabinet handles, hard surfaces on shared seating areas;
  • All water fountains will be bagged and not used but water bottle filling stations have been added to all schools;
  • Perform and promote frequent and proper hand hygiene. Hand washing using soap and water is recommended over alcohol-based hand rub;
  • Incorporate additional hand hygiene opportunities into the daily schedule.

Classroom if a child/staff becomes symptomatic

  • Disinfecting (items used by the individual and all surfaces)
  • Once the child/staff member has been removed, caretaking staff will disinfect spaces where the student/staff was isolated and any areas used by them (e.g., classroom, bathroom, common areas).
  • For bodily fluids, space should be vacated and caretaking will clean/disinfect where appropriate.
  • All items that cannot be cleaned (paper, books) are removed and stored in a sealed container for 7 days.

Isolation Areas/Room(s)

  • Disinfect in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school. If the school’s Isolation Room has been used custodial staff will, as a last step in the disinfection process, remove and clean the sign posted on the exterior of the door and place it inside the room, ready for use should the room be required again.

Between Uses of Shared Space

  • Objects, equipment and frequently touched items or surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, light switches, toilet and faucet handles, tabletops, cabinet handles, hard surfaces on shared seating areas, elevator/lift buttons) are disinfected.
  • Shared spaces (e.g. gym, learning commons, music, etc.) are disinfected between cohort use.

Ventilation

  • HWDSB initiated a project to have licensed mechanical contractors go through every school and verify ventilation equipment is operating as per manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Reports for each piece of equipment is being received and noted deficiencies corrected for September.
  • We are ensuring air is being exchanged, and fresh air is entering occupied spaces.
  • Additionally, we will be performing “air flushes” of all spaces before occupants re-entering the buildings. This will be done daily by having mechanical systems operate in ‘occupied’ mode starting at 6 a.m. before students enter the building.

Student Screening Checklist

HWDSB COVID-19 Student Screening Checklist is to be completed daily before arriving at school. The checklist is found on the Parent Portal as well as on the HWDSB website.

If you answered YES to any of the screening questions, or if you refuse to answer the questions, then the student has failed the screening and must not attend school and should contact Public Health (905) 974-9848 or your family doctor for testing. Please contact the student’s school to report the absence. If the student is tested for COVID-19, your school would appreciate knowing the outcome of that test.

Signage

Signs to help raise awareness will appear in our buildings, depending on the specific location.

Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by Staff

Based on Public Health advice, we are layering strategies to mitigate the risks and potential spread of COVID-19. PPE is a part of the overall strategy to protect students and staff.

Visitors

Visitors to a school must wear a medical mask. These masks will be provided during sign-in if the visitor does not have one.

Students with hearing impairments

In consultation with Hamilton Public Health Services, the following accommodation may be made for students who require visual cues or lip reading, the following approaches may be taken if required:

  • In the classroom: a Plexiglass barrier to be placed at the front of the classroom at least 2 m from student desks. The teacher may remove their medical mask and face shield and deliver instruction while behind the barrier. When finished speaking, the medical mask and face shield must be put back on.
  • One-on-one instruction: If instruction is to be given in a one-on-one setting, a barrier may be used as above. Ensure distance can be maintained.
  • Use of clear masks: Disposable clear masks provided by the Board may be used by staff along with a face shield instead of a physical barrier in situations where physical distance can be maintained. Non-Board provided clear masks are not approved for use by staff.

Fundamental Public Health Measures for Students

Enhanced Public Health Measures for students include a number of risk mitigation strategies. These strategies include screening for symptoms, physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and wearing of non-medical masks. While students are expected to follow all public health guidelines, education and practice will be important so that students understand why these measures are in place, how they protect self and others and how to do them all properly.

Overall Considerations:

  • Students must always wear a non-medical mask in the building unless there is an exception on file.
  • All students will have the opportunity to receive a reusable non-medical mask. If they arrive without one, schools will provide a disposable one.
  • Students and staff are expected to practise physical distancing as much as possible in classrooms, hallways, outside and other areas of the school.

Physical Distancing: 

  • Signage reminding students to maintain physical distance whenever possible (2 metres)
  • Include physical distancing provisions in all activities, meetings and classrooms.

Hand Hygiene:

  • Post signage as reminders for students and staff to sanitize their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided to all classrooms, including those with sinks.
  • Reminding students to wash their hands when they enter/exit a room as well as before/after eating.
  • Teaching students how to effectively wash hands and use hand sanitizer.
  • Scheduled hand hygiene breaks.

Respiratory Etiquette:

  • Post signage reminding students and staff about respiratory etiquette, which includes coughing and sneezing into your elbow or tissue.

Non-Medical Masks (see Student Masks protocol):

  • Post signage as reminders for students and staff to wear their masks and not touch their faces.
  • All students must wear a non-medical mask while in the school and on the school bus.  Students may wear their own mask.
  • The principal will receive exception forms from parents/guardians/caregivers as outlined in Student Masks protocol.
  • Face touching happens at an average of 23 times an hour, with almost half involving mucous membrane contact. The mouth was touched most often, followed by nose, eyes and a combination thereof.

Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms:

  • Signage appears on entry doors as a reminder of daily screening expectation (see Student Screening protocol).
  • Staff will teach and remind students the symptoms and the importance in completing the daily screen. This includes the risks to other students and to the staff.
  • Signage to remind students to inform staff if they feel unwell
  • Staff will teach and remind students that it is the right thing to tell someone if they feel unwell (I.e. destigmatize illness).
  • Staff are to monitor for any bullying or negative actions towards students who they perceive to be unwell.

Responding to Student Behaviour

With students returning to school there are a number of new protocols to learn and expectations for behaviour (e.g. mask wearing). Fundamental to supporting this new learning are opportunities to ask questions, practice and seek clarity as to why new approaches are in place. For some there will be anxiety around the new practices. Students need to be provided repeated opportunities to engage in the learning. Unfortunately, there may be times when students resist or refuse to follow the routines or protocols.

If students resist or refuse to follow routines or protocols, including screening for symptoms, physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and wearing non-medical masks, staff will:

  • Education for students about why the public health measure is required
  • Education and signage about good practices
  • Regular reminders about how to follow public health measures
  • Reminders to individual students if necessary
  • One on one discussions with students who resist following the public health measures
  • Parent/guardian contact if problem persists
  • Consequences consistent with the Code of Conduct including progressive discipline.

Direct and Indirect Contact Calculation

The Guide to Reopening Ontario’s Schools limits the total number of direct and indirect contacts a student may have. Elementary students may have up to 50 direct or indirect student contacts in the school. In secondary, it is 100.

Students Who Fail the Daily Screen

A student may fail the screen due to symptoms, international travel, testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, close physical contact with a positive case or they have been told by a doctor, health care provider or public health that they should be isolating.

If a student has a symptom that is normal for them related to a known cause or condition, parents/guardians/caregivers are encouraged to provide this information as early as possible, before the symptoms display themselves. If a student displays symptoms they will be expected to follow the Symptomatic Student at School or at Home Decision Guide. In addition, parents will need to complete the Attestation for Return to School Following Illness before the student returns.

See Flowcharts and Handouts below.

Notice to School

  • Parents are to report absence following normal reporting processes but identifying COVID-19 Related as the rationale.

