We hope that students and families have a safe and restful March Break. In follow-up to the provincial public health announcement on March 9, 2022, we wanted to share further information to support the safe return to schools on Monday, March 21, 2022.
What to expect upon the return to school
Please be assured that all Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) staff remain committed to supporting the safe operation of schools. As we transition into this new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that many members of our school communities will have different feelings about the changes moving forward. We have all been working together throughout the past couple of years to ensure safe and healthy schools and we will continue to do so. As in previous phases of the pandemic, we continue to move forward and adjust our health and safety guidance and practices based on the most current directions of local and provincial public health officials. This time is no different.
At this time and throughout the school year, mental health and well-being supports will continue to be available to students to support the transition. We also continue to practice cleaning protocols and ventilation measures, including the HEPA units currently in use in occupied spaces, to support the maintenance of clean and safe school environments.
Staff and administrators will continue to promote the safe operation of schools in alignment with the current public health directions.
Beginning March 21, students, staff and visitors are no longer required to wear masks while on school board property or on student transportation, unless directed by the COVID-19 daily school screening tool. We are committed to supporting personal choice and ensuring respectful and inclusive practices for those who choose to continue to wear a mask.
Daily COVID-19 Screening Tool
Students and staff should continue to complete and follow the directions of the daily COVID-19 daily school screening tool. Students, staff and visitors are no longer required to provide confirmation of completion of the daily school screening as of March 21.
Cohorting and Physical Distancing
Beginning March 21, elementary and secondary students are no longer required to adhere to cohort requirements, nor are students required to physically distance.
Vaccination for Indoor Athletics
As a reminder, per the direction of the Medical Officers of Health for Chatham-Kent and Lambton Public Health, proof of COVID-19 immunization is no longer required for athletes, coaches, referees or spectators at indoor sporting events.
Rapid Antigen Testing
The Ontario government continues to provide Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to schools for distribution to students and staff following an absence from school due to illness, or a required isolation. The RATs are available by contacting the school office.
Traditional Year End Activities
Planning may move forward for traditional year end activities including in-person graduations and field trips.
Travel during March Break
Anyone planning to vacation outside of Canada during March Break is reminded to review and monitor Government of Canada travel advice and advisories, regarding COVID-19 and international travel, including masking requirements currently required for 14 days upon return. For the most up-to-date information and travel advisories, visit the Government of Canada website. Prior to the return to school, students, staff and visitors should complete and follow the directions of the COVID-19 daily school screening tool.
We know that it will take some time to adjust to the new public health directions and practices. We look forward to a return to traditional in-person events that build community and support the home and school connection. We will continue to support one another and work together to support the safe operation of schools.
Director of Education