Back to school 2023-24: School operations and health and safety information
The Upper Grand District School Board looks forward to welcoming all students, staff and families this September. Please see below for important school operations and health and safety information.
We are looking forward to welcoming back the majority of our students to in-person learning for the 2023-24 school year. We have a few students who will be continuing their learning this year in our remote or e-learning platforms. Thanks to everyone’s continued efforts, we are confident that our schools are safe and healthy spaces for students and staff.
In-person teachers will continue to maintain a virtual learning environment (i.e. Google Classroom) as part of their classroom program. This will support individual students should students be absent from school for any reason.
The UGDSB is offering a fully remote learning option to elementary students and to secondary students through our e-learning platform. Registration for the remote learning option is now closed. As movement between learning modes can cause disruptions for many students and classrooms, students who enrolled in the elementary remote learning option are required to remain in remote learning for the entire school year.
School Day Operations
School day operations will look the same as they did in the spring of last year with regular recesses, nutrition breaks and regular offerings of extra-curricular activities and school events.
Key Protective Measures
As a school board, we want to remind everyone of the importance of many standard protective strategies to help keep staff and students safe and healthy. Strategies such as frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquette and making the most of our outdoor spaces for learning continue to contribute to the health and well-being of students and staff. Classes in the UGDSB will continue to have a standalone HEPA filter unit with more than 2500 of these units deployed across the system. In addition to these measures, the UGDSB will continue to support students, staff and visitors to our schools and respect their individual choices about masking.
Management of Illness in Schools
The UGDSB will continue to follow the direction of WDGPH for appropriate responses to illnesses in our community. Please visit their website for the most current information about COVID-19: https://wdgpublichealth.ca/covid-19/covid-19-information-public/status-cases-wdg
Cases of respiratory illness generally increase throughout the fall and winter months. Please review the most current guidance from the Ministry of Health throughout the season: https://www.ontario.ca/page/protection-covid-19-and-other-respiratory-illnesses
We know how important quick access to information and data is to families, students and staff. The UGDSB continues to report daily on school absence rates, allowing us to monitor absenteeism rates and transparently share this information with the public. Use this link to find the report: https://www.ugdsb.ca/board/daily-school-absence-reporting/
The school board will continue to optimize air quality in classrooms and learning environments through improving ventilation and/or filtration. Ventilation is one layer of the protective strategies that will be utilized to support healthy and safe learning environments for students and staff.
The school board will continue its work optimizing air quality in classrooms and learning environments through improving ventilation and filtration. Upgrades to ventilation and filtration systems began in the 2020-21 school year and will continue to be monitored and maintained for the 2023-24 school year.
Standardized School Ventilation Measures Report
For the 2023-24 school year, school boards will continue to communicate ventilation measures through the Standardized Ventilation Measures Report and make this information available on the board’s website. This information will continue to ensure transparency for school communities, including students, parents and staff, and provide consistent communication across the province. The information may include whether: ventilation has been inspected, measures in place in each school (such as use of higher grade filters, frequency of filter changes, HVAC systems are running longer, standalone HEPA filter units installed, windows are being opened, etc.).