Today, January 12, 2022, the Ministry of Education announced that students will be returning to in-person learning beginning on Monday, January 17, 2022.
Over the past several weeks, the Wellington Catholic District School Board, has been preparing for the return to in-person learning in alignment with Ministry of Education and Public Health initiatives. As students return to in-person learning on Monday, January 17, 2022, families can expect the following:
Daily COVID-19 Screening: Staff and students will complete daily screening before leaving for school each day. Staff and students will be reminded to screen daily and confirm completion.
Students who are feeling unwell should stay home, monitor for symptoms and complete the COVID-19 Daily Screening Tool – https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
Updated Guidance for Families on COVID-19 Procedures: Families will have updated guidance on what to do if they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What to Do if You’ve Been Exposed to COVID-91 - https://covid-19.ontario.ca/exposed
Updated Masks: Students will continue to be required to wear a well-fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth while at school. While students can continue to wear their own masks, the Ministry of Education will be providing upgraded 3-ply cloth masks for students, free of charge, in January. These are being provided as an upgrade to single-ply or double-ply masks that students may currently be using. Students will continue to be required to wear masks outdoors, in addition to indoor spaces.
In addition to medical/surgical grade masks currently used, staff will now have the option of using non-fit tested N-95 masks supplied by the provincial government.
Rapid Antigen Test Kits: Students and staff will receive two free Rapid Antigen Tests that can be used when students are exhibiting symptoms as a way to test for COVID-19. Tests will be distributed beginning during the week of January 17, 2022.
Ventilation – Additional Upgrades: The Ministry of Education announced that school boards would receive additional HEPA filter units to be used in schools. The Wellington Catholic District School Board took proactive measures early in the pandemic to ensure that all classrooms, and additional learning spaces, have filtration units. All schools also have mechanical ventilation and all schools exceed ministry requirements. Information on ventilation measures in our schools can be found here: Ventilation
Expanded Opportunities for Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Students and staff have been prioritized by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in receiving first, second, or third doses of vaccinations at local clinics. WDG PH Vaccinations
Additional opportunities for vaccinations will be announced in the future as per Ministry announcement.
Staff and Student Absence Tracking: The Wellington Catholic District School Board will be tracking daily staff and student absence data and reporting information to the provincial government. This information will be available publicly. In additional, schools will also report absences to public health when they exceed the minimum threshold.
Pause on Extra-Curricular Activities: School boards have been directed by the Ministry of Education to pause high contact, high intensity indoor sports and activities. All in-person extra-curricular activities will be paused temporarily until there has been an opportunity to review this further with local public health officials.
Training Completion for Staff: Staff have received training on the new COVID-19 symptoms associated with the Omicron Variant, COVID-19 Self-isolation requirements in updated COVID-19 Case and Contact Management Guides, and protective strategies.
Protective Strategies against COVID-19: Staff and students will continue to follow COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols related to physical distancing, masking, hand hygiene, daily screening.
Ongoing Partnership with WDG Public Health: The Wellington Catholic District School Board will continue to regularly engage the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit in identifying practices and protocols to improve the safety in our schools.
We thank you for your attention to these items and your continued partnership throughout this school year. Additional information will be provided in the coming days as we transition back to in-person learning.