February 3, 2021
Today Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that all schools in certain boards (including AMDSB) would be returning to in person learning on Monday, February 8. Click here for the Ontario media release. In order to prepare for this return and minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools, the Ministry has introduced additional safety measures including:
- New masking requirements for students in Grades 1 - 3.
- New requirements to wear masks outdoors when a physical distance of 2m cannot be maintained. This includes recess as students do not maintain distance at all times.
- Increased enforcement to avoid congregating students before and after school. A reminder to wear masks when 2m distance cannot be maintained.
- Enhanced screening protocols (confirmation of self-screening for all secondary students).
- Targeted testing for eligible schools.
- Mandatory health and safety protocol refresher training for all students on their first day back to school.
We provided full details to families on the information above last week so please click here if you would like to read this information again.
Buses will resume their regular schedule on Monday February 8. Please continue to watch for last minute route cancellations due to driver shortages.
We would also like to provide additional information divided by Elementary and Secondary.
Elementary (Grades K to 8)
Teachers will be given time to pivot back to face to face learning on Monday, February 8. As a result on Friday, February 5, teachers will begin the day at their usual start time but the day will not be synchronous learning. Instead, students will be given direction from their teacher regarding the asynchronous work they are to complete independently that day.
Also, elementary report cards will be distributed on Friday February 26.
Secondary (Grades 9 to 12)
As you are aware, all students are required to self-screen using the Ontario School Screening tool before attending school (this tool has been in place since September). Beginning Monday, secondary students will be asked to confirm that they have completed the screening tool at the beginning of the school day. Students will be asked to verbally confirm as part of the attendance procedure each morning. Students who cannot confirm that they have completed the self-screening will be asked to immediately complete a paper copy. For students who are not able to provide verbal confirmation, a paper copy confirmation process will be developed between staff and the parent/guardian. Details will be provided directly to these parents/ guardians. Please help us to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent outbreaks in our schools by ensuring your child does the self-screening everyday before riding a bus or coming to school. Together we can keep our schools open!
In addition, please remind students to avoid congregating on school property and to wear a mask if 2m of distance can not be maintained.
Finally, secondary report cards will be distributed on Friday February 19.
Requests for a change in learning platform
Families requesting a change in learning platform (from online to in person or vice versa) should reach out to their school principal for direction.
Students who borrowed devices for online learning
Students and families who are returning to face to face learning, and who have borrowed equipment (iPads, Chromebooks or LTE enabled devices) are asked to return this equipment to the school. Please remember to return charging cables as well! Thank you. These devices are needed for learning at school and we appreciate their return on Monday, February 8.
If you are looking for additional information and details about the health and safety protocols that we have in place, please visit our AMDSB Back to School Plan. It is updated regularly so please review it often. Also, information about COVID-19, how we manage cases in our schools and the cases involving members of our school communities, visit our COVID-19 Information and Advisory page at: amdsb.ca/apps/pages/covid.
Please continue to follow all public health guidelines as outlined by the Province of Ontario and the Ministry of Education. We all have to work together to keep COVID-19 transmission low in our communities, and schools. There is light at the end of this very long tunnel but remaining vigilant is more important than ever so that we can keep our schools open and safe for our students and staff.
Dr. Lisa Walsh
Director of Education