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Welcoming Our Students Back: Fall School Opening 2021-22 Parent Guide

August 26, 2021

backtoschool1.jpgWe are pleased to announce that schools in the St. James-Assiniboia School Division will reopen for full-time in-class learning for all students with contingency plans in place. Early and middle years' classes start on September 10, while senior years' classes start on September 8.

Our planning for the school year focuse​s on renewal and addressing the pandemic's impacts on mental health, well-being, and learning. The level of risk may change over the course of the year; schools will work collaboratively with public health officials and Manitoba Education to implement any additional public health measures.  

 

These priority areas will guide planning as students and staff return to class:  


  • Following health and safety measures as per public health guidance (as a minimum) 
  • Promoting mental health and well-being 
  • Engaging learners and assessing learning starting points 


The continuation of public health fundamentals, including self-screening, hand hygiene and staying home when sick, are important components of our safe return to school plan. 

  

We will continue to monitor and implement additional public health measures and contingency planning, as needed, to address changes in the transmission of COVID-19 in our community.


TopicInstruction
COVID-19 Protocols
  • Self-screening protocols are to be followed prior to building entry and throughout the school day.
  • Mandatory mask wearing, hand hygiene practices, and physical distancing will continue to be followed.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will focus on high-touch surfaces and common areas.
  • Touchless water drinking practices will be followed using touchless water fountains and water bottles.
  • Proper hand hygiene practices will be implemented when students are required to share materials.
  • School and classroom libraries are open for use.
Illness Procedures/ COVID Testing
  • Any person that is symptomatic of COVID-19 as per the self-screening criteria (linked above) are to follow the COVID-19 protocols re: testing and/or following isolation guidelines.
  • Any person who is symptomatic is not to attend school in any capacity and is encouraged to be tested for COVID-19 (even if vaccinated).
  • At this time, Public Health orders state that siblings/household members must isolate pending testing results or if a household member is a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Health Links-Info Santé will provide the most up-to-date direction for vaccinated household members.
Transportation
  • Masks will be mandatory for all staff and students on buses.
  • Seating plans will remain in place.
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned between runs.
  • No purchase seats are being offered at this time.
Cohorts/Physical Distancing
  • Physical distancing is required to the greatest extent possible.
  • Screens & barriers will be used as much as possible to be able to provide mask breaks.
  • Schools will use cohorts for Kindergarten to Grade 6.
  • Schools will manage the flow of people in common areas to minimize crowding. Staggered entry and exit times may be implemented.
Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Masks to be worn on buses (K-12).
  • Request for mask exemptions for medical accommodations must be communicated to the school principal.
  • Masks are to be worn upon student entry and exit at beginning and end of day, during common interactions, inclusive of school staff, students, and parents/visitors.
  • Recess/outdoor learning/outdoor PE classes: masks are not required at this time, providing there is staff supervision.
  • Staff are to wear medical masks until further notice.
  • Mask breaks will be provided periodically throughout the day when students are seated and at appropriate physical distances.
Vaccination
  • Front-line provincial employees must be fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021, or regularly tested, including education providers, teachers, assistants, bus drivers, and maintenance workers.
  • Grades 6-12 “catch up" immunization campaigns will start in schools in fall. Communication from Public Health will go directly to families for those eligible.
  • Public Health announced students with birthdays in 2009 are now eligible for Pfizer vaccines.
Music/Band
  • Music classes and band will be permitted in the fall. Further information on safety protocols is forthcoming.
Sports
  • Provincial sports organizations will direct our return to play planning.
  • Ultimate, cross country, soccer, golf, flag football, flag rugby, are all sports for consideration at this time.
Field Trips
  • No field trips at this time.
Cafeterias/Canteens/ Breakfast Programs/ Snack Programming
  • All will be permitted at this time using safe food handling COVID-19 protocols.
Visitors/Volunteers
  • Visitors/volunteers are permitted but will be limited.
  • Visitors/volunteers are required to wear masks and adhere to COVID-19 Public Health orders.
  • More information regarding volunteers will be forthcoming from the school.
Ventilation
  • Schools will leverage outdoor activities where possible.
  • Windows will be open when possible.
  • Use of large spaces will be maximized.
  • Plans will be in place to ensure that congestion is minimized in common areas when transitioning and interacting in the school environment.
  • Air exchange monitoring and filtration routines have been increased.
Remote Learning
  • Any students and/or immediate family members who are residing in the same household who are immunocompromised must discuss school attendance options with their school administrator.
  • As schools are open, there are no remote learning options for students who do not meet medical criteria.
  • Families who have concerns about following COVID-19 protocols can inquire about homeschooling options with the Manitoba Education Homeschooling Office.
Provincial Assessments
  • No Grade 12 provincial assessments. All other provincial assessments will continue as scheduled.

Triad Conferences

(K-8)

  • Triad conferences (K-8) will proceed. Schools will be required to schedule visitors at the school and keep logs of entry and exit times.
  • Plans will be in place to ensure that congestion is minimized in common areas when transitioning and interacting in the school environment.
  • For families that may not be able to attend onsite, options for virtual meetings will be provided.
  • Please contact your school for more information.

 

Additional Information and Resources:

For the most up to date Manitoba COVID-19 information, see https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html

For the latest COVID-19 Education News, see https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html