We know that parents have a lot of questions about the upcoming school year and we also know that schools and classrooms will look different when we return. The health and safety of students and staff is our top priority as we prepare for the upcoming school year. We will have increased health and safety measures in every school that operate in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Public Health requirements.
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 will be required to wear masks during the upcoming school year. This enhanced health and safety measure builds on the Provincial requirement for students in Grades 4 to 12 to wear masks during the school day.
Staff will also be exploring alternatives, such as face shields, for students who are unable to wear masks. Staff will work with and approach compliance among younger students with compassion and a focus on education. There will be no disciplinary action for students having difficulty complying.
Signage and Wayfinding
Appropriate signage will be posted throughout our school sites, plexiglass will be installed in appropriate spaces, hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and offices, and our school buses and classrooms will be thoroughly and frequently cleaned. In addition, schools will have designated entrances and exits. Hallways and stairwells will be designated for one-way flow and physical distance reminders will be placed throughout the building. Health and safety is at the heart of every element of our return to school planning.
Staff and educators will regularly remind students of the importance of proper hand hygiene and assist younger students as needed. Staff will also incorporate frequent hand hygiene into their daily classroom routines. Signs will be posted at all sinks to remind students of proper handwashing techniques. In addition, signs will be placed throughout the school to indicate the nearest hand washing facility. Students MUST wash their hands:
- when they arrive at school and before they go home;
- before eating and drinking;
- after using the washroom;
- after sneezing or coughing into hands or tissue or assisting students with using a tissue;
- after using any common supplies, equipment or devices
- whenever hands are visibly dirty;
- when moving between different learning environments or centres(e.g., outdoor-indoor transitions)
In addition to hand washing, hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the school.
Further details are expected to come forward soon around COVID-19 protocols, from the Ministry of Education and Region of Waterloo Public Health. We will share more information on this process when we receive more information.