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Update for Secondary Families, January 27, 2022

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Update for Secondary Families, January 27, 2022

Dear Families,

With the current quadmester coming to an end, we wanted to share information with families about Semester Two, including the anticipated return to a normal semester model with four courses a day.

HWDSB continues to receive and review guidance from the Ministry of Education, and changes in procedures due to the evolving nature of the pandemic may still take place. To support families through these changes, we are communicating what we know and are committed to providing timely updates when new guidance and procedures are shared.

Students are reminded to complete the daily COVID-19 symptom screening and to stay home if you are sick. The updated screening tool can be found at COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening.  Students who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to self-report to their schools. Details are below.

Student Success Days and Examinations 

Student Success Days are an opportunity for all students to complete tasks, assignments, performances, or other activities to demonstrate their achievement of overall learning expectations. For the current quadmester, the Student Success Days will take place on January 31 and February 1.

Classroom teachers will work with students to determine what assignments, tasks, or performances will be completed.

Secondary P.A. Day – February 2, 2022

Wednesday, February 2 is a professional activity day for all secondary schools. Educators will focus on final marks and evaluation from Quadmester Two and prepare for the beginning of the next semester.

The first day of Semester Two will be Thursday, February 3.

Semester Two Learning Model

The Ministry of Education has permitted school boards to move to a regular timetable for secondary unless otherwise directed by their local public health units. HWDSB will be returning to the regular four courses at the start of Semester Two unless otherwise directed by Hamilton Public Health Services.

The Quadmester model or alternating week model will not be in place for Semester Two unless mandated by the ministry.

Update on Extra-Curricular Activities

Beginning in February we will resume low contact sports.  All indoor sport protocols will be followed for low contact sports. Schools will also continue to follow Public Health and OPHEA guidelines.   

The pause on high-contact sports remains in place. More information will be shared once we receive direction from the Ministry of Education.  

*Editors note: A protocol update was shared on Jan. 28 about extra-curriculars and clubs.

Cafeteria and Shared-Use Spaces

Availability of cafeteria and other shared-use spaces (including lockers) are determined on a school-by-school basis. Please contact your school to determine which areas are available for use.

Rapid Antigen Tests

HWDSB has received a shipment of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) from the Ministry for secondary in-person students. We are in the process of delivering these tests to schools for distribution to students.

Each in-person student will receive one kit (consisting of two tests) from their school. These tests are for home-use only and will not be administered at schools. Students should use these tests only when they become symptomatic. Additional tests will not be provided at this time.

Instructions for the use of the kits can be found at https://www.hwdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/testing-for-covid-19/#tabs-111.

COVID-19 Self Reporting

Students who test positive for COVID-19 on a RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) or PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test are encouraged to self-report their results to their schools. Principals will communicate to the affected classes and cohorts, through the school website, when a positive test result has been self-reported by a staff member or a parent/guardian. As always, personal information will not be shared.

More information on the process can be found in our Updated COVID-19 Case Reporting post.

Continuity of Learning

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or who are a close contact of a confirmed positive case and do not pass the COVID-19 school screening tool are encouraged to learn at home if they feel well enough to do so. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with their educators if they will not be attending school. Learn more about Continuity of Learning During an Absence here.

EQAO (Education Quality Accountability Office) for Semester Two

Grade 9 EQAO math assessments will resume in Semester Two. Students taking Grade Nine Mathematics (MTH1W) in semester two will participate in the assessment. Students in eLearning will not participate. The assessment will be scheduled in late June.

Semester Two – eLearning Orientation Night

Secondary students and families enrolled in eLearning courses for Semester Two are invited to join this online orientation. The session takes place on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, from 6-7 p.m.

Join via MS Teams at https://hwdsb.info/elearning-orientation

Winter 2022 Mental Health Workshops, Groups and Resources

COVID-19 has challenged many of us when it comes to our mental health and well-being. Sadly, not everyone is finding the supports they need.

To help, we have collected a list of resources that HWDSB offers our school communities. This includes a wide variety of workshops and groups for students, as well as for their parents, guardians and caregivers. We have also collected relevant resources from School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO).

Thank you to all students and staff for continuing to do your part to keep schools open and safe by active screening, staying home when ill and encouraging each other to follow health and safety protocols both in and out of school.

Keep safe and stay well,

Dawn Danko, Chair of the Board
Manny Figueiredo, Director of Education

Updated on Friday, January 28, 2022.
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