Updated January 19, 2022: Clarified the Learning platforms section
Updated January 17, 2022: Added printable PDFs of COVID-19 daily screening to the Screening section; and added links to TVO/TFO in the Learning platforms section
Updated January 13, 2022
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) has multiple layers of protective factors in place for students and staff. Regular school attendance is essential to student well-being and learning.
This Return to Learning Plan is based on the latest direction from the Ministry of Education, provincial and local public health, and aligns with the Ministry of Education Protective Strategies directives.
Commitment to safe learning environments
HPEDSB is committed to the ongoing health, safety and well-being of students and staff. As a public school board, HPEDSB has a responsibility to ensure students and staff feel safe, and that protective measures are in place at schools and buildings.
There is not one specific measure that will prevent COVID-19 transmission from occurring in schools, but rather multiple structural and individual elements that contribute to making schools safer, healthier spaces to reduce the risk of infection to in-person attendees.
Each of the control measures listed below provides some benefit in reducing COVID-19 spread. It is the combination and consistent application of these layered controls as a bundle that are most effective for reducing disease spread in schools.
We recognize parent/guardian decisions are made for their families and that those decisions may change. Accordingly, we will be as flexible as possible, while keeping in mind that in-person learning is best for students engagement and well-being.
- Prioritize health and safety of students and staff
- Maximize student learning time
- Support student and staff well-being
- Ensure equity of access to learning, supports and technology
As always, if you have any questions about what is happening in your child’s school, please contact your child’s teacher or the school principal.
This plan is subject to revision as updated provincial and local guidance changes.
Schools will be open to receive students returning to in-person learning at their home school effective January 17, 2022.
Families who choose not to have their child return to in-person learning have the following options:
- Access asynchronous remote learning tasks made available through the Google classroom previously established by the classroom teacher. These activities will be a reflection of the learning tasks occurring during in-person learning, although not all tasks can be replicated through the Google classroom
- Classroom teachers will not provide synchronous/live instruction for these tasks. They will determine which tasks will be used for the purpose of assessment, evaluation and reporting
- Access K-12 Ontario curriculum-related learning materials and activities through the provincially provided resources from TVOntario (TVO) and Télévision française de l’Ontario (TFO)
- Grade specific online learning modules are available for K-8 in the curriculum areas of Language, Mathematics, Science & Technology, and Social Studies/History/Geography
- Access 144 Grade 9-12 online English or French high school courses through the TVO ILC Open House. These courses are curriculum related, but not for credit
- TVO Kids service is available anytime at tvokids.com or the TVOkids 24/7 YouTube livestream. They also offer a daily Power Hour of Learning hosted by an Ontario educator broadcast on the TVO cable channel 3 days a week
- TVO offers 5 subject-specific YouTube channels curated to foster the learning of key strands of Ontario’s K-5 curriculum
- Access additional subject and grade level learning activities can be accessed through the HPEDSB Learning at Home website
- This site is intended to provide parent-supported online learning options for students who choose not to return to in-person learning
- Assessment and evaluation of these tasks will not be possible due to variation from in-person programming
- For families with limited or no access to technology and who cannot access the options above, take-home learning packages that reflect grade level curriculum with a variety of tasks and content areas are available at K-8 home schools through a request to the school principal
- Assessment and evaluation of these tasks will not be possible due to variation from in-person programming
- Please note: A very limited number of spaces are available for students to transition to the K-10 Virtual School. Contact your child’s home school principal, who will then consult with the Virtual School principal for consideration, based on space availability. Any family who is accepted for a placement at the Virtual School must commit to keeping their child in this learning environment for the duration of the school year (until the end of June 2022).
If a school must close due to operational reasons, such as staff shortages, learning will transition to remote delivery that combines synchronous and asynchronous elements.
When a classroom or school needs to close, the following factors will be considered:
- the number of staff absent according to their role (EAs, teachers, DECEs, secretaries, administrators)
- the availability of supply staff
- the ability to reassign school staff to classrooms
- the ability to reassign central staff to classrooms
- the ability to maintain COVID-19 protocols in our schools, including cohorting
Every effort will be made to give families ample notice if a classroom or school needs to close. Please monitor your email, local radio and @HPEschools social media for notifications. This includes monitoring Tri-Board Student Transportation communications, as bus companies may experience staff shortages, which may result in buses being cancelled. If schools become short staffed during the school day, we will try to avoid combining cohorts; however, that may become necessary to ensure adequate supervision and safety of students.