Monitor and Bag

  • Educator to continue to monitor other students for symptoms.
  • Items used by the student should be placed inside of the desk by the teacher. Items that cannot be placed in the desk will need to be a held in a bag or container for 7 days or until the student returns. If the desk is used by Before and After School Program, the items should be bagged or stored and not placed in the desk.

Principal Communication

  • Principal or designate to contact the family and advise them of next steps according to the Symptomatic Student at School or at Home Decision Guide. Provide a copy of the Symptomatic Student at School or at Home Decision Guide, My Child Has COVID-19 Symptoms Now What, and Attestation for Return to School Following Illness. Ask the family to contact the school after that call to discuss next steps (see Exclusion protocol) including continued learning for the student.

See Flowcharts and Handouts below.

Contact Tracing

  • Contact Tracing by Hamilton Public Health is a timely and effective approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19. It allows the health unit to identify, educate and monitor individuals who are at higher risk of becoming infected. It includes:
    • connecting with all individuals who have had close contact with a positive case within 24 hours of being identified
    • directing all close contacts to self-isolate for 14 days
    • following up with close contacts every day for the duration of their self-isolation
    • strongly advising testing to all appropriate close contacts

Staff Who Fail the Daily Screen

A staff member may fail the screen due to symptoms (self or family), international travel, close contact with a probable or confirmed case or close contact with someone returning from travel with symptoms. If a staff member has a known underlying reason for the symptom(s), staff are encouraged to provide this information as early as possible, before the symptom(s) display themselves. For example, runny nose, or nasal congestion where seasonal allergies or post nasal drip are present do not require a medical note. For other known alternative diagnosis, medical from a health care provider will need to be provided to Employee Support and Wellness.

Notice to Supervisor

  • Staff should contact Employee Support and Wellness

Staff should contact their family doctor or local Public Health Services (Hamilton – 905-974-9848) to determine if testing is required. Hamilton Assessment and Testing Centres are available in locations across the city by appointment.

Clean and Bag

  • Items used by the symptomatic staff member that cannot be disinfected (such as paper) should be stored for 7 days or upon return of the staff member.

Contact Tracing

  • Contact Tracing by Hamilton Public Health is a timely and effective approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19. It allows the health unit to identify, educate and monitor individuals who are at higher risk of becoming infected. It includes:
    • connecting with all individuals who have had close contact with a positive case within 24 hours of being identified
    • directing all close contacts to self-isolate for 14 days
    • following up with close contacts every day for the duration of their self-isolation
    • strongly advising testing to all appropriate close contacts

Students Who Become Symptomatic at School

Symptomatic Students

Students should be made aware, in age-appropriate and non-stigmatizing language, how to identify symptoms of COVID-19 and should be instructed to speak to a staff member immediately if they feel ill. Staff may use posters to help communicate this information. Staff will also utilize lessons within the HUB (Learn. Disrupt. Rebuild.) to support students in learning about the symptoms.

If a student has a symptom that is normal for them related to a known cause or condition, parents/guardians/caregivers are encouraged to provide this information as early as possible, before the symptoms display themselves. If a student displays symptoms they will be expected to follow the Symptomatic Student at School or at Home Decision Guide. In addition, parents will need to complete the Attestation for Return to School Following Illness before the student returns.

See Flowcharts and Handouts below.

If a student is ill with a COVID-19 symptom or a staff member observes a student with COVID-19 symptom(s) (with no known underlying health reason) the following should happen:

Separate and Clean

  • Educator to contact the office to report an ill student.
  • Principal or designate to escort the student to a designated, supervised isolation area at the school maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from others. Staff member to wear medical mask and face shield.
  • Where applicable, move students and staff in the classroom to an alternate area so that classroom disinfection can be performed. Teacher is to disinfect materials used by the symptomatic student. Items that cannot be cleaned should be bagged and stored for 7 days or upon return of student if they test negative for COVID-19.
  • Caretaker to promptly clean and disinfect the areas used by the symptomatic student (e.g., classroom, desk and isolation area after student has been picked up)
  • Educator to continue to monitor other students for symptoms.

Supervision and Pickup

  • Call parent/guardian/caregiver to pickup student as soon as possible. Siblings may remain at school but should monitor for symptoms.
  • Provide the parent/guardian/caregiver with the Attestation for Return to School Following Illness, My Child has Displayed COVID-19 Symptoms, Now What?, and the Symptomatic Student or Staff at School Decision Guide. See Flowcharts and Handouts below.
  • Supervision of the symptomatic student(s) must be maintained until a parent or guardian arrives. Supervision should be at a distance of at least 2 m where possible. The employee will wear PPE (gloves, medical mask and face shield).
  • The staff member caring for the student should perform hand hygiene. The staff should also avoid contact with the child’s respiratory secretions. The staff member must perform hand hygiene after any contact with the ill student.
  • PPE should be kept in the main office as part of the Isolation Kit.
  • If tolerated, the ill student should wear a disposable, medical mask while waiting for pickup.
  • Tissues should be provided to the student to support proper respiratory etiquette. Ask the student to put the soiled tissues into the lined garbage can (touchless). Hand hygiene should also be practiced.

Contact Tracing

  • Contact Tracing by Hamilton Public Health is a timely and effective approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19. It allows the health unit to identify, educate and monitor individuals who are at higher risk of becoming infected. It includes:
    • connecting with all individuals who have had close contact with a positive case within 24 hours of being identified
    • directing all close contacts to self-isolate for 14 days
    • following up with close contacts every day for the duration of their self-isolation
    • strongly advising testing to all appropriate close contacts

Staff Who Become Symptomatic During the Day

If a staff member has a known underlying reason for the symptom(s), staff are encouraged to provide this information as early as possible, before the symptom(s) display themselves. For example, runny nose, or nasal congestion where seasonal allergies or postnasal drip are present do not require a medical note. For other known alternative diagnoses, medical form from a health care provider will need to be provided to Employee Support and Wellness.

Notice

  • Staff are to immediately notify the principal of the school(s) they have visited (if applicable) and their direct supervisor that they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Staff should contact Employee Support and Wellness.

If a supervisor observes, or a staff member reports COVID-19 symptoms with no known underlying health reasons, the following steps are to be taken.

Separate and Clean

  • Where applicable, students and other staff in the work area will temporarily move to an alternate area so that environmental cleaning can be performed.
  • Caretaker is to be informed to promptly clean and disinfect (using Oxivir TB) the employee’s work area(s) including classroom and office as well as the designated isolation room if used.
  • Principal is to arrange coverage for the teacher who has gone home ill where applicable.
  • Replacement teacher should continue to monitor students for symptoms.
  • Provide the staff member with the next steps including contacting Employee Support and Wellness, information on Hamilton Public Health and the closest Assessment Centre to the school.
  • Staff member is to leave the workplace.
  • Items used by the symptomatic staff member that cannot be disinfected (such as paper) should be stored for 7 days or upon return of the staff member.
  • After environmental cleaning has been performed, students and other employee(s) are able to return to the workspace or classroom.

Contact Tracing

  • Contact Tracing by Hamilton Public Health is a timely and effective approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19. It allows the health unit to identify, educate and monitor individuals who are at higher risk of becoming infected. It includes:
    • connecting with all individuals who have had close contact with a positive case within 24 hours of being identified
    • directing all close contacts to self-isolate for 14 days
    • following up with close contacts every day for the duration of their self-isolation
    • strongly advising testing to all appropriate close contacts

Exclusion

If a parent/guardian/caregiver or student (over age 18) or staff member reports being home due to direction from the daily screen (e.g. answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the questions) or is feeling unwell, the individual is to contact Public Health regarding next steps related to testing.

