Posted in School Information

VOLUNTARY SCHOOL-BASED SALIVA TESTING FOR COVID-19 AT SELECT SCHOOLS

On November 26, 2020, Ontario’s Minister of Education announced the launch of voluntary schoolbased COVID-19 testing in regions of the province which currently have a high number of active COVID-19 cases. York Region was identified for this initiative, alongside Peel Region, the City of Toronto and the City of Ottawa.
York Region Public Health is working with Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario Laboratory, York Region District School Board (YRDSB) and York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) to implement this initiative.
Voluntary school-based saliva testing for COVID-19 will be offered to students, school staff and immediate family members during the month of December at select schools in communities across York Region. Testing is voluntary and consent will be required from parents or guardians for students under 18 years of age.

Why this testing is being offered: Recent case numbers of COVID-19 have been rising in York Region, however, school-transmission has not been driving these increases and the increased school case-activity is reflective of the number of community cases. Offering on-site testing at a school, or a school in a local catchment area, allows York Region Public Health to:

 Help families and individuals who would like to get a test by removing some of the barriers to testing such as location, appointment difficulties or lack of transportation

 Support our case finding in schools and provide a more thorough understanding of where transmission may be occurring

In York Region, 23 elementary schools and 7 secondary schools have been selected based on the following criteria:

 Elementary/secondary schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19 where cohorts have been dismissed to self-isolate for 14 days; OR

 Elementary schools in the same secondary school catchment area with no confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no classes that have been dismissed; OR

 Communities located at greater distances from COVID-19 Assessment Centres in York Region

If your school has been selected for this initiative, you will receive a second letter providing further instructions and the specific location, date and time for this voluntary saliva testing.

If your school has not been selected, COVID-19 testing continues to be offered through Assessment Centres. For information on symptoms, testing and more visit york.ca/covid19 and york.ca/SafeAtSchool or call Access York at 1-877-464-9675.

PUBLIC HEALTH

1-877-464-9675

TTY 1-866-512-6228

york.ca/SafeAtSchool

Posted in School Information

Inclement Weather Message

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Tuesday, December 1, 2020. 

This may affect our ability to operate student transportation and open school and board locations to students. As a precaution, please make alternate arrangements for your children in the event a closure is required due to inclement weather. 

As noted in our communication to families last week, this year, when an inclement weather day is declared, school transportation will be cancelled and schools will be closed to students. If an inclement weather day is declared, please do not send your child to school. In previous years, schools have remained open when school transportation is cancelled, however, given the importance of adhering to our health and safety guidelines, schools will be closed to students on inclement weather days. We are unable to guarantee appropriate coverage for students on inclement weather days when school transportation is closed and classes cannot be combined. 

Announcements will be posted as early as possible and no later than 6:00 a.m. Please check the following for updates: 

  • Student Transportation Services website: schoolbuscity.com
  • Student Transportation Hotline: 1-877-330-3001
  • @YRDSB Twitter account
  • Board website (www.yrdsb.ca) and school websites
  • Radio and TV media outlets

Please continue to monitor local media for up to date weather forecasts and take safety precautions advised by local authorities. 

Our priority continues to be the safety of our students, staff members and families.

Posted in School Information

Update Re: Potential Covid-19 Exposure at Wilshire

Dear families,

On November 23, families were notified that a student at Wilshire was a probable case of Covid-19 and all students and staff members who worked in the same cohort as that student were asked to self-isolate. On November 26, these same students and staff members were notified that a negative result was received for that student and their symptoms had resolved. It was determined that no one had been exposed at Wilshire and everyone could safely return to school on Friday, November 27.

As always, please continue to monitor the health of all family members, watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and keep your children home if they are experiencing symptoms.

Thank you.

Posted in School Information

Letter from the Director of Education regarding Inclement Weather Days

Dear families, 

This year, we are doing many things differently in our schools to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the health and safety of our students, staff members and families. As we enter the colder months, we have also reviewed what it will look like when inclement weather days are declared and school transportation is cancelled. 

We usually try to keep schools open as much as possible, and in previous years, schools have remained open when school transportation is cancelled. This year, however, given the importance of adhering to our health and safety guidelines, we have made the decision to close schools to students when an inclement weather day is declared and school transportation is cancelled. Please do not send your child to school when an inclement weather day is declared. We are unable to guarantee appropriate coverage for students on inclement weather days when school transportation is closed and classes cannot be combined. 

Please take the time to make plans in the event of an inclement weather day school closure. Please note that before and after care programs will not be operating on inclement weather days.For on-site, full-day child care, please confirm with your childcare operator. We recognize that this may be an inconvenience for some families. This decision was not made lightly and made to prioritize the health and safety of students, staff members and families. 

There are rare occasions when school transportation is cancelled due to extreme cold weather and not road conditions, and schools will remain open for students. 

Student learning will continue:

  • Students attending elementary school in person will be provided with learning activities for the day through their Google classroom and teachers will be available online to support students. 
  • Students attending secondary school in person will shift to virtual learning for all of their classes for the day. 
  • Elementary and secondary virtual schools will operate as normal. 

Communication to families

Decisions about school transportation and school closures will be made as early as possible and no later than 6:00 a.m. We will do our best to notify families in advance. Our priority continues to be the safety of our students, staff members and families. If you have any questions, please speak with your school principal.

Transportation cancellations or school closures will also continue to be communicated through:

Families who have provided the school with their cell phone will also receive a text message, unless you have opted out of this service. Please contact your school if you have any questions. 