All staff, students and visitors must self-screen every day before going to school using the provincial screening tool.
- Printable one-pager with graphics: COVID-19 Screening for children/students (pdf) from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Printable COVID-19 screening tool (pdf) from the Province of Ontario
The COVID-19 Screening Flowcharts assist with decision making for symptomatic individuals or those exposed to COVID-19.
As per the provincial requirement, you must isolate if you:
Students and staff must stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms. Everyone in your household must also stay home until you get a negative COVID-19 test result, or you are cleared by public health, or you are diagnosed with another illness.
Anyone who is sick or has symptoms of illness, including those not listed in the screening tool, should stay home and seek assessment from their health care provider, if needed.
Keeping track of daily screening
Schools are required to confirm anyone entering the school has passed daily self-screening. This includes students, staff and approved visitors. Anyone who does not pass screening must stay/go home and will not be permitted to enter the school.
Daily confirmation of screening must occur during entry attendance processes, with teachers explicitly asking each student if they have completed the screening. Students in Grades K-12 will verbally confirm to the teacher that they have completed the screening each day.
- Parents will be expected to complete a revised attestation to confirm daily screening using the new COVID screener with their child (children).
- Students who confirm completed screening will be marked present and will remain in class.
- Students who do not confirm completed screening will be marked absent and sent to a designated location for follow up screening by a staff member. If they pass screening, the student may return to class and will be marked present. A failed screening will result in a call home for the student to be picked up and the student will be marked absent.
- Students who lack the ability to provide reliable verbal confirmation of screening, must be provided with alternative methods for securing daily parental confirmation, such as using a student agenda or communication books, weekly or monthly calendars, etc.
HPEDSB will follow direction from, and work in collaboration with, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health regarding case and outbreak management, as per the Ministry of Health COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge (pdf) dated January 10, 2022.
Page 7 of the guidance includes the following:
Cohort Based Dismissals
Public health units will no longer be dismissing cohorts. Any dismissals or closures of a school or childcare will be contingent on operational requirements determined by the school board, school and/or childcare operator. Given the widespread transmission and inability to test all symptomatic individuals, schools will not be routinely notifying students/pupils in classes with a positive case, or if a child/student or staff is absent due to symptoms associated with COVID-19.
All students, JK-12, are required to wear properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes, as well as on student transportation. HPEDSB has received 3-ply cloth masks for all students, as per Ministry of Education instructions, and will provide them free of charge.
Gators, bandanas and buffs are not properly fitted masks and are not permitted. Students who wear these masks will be provided a 3-ply cloth mask to wear while at school.
Masks may be temporarily removed indoors, with a minimum distance of 2 metres maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible within a cohort, to consume food or drink (read the cafeteria use and lunch protocols directive).
Reasonable exceptions to masking are in place at all HPEDSB schools. Schools will review any masking exception requests with a focus on student and staff safety to the greatest extent possible.
A parent/guardian whose child is refusing to wear a mask must therefore elect one of two paths:
- if refusing to wear a mask and refusing to provide documentation supporting a medical exemption, an exclusion from school on grounds of safety may occur.
- if claiming a medical exemption, work with the board to develop alternative accommodations of the medical condition, including providing documentation as determined necessary by the board; or
Should a medical exemption be requested, written direction from a physician must specify:
- the nature of the disability preventing a child from wearing a face mask;
- how the disability affects a child’s ability from wearing a mask;
- whether a child is medically prohibited from wearing a mask for some or all activities at the school;
- whether a child’s disability will temporarily or permanently prevent them from wearing a mask;
- measures, if any, would assist a child to develop the skills or tolerance for wearing a mask;
- sufficient additional detail regarding the impact of the disability so that school staff can develop appropriate alternative accommodations.
If a full or partial exemption from wearing a mask is approved there must be in place:
- alternative safety measures; and
- an obligation for the parent/guardian to work with the board to develop appropriate alternative accommodations, including facilitating a sufficient exchange of information to/from the health care practitioner to ensure that the alternative accommodations are medically appropriate.
Alternative accommodations may include, where appropriate:
- mask breaks;
- face shield;
- enhanced distancing;
- plexi-glass shield;
- separate learning space and/or schedule for some or all of the day; and/or
- virtual learning.
The mental health, well-being and human rights of everyone in our school communities continues to be our focus. Considerations for the well-being of all stakeholders are a lens for planning, implementing, communicating and supporting in-person, blended and virtual/remote learning. We recognize that students and staff will be approaching the transition back to school from a diverse range of perspectives, needs and experiences.