Families will receive the following documents when their student has been excluded:

  • My Child Has COVID-19 Symptoms, Now What
  • Symptomatic Student at School or at Home Decision Guide
  • Attestation for Return to School Following Illness (To be reviewed with family)

See Flowcharts and Handouts below.

When to Exclude:

For students excluded based on the Students Who Become Symptomatic at School or Students Who Fail the Daily Screen protocols, the following applies for re-entry to school.

Please note: that mild symptoms like a runny nose do not have to be completely gone when a student returns to school provided the runny nose (or other mild symptom) is improving and other symptoms have stopped. Families must attest to one of the following before the student returns to school.

  1. Student has a positive COVID-19 test, and:
    1. 10 days have passed since the date when the student started to feel sick; and
    2. Does not currently have a fever (without using medication); and
    3. It has been at least a full day since they started to feel better; and
    4. Has followed Hamilton Public Health Services guidance.
  2. Student has a negative COVID-19 test after starting to feel sick, and:
    1. Does not currently have a fever (without using medication); and
    2. It has been at least a full day since they have begun to feel better; and
    3. Has not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days; and
    4. Has not been identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed as having Covid-19 by Public Health or the COVID alert app on their own phone; and
    5. Has not been directed by a Health care professional or public health official to isolate.
  3. Student was not tested for COVID-19, but:
    1. Had only one these symptoms: sore throat, stuffy nose/runny nose, headache, vomiting/diarrhea, or fatigue/muscle aches; and
    2. Did not have new onset fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or changes in taste or smell; and
    3. It has been at least a full day since they have begun to feel better; and
    4. Has not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days; and
    5. Has not been identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed as having Covid-19 by Public Health or the COVID alert app on their own phone; and
    6. Has not been directed by a Health care professional or public health official to isolate.
  4. Student was not tested for COVID-19, but:
    1. Was previously seen by a physician or nurse practitioner and was told that they have a medical condition, such as allergies or asthma; and
    2. The medical condition causes the symptoms they have now; and
    3. The symptoms are not worse or different than usual; and
    4. Has not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days; and
    5. Has not been identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed as having Covid-19 by Public Health or the COVID alert app on their own phone; and
    6. Has not been directed by a Health care professional or public health official to isolate.
  5. Student was not tested for COVID-19, but:
    1. Was seen by a physician or nurse practitioner since becoming sick; and
    2. The physician or nurse practitioner told us that their sickness is caused by a diagnosis (medical reason) other than COVID-19; and
    3. It has been at least a full day since they started to feel better; and
    4. Has not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days; and
    5. Has not been identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed as having Covid-19 by Public Health or the COVID alert app on their own phone; and
    6. Has not been directed by a Health care professional or public health official to isolate.
  6. Student was not tested for COVID-19, but:
    1. 10 days have passed since the date when the student started to feel sick; and
    2. Does not currently have a fever (without using medication); and
    3. It has been at least a full day since they started to feel better; and
    4. Has not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days; and
    5. Has not been identified as a close contact of someone who is confirmed as having Covid-19 by Public Health or the COVID alert app on their own phone; and
    6. Has not been directed by a Health care professional or public health official to isolate.
  7. Student was in close physical contact (including siblings) with someone who had COVID-19, but:
    1. It has been 14 days since the date of exposure to the positive case; and
    2. Has been directed by Public Health that it is safe to return to school; and
    3. My child passed the Ontario COVID-19 school screening tool today.

Flowcharts

COVID At Home Protocol

COVID At School Protocol

Handout

My Child Has COVID Symptoms Now What


ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Kindergarten

School Entry

  • Kindergarten cohorts will remain physically distanced from each other.

In Class Procedures 

  • Students will be supported in handwashing/hand sanitizing upon entry to the classroom.
  • Students will be directed to store materials in cubbies, when physically distancing allows.
  • Students will be assigned specific learning spaces and materials by teachers.
  • Sharing of materials will be done on a limited basis ensuring adequate disinfection prior to use.
  • Washroom visits will ensure physical distancing.

 Nutrition Break Procedures 

  • Students will be supported in handwashing/hand sanitizing before and after eating
  • Students will remain with their cohort to eat and remain physically distanced from others while eating.

Outdoor Procedures 

  • Efforts will be made to provide individual kindergarten cohorts with frequent outdoor time.
  • To support safe transitions to and from the classroom, these times should be scheduled.
  • Consideration of scheduled washroom breaks immediately preceding outdoor time will also be made.
  • Students wearing masks are trained to safely remove and store masks.
  • Use of shared outdoor materials (e.g. trikes) will be done on a limited basis with disinfection prior to each use.
  • Games and learning opportunities that maintain physical distance will be played.

Assisting Students

  • Educators are to maintain physical distancing from students as much as possible.
  • Teachers will try to verbally support students through tasks.
  • If teachers intervene to assist students, they will wash/sanitize hands before and after helping, ensure proper placement of PPE, and minimize physical contact.

Dismissal Procedures

  • Classes should designate a safe area where parents/guardians will gather to receive children at dismissal time ensuring physical distancing.
  • For students who go to the after school program, please see After School Program.
  • For students who access a school bus, please see Exit and Entry and Bus Loading and Unloading.

Shared Space with Before/After School Programs 

  • Classrooms used for before/after school care will be disinfected between cohorts (e.g. before/after school program group starts/ends outside while disinfection occurs, or school day class starts/ends outside while cleaning occurs).
  • Classroom materials used during before/after school care will be disinfected before use.
  • Students will be able to use their personalized toys (playdough) from the core program.

Movement Around the School

  • All students must wear a non-medical mask when inside the school building (see separate section for allowed exceptions). Students are not required to wear masks outside, however, masks must be in place prior to entering the school building.
  • Students must remain with their class/cohort throughout the school day.
  • Other than washroom visits or as directed by a teacher, students must travel with their class/cohort throughout the school.
  • Students should be in their homeroom, designated outside cohort space, or in another approved official designated space (ex. PE, specialized programming, etc.) throughout the day.
  • Student transitions should be limited to DPA, outside time, and PE (outside preferred)

Nutrition & Food Distribution Programs 

  • Nutrition programs may continue to operate as an essential service for student health and well-being.
  • Volunteers are allowed on a limited basis under the supervision of the school Principal, adhering to safety standards required of school staff (i.e. screening, hand washing, masks, etc.).
  • All fundraising programs including the sale of food and beverages including milk, popcorn, frozen yogurt, pizza, lunch boxes, school stores, tuck shops, etc. are not permitted until further notice.
  • All foods will be pre-packaged to allow for minimal food handling.
  • The Tastebuds Student Nutrition Program will be involved in all school level Nutrition and Food Programming to ensure all safety guidelines and procedures are in place.

Entry to School

Students Who Walk  

  • Students can enter the school playground up to 15 minutes before the start of the school day and proceed directly to their designated Cohort locations for their class.
  • Cohort locations are distanced 2 metres apart.
  • Scheduled teacher supervisors will monitor that students are remaining in their Cohort locations.
  • Students lining up at their Cohort locations are required to physically distance from each other while outside.
  • Parents are permitted to walk younger students (K-3) to their Cohort location while observing physical distancing
  • All individuals on school property (students, staff, and parents) must follow physical distancing.

