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St. Brigid Return to School Protocols – 2020-2021

Gradual Return to School

To help ease the transition for our students, and ensure a safe and healthy return for all, the first day of school will be delayed, and we will be implementing a gradual (staggered) return to class for our elementary students, beginning Wednesday, September 9th.

Please refer to the school delay plan to ensure your child attends on the correct day.

First Day Procedures

All students in FDKA, FDKB, FDKC and FDKD will enter through the Kindergarten yard directly into their classrooms.  Students in FDKE will enter through the side door nearest the crosswalk at Kiss and Ride, door #4.  All Gr 1-8 students will enter the school at the back entrance and proceed directly to their classrooms.

Exit Procedures

Please see attached map via School Messenger email for exit locations of all grades, in order to practice social distancing as best as possible at the end of the day.

Daily COVID-19 Screening

Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment. 

  • Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8 C).
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19.
  • If any signs or symptoms, student and other household members must stay home, and school must be contacted. 

Please note that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.  ​ 

Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE. 

Suspected Cases of COVID-19:

Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms may undergo testing at an Ontario assessment centre. If the results of a test are negative and/or student is symptom free for 24 hours, they may return to school.  

Confirmed COVID-19 Case:

Halton Region Public Health (HRPH) will be notified immediately and the school will respond based on HRPH recommendations. Please contact the school directly if your child develops any symptoms outside school. All absences should be reported through the Safe Arrival Program.


Grades K-8 students are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks in school.

  • Outdoor times will be used as opportunities for students to take a break from wearing masks if they are within their cohorts.
  • Students are to use a zip-lock or paper bag, labelled with their name, to store their mask on their desk while outside.  We will provide a Ziploc bag for storage.
  • Once students return from outside, they practice hand hygiene and resume wearing their masks.
  • Mask design: Keep it simple, please.
  • Masks must be compliant with our school dress code and not display any inappropriate logos, sayings, or pictures.
  • Practice safely putting on and taking off the mask.

COVID-19: How to safely use a non-medical mask or face …

Academics and Technology

In school: The academic program will continue to be robust while reflecting the expectations that support enhanced health and safety measures. The program delivery will be adjusted to ensure health and safety protocols and wellness have increased attention.

Distance Learning: If families opt for online learning, communication will be emailed directly from an HCDSB virtual school staff. Students participating in online learning will be assigned to a virtual school.

Entering and Exiting the School

In accordance with Halton Region Public Health recommendations, students and staff will practice physical distancing as much as possible. Signage will be posted throughout the school to ensure we are maximizing physical distancing and best hygiene practices are maintained. Travel routes between classrooms and common areas will be clearly marked, with travel protocols practiced and reinforced. Students will be provided with an individualized workspace and will remain with their homeroom teacher throughout the day with access to designated entrance and exit doors, washrooms, and outdoor spaces. Students will be expected to travel through the school with their cohort at all times.

Please ensure safe arrival on time in the morning to eliminate any unnecessary gathering or delays in the school day.

Hand Hygiene Etiquette

Hygiene education and routines will be explicitly taught and reinforced regularly. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in each classroom and in washrooms. All students and staff will be expected to wash hands and/or sanitize frequently.

Physical Distancing

Students will remain with their designated cohort (classmates) throughout the day. The cohort group will apply inside the school and in the schoolyard. Bussing and the Before and After School Program will be a different cohort. Staggered recesses will ensure students can social distance as much as possible in the schoolyard. Students will be assigned a designated area on the pavement with their cohort for recess time. There will be NO mixing of class cohorts. In the classroom, students will have a designated workspace (desks or table) and will be distanced as much as possible.

Health and Wellness

The staff priority with the return to school will be on student and staff health and wellness. Our school uses a mechanical ventilation system to provide fresh air to the classrooms. This system will be controlled to maximize the amount of outdoor supply air while still maintaining thermal comfort. Additional ventilation is not required however, classroom staff may opt to open windows at their own discretion. Classes will utilize outdoor teaching opportunities as much as possible and physical education classes will also be taught outdoors, weather permitting.

Student Washrooms

  • Students will be reminded to wash/disinfect hands before and after washroom visits
  • If students need to go to the washroom throughout the day, they will go one at a time
  • Physical distancing markers are placed outside washrooms for students who are waiting to enter

Snacks and Lunches

For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all elementary students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods. 

As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day.  As well, Students should NOT leave the premise at lunch. If a student must leave at lunch, it needs to be with a parent so that the self-assessment can be performed upon return to school.

Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch in the morning before students enter the school building.  

Considerations for Lunch Prep: 

  • Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.  
  • Sharing food items will not be permitted. 
  •  Reusable water bottles are encouraged. 
  • All food must be nut-free.

Thank you for your understanding as we limit the number of visits and contacts to our school community to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.  

Student Supplies/Items 

We will provide school supplies for students to use throughout the academic day.  If you choose to send your own items with your child, please ensure they are labelled, as your child will be the only one to access these supplies.

Lockers will not be accessible to students and therefore we ask students to only bring one pair of shoes, to eliminate the storage of any extra shoes at school.

Medical Peril

All students with medical peril are asked to bring their medical items to school on their first designated day.  Please place these in a labelled Ziploc bag which will be given to the classroom teacher to provide to the office.

School Visitors

As a school community, we pride ourselves on creating a welcoming environment. Due to COVID-19, access to the school will be limited to HCDSB employees and service providers only. Access to the school by any other member of the community must be pre-approved by the school administration in accordance with the HCDSB Essential Visitor Protocol.

Enhanced Cleaning

Enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented. Daily cleaning protocols include disinfection of high-touch points in common areas throughout the building twice daily and increased cleaning in classrooms and washrooms. Nightly deep cleaning is also enhanced.

Kiss ‘n’ Ride Etiquette

Our Kiss ‘n’ Ride lanes are for quick drop-offs of students and you may not “park” your car in these lanes. If you need to get out of your car to escort your child to the gate or playground, please park in any of the available spaces and use the sidewalks for safety.

  • Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children.
  • Parents and guardians will remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol.)
  • Parents and caregivers are asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their child(ren). No gathering or congregating will be allowed on school property.

Please let all relatives know this information that will be doing drop-offs so the message is consistent. We appreciate your support in following the expectations while using our parking lots.

Bus Transportation

Halton Transportation Services is proposing to maintain the same number of riders on buses and rely on more stringent health and safety protocols on school buses. These include:

  • Mandating the use of masks for all students riding on the bus
  • Use cohorts to group students with peers they will be inconsistent contact with
  • Create seating charts that take into consideration siblings and classroom cohorts
  • Suspend courtesy seats for the 2020-2021 school year
  • All students who travel on the school bus must have a successful self-screening before boarding the bus.

School bus transportation to and from school will be available as follows:

  • For elementary students in the self-contained Community Living, Essential Skills, and Structured Teaching special education classes, and secondary students in our Life Skills classes, transportation to and from school will be available beginning Friday, September 11, 2020.
  • For all other students (Kindergarten to Grade 12), school bus transportation to and from school will be available beginning Monday, September 14, 2020.

COVID-19 Management in Schools Guidance Document

For those of you who did not have an opportunity to watch the webinar with Dr. Meghani on Tuesday, August 25th, we have attached a reference document from the Ministry of Health to support safer schools. This document is available online here: Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools. You may also want to view her presentation here: Preparing for a Safe and Healthy Return to School

For additional information: see HCDSB Return to School Plan

Butt, GenevieveSt. Brigid Return to School Protocols – 2020-2021