To support a mentally healthy return to school, educators will have opportunities to focus on mental health literacy, where they will learn about mental health and to teach in ways that encourage belonging and support student mental health. Educators will also be given resources that support the implementation of everyday strategies to foster strong positive and inclusive classroom practices, that in turn lead to a mentally healthy classroom.
A helpful framework to consider when planning for a mentally healthy return to school is to think in tiers. Using a tiered approach to achieve a mentally healthy return to school ensures planning occurs for students, families and staff across a continuum of needs.
- Tier 1 Good for ALL: Universal support will be available for all students and staff, as there will be a need to debrief, build relationships, feel a sense of belonging, and re-engage with school life. General school guidelines to support transitions back to school will be developed for all students.
- Tier 2 Good for SOME: Additional support for students more impacted by COVID-19. Some students, families and staff will need to re-establish school relationships and routines. These students and staff may need access to additional mental health support through the Student Services team (Psychological Services, social workers, social service workers, child and youth workers, etc.) and the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), respectively.
- Tier 3 Good for FEW: Specialized support for students with significant needs and who have been the most vulnerable or affected by COVID-19. Services pathways will be available for those requiring more intensive mental health support during the transition back to school.
For more information about the pathways available for students, consultation can occur with the Mental Health Team.
HPEDSB will continue to provide school staff and school bus drivers, school bus monitors and student aides with required PPE (personal protective equipment), including medical masks, eye protection and other PPE based on their specific role/job functions (for example, gloves, gowns). Required PPE and critical supplies and equipment (for example, disinfectant, hand sanitizer), will continue to be provided.
Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are required to be worn by school staff indoors at schools, including in hallways and during classes. HPEDSB has ordered non-fitted N95 masks for all staff, as supported by the ministries of Health, Education and Labour, as an additional safety measure. Staff are expected to continue wearing the medical masks already provided and available at schools until the new supply of N95 masks is received in mid-January. Alternatively, staff may choose to wear the previously-provided medical masks (surgical/procedural), or wear their own N95 mask, as long as it meets or exceeds that standard outlined by the Ministry of Health.
Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are also required to be worn by school staff outdoors if 2 metres of distance from others cannot be maintained. Eye protection is required if a staff member comes within 2 metres of an unmasked individual, indoors and outdoors, as per occupational health and safety requirements
Staff must maintain at least 2 metres distance when consuming food/drinks. Reasonable exceptions to the requirement for staff to wear masks will apply.
Eye protection is required for education staff when 2 metres of physical distancing with unmasked students cannot be maintained (such as students mask exemptions).
Visitors are not permitted at this time, unless specific permission is received from the principal/designate.All visitors must pre-schedule an appointment with the principal/designate. If a visitor has any COVID-19 signs or symptoms, they may not enter the school.
NOTE: “Full vaccination against COVID-19” means having received all doses required for a COVID-19 vaccine(s) approved by the World Health Organization (e.g., two doses of a two-dose vaccine, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine); and having received the final vaccine dose at least 14 days ago.
Parent nights and other school events involving large gatherings are on hold at this time. This approach may change in the future based on guidance from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
Hand hygiene is one of the most important protective measures to prevent COVID-19 spread. Students and staff will continue to practise regular hand hygiene throughout the day.
Dispensers with alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) are located at school entrances, in hallways and classrooms. Signs are posted throughout schools with reminders about proper hand hygiene.
Hand hygiene reminders:
- Soap and water are preferred as the most effective method.
- Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) can be used by children. It is most effective when hands are not visibly soiled.
- For any dirt, blood, body fluids (urine/feces), it is preferred that hands be washed with soap and water.
- Everyone is encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze.
Refer to the Public Health Ontario how to wash your hands (PDF) fact sheet.
Refer to the Health Canada hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers (COVID-19): list of hand sanitizers authorized by Health Canada, including which sanitizers may be appropriate for different groups of staff and students.
School buses will operate as normal. Masks for students in Grades JK to 12 are required on school buses and vehicles. Students will be assigned seats and a record of the seating plan will be kept. School buses will continue to have enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.
Physical distancing measures will be layered with other public health measures, such as screening, hand hygiene, cohorting, enhanced cleaning and masking.
It is recommended that congregations of students and staff be reduced, as much as possible.
The same desk/table should be used by the same student each day, as much as possible. Cleaning materials will be available to students to wipe desks.
