Resumption of school delayed until Wednesday January 5, 2022
December 30, 2021
Today, the province of Ontario announced that the resumption of school will be delayed following the winter break. All schools will resume classes on Wednesday January 5, 2022.
There will be no classes on Monday January 3 or Tuesday January 4. This direction is for all students including those enrolled in the elementary or secondary remote programs and for those in our special education self-contained classrooms.
Beginning January 5, regular classes will resume for both in-person learning and those enrolled in the remote programs.
All students and staff should continue using the Rapid Antigen Testing kits provided to them prior to the winter break and to conduct a test prior to returning to work/school. If test results conducted so far are negative, the student or staff member may attend school as usual when in-person learning resumes. Even if an individual tests negative, they should continue to adhere to all relevant public health guidance, such as guidance on daily screening, gathering, distancing and masking. A positive result on a rapid antigen screening test should be considered a confirmed positive test result.
Anyone who receives a positive result on a rapid antigen screening test, is experiencing symptoms or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay home and follow isolation guidelines.
When in-person learning resumes, all students, staff, and visitors must continue to screen for COVID-19 symptoms of illness every day before attending school. To help meet this requirement, you may use the updated provincial COVID-19 screening tool. Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home and continue to follow the guidance of Public Health. We will continue to reinforce our layers of protective measures including masking and hand hygiene, as well as cohorting and physical distancing with students and our staff.
As an additional measure, all schools will be required to implement daily on-site confirmation of student/staff/visitor screening prior to/upon arrival at school for at least two weeks once in-person learning resumes.
All extra-curricular activities will be put on pause for the time being.
Further to our commitment to improve ventilation and air flow, the UGDSB has procured additional stand-alone High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter units for all secondary school learning spaces, including Continuing Education sites. This is in addition to the UGDSB providing all elementary school classrooms and portables with a HEPA unit at the start of the school year.
“What we share in common, as parents/caregivers, trustees and staff in our public education system, is a commitment to reopening our schools and ensuring that they are a safe place to learn and work,” said UGDSB Board Chair Linda Busuttil.
“Our staff have been working alongside Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health throughout the winter holidays to draft plans for the opening of schools to in-person learning. All schools will be supplied upgraded masks and PPE has been ordered, school ventilation checked, and following the government’s guidance today, staff will review and communicate procedures for safe school operations.”
Staff will be reviewing new provincial guidance documents expected later today and will provide additional information prior to classes resuming on January 5. We are committed to keeping you informed.
We hope you all had a restful break and look forward to welcoming you back to school when in-person learning resumes.
Peter Sovran, Director of Education, and Linda Busuttil, Chair of the UGDSB