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March Break postponed to April

Limestone Learning Foundation
March Break postponed to April
Posted on 02/11/2021
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Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that as elementary schools recognized the 100th day of school this week, we are now more than halfway through the school year. I am reaching out to share some important updates across our district.

First, I would like to thank families and staff for their diligence and support as most students returned to in-person learning a couple of weeks ago. After several weeks away, it was amazing to hear how quickly students resumed school routines and important COVID-19 protocols. Even though the KFL&A Region returned to “green” status this week, allowing the resumption of many non-essential activities, we must remain vigilant in following public health protocols and guidance. We continue to work with KFL&A Public Health to be as responsive as possible to ever-changing circumstances. It is important to note that public health does not currently recommend broad asymptomatic testing in schools in our region. Targeted testing strategies will continue to be implemented for certain situations such as cohorts of positive cases, and identifying/monitoring COVID-19 variants in our area. As always, we will rely on the medical expertise of our public health partners. Experience shows that school safety practices have been effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and we must all continue to do our part. As a community, we must make the learning and well-being of students our priority, and in keeping schools open. Read more from KFL&A Public Health.

As you may have heard already, this afternoon, the Minister of Education announced that March Break would be delayed in Ontario schools over concerns about COVID-19, and specifically the emergence of new more aggressive variants. For Limestone, this means March Break that was originally scheduled for Monday, March 15 to Friday, March 19, 2021 will now occur from Monday, April 12 to Friday, April 16, 2021. While this decision will understandably be disappointing to many students, families, and staff who were looking forward to this break, the Minister indicated this decision was made out of an abundance of caution based on public health guidance. Schools and educators will continue to be flexible and understanding of students to help support their well-being.

Here are some additional important updates:

Opt in/opt out: Elementary families wishing to move students from in-person learning to LDSB Virtual School, or vice versa, must notify their school by February 19, 2021. Secondary families wishing to make a change should do so before the end/beginning of each block/octomester by contacting their home school. We will accommodate moves between models of learning if there is available space in the class/school.

School-Year Calendar: Families are invited to provide input on the proposed options for the 2021-2022 school year via an online survey before February 12, 2021. If families would prefer a paper version of the survey, please contact your school and a hard copy will be provided.

Report cards: Report cards: Elementary report cards will go home with students February 17, 2021. Secondary students and families can review final course marks through their MyBlueprint account. Schools will send hard copy reports home with secondary students shortly. Virtual School report cards will mailed home after February 12, 2021.

Although February is a short month, there is lots of activity happening across our district including those recognizing Black History Month and the contribution of Black Canadians. Our goals in Limestone include providing students with Canadian content and questions that spark critical thinking; acknowledging and amplifying famous Black Canadians and Black history by creating ways to share our newfound learning within our schools and communities; and hosting discussions about Black representation and voices in our classroom materials. These actions are important in helping us continue our work to confront anti-Black racism in our system, and in our communities.

Finally, I want to highlight an expanded initiative in our schools to provide free menstrual hygiene products to students in Grades 7 to 12. Although products have been available in schools for some time, we have recently taken steps to remove barriers and ensure equitable access for all. Student voice was critical in exposing gaps in awareness and ease of access.  Access to menstrual products can be a barrier for some students. Research suggests that school attendance is improved for some students with access to menstrual hygiene products. 

There are no classes for Limestone students or staff on Monday, February 15, 2021 as it is Family Day. I hope you get some time together with your family – while staying safe and local. Please enjoy the long weekend.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education

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