Bused Students  

  • Drop off zones are supervised and remain the same.
  • Staff supervisors support unloading of buses and ensure students physically distance while proceeding to their designated Cohort location.

Students in Before Care 

  • Students in Before Care will be supervised from their rooms to their designated outdoor space with their cohorts on the playground.

All Students

  • All students must wear a mask before entering school
  • Students sanitize hands upon entry to the school
  • Students will enter the school building and proceed directly to their classrooms (no stopping at lockers, hooks or cubbies)
  • Once in the school building, students will be encouraged to keep 2 metres apart as they walk through the halls to their classroom while keeping to the right
  • Students report to their designated desks and classrooms, then proceed with sanitization, hand washing, removal and storage of belongings

Inclement Weather

  • Students will enter the school directly following the above process.

Dismissal from School  

Students who Walk

  • Students gather belongings and exit (according to times determined by each site) and proceed to their designated Cohort areas outside.
  • Students in Gr. K – 3 are to be dismissed one at a time from each designated cohort to a parent or older sibling.
  • One parent/guardian per student is permitted on the school yard to pick up their children. Physical distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Where possible, parents will be asked to wait outside of the school grounds. Students will be released to parents when instructed.
  • All students to exit school grounds in a timely manner.
  • Schools will schedule and stagger exit times to allow classes to travel through the hall.
  • Students gather belongings and exit the school. Cohorts will proceed to their designated cohort areas outside.
  • Students in Gr. K-3 will be dismissed one at a time from each designated cohort area.
  • One parent/guardian per student is allowed on the school yard to pick up their children.
  • All individuals on school property (students, staff, and parents) must physically distance.
  • All adults must wear a mask.
  • All students to exit school grounds in a timely manner.

Students in After school programs

  • Students will be the last to be released and supervised to their designated area.

Bused students 

  • Students report to area designated for bused students.
  • Students line up according to their bus Cohort (lines 2m apart).
  • Students must physically distance from students within their cohort
  • Seating plans will be created accommodating school specific need.
  • In case of delays, students will report to a designated area (foyer, gym, library) and will be supervised until students are picked up.

Parking Lots

  • Parents who choose to drive their children to school are encouraged to drop-off at a specific area (e.g. kiss and ride) or park at a specified nearby location and walk their children to the school grounds.
  • Mask wearing by adult family members is required while on school property.

School Yard Set Up and Play Structures

School Yard Setup 

  • School’s will indicate the location on the schoolyard where each class/cohort will be. This class/cohort space will be used to gather during entry times, DPA, and recess breaks.
  • To indicate class/ space areas in the school yard, schools will use visual markers.

Play Structures 

  • A school schedule for the use of a play structure will be developed to ensure that only one cohort uses the structure.
  • The play structure will be cleaned with soap and water before a new cohort can use the play structure.
  • After Cohort use of a play structure, students must wash/sanitize their hands.
  • If schools cannot ensure a proper cleaning schedule for play structures, no use of play structures is permitted.

Washrooms /Fountain Procedures 

Washroom

  • A sign indicating maximum occupancy will be posted at the entrance of each washroom
  • Students to maintain physical distancing. Every other urinal and stall will be marked off.
  • Floor decals will be used for communal sinks to support physical distancing.
  • Students may use either the hand dryer or paper towels
  • Markings outside washroom doors for physical distancing for students awaiting entry.

Hydration Stations (water bottle filling stations)

  • Fill personal water bottles using Hydration stations.
  • Students must have their own personal labelled water bottle.
  • Students who do not have a personal water bottle will be able to use disposable cups.
  • Drinking fountains have been closed off.
  • Additional markings will be placed to ensure physical distancing for any lineup.

Buses – Loading and Unloading 

Unloading of Buses at the School

  • Students will disembark buses one at a time allowing space between each student.
  • Where physical distancing is not possible (e.g., student needs harness removed or requires assistance disembarking), school staff may enter the bus to support the student, wearing medical masks and face shields.
  • Students at the front of the bus will begin disembarking first, and order will progress to the back of the bus.
  • Students will be directed to go straight from the bus to their cohort’s assigned waiting area on the playground once they have disembarked.
  • Students may safely remove masks and store them (paper bag, hip pack, lanyard etc.).
  • Only one bus will be unloaded at a time to ensure distancing between students moving to the playground.

Loading of Buses at the School

  • All students must wear a mask on the bus.
  • Students report to area designated for bused students.
  • Students line up according to their bus Cohort (physically distancing).
  • Seating plans will be created to accommodate school-specific needs.
  • If there are delays, students will report to a designated area (foyer, gym, library) and will be supervised until they are picked up.
  • Staff may board buses to support students when necessary. Medical masks and face shields are to be worn by staff.

Extra-Curriculars

  • Extra-curricular activities can only be conducted within a single cohort of students, with a staff member already in regular direct contact with the cohort.
  • Extra-curricular activities can only be conducted in a space already provided for that cohort of students.

Set up of Classes 

Use of Space

  • Use of lockers/hallway hooks/cubbies for storage of student items is permitted with physical distancing measures in place. Students must have individual lockers or cubbies; sharing is not permitted.
  • Upon entry, students will proceed directly to their classrooms.
  • Once hallways are clear, students may individually access lockers/hooks/cubbies.
  • Students will be encouraged to keep items in their in-class assigned workspace area if they will be needed throughout the day.
  • Each student will be assigned a workspace area (desk or table, chair) within the classroom that provides physical distancing from other students.
  • All required work materials are located within each student’s workspace area.
  • These items will not be shared with other students.
  • If workspaces are to be used by multiple students over the course of the week, items within the workspace must be cleaned between use or removed from the workspace area.
  • All workspace areas must be cleared of items at the end of each school day to allow for cleaning.

Individual Materials

  • Students will be required to bring with them each day any additional learning or health materials they wish to use (e.g. markers, calculator, bottle of water).
  • Students who require specific sensory supports (e.g., wobble cushion, fidget tools) will be provided supports that are kept with that student’s personal work items and not shared between students.

Shared Materials

  • Students to practice sound hand washing practices before and after handling of any shared materials.
  • Shared materials that can be adequately cleaned (e.g., ipads) will be assigned to only a single person for use until the item is cleaned. Regular cleaning of these items, with an approved disinfectant, will be scheduled prior to use by another individual.
  • Shared materials that cannot be adequately cleaned (e.g., library books) will be assigned to only a single cohort for use. Once the cohort is finished using the material, these items will be stored for a safe amount of time (3 days) before being reused by another cohort.
  • Shared spaces within the room (e.g., classroom sink, door, window handles) that may be touched by multiple people within the school day will be kept easily accessible, clear of clutter and cleaned regularly.

Gym Space 

  • Where more than one class is using the gym at a time, a physical divider such as a gym curtain will be down, and separate entrances used.

Use of Pods

  • Where a school has “pods” (small rooms that lead into multiple classrooms from the hallway), pods will not be available for student use.
  • Doors to pods and classrooms will remain open whenever possible.

Use of Open Concept Classrooms

  • “Open concept” classrooms (I.e. permanent walls with purpose-built wall partitions dividing multiple classroom spaces) can house multiple classes, provided that separation maintains physical distancing between cohorts.

Learning Commons 

  • Learning Commons or Library space will not be used for classes on a rotating basis (i.e. book exchange).

Use of Learning Commons Space as a Classroom Space

  • The Learning Commons would be set up using the parameters outlined in the Set Up of Classrooms.
  • In this case, borrowing text materials and shared use of the space will not be permitted.

