COVID-19 Info

This webpage is designed to help you navigate through the many documents, resources and materials that are related to the St. Bernadette COVID-19 School Restart Plan
Please NOTE: All the information on this site is subject to change.

COVID-19 Related Questions

How are you enforcing social distancing?

We are following the directions and recommendations from the Ministry of Education’s Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 Setting:

Physical distancing (e.g. maintaining a distance of 2 metres between two or more people) is challenging in a K-12 school setting, particularly with younger students. As such, it is reasonable to establish different expectations for varying age levels and activities. For example, younger students should be supported to have minimized physical contact with one another, while older students and adults should seek to maintain a safe physical distance whenever possible.

We will also follow their recommendations for physical distancing:

  • Avoid close greetings (e.g. hugs, handshakes). Regularly remind students about keeping their “hands to yourself”.
  • Spread people out into different areas.
  • Consider different classroom and learning environment configurations to allow distance between students and adults (e.g. different desk and table formations).
  • Organize students into smaller groups that stay together throughout the day.
  • Strive to minimize the number of different teacher(s) and educational assistant(s) that interact with groups of students throughout the day (e.g. minimize the amount of mixing between student and different staff in the setting).
  • Stagger pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Stagger recess/lunch
  • Take students outside more often.
  • Organize learning activities outside including snack time, place-based learning and unstructured time.
  • Take activities that involve movement, including those for physical health and education, outside.
  • Group sport activities should be organized in a thoughtful way, taking into consideration personal measures.
  • Reassure students, parents and caregivers that playgrounds are a safe environment, and encourage appropriate personal hygiene practices before, during, and after outdoor play.
  • Incorporate more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between students and staff.
  • For younger students, adapt group activities to minimize physical contact and reduce shared items.
  • For adolescent students, minimize group activities and avoid activities that require physical contact.
  • Manage flow of people in common areas, including hallways and bathrooms.
  • Parents and caregivers and other non-staff adults entering school should be minimized. They should also be reminded to practice diligent hand hygiene and maintain physical distance when they are in the school.
  • Assemblies and other school-wide events should be held virtually to avoid large gatherings of people in one space.
Are classrooms sanitized? How Often?

All High touch areas will be cleaned multiple times a day.  In addition, the staff must wipe down tables and seating prior to leaving for the day. The entire school will be cleaned every evening.

How will students share school supplies or gym equipment?

The Ministry of Education advises against the sharing of materials, toys, gym equipment and other such items.  When sharing is unavoidable, proper handwashing will be enforced.

Where should I go to find out about my child's curriculum?

St. Bernadette School is following the curriculum guidelines as set out by the Ministry of Education.  We will be reporting on the key curriculum competencies for our summative report.  As stated by the Ministry of Education, all students will be promoted to the next grade.  Our teachers have been working tirelessly to ensure all curriculum goals and objectives are met for the year.

How will masses be conducted?

St. Bernadette Parish will continue to livestream the 11:30am Mass on Sunday.  Recently restrictions have been lifted and parishioners are allowed to attend Sunday Mass again (no more than 50 per mass – please see the parish for more details).  This means that we can host a grade 7 farewell Mass (Grade 7 students only) and a yearend Mass (grade 6/7 students only).

What happens with PE classes?

For June, the students will not be required to wear their school uniform or gym strip.  We do not know about September yet. The change rooms will remain closed.  Students will not be required to change into a gym strip at this time.

How do we distance our movements in the hallways?

The hallway will run similar to a roadway.  One-way traffic on either side of the hallway, separated by cones.  There are directional arrows to show children which side of the hallway to walk on.

What happens during recess?

Recesses will be staggered.  The playground will be opening soon.  When it does, proper handwashing and hygiene will be enforced at the playground.

Should students wear masks or PPEs?

According to the Ministry of Health and Education, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is the least productive form of prevention in a school setting.  In the Ministry of Education’s Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 Setting it states:

Wearing cloth or homemade masks, particularly for children, are not recommended. There is limited evidence outside of health care settings and only in uncontrolled situations where physical distancing between adults cannot be maintained for extended periods of time (greater than 15 minutes with a person who has probable or lab confirmed COVID-19). Wearing one is a personal choice. It is important to treat people wearing masks with respect.

Will educators be wearing masks or PPEs?

That is a personal decision and we will not discourage or prevent any employee who wishes to wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Will there be a forehead thermometer used before entering the school?
We are being advised not to take temperature checks as part of our screening process. If a child or employee develops on-site symptoms, we will take a temperature check as part of our health plan. 
How many students per classroom?

Currently, the Ministry has given us the mandate to not exceed our school density targets.  For Stage 3 that is 50% for K-5 students and 20%.  This means that for K-5 students, half of the class will come for 2 days per week and the other half of the class will come for the other two days per week.  For grade 6-7 students we have more flexibility to keep group sizes smaller.  We don’t know what the sizes will be in September.

How will parent volunteering work?

For the remainder of this current school year (2019-2020) everyone is exempt from completing their parent participation hours. We will start the 2020-2021 school year anticipating that we will be able to run all the programs and events that make our school a dynamic and connected community.  However, in the event that this is not possible, the PEC will review the program and make the necessary adjustments.

What will school hours be like?

The ministry hours have been collected by the government for the year.  No child needs to be in the school building for the rest of this year.  However, if a parent chooses to send their child to school, the earliest they can attend is 9am and the latest they can attend is 2pm.  They can come and go as parents wish between those times.

What is the drop off and pick up protocol?

The Ministry of Education advises that we stagger drop off and pick up times.  To help maintain social distancing during these times, we ask parents not to gather in the parking lot, but to remain in their cars until their child is seen.

Do we have any guidelines for musical instruments usage?

Credible scientific evidence shows that musical instruments such as wind instruments (the recorder) and your singing voice increase the amount and spread distance of the droplets from your mouth.  Sharing percussion, string, and other instruments is not advisable. The use of such instruments during a music class is suspended until further notice.

How do we continue to look after our students with special needs?

Our LAC department will continue to implement the individual education plans (IEP) for students who have special needs.  Educational Assistants will continue to provide remote support to individual children and when necessary, on-site support to vulnerable children.

What happens to Stingers Club?

Schools are being asked to keep children in school during their school hours only.  Therefore, we will not be offering the Stingers Club until otherwise directed.  It is our understanding that this is done so that the school can complete a proper cleaning and to ensure physical distancing measures remain a priority.

What happens if my child becomes ill while in school?

If a child is identified with COVID-19 like symptoms while at school, they will be sent to the first aid room for further assessment.  A report is immediately delivered to the administration.  The administration will notify students and staff that they might have been potentially exposed and remove them from the infected room/area.  The ill student will be immediately sent home.  All infected areas will be sanitized.  A letter will be sent home notifying parents that there was a child at school with COVID-19 like symptoms.  The ill student may have specific requirements asked of them prior to their return to school.

Will there be an option for remote learning in September?

It is hard to say at this point (June 1st,2020) what September will bring. As a school and as a staff we are preparing for the various scenarios that might come our way. It has been repeatedly stated by various government ministries and health authorities that the hope and goal is to have a full return to in class learning to begin the 2020-2021 school year.