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Weekly Update: September 27, 2020

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Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort.  The school environment is safe for our students. Working together to follow Halton Public Health measures, we can ensure a safe, healthy and happy learning environment for all. Given the circumstances our school has experienced this week, our weekly update will focus on consolidating all of the information that has been previously shared by our school or the board related to COVID-19 and the daily operation of our school. The health and safety protocols of our school board can be found here: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/return-to-school-2/health-and-safety/

I am strongly requesting that only one parent come on to the school grounds with your child(ren).  It is imperative that social distancing take place between adults and students that are not immediate members of your family.  This is to model the school’s expectations for our students.  I would also encourage that parents/guardians wear a mask on the school grounds.  Again, this is to model our expectations for our students.  I appreciate everyone’s assistance in making St. Patrick School as safe as possible.

Webinar with Dr. Meghani

Dr. Meghani is the Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. She is a Public and Preventive Medicine physician and a Fellow with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Meghani hosted a live webinar for all parents regarding the return to school on August 25, 2020. This video has now been archived and can be accessed here: Preparing for a Safe and Healthy Return to School. If you have not viewed this webinar, kindly take a few moments to review Dr. Meghani’s message.

Daily Self-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 37.8oC)
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19
  • If any student has any of the signs or symptoms, the student must stay home and the school must be contacted.

The Government of Ontario has created an online tool to assist families with the daily self-screening process here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Signs / Symptoms of COVID-19

As shared by the Ministry of Health, Halton Public Health, and our school board, if your child experiences any of the following symptoms they should not come to school and you should seek medical attention.

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater
  • New or worsening cough (not related to other known causes/conditions)
  • Shortness or breath or difficulty breathing (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. asthma)
  • Sore throat (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. allergies, acid reflux)
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. allergies, being outside in cold weather)
  • Chills
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. allergies, neurological disorders)
  • Pink eye (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. reoccurring styes)
  • Headache that’s unusual or long lasting (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. tension headaches, chronic migraines
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps)
  • Muscle aches that are unusual or long lasting (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. sudden injury, fibromyalgia)
  • Extreme tiredness or fatigue (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction)
  • Sluggishness or lack of appetite (for young children)

It is important for your son or daughter to let their teacher know if they are feeling unwell at school. Students who show any of the above signs/symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be taken to our school’s designated ‘isolation room’ where they will be cared for and supervised until the parent or guardian can pick them up.

What Do you Do if Your Child Shows Signs / Symptoms of COVID-19 at School?

We recognize the impact that having to pick your child up from school can have on your work or personal day. However, we have clear and direct protocols to follow from our Public Health department. If you are called to pick up your child from school because they demonstrate one or more of the signs / symptoms of COVID-19, you must:

  • Seek medical advice, and get your child tested for COVID-19 as appropriate or advised by your health care provider.
  • Your child should stay home from school and avoid contact with others as much as possible (including household members) until test results are received.
  • If your child is assessed by your health care provider and cleared to return to school, he/she can return to school if it has been at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving, and they are not using any medication that may mask the symptomes

Until these steps are taken and you can assure the school that your child is not positive for COVID-19 your child cannot return to school. This is to ensure the health and safety of all of our students and staff members.

If you choose not to seek a medical assessment for your child, they must self-isolate for 14 days and it must be at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving before returning to school.

The chart below is to assist parents to summarize next steps for students who demonstrate signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

Cleaning Protocol

Upon the return to school on September 9, 2020, St. Patrick School implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols throughout the school day. This includes:

  • All high-touch points* will be disinfected twice daily or when visibly dirty.  ​
  • Disinfectant wipes and no-touch disinfectant spray will be provided in the classroom for disinfection of high-touch items in the classroom throughout the day. ​
  • Staff rooms will be cleaned daily in the evenings. Disinfectant wipes or no-touch disinfectant spray will be provided for intraday disinfection, as required. ​
  • Gymnasiums will be disinfected between each class using the space.​
  • School libraries will only be used by staff and will be cleaned daily in the evenings. Disinfectant wipes or no-touch disinfectant spray will be provided for intraday disinfection, as required. ​
  • Hand hygiene and disinfection station resources will be inspected daily and restocked as needed. ​

*High-touch points include doorknobs, light switches, push plates, panic bars, handrails, elevator buttons, faucet handles, flush handles, stall latches, product dispensers, paper towel dispensers, benches and bottle fillers.

School Calendar

Please note that our Virtual Curriculum Night has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 15, 2020.

We look forward to observing Red and White day on Monday, and Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday with our students. Monday is in remembrance to Terry Fox and Orange shirt day is an annual event that started in 2013 to recognize the legacy of Residential school system for First Nations, Metis and Inuit families and communities. It is a show of support and understanding of the history of the school system that impacts many First Nations, Metis and Inuit people today.

If possible, students are encouraged to wear orange articles of clothing on this day.  This is not a spirit day – students can wear orange as a sign of support for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.

Catholic School Council – September 28, 2020 is the final day to register you desire to be on St. Patrick’s School Council for the 2020-2021 school year.  We would love to have as many parents/guardians participate as possible.

Comuzzi, Mary-CatherineWeekly Update: September 27, 2020