A Back-to School Message from Director of Education Joan Carragher
Dear students, staff, parents and guardians,
On Tuesday, the hallways of our vibrant Catholic schools will once again be humming with activity and back-to-school excitement and our virtual school learners will connect with their teachers and peers in their virtual classrooms as we officially begin the 2021-2022 school year.
School will start in much the same way as it did last year. We will continue with the COVID safety strategies that were so effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 within our schools last year – masking (mandatory for staff and students Grades 1 to 12 and encouraged for kindergarten students), physical distancing, cohorting, proper staff PPE, enhanced cleaning and a continued focus on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
There will also be a return to some aspects of a normal school year, as outlined in our PVNC Return to School Plan and we look forward to slowly and cautiously reintroducing elements of school life that so enhance and enrich our students’ experience.
Please take some time to review the updates below for some important information about the start of the school year.
Visitors in Schools
We are currently working on processes to verify vaccination status for school visitors. In the meantime, all schools will remain closed to non-essential visitors as was the practice last year.
Daily COVID Screening Verification
All staff and students must self-screen every day before attending school. The Ministry of Education has asked schools to validate the daily self-screening of students prior to or upon their arrival at school for the first two weeks of this school year.
Schools will be sending families school-specific instructions and a link to a COVID Screening Verification Form to be completed before arrival each day. Parents who are completing the form on behalf of their child will have to log-in to their child’s Board-issued Google account (this will have to be done for each student) to access the form. Older students can complete the form on their own using their Google accounts.
COVID-19 Management and Communication in Schools
As was the case last year, we will notify the school community when there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school setting and high-risk contacts will be provided with specific instruction. We will report all confirmed cases on our COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Please note, we will not disclose personal information and will not identify individuals who have contracted COVID-19. We will not disclose the vaccination status of students or staff.
Students, staff, parents and guardians can learn more about our Board’s strategy to optimize air quality through improved ventilation and air filtration in schools, including a school-by-school ventilation report here: www.pvnccdsb.on.ca/school-ventilation-hvac-and-air-quality/
I would like to take this opportunity to wish our students, staff and families a wonderful long-weekend and we look forward to welcoming everyone to a safe and positive environment on Tuesday.
Director of Education