COVID-19 Update to Families #27 – October 8, 2020
October 8, 2020
As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to provide updates on our enhanced public health measures and learning at HWDSB. Like you, we are concerned about the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton. It is a call to action for us all to do our part to keep our community safe.
Enhanced Public Health Measures
Student Screening, Exclusion, and Return to School Procedures
Thank you for continuing to screen your child/ren for possible symptoms of COVID-19 and learn the protocols related to student absence and health procedures. It is important that we do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19. If your child is ill, they are to stay at home.
As of October 5, a revised screening tool for students in school and child care is being used. The province adjusted the type and number of symptoms needed for child/ren to stay home for a period of time and when to seek medical advice. As a result, public health updated their decision guides to align with provincial changes related to a symptomatic child at home (COVID at Home Protocol) and a symptomatic child at school (COVID at School or Child Care Protocol).
Schools are following a strict exclusion process for individuals who become symptomatic or fail the screening process. The Attestation for return to school/child care following illness or self-isolation is now included in the return process. Parents and guardians can complete the form to accompany your child’s return to school.
As we continue to live with COVID-19, and in anticipation of the upcoming flu season, we are encouraging you to protect the health of the children and staff to minimize the spread of illness. To find out more about flu and flu shot options in the City of Hamilton, visit www.hamilton.ca/flu.
Public Health is currently planning for their 2020-21 immunization sessions. These clinics will be in a secondary school gym running on Tuesday and Thursday nights and on some Saturdays. Public health will communicate scheduled clinic dates for Grade 7 immunizations (catch-up from last spring and this year’s Grade 7 cohort – 2007 & 2008 birth years). Information will be shared through your child’s school.
Learning at HWDSB
Remote/In-Person Transition for Elementary Students, November 3
Parents and guardians may indicate their choice through Forms in the Parent Portal. The Elementary Transition Between Remote and In-Person (Optional Update Form) closes Monday, October 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Only those parents and guardians who want a change are to complete the form. More details can be found here.
There will be two more transition points, January 2021 and March 2021, where a switch can be requested between remote and in-person learning. The first transition aligns with our annual school re-organization commitment, which is driven by student enrolment numbers. The next two, however, may not be as flexible due to space limitations, resources, or the current COVID-19 climate. Our commitment to keep class sizes low for in-person learning based on the reserve funds approved by our Trustees will be upheld.
Secondary students will receive a paper copy of their Interim Report distributed during the week of October 13. Students with a full eLearning timetable will receive their Interim Report in the mail. Parents and guardians can expect their child/ren in elementary school to receive their Progress Reports during the last week in October. More information will be shared about how families will receive them.
Secondary Rotation Start Dates
As part of our adaptive model in secondary school, the second rotation will begin on Tuesday, October 13. This means that for a four-period school, the in-person course will be period 2 and remote learning courses will be periods 3, 4, and 1. In a five-period school, the in-person course will be period 2 and remote learning courses will be periods 3/4, 5, and 1.
While Meet the Educator events will not take place this year, teachers can discuss student progress with a parent or guardian via a telephone call or a video conference using MS Teams. Contact your child’s school to make an appointment. Grade 8 Information Nights will take place virtually in November. We are exploring a digital showcase to highlight our student pathways night, My Path, My Way.
Forms in the Parent Portal
There are many forms for parents and guardians to review in the Parent Portal. Media Consent, Elementary Emergency Closure, Digital Use, Elementary Nutrition Break Permission, and the Student Verification Form are available for you to complete per child.
Stay well and be safe,
Director of Education