Procedure Changes at Dundana
Over the last few weeks, provincial leadership and HWDSB have made a number of changes to directives and protocols impacting our school. For more information about these, please go to: https://www.hwdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/
These changes have impacted the procedures we follow at the school level. Some of these changes begin today, while others will follow in the coming weeks as we gradually change some routines.
Here is an overview of changes you will see at Dundana as of today.
–No verification of student screening required – Families are still asked to ensure their child is cleared for school attendance each morning by using the provincial screener, which can be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ However, families are not required to show evidence of this screening using the calendar that was provided.
– Masking – By HWDSB directive, students and staff are required to wear masks while indoors at school and on the bus until April 1st and are encouraged to continue doing so after April 1st as well. There are no mask requirements when outside. For families who wish to file a mask exemption for their child, please use the form on the parent portal or pdf form attached here: Student-Mask-Exemption At school, staff are encouraging students to have a conversation with their parents/guardians to know when they should be wearing a mask or not, based on family wishes.
–Cohorting – We no longer have any requirements to cohort students by class inside or outside the school. The biggest change to this is on our playground. Our grade 1 to 5 students will now be sharing the entire blacktop and field (when weather permits) before school, at recess and after school. This will allow our students to spread out, use sports equipment, and play with students from other classes during these non instructional times. Kindergarten playground areas may also be used for students from multiple classes. Inside, it may mean that educators will choose to combine students from multiple classes when it supports programming (e.g. extra-curriculars, reading buddies, shared class projects) without prior notification to families.
–Classroom Set Up – For the last few years, our classroom spaces have contained student desks spread out to maximize distancing. With distancing requirements dropped, educators have begun shifting furniture to allow for more collaboration and small group instruction. This may mean desks grouped together or communal tables, guided reading tables, and activity centres.
–Visitors in the School – Over the next few weeks, more information will be shared about inviting visitors into the school as this process is rolled out gradually. Visitors will still be encouraged to wear a mask if they are able, and will be required to sign in at the office upon arrival.
However, we are aware that health risks still exist and there are a number of procedures that will continue at this time. Here are a few things that haven’t changed.
–Availability of Masks for Students and Visitors – For students who wish to wear a mask at school but forget/lose/soil masks from home can request a mask from their educator or the office.
–Continued Voluntary Reporting of COVID 19 Cases – If a parent/guardian or staff member discloses a positive COVID 19 case in a student or staff member, this will continue to be reported anonymously on the school website. Reporting of a case can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by phone to 905.628.2622
–Continued Monitoring of Student Health – If a student becomes symptomatic throughout the school day as per the Ontario student screener, parents/guardians will be contacted and the student will be isolated until they are picked up. Please ensure students who are symptomatic before school in the morning continue to stay home until they are well enough to pass the screener.
–Hand Hygiene and Sanitizing Practices – Hand sanitizer will continue to be available in our learning spaces and students will continue to be encouraged to clean their hands regularly. Frequently used surfaces around the school (e.g. handrails, desks) will continue to be sanitized regularly.
All of these changes after so long can be jarring. Staff will be working with students to acclimate them to the new procedures, and we will introduce further changes in the coming weeks. As those changes are made, we will continue to provide updates to families via this website. Please continue to also monitor the HWDSB website for further board or provincial changes.