Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to review and work through the details announced by the Government of Ontario regarding the return to school on January 5, 2022. A link to the announcement can be found here: Government of Ontario Announcement
As communicated on Thursday, December 30, 2021, the first day of school and instruction for students has been delayed until Wednesday, January 5. This applies to both, in-person learners as well as Wellington Catholic Virtual School students. There will be no school on Monday, January 3 or Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
While we continue to confirm details from the Ministry of Education and public health, the following represents the latest information we are able to provide at this time:
Return to School on January 5, 2021: All classes will resume on January 5, 2021 at their regular times. School transportation will also resume on this day.
Please note the following information about screening and testing before the return to in-person learning. If your child will not be in attendance for whatever reason, please contact your child’s school.
Screening: The Ministry will be updating the COVID-19 Screening Tool in advance of January 5, 2022. The new screening tools has an expanded list of possible symptoms. Staff and students will be required to screen daily before returning to school. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ Please continue to follow the guidance from the COVID-19 Screening Tool before departing for school each day. If your child is not feeling well, they should not attend school. Reminders for self-screening and confirmation of completion when students and staff arrive will continue, as will daily reminders for masking, hand hygiene, physical distancing, etc.
Rapid Antigen Test Kits: Students who received rapid antigen test kits prior to the winter break, and have tests remaining, should delay using the final test until the morning of January 5 to support a safe return to school. A positive result on the Rapid Antigen Test should now be considered a final result confirming COVID infection. Students who receive a positive result should remain at home.
Case and Contact Management of COVID-19: As announced, effective December 31, 2021, the provincial government has changed case and contact management protocols in our schools and community. The following information was provided by the Province and Chief Medical Officer of Health:
- Individuals with COVID-19 who are vaccinated, as well as children under the age of 12, will be required to self-isolate for five days following the on-set of symptoms. Household contacts are also required to self-isolate with them. These individuals can end isolation after five days if their symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health measures, such as masking and physical distancing are followed.
- Individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or immunocompromised will be required to isolate for 10 days.
If you, or your family members, are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the guidance provided in the following letter from the Minister of Education and Chief Medical Officer of Health – Letter Specific instructions can be found at the bottom of the letter. If additional information is received from our local public health unit, we will share this with you.
Masks: Students will continue to be required to wear a well-fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth while at school. While students can continue to wear their own masks, the Ministry of Education will be providing upgraded 3-ply cloth masks for students, free of charge, in January. These are being provided as an upgrade to single-ply or double-ply masks that students may currently be using. In addition to medical/surgical grade masks currently used, staff will have the option of using non-fit tested N-95 masks supplied by the provincial government.
Extra-Curricular Activities: School boards have been directed by the Ministry of Education to pause high contact, high intensity indoor sports and activities. All in-person extra-curricular activities will be paused temporarily until there has been an opportunity to review this further with local public health officials.
Ventilation: The Ministry of Education announced that school boards would receive additional HEPA filter units to be used in schools. The Wellington Catholic District School Board took proactive measures early in the pandemic to ensure that all classrooms have filtration units and we exceed the Ministry requirements. Information on ventilation measures in our schools can be found here: Ventilation
Vaccinations: The Provincial Government and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health continue to offer vaccinations for children ages 5-11 and continue to provide booster shots for those eligible. For information on vaccines, vaccination clinics or to book a vaccine, please visit: https://wdgpublichealth.ca/
Letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Minister of Education: As noted earlier in this communication, a letter from Dr, Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, is available on our school and school board websites. It contains information on the government’s plan to re-open on January 5th as well as information for individuals, household members, and close contacts about COVID-19 protocols for suspected and confirmed cases. Please click here for a copy of the letter. Letter
As we plan for the resumption of school and learning next week, our staff will be meeting to review updated guidance and protocols and will be providing additional information to families to assist in the return. We will continue to provide additional communication through our schools as well as system-wide updates.
We are grateful for your understanding and patience as we work through these changes once again.
Thank you for your ongoing support.