“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
St. Michael’s Return to School Plan September 2021 reflects the HCDSB Return to School Plan 2021-2022which was created based on direction from the Ministry of Education, and guidance in consultation with Halton Region Public Health recommendations.
St. Michael Overall Goals
- Maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for students and staff
- Ensure a robust academic program that is transferrable to other learning models, if required, and reflects safety and wellness protocols
Daily Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms:
Self-screening must be completed each day before a student attends school by using the Ontario School and Child Care Screening Tool. If a student does not pass the self-screening, they are to remain home and follow the direction given on the screening tool. To ensure the safety of all students and staff, students will not be permitted to enter the school building until the self-screening has been completed.
*** Parents will be required to confirm Daily Screening for the first two weeks of school, by signing the attached form daily. Daily On-Site Confirmation of Self-Screening for Students Staff Visitors.docx
Grades K-8 students are required to wear non-medical at all times inside the school building unless taking a mask break or actively eating/drinking under the supervision of a staff member.
- Students are not required to wear masks outside at recess.
- Students are required to wear masks when in the hallway during entry and exit – including recess.
- Students are to store their mask when not being worn. We highly recommend the use of a fanny pack for safe storage when outside.
- Hand hygiene routines prior to taking off or putting on masks during recess times will be as follows.:
- Staff will walk students to their classroom zone at their designated recess time.
- Staff will provide hand sanitizer to students when in their recess zone, prior to mask removal.
- Staff will pick students up from their recess zone at the end of recess, once again providing hand sanitizer prior to putting masks back on to enter the school building.
- Students are permitted, and encouraged, to have their own hand sanitizer on them for use during these times and throughout the day.
- Mask design: Keep it simple, please.
- Masks must be compliant with our school dress code (see student agendas) and not display any inappropriate logos, sayings, or pictures, including but not limited to, subject matter which refers to drug use, is suggestive or overtly sexual, or is violent.
- Please review How to Safely Use a Non-Medical Mask or Face Covering
Parents are required to enter student absence. Please ensure that all student absences are reported to using School Messenger. Information can be found on our website.
Entrance and Exit Procedures
Upon arrival at school, students will immediately enter the building through their assigned entry/exit door. Students have been assigned specific doors that are closest to their classroom to reduce crowding and promote distancing. We ask that you support this process by developing drop off and pick up routines that align with the entry and exit points. To further health and safety on school premises, we ask the following:
- All adults accessing the school wear a non-medical mask when distancing cannot be maintained (ie. drop off and pick up times)
- Parents/guardians are not permitted access to the school yard
- Do not congregate at drop off/pick up locations around the school
Entrance and Exit doors are as follows:
- Door #4 – Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 2/3
- Door #15 – Grade 3/4 , Grade 4/5, Grade 5/6, Grade 6/7, Grade 7, Grade 8
- Kindergarten – Students will enter directly into their classrooms through the Kindergarten gates
- Families with Kindergarten child & other students: Park in the Front Lot. Parents are to park, walk your Kindergarten student to the regular gate area. Siblings are to enter the front of the school and proceed to their classroom.
- Pick-Up: Parents are to park, walk to the gates and wait for your child to be released by the teacher. Please watch when leaving, busses will be arriving during this time.
Grade 1-8 Families
- All parents are asked to use the rear of the Church Parking Lot.
- Park in a spot and escort your child to the pylon area. All students will be entering school directly and proceeding inside to their classroom.
- Grade 1 -3: Teachers will escort students through the rear gate, walk down the pylon lane and release students from that point.
- Grade 4-8 Teachers will escort students to the back yard and have the students walk carefully to parents.
At all times, masks are to be worn, greatest attempts to physically distance and safety protocols will be in place. I understand this is going to be busy; your patience and understanding is appreciated.
- Students will have access to lockers for storing outerwear.
- All essential student items must come into the classroom to limit trips into the hallway. Lunch bags are to come into the classroom.
- Student will only access their lockers under the direct supervision of a staff member.
- Locks will not be used at this time. Bags and lunches will be bought into the classroom and hung on the students’ chair.
Once Students Enter the School
- Students are to enter directly into the school beginning at 8:35am.
- Students are to be masked upon entry.
- Staff will be supervising in assigned hallways during entry.
- Students may access their lockers upon arrival to put away outwear and retrieve their indoor shoes (once required for wet/winter weather).
- Students will enter their classroom and practice hand hygiene.
Travel Within 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 routines 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 reminded to practice hand hygiene before and after washroom visits.
- Students will access washrooms one at a time.
- A reduced number of students will be allowed in the washroom at one time with distancing markers in the hallways and inside the washroom.
