Director’s Message to PVNC Families heading into April Break

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Dear PVNC Families, 

As we head into the April break, we wanted to provide some important information and resources for families. 

Ready to pivot 

Unfortunately, we currently find ourselves in an all-too familiar position, as rising cases of COVID-19 and a new provincial stay-at-home order make the immediate future unpredictable.

The Ministry of Education has informed us that it expects our schools to resume in-person learning following the April break. However, a significant rise in COVID rates provincially or at a local level could impact our ability to safely keep some of our schools open for in-person learning following the break. As a precaution, we are asking all students to bring home tomorrow all the resources required to successfully transition to virtual learning if the need arises.

Our educators are ready to make the transition to virtual learning as seamlessly as possible should it be required and we will continue to keep families updated on the status of schools. 

Importance of self-screening

We would like to remind families that the provincial self-screening tool must be completed by all staff and students (or their parents) before attending school each day.

Secondary students are to complete the Daily Student Covid Assessment Forms for their particular school before attending school each day.

We recognize the ongoing fatigue that people are experiencing with COVID-19 protocols, but self-screening is one of the most important tools we have to keep our schools safe. 

As directed by the Ministry of Education, we will have an enhanced screening process for all elementary students on Monday, April 19, 2021. We will share more information with elementary families about that process later next week. 

Thank you for continuing to follow the public health and safety measures that have kept schools open and safe for students and staff. It is our collective effort that continues to ensure your children can learn in the classroom.

Talking to your child about their mental health

We know that for some students, extended holidays or school breaks can be a time of additional stress. With all the uncertainty around the pandemic at this time, our Mental Health Leads have prepared this Tip Sheet for Parents, Guardians and Caregivers with advice about having mental health conversations with young people.

If it feels like you or someone in your family needs a little extra help right now, please see our list of community resources at this link: Community Resources for All Families of PVNC.

Reminder: Registration for 2021-2022 Virtual School is open 

A reminder to all families that registration for our Virtual School for the 2021-2022 school year is currently open. The deadline for registration is April 11, 2021 at 4 p.m

PVNC will be offering a Kindergarten to Grade 12 virtual school for interested students for the 2021-2022 school year. Please note, enrolment in the virtual school will be for the entire school year; there will not be an opportunity to transition from virtual school to in-person learning or in-person learning to virtual school during the 2021-2022 school year.

Asymptomatic Testing 

For the week of April 12-18, pharmacies that currently offer testing and assessment centres across the province will accept appointments from students and education staff for asymptomatic testing. 

We continue to offer asymptomatic testing clinics for select school communities (students, staff and parents) on a roving basis each Saturday. You can view upcoming clinics here. 

Staying safe over the break 

In light of the recently announced measures, it is more important than ever that we continue to follow health advice over the Spring Break to do our part to keep schools open, for in-person student learning.

 At this critical point in the pandemic, the following public health measures are crucial to help prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Socialize with your own household.
  • Stay home and get tested if you feel ill.
  • Participate in the targeted testing offered by your school board.
  • Screen every day, including during spring break, for COVID-19 symptoms before attending child care (the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool is available to assist families with symptom screening).
  • Practice good hand hygiene habits, masking, and physical distancing.
  • Refer to Ontario.ca/covidresponse to learn what public health measures are in place in our community.
  • Refrain from travelling.

Enjoy the break 

I want to take this opportunity to wish our staff, students, parents and guardians a peaceful and much-deserved April break. Please take some time, if it is possible, to rest, relax, take a break from screens and devices and enjoy the springtime outdoors within the company of your household.

We have some challenging weeks ahead of us. As we have since September, we will get through these days together and we remain hopeful that better times are just around the corner.

Please stay safe and God Bless, 

Joan Carragher
Director of Education