Use of Learning Commons Space as a Before/After School Care Space

  • If the Learning Commons is shared with a Before/After School Care program, care will be taken to ensure cleaning of touch points between uses by different groups.
  • Before/After School Program should not be using any books. If a book is used, it will be isolated for 3 days before recirculation.

Borrowing of Text Materials

  • Students will not be brought to the Learning Commons for book exchange.
  • Educators will coordinate borrowing of materials for classroom use on a limited basis.
  • Learning Commons materials are not to leave the school building (i.e not go home).

Nutrition Breaks 

  • Schools will maintain two 40-minute Nutrition Breaks according to individual school times.
  • Schools may consider staggering Nutrition Breaks after taking into account size of cohorts and available yard space.
  • Masks are not required for outdoor time but are required to transition from in to out. Students will need to safely remove and store their mask in a paper bag, hip pack, on a lanyard etc.
  • During the outdoor portion of Nutrition Breaks, students remain within their designated Cohort play area.
  • Inclement weather – students will remain in the Cohort classroom for the whole break.
  • Students may leave school property for 2nd break to go home for lunch. Parental permission is required.

Designated Spaces 

Gym Space 

  • Cohorts may use gym space (either by classroom teacher or by prep teacher), when touchpoint cleaning has been completed before cohort use.
  • Ceiling to floor dividers will be used if more than one class is in the gym.
  • Shared gym equipment is not to be used unless disinfected between use.
  • Change rooms are not to be used. Students are encouraged to wear clothes to school that are appropriate for active play.
  • Students must wash hands before and after use of the gym

Instrumental Music Rooms 

  • Music teachers will go to the cohort classrooms to provide instruction.
  • No woodwind or brass instruments to be used.

Daily Physical Activity (DPA)

  • Schools will create a DPA schedule that encourages outdoor time where possible.
  • Where more than one class is out at a time, locations will be specified to maintain physical distancing between classes.
  • Handwashing required before and after DPA activities.
  • If classes use their own shared equipment, it will be cleaned regularly.

Before and After School Programs

Cleaning Requirements

  • High touch areas disinfected at least twice daily throughout the building including washrooms.
  • Follow public health guidance on cleaning and disinfecting spaces and keep a cleaning log. Washrooms to be cleaned after each cohort.

Confirmed Case of COVID-19

  • Public health department protocols will be followed.

Shared Materials

  • Sharing of materials will be done on a limited basis ensuring adequate disinfection prior to use.
  • Where toys and equipment are shared, they should be cleaned and disinfected prior to being shared, including between groups.

Masks or Face Coverings

  • Medical masks and eye protection will be worn by staff in schools, and cloth masks will be worn by children in kindergarten to grade 12 with exceptions.
  • The use of masks is not required outdoors for adults or children if physical distancing of a least 2-metres can be maintained.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off

  • Parents will be asked to drop off and pick up outside of the building.
  • As much as possible, parents should not go past the screening area.
  • If a parent enters the building, a medical mask must be worn.

Screening

  • Parents and staff will sign an attestation agreeing to a daily screening. An individual (student or staff) is responsible to perform the screening on a daily basis and to take the appropriate actions including a notification process if symptomatic.
  • All individuals including children attending before and after school, staff, parents/guardians, and visitors must be screened each day before entering the program. A child that has been screened prior to the before school program or core day program, would not need to be re-screened for the after school program.

Shared Spaces and Transitions

  • High touch points to be disinfected at the end of before school program and end of school day.
    Students will gather in their cohorts and will be met outside by their educators to be brought into the school. Educators will dismiss students in their classes directly outside.
  • Before and after school programs limit interactions between cohorts during transitions.
  • Children will be brought outside 15 minutes prior to the entry bell by staff to their classroom cohorts, and gathered after dismissal by staff from their classroom cohorts.

Food Prep

  • No food sharing. Nutrition programs are grab and go. Volunteers to support nutrition programs only.

Isolation Space

  • Isolation of a child takes place is a designated space. Child is supervised until pick up. Protocol in place.
  • If a child is in isolation space, that space must be cleaned and disinfected after the child leaves.
  • If child has not been picked up and the school day is ready to begin, the child should be moved to the school Isolation space before students enter. The school will continue to call the parent and follow school protocols.
  • At the end of the day, school staff will remain until the child is picked up.

Exclusion

  • Ill children/staff, if not tested, must be excluded for 14 days from onset (unless a doctor’s note can be provided verifying symptoms are not COVID-19 related.
  • Children/staff who test negative for COVID-19 must be excluded until 24 hours after symptom resolution.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS (OPENING IN ADAPTED MODEL) 

Classroom Set-Up

  • Max capacity of classrooms: approximately 15 students in each cohort
  • No/minimal movement by students during class time
  • Student belongings must always remain with students, and personal belongings or assigned resources are not to be shared.

Regular Classroom Set-up

  • Desks will be set-up in forward-facing rows with a walkway between desks for teacher/student travel.
  • All extra furniture/resources will be removed to utilize all possible space for students

Science and Tech Set-up

  • Lab & tech equipment will be individually assigned and not shared by students
  • Lab equipment will be disinfected before being used by the other cohort

Music 

  • No woodwind or brass instruments to be used.
  • Singing to take place outside

Gym

  • Outdoor lessons will take place when possible
  • Gym dividers will be used to separate classes
  • Classes will be assigned to one gym space only
  • Gym doors will be propped open for added ventilation (where permitted by Fire Code)
  • Handwashing before and after all activities
  • Students need to come dressed for physical education to limit change room use
  • Students will be assigned space for personal belongings

Elevator Use 

  • Those using the elevator must seek approval from the main office
  • Students with accessibility needs will be prioritized for elevators and lifts
  • There will be posted signage that reminds those riding the elevator to practice proper distancing measures and the maximum number of riders
  • Those waiting for an elevator must properly distance themselves and assume that someone is getting off

Building Entry & Exit 

Morning Entry    

  • Students ensure they maintain physical distance (2 metres) from others when entering the building.
  • Students must go directly to class.
  • Lockers will not be used.

Afternoon Exit 

  • All students must exit the building using the same door they entered.
  • Students ensure they maintain physical distance (2 metres)

Entry & Exit during the School Day 

  • Students may only enter using the main entrance during the day. Stay to the right when entering and exiting

Parking Lots

  • School parking lot use remains a school decision based on safety and space.
  • Students must park in approved designated areas.

