Toronto Public Health (TPH), has just announced that all schools in Toronto, including those at the TDSB, will be closed to in-person learning as of Wednesday, April 7, 2021 and remain closed up to and including Sunday, April 18, 2021. This TPH order is being made under Section 22 of Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Daily schedule: We will revert to the adjusted daily schedule which we followed after the winter break until the Family Day week-end.
Update May 10: from Trustee Shelley Laskin’s May 9th update:
- “The Ministry of Education has not yet shared any information regarding a re-opening plan for in-person learning in schools, although Minister Lecce was asked about this by multiple reporters earlier this week.”
- September 2021 – Preliminary Plans
- Ministry is directing that cohorting of students is to continue to limit number of student to student interactions. As such there will be a limit of two classes per day when possible and the planning for pivoting to fully remote must be planned. Our staffing process has already begun for next school year. There will be one opportunity to switch between In Person Learning and Virtual learning for Semester 2
Update May 12 from Trustee Rachel Chernos Lin:
- The remote learning model will look different from most of this year, there is no central Virtual School.
- the high school schedule will again be divided up in Quadmesters, with two courses at a time (September – Mid November; Mid-November – January; February – mid-April; Mid-April – June). However, we do not know what the daily schedule will look like, as we have not been given parameters regarding size of cohorts. We have been told to expect this guidance to come in August
- a date to switch between virtual and in-school is currently part of the plans, but not until February.
Notice that OSSLT day, previously scheduled for April 8th, has been removed.
- Triple layer cloth masks are now recommended for students and will be delivered to schools.
- The Operational Guidelines committee is working on a procedure to return textbooks (etc) following TPH guidelines. Messaging will come from our superintendent in the next few days. However, if arrangements have already been made with your teacher, please follow them.
- Grad photos – procedures for safely taking grad photos are being discussed by the TDSB. More info to follow.
- Charity Week is next week!!! Please note that the final date for ticket purchase for Charity Week events is MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15.
- Staff meeting: Tuesday Feb. 23 @ 2:40pm (early close schedule; student dismissal at 2:35pm)
Parents and students should have received the following from the TDSB:
March Break Delay
On the advice of public health officials, the break is now scheduled for April 12 – 16, 2021.
Important Health and Safety Update for Parents/Guardians
New TPH Screening Tool for Students
One of the most important things we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, is for students to screen themselves daily for any symptoms of COVID-19 and also follow the circumstances in which they should stay home. Toronto Public Health (TPH) has revised its screening tool for students, effective immediately. The update is that everyone in a household must now complete the updated COVID-19 screening daily. Both the TDSB Student Health Pass and the TDSB Health App have been updated with this change.
Testing for COVID-19
Toronto Public Health recommends staff, students and their household members who have even one mild symptom of COVID-19 get tested. TPH will continue to recommend asymptomatic testing in schools where necessary and will work with testing partners to coordinate testing in high-risk cohorts. We will provide updates on testing as it becomes available.
Continued Health and Safety Practices
Please remind your child of the continued importance of hand washing, physical distancing and mask wearing, which is required for all staff, visitors and students JK to Grade 12. Toronto Public Health offers guidance on the qualities of a good mask, which includes being made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric and, if possible, a middle “filter” layer.
Please remember that parents and students are not to congregate in the school yard, and, outside of school, students should not gather with others, even with those in their cohort.
In our schools, we will continue to promote these strategies as well as continue with our enhanced cleaning practices including twice daily cleaning of high touch surfaces, increasing air flow and improving ventilation including through the use of HEPA filters (in all learning spaces without mechanical ventilation), and opening windows for short periods of time throughout the day to introduce fresh air in classrooms and schools.
Public Health Nurses will also continue to support schools with responding to COVID-19 and building healthy school communities.
Mental Health and Well-Being
These challenging times are not only hard on our physical health, but also our mental health and well-being. Please join us for a webinar with our TDSB mental health professionals tonight — Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. — to learn practical strategies for coping through COVID and have an opportunity to ask questions and learn with our TDSB community. We hope you’ll join us.
Thank you for your continued support and patience. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to keep our schools safe so our students can focus on learning.