Today, the Minister of Education announced that Ontario schools, including elementary and secondary schools within the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB), will be permitted to reopen for in-person learning on Monday, January 17, 2022.
LKDSB virtual learning programming continues to operate on its regular schedule.
Click here to read the provincial government media release.
As we prepare to return to school on Monday, January 17, we want to remind staff, students and families about the health and safety measures in place to support a safe operation of schools. Prior to attending school, all students, staff and visitors must complete and follow the directions of the daily COVID-19 School Screening assessment tool. At the start of the school day, staff and students will be required to provide confirmation of completion of self-screening prior to or upon arrival to school. Please refer to the information as communicated by your child's school.
If your child will be late or absent, you are encouraged to notify the school using the SchoolMessenger app to report attendance. The SchoolMessenger app is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, permits entering of multiple day absences and saves you calling the school and the school contacting you if notice of absence has not been received. Additional information is available here.
As a reminder: The Ontario government has updated the COVID-19 case, contact and outbreak management process. As such, the Ministry of Education has suspended reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools, including for school and Board locations in the LKDSB.
To help students prepare to return to school, parents/guardians are encouraged to review the health and safety protocols in place to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, such as reminders about masking, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene, etc. Click on the video links below to review important reminders with students on the following topics:
Our primary focus is supporting the safe operation of schools. The COVID-19 daily School Screening assessment tool has been recently updated for students and staff and may lead to increased staff and student absences. In the event your child is directed by the School Screening tool not to attend school, short-term remote learning, provided by their teacher(s), will be available if they are able to participate.
We are planning for the possibility of short-term school closures to students due to staffing shortages should the situation arise. As part of our planning to support the continuity of learning for students, we are considering various solutions to support schools with staffing challenges, including the use of occasional staff or central office educators and education workers to support schools and the possible temporary consolidation of classes. Please be assured that the LKDSB has reviewed its contingency planning with the local Medical Officers of Health and is committed to ensuring that all possible solutions are exhausted before such a decision would be made to temporarily close a school to students. These possible solutions may include the combining of students from different cohorts if necessary. In such an event of a short-term school closure to students, students would transition to remote learning temporarily and we will provide parents/guardians as much advance notice as possible as we recognize this may result in the need for child care arrangements.
The LKDSB continues to follow directions from the Ministry of Education, local and provincial public health officials. Additional information and resources are available on the LKDSB's Parent/Guardian Resources website. Additional information is also available on Chatham-Kent Public Health and Lambton Public Health websites.
If you have a specific question or concern about your child, please contact your school directly as messages are checked regularly.
Together, we will continue to support the safe operation of schools.
Director of Education