Student Drop Off/Pick Up

  • Drivers must remain in their cars when dropping off or picking up students.
  • Families are encouraged to drop off and pick-up students away from school property: “Walk a Block”

Lockers 

  • Student lockers will not be used until further notice
  • Lockers will be reconsidered as student needs change due to weather
  • Students should carry all personal belongings with them to their morning classroom
  • All belongings will be in the same room from arrival to exit
  • Students should bring only what is necessary to school each day

Transitions

  • Students will remain in one location for the morning block with necessary washroom breaks
  • Individual schools will determine morning breaks
  • Students only move around the school with permission of staff
  • When walking in the hall, students will use the right-hand side of hallway
  • Teachers will dismiss students from school gradually by cohorts to avoid a rush of students
  • Parent, guardian or student over 18 will indicate whether students will leave the building immediately upon the end of the morning block or stay for the afternoon to work in the school
  • If staying for the afternoon, students will eat lunch in their study hall
  • Student may leave the school for lunch, but they may return at the end of the 80-minute lunch and transition break (explain parent permission requirements)
  • Schools will assign working locations for all students who elect to stay.
  • Students remain in their assigned location for any breaks or independent learning time unless they have permission to use the washroom

Washroom Procedures

  • Students are recommended to use the nearest washroom to their classroom
  • To maintain physical distancing, signage to limit use of stalls and urinals will be installed and every other sink, stall and urinal will be taped off
  • For communal sinks, spaces where students may stand will be clearly marked on the floor
  • It will be clearly posted the maximum number of students allowed in specific washroom areas (based on number of available bathroom stalls)
  • If the washroom area is full, students must wait outside using physical distancing markers

Buses-Loading and Unloading 

Before School/Loading the Bus

  • Physical distancing is important as students wait for the bus.
  • Students must wear a non-medical mask while on the bus.
  • Students to sanitize hands upon entry.
  • Students load the bus one at a time and choose a separate seat from all others. Students in the same household must sit together, with 2 students maximum per seat.
  • All students should sit near a window if possible.
  • Students must always stay seated and sit in their designated seat according to the seating plan.
  • Schools will create the bus seating plans on the first day of school before the bus unloads or when the bus loads to go home.

At School/Unloading the Bus

  • Students at the front of the bus will disembark first, and order will progress to the back of the bus.
  • Students will walk towards their school entrance while maintaining distance from others.
  • Schools will have bus unloading and loading areas separate from walkers and drop off to maintain distancing.
  • Where physical distancing is not possible (e.g., student needs harness removed or requires assistance disembarking), school staff may enter the bus to support the student, wearing medical masks and face shields.

At School/Loading the Bus

  • Students need to maintain distancing while they wait to load the bus. Signage will be provided to remind students. (is this accurate? Did we provide signs?)
  • Students must wear a non-medical mask while on the bus.
  • Students to sanitize hands upon entry.
  • Students line up according to their bus cohort. A physical distance of 2 m must be in place within and between cohorts.
  • Students should line up according to the seating plans (back of bus at front of line).
  • Students need to load the bus one at a time and wait until the student in front of them is 2 metres ahead.
  • Students must sit in their designated seats according to the seating plan.
  • Staff may board busses to support students when necessary. Medical masks and face shields are to be worn by staff.

Common Spaces 

Cafeteria 

  • Cafeteria and food services will be closed to staff and students during this time.
  • If families opt for students to stay for the afternoon Study Hall, students will bring their lunch and eat in their study hall location.
  • Students may also leave for the full 80 minutes and eat lunch offsite. They may return for the afternoon Study Hall to their assigned location.

Learning Commons 

  • Learning resource team may use the learning commons to support students with specific instructional needs
  • Learning resource teachers will work alongside teachers to meet the needs of their students within their classroom environment
  • Students must be properly spaced out to maintain distancing measures.
  • Seating plans must be provided for those accessing the Learning Commons
  • Students must use the same designated space each time they access the Learning Commons
  • Students must not share resources or materials
  • Computers can be used where physical distancing is maintained and disinfected between use
  • Sanitizer will be available

Student Services

Before the First Day of School

  • All appointments will be virtual.
  • Students and families may contact Student Services by phone or email to book a phone or video conference.

Once Face to Face Classes Begin

  • Only students may access Student Services face to face only on the day they are attending class in person with their cohort.
  • Students may book appointments with Student Services through email or phone.
  • Parents/guardians must continue with virtual appointments, unless all other means have been exhausted.
  • If a face to face meeting is essential, all HWDSB Access Guidelines must be followed by the parents/guardians, including self-screening, physical distancing, and wearing a medical mask while inside the school building.

Extra-Curriculars

  • No extra-curricular activities will be running in the month of September
  • The implementation of extra-curricular activities will be reviewed on a month to month basis moving forward

Before and After School Programs

Cleaning Requirements

  • High touch areas disinfected at least twice daily throughout the building including washrooms.
  • Follow public health guidance on cleaning and disinfecting spaces and keep a cleaning log. Washrooms to be cleaned after each cohort.

Confirmed Case of COVID-19

  • Public health department protocols will be followed.

Shared Materials

  • Sharing of materials will be done on a limited basis ensuring adequate disinfection prior to use.
  • Where toys and equipment are shared, they should be cleaned and disinfected prior to being shared, including between groups.

Masks or Face Coverings

  • Medical masks and eye protection will be worn by staff in schools, and cloth masks will be worn by children in kindergarten to grade 12 with exceptions.
  • The use of masks is not required outdoors for adults or children if physical distancing of a least 2-metres can be maintained.

Pick-Up and Drop-Off

  • Parents will be asked to drop off and pick up outside of the building.
  • As much as possible, parents should not go past the screening area.
  • If a parent enters the building, a medical mask must be worn.

Screening

  • Parents and staff will sign an attestation agreeing to a daily screening. An individual (student or staff) is responsible to perform the screening on a daily basis and to take the appropriate actions including a notification process if symptomatic.
  • All individuals including children attending before and after school, staff, parents/guardians, and visitors must be screened each day before entering the program. A child that has been screened prior to the before school program or core day program, would not need to be re-screened for the after school program.

Shared Spaces and Transitions

  • High touch points to be disinfected at the end of before school program and end of school day.
    Students will gather in their cohorts and will be met outside by their educators to be brought into the school. Educators will dismiss students in their classes directly outside.
  • Before and after school programs limit interactions between cohorts during transitions.
  • Children will be brought outside 15 minutes prior to the entry bell by staff to their classroom cohorts, and gathered after dismissal by staff from their classroom cohorts.

Food Prep

  • No food sharing. Nutrition programs are grab and go. Volunteers to support nutrition programs only.

Isolation Space

  • Isolation of a child takes place is a designated space. Child is supervised until pick up. Protocol in place.
  • If a child is in isolation space, that space must be cleaned and disinfected after the child leaves.
  • If child has not been picked up and the school day is ready to begin, the child should be moved to the school Isolation space before students enter. The school will continue to call the parent and follow school protocols.
  • At the end of the day, school staff will remain until the child is picked up.

Exclusion

  • Ill children/staff, if not tested, must be excluded for 14 days from onset (unless a doctor’s note can be provided verifying symptoms are not COVID-19 related.
  • Children/staff who test negative for COVID-19 must be excluded until 24 hours after symptom resolution.

OFFICE OPERATIONS

Student Registration

Pre-Registration Elementary

  • Parents will use the Parent Portal between August 18 to 27, 2020 to indicate if they want their child to attend school in-person or if they choose remote learning.
  • If a parent/guardian/caregiver elects to have their child learn remotely, they will no longer be assigned to a teacher from their designated school, rather they will be assigned to an HWDSB remote learning class.
  • If a parent chooses to transition from remote to in-person, students will be welcomed back to their designated school for in-person classes, if space is available, only on specific dates throughout the school year (October 13, January 4 and March 22). Parents must complete the Student Attestation before students can attend in person.
  • Parents may contact the Superintendent of Student Achievement to explore alternative dates if there are extraordinary circumstances.

New Registrations

  • Elementary: Students who wish to register with a different school or from another board will be registered with remote learning until the transition date and/or in-person class space becomes available. Registration for the remote learning school will follow the process below.
  • Secondary: All new registrations will be paperless and take place virtually through MS Teams. If  family is new to a catchment area, they should contact the school office by email or phone. All secondary schools are closed to out-of-catchment attendance.

