Letter to Families on Delayed Return to School
December 30, 2021
The Ontario Government is updating public health measures and guidance in response to Omicron.
As such, the opening of in-person learning is delayed until Wednesday, January 5, 2022. There will be no remote learning or in-person learning on Monday, January 3 or Tuesday, January 4.
Staff, students, and families have made an incredible effort throughout the pandemic to support our schools in being safe environments for learning and working. Today’s announcement reaffirms a guiding principle that schools should be the last to close and the first to open, while making the health and safety of everyone a priority.
Return to School
- Connecting with Students: Staff will continue efforts related to Reimagining Wellness, which is a series of activities that connect with students and promote safety, routine, and support.
- Remote/In-person Elementary Transition: While there is no formal transition remaining this year, requests will continue to be considered in cases where there is an extraordinary circumstance. Staff are considering additional options to support remote learning.
- Extracurriculars: Further communication will be shared related to extracurricular activities and athletics.
Enhanced Safety Measures
As shared by the Ontario Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario Government is updating its COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines in response to the rapidly spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant. Read the updated Eligibility for PCR Testing and Case and Contact Management Guidance in Ontario.
In the coming days, our COVID-19 response team will connect with Hamilton Public Health Services to review the guidance. We will also share an update related to changes in COVID-19 protocols as well as the impact to case management.
Additional health and safety measures include N95 masks available for staff and 3-ply masks can be made available for students upon request. Ontario is also updating the provincial screening tool and guidance related to Rapid Antigen Testing. Cohort activity will continue to be minimized. Also, we are following our maintenance requirements for ventilation systems as we await HWDSB’s share from the school boards who will receive new HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.
Additional information will be shared with families on Monday, January 3 through the School Messenger notification service as we prepare for the return of in-person learning.
On a final note, public health agencies encourage all eligible individuals to continue with your vaccine schedules. A strong vaccination plan will support our way through this stage of the pandemic.
Thank you for your continued support as we prepare for a safe return to school for staff and students.
Stay safe and healthy,
Chair of the Board
Director of Education