School arrival, departure and signage
Parent/guardian presence on school yards will be limited at this time. Schools will advise families of a designated area and protocol for drop off and pick up. Physical distancing is required, with masking if 2 metre distances cannot be maintained.
Ventilation is one of a number of strategies that work together to ensure healthy and safe learning environments.
Ventilation is a key element in the multiple strategies to support healthy and safe learning environments for students and staff. These strategies include hand hygiene, masks, physical distancing, etc. If these protective strategies are followed, the probability of viruses entering our schools will be reduced.
Improving ventilation and air quality is a long term commitment. HPEDSB has spent over $6 million this year alone in ventilation upgrades at schools. Read about the actions that have been taken to enhance air quality in schools in the 2021 Ventilation Report.
Air quality in classrooms and learning environments will continue to be optimized by improving ventilation and/or filtration. Ventilation systems in all schools have been inspected and confirmed to be in good working order prior to the start of the school year, with continued inspection and maintenance scheduled throughout the year.
In addition to regular maintenance and controls in place for schools, improvements made the 2021-2022 school year include the following:
- Filters are changed more frequently and the filter rating has been increased to catch smaller particles (as appropriate for each type of equipment).
- Ventilation controls schedules have been adjusted on all equipment to do a 2-hour purge before and after each school day.
- Ventilation equipment has been updated or added to schools to provide a long-term solution to increased air quality.
- Air systems are balanced to ensure that the units are supplying fresh air and air exchange in the most optimal way to all spaces.
- Improved automation of ventilation units with full control and scheduling abilities in all schools and buildings.
- Portable HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter units are in teaching/learning spaces that do not have full mechanical ventilation and in all Kindergarten classrooms.
- Bi-polar ionization systems have been installed in some spaces without full mechanical ventilation.
Elementary students are required to stay within their cohort during recess and breaks outdoors. Physical distancing is encouraged between cohorts, as much as possible.
Shared materials outdoors are permitted, with appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
Vaccination is an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and allow students, families, and staff to safely resume normal activities. HPEDSB will follow direction from the Ministry of Education and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
- Information about booking vaccinations locally
- Information about booking vaccinations on the provincial website
The Ministry of Education has directed that all school board employees, bus drivers and essential school visitors must:
- provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19; or
- provide a formal/official documented medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
- participate in an educational program approved by the Ministry of Education.
Anyone who is not immunized, including anyone with medical reasons, will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing as directed in provincial guidance.
Any student or family wishing to access vaccination may contact Hastings Prince Edward Public Health for information about vaccination clinics. Bookings at vaccination clinics can be accessed at https://hpepublichealth.ca/vaccine-booking/
HPEDSB will continue working with public health to coordinate vaccination clinics in schools and communicate with families about the clinics. Additional information is available at COVID-19 vaccines for youth.
If you are having a difficult time accessing COVID-19 vaccination, please contact your child’s school principal for assistance.
Where necessary for faces to be seen for lip reading to support students who are deaf or hard of hearing, masks with clear sections may be worn.
Where staff are required to perform an Aerosol Generating Medical Procedure (AGMP), or are required to be in the same room when an AGMP is being performed, N95 respirators (fit tested) will be provided.
Schools will follow the HPEDSB inclement weather procedure and will be required to provide remote learning on inclement weather days. Google Classroom or Brightspace are the approved platforms for remote learning. More information is to come.
HPEDSB has detailed routine and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, which will continue for the start of school.
HPEDSB will continue to use asthma-safe, hospital-grade green-based cleaning products, where available. Cleaning involves the removal of dirt and disinfectants, destroying germs and preventing them from spreading.
- Cleaning will take place in high touch areas throughout the school.
- Cleaning will take place at the end of each day with high touch surfaces disinfected throughout the day, as permissible.
- Classroom garbage will be collected and disposed of daily as part of normal custodian duties.
- Classroom cleaning will focus on frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles and light switches.
- While the risk of transmission through shared objects is low, the focus will be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the risk of infection related to high touch surfaces, particularly when regular/constant cleaning of shared objects is not feasible.
- Cleaning and disinfecting routines will continue to be based on advice from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and direction from the Ministry of Education, in consultation with the Ontario Medical Officer of Health.
Cleaning and disinfecting products (e.g., spray bottle, wiper kits) for learning spaces are available upon request.
For students enrolled in cooperative education courses, in-person community placements may be arranged (provided that relevant health and safety requirements can be maintained). If in-person placements are not possible, students may be offered virtual placements.
Music classes are permitted in areas with adequate ventilation (read the ventilation directive).