For more information on inclement weather days, please visit our website www.yrdsb.ca

Posted in School Information

Message from our Trustee

Dear families, 

I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well. 2020 has been a challenging year in so many ways, and the global pandemic has affected individuals and families in different ways. 

I want to reassure you that we continue to work closely with York Region Public Health and to prioritize the health and well-being of our students, staff members and families.  It continues to be important that we adhere to the health and safety measures in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can learn more about what schools are doing at www.yrdsb.ca/school-reopening

While we have seen cases in some of our schools, we continue to work with public health to respond quickly, identify cohorts that need to self-isolate as a precautionary measure and take all appropriate measures. I want to thank all of our students, families and staff members for their diligence in adhering to the public health recommendations and health and safety measures in place in our schools. 

One of our priorities in our Multi-Year Strategic Plan is to foster well-being and mental health. As a result of the pandemic, many of us are facing changes and new challenges that can take a toll on our mental health. It is more important than ever that we check in on one another and practice self-care. There are mental health resources for students and families on our Board website that address the unique nature of our current situation. You can also find information about our Mental Health and Addiction Strategy and the work we are doing in schools to promote positive mental health and provide support for students.  

While there are challenges, we also continue to have so many reasons to feel positive. Our students continue to impress us with their kindness, creativity, innovation, resilience, courage and perseverance. Visit us on YouTube at YRDSBMedia to see just some of these stories.  

In the coming weeks and months, many of our students and families will be celebrating days of significance and holidays, and I wish you all the very best for the season. While we may be celebrating a little differently this year, I hope everyone has a safe and happy winter break and we look forward to welcoming students back into our in-person and virtual schools in January. 

Posted in School Information

The Giving Tree

Our Wilshire Giving Tree is an annual holiday campaign to support less fortunate people in our community. While Covid has changed the way we have to do things this year, we still want to do what we can to support our wider community. This year, instead of food and clothing items, we will accepting gift cards for stores that can be used to purchase these items. All gift cards will be donated to the Vaughan Food Bank (https://donate.fbyr.ca/) and the York Region Police Holiday Heroes campaign (http://www.yrp.ca/hhdonate). We are also encouraging families to donate directly to both agencies. Please see the student-made flyer below. Help us celebrate the holidays by giving back to our community this season!

Posted in School Information

Wilshire Talent Showcase

Hello Wilshire Families,

This is a reminder that our Wilshire Virtual Talent Showcase is coming up soon. Your one minute or less videos are due by December 1st. Remember to film your video, upload it to your child’s school Google Drive and then Share with Mr. Barlow through Google. You do not need to include an introduction of who you are and what you will be doing in your video as there will be an introduction before each video.

Get your videos in this weekend and let’s celebrate the talented kids of Wilshire!

Posted in School Information

Clarification Re Covid 19 Exposure

Dear Parents,

There was a delay in the message sent to the parents of the particular students who were exposed to the confirmed Covid 19 case. Only one class of students needs to self-isolate at home. The parents of these students should have received an email at 4:50 today to inform you. We apologize for the delay and confusion.

Thank you.

Posted in School Information

Potential Covid-19 Exposure at Wilshire

Dear families,

I am writing to inform you York Region Public Health is working with us and is currently investigating a potential COVID-19 exposure at our school. I recognize this information may be concerning for families and I want to assure you we are working in partnership with Public Health and taking all appropriate steps for the health, safety and well-being of our school community.

York Region Public Health is conducting a thorough investigation. If your child was identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case in our school, you will have received a separate communication on behalf of Public Health. If you are not contacted by Public Health, your child is not considered a close contact and would not be required to stay home from school.

Public Health has already provided notification to all families whose children had close contact with a COVID-19 case in a school and advise them to keep their child at home for 14 days. Certain classrooms, cohorts or individuals in the school such as staff and other students may be advised to stay home until Public Health can investigate the case further to obtain additional information and determine the level of risk. In some circumstances, families may be advised Public Health has determined it is safe for your child to return to school before the end of the 14-day period. Such a situation may occur when Public Health’s risk assessment and thorough investigation reveals further information and/or test results determining it is safe for your child to return to school before the 14-day period.


Wilshire ES has worked diligently to implement strict public health measures within the school environment such as physical distancing of students and staff, increased hand hygiene, cohorting of classrooms and the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of acquiring COVID-19. In addition to our regular twice-daily cleaning of high touch surfaces, additional cleaning of affected areas will be undertaken. The building remains safe and open for our students and staff members.

The identity of the person is protected under privacy legislation and cannot be shared. You would want this same privacy if your family was affected. We remain committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment and to respecting the privacy of individuals.

We continue to work closely with York Region Public Health to keep our students, staff and families safe. You can find information on the Board website with information about measures being taken in YRDSB schools and workplaces.

I know this is difficult news and may cause feelings of concern and anxiety. It is important to follow the advice of York Region Public Health. Please visit york.ca/covid19 for information on ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and what to do if you think you or a family member may have COVID-19.

For information to support decision making by parents about whether your child should attend school and/or be tested for COVID-19, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care.

If you have any questions or concerns, please visit york.ca/covid19 or contact York Region Public Health at 1-877-464-9675.

Sincerely,

Cory Barlow
Principal

Posted in School Information

Electronic Report Card Distribution

Dear Families,

I wanted to make you aware that the electronic distribution of report cards that was scheduled to be completed by end of day yesterday is continuing and is expected to be completed by approximately 6pm today. The delay is on the IT end as the large number of reports from all YRDSB elementary schools has taken longer than anticipated. You will receive an email to your email address that is on file with the school once your child’ report card is ready to be accessed.

We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience.