Highlights for this week…
The Ontario Government is requiring school boards to offer voluntary, targeted COVID-19 testing sites for asymptomatic staff and students.
Who Can Be Tested?
- Testing is voluntary, and consent will be required from parents or guardians.
- This voluntary testing is offered only for HCDSB students and staff who are asymptomatic (i.e. not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms).
- At this time, this testing is not being offered to family members, but if this option becomes available in the future, we will notify staff and families.
Who Will Administer the Testing?
The Ministry of Education has arranged for the testing to be provided by a third party, LifeLabs. All appointments for testing will be booked through LifeLabs. As well, LifeLabs will provide staff and families with the information on how to obtain test results.
About the Test
LifeLabs uses a swab similar to a Q-tip that is inserted into the front part of the nostril and rotated for fifteen seconds (per nostril). Their trained staff will perform the test in a designated space in the school.
Health & Safety Protocols
LifeLabs will ensure that every mobile collection site adheres to the following health and safety protocols:
- PPE for Droplet Precautions will be worn by all staff working in the location
- Enhanced hand hygiene will be followed by the staff conducting the testing
- Hand hygiene for students and staff will be required before and after service is provided
- Disinfecting of the cubicles and chairs will be undertaken before and after each individual tested
- Surgical masks will be provided, if necessary
When and Where Will the Testing Take Place?
At HCDSB, the testing will be conducted using a Family of Schools ‘hub’ model, where the secondary school will be the testing site for each secondary school community and the associated elementary schools (see HCDSB Family of Schools lists). The schedule will rotate to each of the nine secondary schools over the course of a 3-week period, providing a testing site in Burlington, Oakville, and North Halton (Milton and Halton Hills) each week for one day.
The first round of testing for the Bishop Reding Family of Schools will take place as follows:
|DATE:||Saturday, March 20, 2021|
|TIME:||9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.|
|LOCATION:||Bishop P.F. Reding Catholic Secondary School|
1120 Main St. E, Milton, ON, L9T 6H7
Booking an Appointment to Get Tested
Staff and parents/guardians are encouraged to pre-register online, using the registration code provided by LifeLabs (this code will be emailed to all staff, parents and guardians). If this is not possible, walk-ins are accepted.
Please go through the following steps once you have received a registration code from your school.
1. Go to my.thrive.health on your desktop or mobile device.
2. Create an account using your email address. Create a password.
3. Verify your email address.
4. Click or tap Registering with a partner.
5. Enter your registration code (using the code provided in the letter from your school).
More information about the LifeLabs EDU Targeted Testing program is available at: https://www.lifelabs.com/covid-19-updates/covid19-pcr-testing-for-schools/
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Parents and Guardians, visit: https://lifelabs.azureedge.net/lifelabs-wp-cdn/2021/02/LifeLabs-Testing-in-Schools-FAQ-for-Parents-Registration.pdf
We are currently in the early stages of planning for the next school year and are seeking your input to help us determine our staffing needs for September 2021.
Preparing for the 2021-2022 School Year
Although we have not yet received direction from the Ministry of Education regarding what will be required of school boards during the 2021-2022 school year, our staffing process has already begun for next school year.
We are reaching out to our parents and guardians now to ask you to provide an early indication of your intentions for the 2021-2022 school year.
Specifically, we need to know if at this time you anticipate that in September 2021:
1. your child(ren) will attend school in-person, with enhanced health and safety protocols in place; OR
This information will help us determine how many teachers will be required to staff our Virtual Elementary School, and how many teachers will be needed for in-person learning.
NOTE: We know that any decision you make today may change based on how the health situation evolves over the next few months. For this reason, we will ask you to confirm your decision in mid-June.
Complete the Parent Poll Now
Please take a moment to complete this quick poll by clicking on the link below.
- If you have more than one child enrolled in an HCDSB elementary school, please fill out a separate form for each child.
- The information gathered through this poll will be used by HCDSB Research Services to compile summary statistics for planning purposes. Lists will also be generated for each school and shared for planning purposes and follow-up if required.
- If you do not complete this poll, we will plan as though your child(ren) will be attending in-person instruction in September 2021.
- A decision to begin the school year in one environment (in-person or virtual) does not mean your child will need to remain in that learning environment all year. There will be an opportunity for parents to request a change in learning environment for their children during the 2021-2022 school year.
This poll will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to this poll. We know this is a difficult decision for many families, and we appreciate your assistance as we plan for a safe and healthy return to instruction in September, 2021.
OLV CSC Annual Fundraiser – Read-A-Thon
Our major fundraiser this year will once again be a Read-a-thon, to take place between March 1 – 21st. We want to continue to foster a love of reading both at home and at school for each and every student.