Singing is permitted indoors with mask wearing and physical distancing within a cohort.
Wind instrument ensembles are on pause.
Health and physical education
Indoor high contact and high intensity activities are temporarily paused for the health and well-being of students. Physical education programming may incorporate low contact and low intensity activities. Masking is required.
In elementary and secondary health and physical education courses, the use of gymnasiums, change rooms, weight rooms, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment are permitted with physical distancing.
Examples of high-contact sports: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Rugby, Soccer, Wrestling
Examples of low-contact sports: Badminton, Curling, Gymnastics, Swimming, Track and Field/Cross Country, Volleyball
Day trips and overnight stays are on hold at this time. This will be reviewed on a regular basis and will follow the relevant provincial requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act.
EQAO assessments for Grades 3, 6, 9, and 10 will resume.
Literacy and community involvement graduation requirements
The successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), a graduation requirement, is waived for students graduating this school year, but will be restored as a requirement in the 2022-2023 school year.
The community involvement graduation requirement has been reduced from 40 to 20 hours for students graduating in the 2021-2022 school year only.
Adult and Continuing Education
Adult and Continuing Education programs will continue to be offered.
Clubs: Participation in intra-school clubs may resume (low intensity activities).
Inter-school sport activities: Participation in inter-school sport activities is paused at this time (will be reviewed weekly).
Return to Training Guidelines: Information for Student Athlete and Staff/Coach Safety (pdf version)
Note: All guidance provided below is subject to change depending on evolving public health circumstances.
- General protocols for extra-curricular athletics
- A return-to-train/practice will resume January 31, 2022 for all Grade 7-12 sports in accordance with guidance from the Ministry of Education and guidance and support from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
- Indoor practices must be low-risk and low intensity. This will be revisited on a weekly basis.
- Students/Coaches/Volunteer Coaches must be fully vaccinated to participate in the return-to-train sessions/practices.
- Masking is required at all times.
- Students and coaching staff must complete and pass the COVID-19 Self Screening before they enter the return-to-train sessions/practices.
- All participants must hand sanitize frequently and whenever appropriate.
- Students must avoid any unnecessary contact (e.g., handshakes, high fives).
- Students and staff must use their own personal towels and water bottles.
- Secondary: Current season teams, as per COSSA Constitution, can begin participating in practices/return-to-train sessions, following information meetings hosted by the COSSA Athletic Coordinator. Safety protocols and public health measures will be discussed at these meetings.
- Elementary: Current season teams, as per HPEDSB–EAA Constitution, can begin participating in practices/return-to-train sessions, following information meetings hosted by the EAA Athletic Coordinator. Safety protocols and public health measures will be discussed at these meetings.
- Line lists are no longer required.
- Return-to-train sessions/practices
- More information will follow regarding exhibition, league, competition, travel and tournament play.
- Skiing/Nordic Skiing
- Girls Volleyball
- Boys Basketball
- Boys Ice Hockey
- Girls Ice Hockey
Spectators or visitors will not be allowed to attend the return-to-train sessions/practices. Only coaches/volunteer coaches and student athletes may attend.
- Masking is required for all indoor extra-curricular activities and during practices.
- Staff must not discuss vaccination status with students.
- Coaches are to educate and encourage student athletes to follow all strategies to reduce virus spread.
- Student athlete education includes, but is not limited to:
- Physical distancing
- Respiratory etiquette
- Hand hygiene
- Safe use of non-medical cloth mask
- Daily self-assessment
- Staying home when feeling ill
- Monitoring of symptoms
The risk associated with transmission from shared objects is low for both indoor and outdoor physical education equipment. High-touch surface areas, like fitness centre equipment and benches, should continue to be cleaned as normal. The focus should be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette (masking), to reduce the risk of infection related to shared equipment, particularly when regular cleaning of shared objects is not feasible.
All student athletes must:
- Complete and pass COVID-19 Self Screening daily and before attending the return-to-train sessions/practices.
- Report if they did not pass screener and will not be at practice.
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Have their own clearly labelled water bottle for personal use only.
- Follow the direction provided by coaching staff regarding physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, safe use of a non-medical/cloth mask, staying home when feeling ill, and monitoring symptoms.
All coaches must:
- Remain informed with updates and communication as changes occur throughout the return-to-train/practice phase.
- Complete and pass the COVID-19 Self Screening before attending the return-to-train sessions/practices.
- Report positive COVID-19 cases to the school administration.