Virtual Registration Process

  • Only parents or legal guardians can register their children for school. The following documents are required:
    • Proof of age (child’s birth certificate or passport).
    • Proof of address (identification that shows parent/guardian’s current home address);
    • Proof of immunization.
    • Verification of date of arrival/immigration documents (if the child was not born in Canada).
    •  Completed Student Registration Form.
  • After a parent registers online, Office staff will contact the family using Teams or phone to schedule a video conference appointment.

Student Attendance

  • Students and parents will have significantly limited access to the main office.
  • All parents are expected to report absences and early dismissals through SchoolMessenger or a direct phone call to the school.
  • Families are encouraged to book any appointments for students (e.g., medical) outside of the regular school day.

Elementary

  • Late Arrival: If a student arrives late to school the student is to report directly to their classroom.
  • Early Dismissal: If a student needs to be dismissed early, the parent must enter the pick-up time in SchoolMessenger. In case of emergencies, the parent must call the office directly with this information.

Secondary

  • Late Arrival: If a student arrives late to school, the student is to report directly to their classroom.
  • Early Dismissal: If a student needs to be dismissed early, the parent must enter the pick-up time in SchoolMessenger. In case of emergencies, the parent must call the office directly with this information. Students who are 18 years of age or older must notify the school through SchoolMessenger or a phone call to the main office.

Parent-School Communication

  • Parents/guardians will communicate with the school and classroom teachers through SchoolMessenger, the Parent Portal, email, phone, and MS Teams.
  • Families are encouraged to have an account in the Parent Portal and to subscribe to the school website for school wide updates.
  • Face to face meetings will occur by appointment only.
  • All visitors must wear a medical mask while in the school.

Parent/Guardian Access to the School

  • This year, schools must significantly limit or even prohibit visitors to school, including parents.
  • It is strongly recommended that parents do not drop off items during the school day.

Early Dismissal of Students

To avoid unnecessary contact, parents will not be expected to sign out their child for early dismissal. Instead, we will follow the process below.

Elementary

  • Parents/guardians must notify the main office in advance about early pick up of a student.

For Kindergarten to Grade 5:

  • When a parent/guardian arrives, they must use the door buzzer and notify staff who they are picking up.
  • The parent/guardian then enters the school and waits in a designated waiting area, where parents/guardians will practice physical distancing (2 metres).
  • All parents/guardians must wear a medical mask when entering the school. If they do not have one, one will be provided by the school.
  • Staff notify the classroom teacher, who dismisses the student from the classroom.

For Grades 6-8:

  • Parent/guardian must call the school to confirm their pick-up and wait outside the main front doors while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Staff will notify the classroom teacher, who will dismiss the student from the classroom.
  • Student meets their parent/guardian outside.
  • If a parent/guardian provides permission for a student to be dismissed on their own, the student will leave their class and leave the school through the main front doors.

Secondary

  • Parent/guardian must call the school to confirm their pick-up and wait outside the main front doors while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Staff will notify the classroom teacher, who will dismiss the student from the classroom.
  • Student meets their parent/guardian outside.
  • If a parent/guardian provides permission for a student to be dismissed on their own, the student will leave their class and leave the school through the main front doors.

Visitors to School

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board wants to provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment for both students and staff. During this time, visitor access to schools will be limited.

A visitor is defined as anyone who is not a student or staff member of the school. Visitors may be HWDSB employees from other locations, non-HWDSB employees, parents etc.

This year, schools have been asked by the Ministry of Education to significantly limit or even prohibit visitors to school, including parents. Visits should be limited and supports provided remotely where possible. Visitors to school should only include essential services to the school such as supports for nutrition programs, mail, deliveries, service people, and Board support staff. Third Party Providers and Partners should speak with their Board contact prior to arriving in a school. In addition, visits to ensure school safety, such as inspections by the Fire Marshal’s office or Public Health will continue. No other visitors will be permitted until further notice e.g., volunteers, guest speakers.

Parents/guardians/caregivers are asked to call their child’s school before attending in person as access may not be granted. HWDSB itinerant staff or external third-party professionals or paraprofessionals should attend the school at a pre-arranged time.

Upon arrival all visitors must review the signage on the external doors and review the screening tool HWDSB Access Guidelines During COVID-19. If the visitor passes the screen, they must contact the Main Office (secondary phone number on the door signage or buzz the elementary school office).

Visitors must sanitize hands upon entry and go to the Main Office, the office administrator will complete the Visitor Log which includes information for contact tracing purposes as well as confirmation that they have completed the Screen before entry. Visitors must sign out when they leave.

All visitors to a school must wear a medical mask. These masks will be provided during sign-in if the visitor does not have one. All Board staff must wear a Board provided medical mask and face shield or goggles.

Note: Volunteers that support essential service programs (student nutrition programs) will be permitted in the schools. Please refer to the Nutrition and Food Distribution Program Protocol for more information.

Schools must keep daily records of anyone (e.g., students, parents/caregivers, staff and visitors) entering the school.

  • Records (e.g., name, contact information, time of arrival/departure, screening completion, etc.) must be kept up to date and available to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Upon arrival the office administrator will complete the HWDSB Visitor’s Log.
  • The office administrator will record the visitor’s departure time once they receive confirmation.
  • Visitors must report as close to their scheduled time as possible (there is no waiting area available) and are limited only to the specific location they are visiting.

Deliveries:

  • Elementary: Delivery person/letter carrier buzzes and then enters to drop off delivery to designated area determined by the Principal, ensuring limited access to the office and appropriate physical distancing.
  • Secondary: Delivery person/letter carrier enters school and drops off delivery to designated area determined by the Principal, ensuring limited access to the office and appropriate physical distancing.
  • Caretaking deliveries and contractors will report directly to the caretaking office.

Board Employees Who Provide Direct Student Support:

Processes that do not require direct student contact should happen remotely when possible. Where in-person support is required, the following must be followed.

  • Until the time that an online designate space booking is available, System Support Staff will arrange via email or phone call with the school Principal (or designate) a date and time 24hrs in advance of site visit, this is to allow for the cleaning and scheduling of a workspace and reserving a portable barrier if needed.
  • When dedicated space is required and booked in advance, portable barrier can be borrowed from main office for use in designate space, PPE is required even if using the portable barrier.
  • Proper hand hygiene procedures will be followed prior to and following access to the space by student and staff member.
  • Proper disinfection of shared items (e.g. Portable barrier, keys, desk area in designate space etc.) must be followed by the visitor utilizing the designated workspace and materials. Disinfectant will be available from Main office.
  • When supporting more than one student in a school, staff must only see one student at a time unless students are from the same cohort. If seeing students from different cohorts staff will disinfect area prior to introducing a new student to the workspace and materials.

Non-Board Employees (3rd Parties and Partners) Who Provide Direct Student Support

Non-Board employees should provide supports remotely where possible. HWDSB partners with grants or fee for service contracts as well as Third Party Providers under PPM 81 are welcome to continue providing direct essential supports at this time. Third Party Providers are identified regulated health professionals, regulated social service professionals and paraprofessionals that provide school-based supports and services, these include Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Language Pathologists and Social Workers as outlined in PPM 81.