We are encouraging all families to participate. Any reading counts! Simply have your child create a reading goal for the next three weeks and have them check off on the calendar each day they have met their goal. For example, a child in the junior grades may select to read one chapter from a novel every day. A primary student may read for 10 minutes with a family member. All tracking sheets that are returned at the end of the three weeks will be entered in a draw to win a gift card.
We understand that this year has put additional financial stress on many families in our OLV community. While we encourage all students to participate in the Read-a- Thon, we understand that a donation might not be possible for many families. Our ultimate goal is to foster a life-long love of reading for all of our students.
Last year the OLV community raised over $6000 which went towards purchasing much needed Chromebooks for our school. Our goal this year is to raise $3000. The funds collected will go towards replenishing gym equipment, math manipulatives for the classroom, and ordering more Chromebooks to support student learning.
For those families who wish to contribute, donations can be made via School Cash On-Line.
Friends and family can also donate by going to: elem.hcdsb.org/ourladyofvictory and hit the ‘Make a Donation’ button at the bottom of the page. Use the ‘Gift’ option and choose OLV from the drop down and include a message with the student’s name and use the reason ‘Read-A-Thon’
The top fundraising class in each division will receive a special theme day and a movie with a treat. Our top fundraiser in the school will be given the opportunity to be ‘Principal for a Day’ alongside Mrs. Morrissey.
Update! Changes to Daily Screening Tool & Isolation Requirements
This update is a reposting of the email sent to parents by Director Daly.
The guidance received from the Ministry of Education includes:
1. Changes to the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool.
2. Updates to the self-isolation requirements for household members.
1. Updates to the COVID-19 School Screening Tool
The COVID-19 School Screening Tool has been changed and will now require students and staff with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one (1) symptom, must stay home until:
- They receive a negative COVID-19 test result.; OR
- They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.; OR
- It has been 10 days since their symptom onset, and they are feeling better.
The new single-symptom screening criteria in the COVID-19 daily screening tool is in effect until further notice.
Parents and guardians are reminded to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school or child care:https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.
2. Self-Isolation Requirements for Families in a Household
The Ministry of Health has now indicated that all individuals living in the same household are now required to self-isolate when a family member has COVID-19 symptoms, even if the family member only has one (1) symptom.
The following isolation requirements now apply:
- All members in a household of a symptomatic individual are required to self-isolate until the individual:
o Receives a negative COVID-19 test result; OR
o Receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.
- If someone in your household tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional:
o This individual must isolate (including from others in your household) for 10 days from the date of experiencing symptoms. AND
o All members of the same household must isolate for 14 days from their last date of exposure with the symptomatic family/household member.
Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we continue to adapt our health and safety protocols to meet Ministry of Education and Public Health requirements so that we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
In addition to the protocols that have been in place all year, the Ministry of Education has also implemented additional health and safety measures.
As you know, all HCDSB students must wear a mask at all times when at school. Up until the Christmas break, students were not required to wear masks while outdoors for recess or lunch break. The Ministry now requires that masks be worn outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
As we cannot ensure physical distancing is being maintained while students are outside during recess, all students are required to wear their masks when outside at recess and outside after lunch. Your child’s teacher will ensure that mask breaks are provided throughout the day.
You may want to consider sending your child to school with multiple masks so that masks can be replaced when they become wet during outdoor use. You are encouraged to read this tip sheet created by Halton Region Public Health on the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools.
To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have received Ministry direction to continue to follow physical distancing measures both inside our schools and in outside areas. School staff will be monitoring to ensure that children are not gathering in groups before school starts and after school. Please review with your children about the need to follow physical distancing guidelines and remind your older children to refrain from congregating in groups before and after school.
As a reminder, parents are also asked not to gather during drop off and pick up times, and to refrain from carpooling if physical distancing and the use of PPE (masks) cannot be maintained.
With parents’ support and cooperation and the on-going diligence of staff and students working together, we will strive to continue to keep active Covid cases out of our school and limit its community spread. We got this!
Mental Health Supports
As a reminder, parents are welcome to visit the Board website for Mental Health & Well-Being resources and support. School Mental Health Ontario also has a number of excellent resources to help our HCDSB community navigate through this difficult period: www.smho-smso.ca.
Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support as we work with the Ministry of Education and our Public Health officials to keep our school communities healthy and safe.
Congratulations to our Grade 2 students who made their sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday, March 6 at Holy Rosary Parish. Thank you to the Pastoral Team, teachers, and families for your support to prepare the students for this stage on their faith journey.
We are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by wearing our uniforms with our favourite green accessories! Wear a green lucky charm, hat, headband and bracelets to celebrate the day!