We hope you are enjoying the remaining weeks of summer. We are looking forward to welcoming our face-to-face and remote learning students back to school for the 2021-22 school year.
Over the summer, Board staff have been busy preparing for the safe return of students and staff. We wanted to give you an update on what students and families can expect for the start of school, including:
- First day of school
- Health and safety measures
- Virtual town hall
First Day of School
The first day of school is Thursday, September 9. There is a supported entry plan for Kindergarten Year 1 (Junior Kindergarten, JK) students, starting on September 9 or September 10. Wilshire ES will send an email to all our Kindergarten families the week of August 30th with more information..
Elementary – Grades 1 – 8
The first day of school for all elementary school students is Thursday, September 9.
For most secondary schools, Thursday, September 9 is Grade 9 day. Grade 9 students only will attend. The first day of school for all students is Friday, September 10. Your school will send you information about the first day of school.
School calendars for all schools are available on the Board website.
Health and Safety Measures
Similar to last year, we continue to work closely with York Region Public health to ensure we are taking all appropriate measures. To protect the health and safety of our students, staff members and families and in collaboration with public health, we are taking a measured approach and putting in additional measures beyond the provincial guidelines at the start of the school year. We will continue to monitor and work closely with public health to evaluate these measures on an ongoing basis. These health and safety measures will include:
- Properly fitted Masks (non-medical) are required for all students in Grades 1 to 12, including in hallways and during classes and on school transportation. Kindergarten students are strongly encouraged to wear a non-medical mask.
o Parents/guardians must provide their child with at least three personal masks (non-medical) to wear at school. Public Health Agency of Canada recommends Canadians wear three-layer masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
o For more information about how to use face coverings properly, visit www.york.ca/covid19.
o All school staff will wear a medical mask and other personal protective equipment as required.
- On a daily basis, staff members, parents/guardians of students under 18 and students over 18 are responsible to review and adhere to the COVID-19 School and Child-Care Screening Tool. Any student or staff member experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or answer yes to any of the screening questions is required to remain home.
- Hand hygiene will be encouraged throughout the school day. A hand sanitizing station will be placed in the front lobby of the school and in classrooms.
- Students are to wash hands using soap and water or use hand sanitizer immediately before: leaving home, leaving the classroom, eating, touching one’s face, and leaving school.
- Where possible, students must maintain a physical distance at all times, as they enter, move through and exit the building. Signs will be placed throughout the school to minimize close contact between students.
- Until further notice, visitor(s) are not to enter the school during hours of operation unless identified through a prearranged exception. Please ensure your child brings their lunch and snacks required for their day at school.
- Classrooms will be decluttered and furniture removed where possible to minimize areas that are touchable and to maximize mobility.
- Cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces will be conducted as per Public Health guidelines.
For more information on health and safety measures, please visit www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening and www.york.ca/safeatschool. During the first week of school, staff members will support students in learning the health and safety routines.
Virtual Town Hall
We expect families to have many questions about this year’s return to school. To help address your questions and concerns, we are planning a virtual town hall for families to take place on Thursday, September 2 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Family members may submit questions online by Tuesday, August 31 12:00 p.m. Questions will be answered by a panel of experts.
Information about the 2021-2022 school year is available on the Board website, including frequently asked questions that are regularly updated. There are also resources available on the Board website to support students and families. We will continue to post and send updates as new information becomes available. Please check your inbox, YRDSB’s COVID-19 webpage and our social media channels regularly for updates.
On behalf of York Region District School Board staff, we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards providing a safe and supportive start up to the new school year.
What to Bring
Please send your child to school with:
● a mask (for students in Kindergarten this strongly encouraged but not required)
● snack and lunch (no lunches can be dropped off at the school)
● change of clothes (Kindergarten only)
● sunscreen and hat
● water bottle
Please label all of your child’s items with their name.
We also want to assure you that our caring, skilled and professional staff members are well prepared to support student learning and well-being in this transition back to school. We know that the closures affected families differently, and that some students may not have been able to access learning as regularly, or experienced disruptions in their routines. We will work with you and your child to support your child’s mental health, well-being and academics during this transition back to school and to our new school routines.
We have a dedicated staff with a strong commitment to student well-being and achievement, and to promoting positive, inclusive and supportive relationships with students, families, staff and community members. We are committed to providing a learning environment where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected.
We will share our procedures for arriving on the first day of school by next Friday.
We look forward to welcoming you and your child back to school.