  • Non-Board employees who are assigned to a specific school location on a regular schedule will arrange via email or phone call with the school Principal (or designate) a proposed work schedule, this is to allow for the cleaning and scheduling of a workspace. Reservation of a portable barrier should also be requested if needed. A medical mask is still required with the use of physical barriers.
  • Non-Board employees who do not have a regular schedule will arrange via email or phone call with the school Principal (or designate) a date and time 24hrs in advance of site visit, this is to allow for the cleaning and scheduling of a workspace. Reservation of a portable barrier should also be requested if needed. A medical mask is still required with the use of physical barriers.
  • If Non-Board employee has any special needs in terms of space, these requests should be made to the principal in advance.
  • Non-Board employee where applicable, must have parent/caregiver consent prior to accessing the school for support. For LHIN and SBRS this is done at time of referral.
  • Non-Board employees must wear at least a medical mask upon entry to the school. PPE will be the responsibility of the Provider agency.
  • If supporting more than one student in a school the Non-Board employee must only see one student at a time unless students are from the same cohort. If seeing students from different cohorts’ staff will clean area prior to introducing a new student to the workspace and materials.
  • Non-Board employees must ensure they sign out before leaving.
  • School staff (admin, caretaking) will ensure that designate space if used is not reassigned until disinfecting is completed.
LHIN- Nursing Support (Protocol as above with the following additions)

Care Coordinators from the LHIN will be contacting School Admin prior to school start up to confirm list for students and to arrange details for required designated space as described below. For student’s receiving support for administration of medication for diabetes school nutrition break (eating time) will need to be communicated and cannot be modified once set.

Full-Time Nursing for single student
  • Nurse will be embedded in the classroom where client is located, if alternate space is required for client care school must make space available along with cleaning/disinfectant supplies.
  • Ensure space in the classroom for physical distancing between nurse and other school staff
Shared Nursing Support- Multiple Students in the Building (Eg. diabetic support)
  • Ensure that nurse has a location for Donning and Doffing PPE between clients. Nurse will require a clean space for donning new PPE a dirty zone for doffing PPE between clients. The Nurse care coordinator will provide more details to school admin when making arrangements for care schedule in late August.
Nursing Support Single Student in the Building (Single nurse single student)
  • No separate space for donning and doffing required. Nurse will arrive in PPE and doff PPE on exit.

Board Employees and Contractors Not Directly Supporting Students

Where possible, service should be delivered remotely or outside of the school day (elementary) or outside of in-class instructional time (secondary). Where a visit is required, the following must be followed.

  • Sign-in must occur either in the main office or in the caretaking office.
  • If access to a shared workspace is needed during the school day, such as classroom, staff will arrange via email or phone call with the school Principal (or designate) a date and time 24hrs in advance of site visit except for emergencies, this is to allow for the cleaning and scheduling of a workspace.
  • Proper hand hygiene procedures will be followed prior to and following access to the space staff member.
  • Proper disinfection of shared items (e.g. Portable barrier, keys, desk area in designate space etc.) must be followed by the visitor utilizing the designated workspace and materials. Disinfectant will be available from Main office.

Student Access to Office

  • Student access to the office will be limited to emergency or extenuating circumstances only.
  • Students will a wear a non-medical mask, always sanitize their hands and remain behind the plexiglass barrier.

Student Access to Prescription Medication

  • Students who require access to prescription medication in the main office must wear a mask, sanitize their hands and remain behind the Plexiglas barrier.

Phone Calls Home

  • Students are not permitted to use office or school phones to call home. If necessary, staff can make the phone call.

Forgotten Items

  • Students will be called down to meet their parent/guardian outside or at the main entrance to retrieve their item.
  • It is strongly recommended that parents do not drop off items during the school day.

Student Concerns

  • Classroom teacher is the primary point of contact.
  • If a student wishes to raise a concern or speak to administration, they may make an appointment.
  • For an emergency, students may come to the office.

Financial Procedures

  • All financial transactions (e.g.,agendas, Art Kit, yearbooks, spirit wear, etc.) will be processed through SchoolCash online.
  • Where necessary, schools will accept cash or cheques.
  • Parents must place the exact amount of cash in a labeled envelope. No change will be provided.
  • Labels should include student name, purpose of the payment, teacher, and dollar amount.

Fundraising

  • All school fundraising is suspended until further notice.

SPECIALIZED SERVICES 

Education Community Partnership Programs (ECPP)

  • Education programs will operate daily for the full instructional day in Elementary programs per Ministry of Education and HWDSB return to school provisions
  • Education programs will operate daily for the full instructional day in Secondary programs provided appropriate physical distancing measures can be established in the classroom space
  • Cohorts and an attendance schedule will be developed for Secondary Programs where physical distancing measures between students to accommodate full attendance within the available classroom space are not possible.
  • Food preparation/cooking programs in the classrooms will be paused, however nutrition programs may continue with food being in “grab & go” /individually packaged formats
  • Health & Physical Education & Healthy Active Living programs may continue, however equipment is not to be shared between students
  • ECPP classes should only be combined in the same facility for purposes of Day Treatment and while respecting distancing provisions and the target size approximately 15 youth within the same Community Agency.
  • Educational Excursions (field trips) are on pause
  • Community Agency Partner will provide a completed Student Return to School Attestation form for each youth admitted to an ECPP prior to the student attending the ECPP classroom
  • Community Agency Partner will share HWDSB COVID-19 Student Screening Checklist with caregivers for youth attending ECPP classrooms
  • Community Agency Partner staff in classrooms located within HWDSB facilities will wear PPE (mask)
  • Proper handwashing will be followed

Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions and Other Conditions Requiring Medical Intervention

  • The Plan of Care (PoC) will be reviewed.
  • Schools will create an inclusive learning environment by allowing and supporting children with prevalent medical conditions to perform daily or routine activities to manage their conditions
  • Schools will help to reduce the risk of a medical incident or emergency
  • Schools will support children with prevalent medical conditions to participate in school programs/activities to their full potential, as outlined in their Plan of Care.
  • Families should complete and renew all forms and submit to school.

Students with Medically Complex Conditions

  • Schools will limit the number of staff working with students with medically complex conditions as well as the number of transitions required.
  • Specialized equipment (e.g. trays on wheelchairs, sensory items, technology) are used only by the student for which it was assigned. In situations where equipment is accessed by multiple users, items will be disinfected.
  • Full PPE will be worn when one to one or close physical contact is needed (e.g., feeding, support with personal hygiene, catherization etc.)
  • Scheduling of specific times and routes for students with medically complex conditions may be considered to transition students both within class and throughout the school
  • Clearly defined work areas of students with specific consideration of student safety (e.g., close to highly ventilated areas, away for transition routes), may be considered.

Use of Behaviour Management Systems

  • The use of physical intervention through Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) or Behaviour Management Systems (BMS) will only be used in the event a student is in imminent danger of harming themselves or others.
  • A physical intervention response is not used when a student is non-compliant with requests.
  • PPE will be worn anytime a student requires physical intervention to avoid physical harm to self or others.

Calming Rooms/Spaces and Sensory Equipment

Calming Room Use

  • Where possible, students will be provided with a calming space in the classroom.
  • Use of a calming room will be limited to those students for whom this need is determined as essential and outlined in the students’ IEP as an accommodation.
  • Only one student will be able to use the calming room at any time.
  • Use of space by another student may only occur once the room has been disinfected.
  • Calming rooms will be disinfected between each student use.

Sensory Equipment

  • The use of sensory equipment which is included in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), Behaviour Support Plan (BSP), and/or Safe Intervention Plan (SIP), will be prioritized.
Updated on Friday, October 16, 2020.
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