Important updates for PVNC families
Jan. 24, 2022,
Please see some important updates and reminders below.
PA Day and Secondary Semester Transition
A reminder that Monday, Jan. 31 is a PA day for all elementary and secondary schools (including the virtual school). As communicated in November, secondary schools will transition to a regular semester beginning Tuesday, Feb. 1.
COVID-19 Cases and Absenteeism Reporting
Since the return to in-person learning, we have been receiving inquiries about the communication of school COVID-19 cases and absenteeism rates.
Changes to provincial criteria for COVID testing and contact tracing means we have very limited information about possible COVID cases in schools, and public health no longer dismisses classes/cohorts. There is no requirement for parent(s)/guardian(s) to report their child’s PCR/RAT results to the school or child care.
To support student safety and open communication, when we are informed of positive rapid antigen or PCR test results at the school, our schools will endeavor to share this information with families to the best of our ability and capacity.
We do caution that this information should not be considered an accurate reflection of COVID transmission in the school. COVID transmission in our communities is high so we expect ongoing transmission in our schools. We are sending these notices simply to provide families with information that has been voluntarily disclosed to us.
The Board will also be monitoring absenteeism rates at schools closely and notifying school communities in collaboration with public health when there is a significant spike in absenteeism. As of today, you can monitor the absenteeism rates of all Ontario schools here: www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-school-closures-and-absenteeism
Inclement Weather, Staff Illness and Bringing Technology Home
On Monday last week, our schools were closed for the first time in many years due to an extraordinary weather event.
We would like to remind all families that, for the exception of such a rare weather event, our schools remain open even when school buses are cancelled due to inclement weather. Families serviced by STSCO can receive the latest information on busing cancellations each morning at: www.STSCO.ca and Kawartha Lakes families can find busing alerts at: www.mybustoschool.ca/Alerts
As we prepare for a possible uptick in staff illness as a result of COVID-19, schools will be asking students to bring their required technology back and forth between school and home each day. In the event that staff absenteeism results in a school closure, we will communicate that decision to families in the early morning and ask students and classroom staff to transition to remote learning on a temporary basis.
Rapid Antigen Tests
Last week, schools distributed Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to all staff members and elementary students. We are awaiting delivery of more tests to distribute to secondary students and anticipate ongoing shipments and distribution of RATs in the future. We will continue to communicate with families as tests are received and distributed.
Daily COVID screening verification
As you know, every day before coming to school, staff and families must complete the Ontario government’s school screening tool https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening
Those who DO NOT PASS the screening cannot attend school and must follow the guidance provided, including recommendations regarding isolation. The Ministry of Education has asked schools to validate the daily self-screening of students prior to their arrival at school until further notice.
Schools have provided families school-specific instructions and a link to a COVID Screening Verification Google Form to be completed before arrival each day. The Board has prepared this video to walk you through the process of completing the self-assessment. Note: Please remember to click “submit” on the Google Form to ensure the school receives your response.