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Family letter on return to in-person learning Monday, February 8

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Family letter on return to in-person learning Monday, February 8

Dear families,

Today, the province announced that HWDSB schools can resume in-person learning on Monday, February 8, 2021. This includes all before-and-after school programs and child care centres.

This return date is earlier than expected, and we know families and staff have questions. We plan to address staff questions with an update tomorrow and family questions in an update Friday.

We remain focused on the safety and well-being of students, staff and families, while maintaining a sense of school community. We are working closely with Hamilton Public Health Services on the safe return to in-person learning.

“We all recognize the importance of the return to in-school learning for our students in Hamilton. We will continue to work collaboratively with our school board partners to support the recommended enhanced health and safety measures to help protect our schools and community as we move forward.” said Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health.

Impacts on elementary learning Impacts on secondary learning
  • Students who were learning in person before January’s fully remote learning period will return to in-person learning Monday, February 8.
  • If students were loaned a device for remote learning, they must return this device when they return to school.
  • Students switching from in-person to remote learning will be contacted by an educator on Monday, February 8 to begin the transfer to the Remote Learning Program.
  • Families asking to move their child from the Remote Learning Program to in-person learning can continue to plan for a February 25 transition. We will share more details on this soon.
  • Secondary schools will resume the adaptive, rotational model and daily schedule used in the fall.
  • In-person learning by cohort occurs in the morning and remote learning in the afternoon.
  • Cohort information is located in a student’s timetable available in the Parent Portal.
  • The semester is divided into four blocks to give each period balanced instructional hours.
  • An updated Semester 2 rotational calendar will be shared on Friday, February 5.

Transportation

Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) is preparing to resume full transportation services on Monday, February 8, 2021.

New Public Health Measures

HWDSB and Hamilton Public Health Services are working to finalize additional screening requirements for secondary students and staff. Further details on new public health measures will be communicated on Friday, February 5.

Students will continue to wear their masks (unless a mask exception is in place); however, a new procedure will start that requires our students to wear masks during specified outdoor activities where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Public Health has shared information about Cold Weather Tips for Schools.

Reminder of Enhanced Public Health Measures

We expect students returning to school to follow enhanced public health measures at HWDSB buildings. These strategies include daily screening for symptoms, physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and wearing of non-medical masks. Staff will help students understand why these measures are in place, how they protect us and how to do them all properly.

Families must review the COVID-19 school screening daily to monitor for symptoms before a child arrives at school. As we return after a period of learning from home, when you screen your child on Monday, please monitor for symptoms over the past 14 days. The City of Hamilton’s Decision Guide can help with next steps if your child has symptoms.

If you answer Yes to any questions on the screen, your child has failed the screen and must not attend school. Follow the next steps outlined in the screening tool. If you need to schedule a COVID-19 test, you may do so through www.HamiltonCovidTest.ca.

Sincerely,

Dawn Danko, Board Chair

Manny Figueiredo, Director of Education

Updated on Wednesday, February 03, 2021.
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