Snacks and Lunches
- Snacks and lunches will be eaten within classroom cohorts. To reduce movement in the classroom, we will have a boomerang lunch program (food not consumed, wrappers, containers will go home). In keeping with our healthy eating practices, students are encouraged to bring nutritious snacks and lunches that are packed in reusable containers. Please ensure food items are peanut and tree-nut free.
- Water fountains will not be accessible to students. Each student is required to bring a labeled water bottle and will have access to a designated water bottle filling station.
- Under the Ministry of Education guidance, hot lunch programs can resume this year. Decisions regarding school specific hot lunch programs will occur later this fall.
- Dropping off lunches/snacks/other items through the school day is highly discouraged, therefore, please send your child with lunch and snacks at the beginning of the school day.
- Students will remain with their classroom cohort during all recess breaks.
- The school yard and pavement have been divided into zones using pavement markings. (Bucket colours)
- Each class cohort will be assigned a zone and mixing of cohorts between zones will not be allowed.
- Use of outdoor equipment will not be permitted at this time.
- Use of basketball nets during recess will not be permitted at this time.
- Teachers will review a menu of acceptable recess play options that align with health and safety protocols with students.
- Students are to be in school uniform daily. All students are to wear a school crest top and blue bottoms. Solid blue bottoms and appropriate size
- Footwear is a personal decision – appropriate for recess
- Jumpers do not have to be crested and students can wear a plain white top underneath.
Halton Transportation Services will operate buses at capacity with the following health and safety protocols in place:
- Student self-screening must be completed before boarding a bus in the morning.
- Masks must be worn at all times.
- Students will be assigned seats to support contact tracing. Siblings and class cohorts will be consideration when assigning seats.
- Courtesy seat requests have been paused to begin the 2021-2022 school year.
- Give parents can opt out of using transportation (communicated via Twitter).
As a Catholic school community, our faith is integral to all that we do. As we transition into the new school year, we will be very intentional about creating and promoting opportunities to celebrate our Catholic faith, both in person, and virtually. We are excited to welcome families and staff to visit our interactive HCDSB Virtual Chapel, where you will find a number of resources, including prayers, sacrament information, daily readings, an online rosary website available in various languages, a spot to leave your prayer intentions, and more. You are invited to explore this virtual space, as well as other Catholic faith resources that are available on our Return to School Website here.
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory 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. Breaks will be scheduled to allow students to wash their hands at appropriate times during the school day.
- Entering and exiting the classroom
- Before and after donning and doffing a mask
- Before and after eating food
- After using the washroom
- Before and after outdoor play
- Before and after physical education classes
- After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Before and after touching any shared objects
- Before and after touching their face
- Before and after touching a shared resource
Students will remain with their designated cohort (classmates) throughout the day. The cohort group will apply inside the school and in the school yard. Busing and the Before and After School Program will be a different cohort. Direct entry in the morning and staggered recesses will ensure students can physical distance as much as possible. Students will be assigned a designated zone on the pavement with their cohort for recess time. In the classroom, students will have a designated workspace (desks or table) and will be distanced as much as possible.
Health and Wellness
The priority for return to school will be focussed 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. Physical Education classes will also be taught outdoors, weather permitting.
Students are to bring essential items to school only. No toys or sporting equipment can be brought to school. A menu of appropriate activities for recess play will be discussed with students by their classroom teacher. Students who ride their bikes must dismount upon entering school property and lock up immediately to reduce congestion of students in that
In accordance with HCDSB Policy 1-43 and Procedure VI-62, students are welcomed and encouraged to bring an electronic device for use in their classroom under the supervision and direction of their teacher. Expectations for appropriate use of devices and digital citizenship will be reviewed with students. Family support of these expectations at home is greatly appreciated.
- will be turned off once students enter the school.
- will remain in students’ bags, and will not be permitted to use during the day without adult supervision.
- if students are caught using their cell phone without adult permission, the phone will be taken by the teacher and kept safe till the end of the day
- cell phones will not be used to access Curriculum – the school is happy to supply devices to support accessing information at school
As a school community we pride ourselves in 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 HCDSB Visitor Protocol.
Daily cleaning protocols include disinfection of high-touch points in common areas throughout the building and increased cleaning in classrooms and washrooms. Enhanced nightly deep cleaning will also occur.
- Visits to ensure school safety, such as inspections by the Fire Marshal’s office or by public health, will continue to take place.
- Emergency evacuation procedures/practices will continue while maintaining 2-metres between students whenever possible (i.e., fire, lockdown, bomb threat).
- In the event of a real emergency, imminent safety is priority and physical distancing may not be possible.
Extracurricular Activities and Field Trips
- Field trips are paused as we await further direction on these activities.
- Interschool sports and are paused as we await further direction on these activities.
- School based clubs will resume on a phased in approach throughout the school year, where possible.
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 2021-2022