- Ensure that each participant/student has successfully completed the COVID-19 Screening, and is symptom free, prior to attending the return-to-train session/practice.
- Ensure equipment has been properly sanitized before each return-to-train session/practice.
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Follow the specific OPASSE Safety Standard activity pages for the sport.
- Volunteer coaches are considered visitors and must follow all HPEDSB visitor requirements regarding COVID safety. They must also have a current vulnerable sector check, as per Procedure 498: Volunteers in Schools.
- Follow the HPEDSB Return to Learning Plan direction regarding physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, safe use of a non-medical/cloth mask, staying home when feeling ill and monitoring symptoms.
Shared materials are important for learning (for example, toys for imaginative play in Kindergarten, manipulatives for math, computers and other tech materials, books, art supplies, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment). The use of shared materials is permitted. The risk associated with transmission with shared objects is low. The focus should be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the risk of infection related to shared equipment, particularly when regular cleaning of shared objects is not feasible.
Promote physical distancing as much as possible. Keeping a 2-metre distance from others helps to reduce the spread of illness. In shared spaces, maintain at least 2 metres distance between cohorts.
For elementary, no shared spaces are permitted; only one cohort at a time in shared spaces. Only cohorts may interact outside at recess and lunch.
When different cohorts interact in shared indoor spaces, masking and as much distancing as possible should be maintained between cohorts.
- Classroom cubbies may be used while maintaining as much physical distancing as possible.
- Locker use is not advised at this time if physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Physical distancing will be layered with other public health measures, such as screening, hand hygiene, cohorting, enhanced cleaning and masking.
- Some students access alternative learning environments, such as sensory and calming rooms. When these designated spaces are within a Special Education class setting, they are considered part of the program space and can be accessed by any student within the cohort with class-based cleaning protocols implemented (for example student-specific materials brought in or out with individual students).
- Factors and possible strategies to consider for calming rooms with multiple students accessing the same space:
- Schedule times within a cohort of students.
- Each student could have an individual bin of items for sole use.
- Cleaning of surfaces between students’ use of sensory equipment as many of these items go into a child’s mouth.
- Students will need sole access to the preferred items.
- Items should be disinfected. Educational assistants and educators should clean sensory tools as per existing procedure/protocol.
Students may eat together:
- outdoors, without distancing; or
- indoors, with a minimum distance of 2 metres maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible within a cohort.
- Where this is not possible, HPEDSB will work with public health to develop a plan that reduces the number of students and cohorts eating in proximity to each other as much as possible.
- Breakfast and nutrition programs will be delivered in a way that enables any student who wishes to participate to do so in cooperation with The Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation.
- Grab and Go format is preferred at this time.
- Food for Learning volunteers are permitted in schools and are expected to follow staff health and safety guidelines.
- Nutrition programs and non-instructional food events, such as a pizza day, may occur.
- Secondary school culinary programs will continue to work collaboratively with public health for guidance on programming options.
Schools may choose to resume purchased lunch programs. Cash is an acceptable form of payment.
A measured approach to reopening schools is important to support schools to maximize health and safety of students and staff. This includes the internal and external use of schools through community use of schools permits. At this time, internal and external permits are on hold.
Schools, child care operators and authorized recreation providers in schools should follow the guidance for before and after school programs.
International Education will continue to be offered. Schools provide welcoming and inclusive environments for international students to learn and become part of the school community. HPEDSB is in compliance with the guidelines for accepting international students, established by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Canadian Federal Government.
HPEDSB has been approved by the Ministry of Education to offer International Education for the 2021-2022 school year, based on the HPEDSB International Readiness Plan. The plan incorporates federal and provincial directives, along with additional precautions to provide a safe, healthy and supportive entry for both our international students and homestay families.
Indoor school assemblies or other student/school gatherings may not occur at this time.
Outdoor assemblies, weather permitting, may occur with proper physical distancing.
Emergency and security drills (shelter in place, hold and secure, lockdown)
The regular practising of emergency measure drills, including shelter in place, hold and secure, lockdown, will not take place during COVID-19. Instead, modified practising will take place to review what has to happen, in the event of a real emergency. Modified practise drills will adhere to physical distance requirements.
School administrators will work collaboratively with local fire services for practice drills. Classes may move throughout the building while maintaining 2 metres between students in the classroom, hallway and at all exits. Principals will review with staff and students where to go in the event of a real emergency when the school needs to be evacuated. Locations on the school playground or field will be identified to allow 1 metre distance between students to be maintained.