March 31st, 2021
Late Tuesday, March 30th, the Ministry of Education updated the Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings. The most significant changes (below) now make masks mandatory for students in grades 4 - 12 at all times while they are in the school building and on school buses.
“All students in Grades 4 to 12 are required to wear a mask or a face shield (in which case a non-medical mask should be worn in addition to the face shield) indoors in schools and on school buses - both within and outside of their learning group.
Students in Grades K to 3 are encouraged to wear a mask indoors in schools and on school buses, but are not required to do so - mask wearing remains a personal or family/caregiver choice for these students, and their choices must be respected.”
Teachers will spend the next few days helping students to adjust to this change. We suggest you send your child to school in a clean mask, and with a spare mask, that they are used to wearing. Schools will have disposable masks available if students forget their mask. Please click the following links for a video and poster containing a reminder of how to wear a face mask.
Students will be able to remove their masks while outside, including at recess, lunchtime and while learning outside. As the weather improves, teachers will continue to look for opportunities to move their classes outside.
Please contact your school principal if your child is unable to wear a mask due to health reasons.
Other preventative measures will be maintained at schools to provide multiple layers of protection that reduce the risk of transmissions. These include:
- Ensuring staff and students stay home when sick or required to self-isolate, including ensuring everyone entering the school performs a daily health check;
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting;
- Placing students and staff in to consistent groupings of people (learning groups);
- Adapting environments to maximize the use of space;
- Ensuring physical distance can be maintained between learning groups; and
- Frequent hand hygiene.
Thank you for your help in continuing to make our schools a safe place to learn and work.