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Board continues to refine reopening plans

Limestone Learning Foundation
Board continues to refine reopening plans
Posted on 08/07/2020
Image of school reopening graphic featuring bank of lockers

Dear Families,

I am writing to provide you with an update on the Limestone District School Board’s school reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

I would like to begin by saying we know that the last week, since the Ministry of Education announced its revised Guide for Reopening Ontario’s Schools, has likely been an anxious and confusing time. There is a lot of information being shared and much of it continues to change. With just three weeks until school begins for students in Limestone, we know you are looking for concrete answers and direction. Staff are working as quickly as we can to align our plans with the Ministry guidance document and staff collective agreements while addressing provincial and local health directives. This is a complex process as there are sometimes differing directions, or different approaches based on each region’s circumstances.

Here is what I can tell you:

  • We continue to meet regularly with KFL&A Public Health to refine and confirm health and safety protocols including cleaning, masking, screening and plans on how to deal with potential outbreaks.
  • We are focused on ensuring communication in these areas will be family friendly with age-appropriate supports for students.
  • We hope to share some routines you can practise at home to help prepare students for school re-entry.
  • We will be asking all families to share their intentions regarding opting out of school next week. We need this information to ensure our classes are staffed sufficiently according to the Ministry model and staff collective agreements.

We know some families may be feeling pressured to make a choice on whether their student(s) will opt out of returning to school. To help you make an informed decision, we will be sharing our most up-to-date school reopening plans with families following a Special Meeting of the Board next week. These plans include what a typical school day will look like, including health and safety protocols, the use of physical spaces, school timetable and routines, and school arrival and dismissal. Based on our work with labour partners and public health, these plans will continue to be fine-tuned in the coming days and weeks.

We hope that by reviewing these plans and information contained on our new School Reopening microsite, including our frequently asked questions, will help you make a decision. We have also added an email address for you to submit additional questions you would like to see included.

One item which has caused some confusion is the ability for students to move back-and-forth between in-person and remote learning. While the Minister of Education indicated families would have latitude to do so, the Ministry guidance document expands on this indicating that it would need to happen at defined points of the school year. We will make every effort to accommodate families’ wishes but we may not be able to do so in every case.

Finally, I know that this is a lot of information to take in, and the decision before you may seem overwhelming. Please know that our staff, our labour partners, and our Board of Trustees are all working together to minimize risk and provide our students with a safe learning environment that we know is critical to supporting their well-being.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we support a return to school.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education

 

 

 

 

 

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.