Posted in School Information

Return to School: Update

Dear Families,

On Wednesday, February 3, 2021 the Minister of Education announced schools in York Region will re-open for in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. 

York Region Public Health reassures you it is safe to return to school. York Region District School Board and York Region Public Health are working closely together and taking all appropriate steps for the health, safety and well-being of our school community. This includes updating our screening guidance and implementing more stringent protocols. 

Please visit york.ca/safeatschool for up to date information on public health measures related to school reopening. 

Updated screening guidance

Effective immediately, all students and staff are required to complete a York Region Public Health school and child-care screening tool. Daily confirmation of screening will be required for staff and secondary students.

Effective immediately:

  • If a student or staff member has ONE symptom of COVID-19 they are required to stay home from school and child-care and get tested for COVID-19 at an Assessment Centre
  • If anyone in a household has travelled outside of Canada, everyone must stay home from school and child-care until the 14-day quarantine period has finished, except for essential reasons
  • If anyone in your household is sick and has not tested negative for COVID-19, or does not have an alternative diagnosis from a health-care provider, all others in the household must stay home from school and child-care until the results are known or an alternative diagnosis is provided
  • If someone in the household is identified as a high-risk/close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, the whole household is required to stay home from school for the 14-day quarantine period, except for essential reasons**

** Please note: Individuals in a dismissed cohort do not need to have the rest of their household stay home from school or child-care unless contacted by Public Health. Public Health will work with the affected school or child-care setting to identify individuals within cohorts that may be at increased risk of exposure to provide further direction.

Health and Safety Measures

As we have previously communicated, there are some new health and safety measures in place, including:

  • Masks are now required for students in Grades 1-12. Students in kindergarten are strongly encouraged to wear masks. 
  • Masks are now required outdoors, during recess as well as common areas, in addition to in-class.
  • Students are discouraged from congregating before and after school.
  • York Region Public Health is recommending that students wear three-layer masks. Two layer masks are permitted if they are clean and fit appropriately.
  • Families dropping off and picking up their children at school are reminded to wear masks and not congregate while on school property. 
  • Please continue to reinforce hand hygiene practices

What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 in my child’s class?

Any staff or children who have had close contact with a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case in a school will receive a letter from York Region Public Health advising them to stay at home for 14 days. Certain individuals may receive more instructions from Public Health if the investigation reveals the student/staff/essential visitor is at increased risk of exposure. These individuals will receive a phone call from Public Health to outline any additional requirements, including isolation of household contacts. The identity of any person who contracts COVID-19 is protected under privacy legislation and cannot be shared. You would want this same privacy if your family was affected. We remain committed to respecting the privacy of all students and staff.

Inclement Weather

Families are reminded that, in the event an inclement weather day is declared, schools will be closed to in-person learning and learning will take place remotely. Virtual School students are not affected by inclement weather days. 

We are all looking forward to seeing students in-person next week. It is our commitment to continue to prioritize safety and well-being for all students and staff.