Update from Ministry of Education

As we approach the start of the Thanksgiving weekend, we would like to pass along our appreciation to each of you in partnering with us as we prepared for the return to school this past month. We are grateful for your understanding and patience as we continue to navigate provincial Ministry and local public health requirements this year and for your trust as we work with your children in providing an excellent Catholic educational experience for them. We are thankful for the efforts of our staff in keeping our students safe and healthy at school, engaging them in their path of learning, and for supporting the faith development of all our students. Despite the many challenges faced this past year, we continue to be thankful for the blessings in our lives.

We would like to provide the following updates with respect to information items received this week from the Ministry of Education:

Thanksgiving Celebrations

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health has released guidance on how to celebrate holidays and festive events safely this fall season and we have been asked by the Ministry of Education to share this information with you:

As we approach Thanksgiving weekend, we must continue our efforts to keep students, families, and staff safe and healthy. Please remind everyone to screen for symptoms each day, and to follow the direction in the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool on whether to attend school or work. Should anyone experience COVID-19 symptoms, they should immediately self-isolate and seek testing. Anyone who is sick or develops any symptoms of illness, including those not listed in the school and child care screening tool, should stay home and seek assessment from their health care provider, if needed.

For more information and guidance on Thanksgiving or Halloween celebrations, please see: https://www.ontario.ca/page/celebrate-safely-during-covid-19

Rapid Antigen Testing

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education, in partnership with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced they will be offering providing targeted asymptomatic rapid antigen screening within schools. The use of voluntary rapid antigen screening for unvaccinated asymptomatic children in school provides an additional layer of protection in schools where the risk of transmission is higher.

While the program is still in development, the following information has been provided:

    • Rapid test kits and education on their use will be provided to schools and childcare settings through their school board, school administration or facility management
    • Rapid antigen screening will be used only for unvaccinated asymptomatic students and children who are not high-risk contacts. Symptomatic or high-risk contacts should continue to access lab-based PCR testing available at assessment centres and other collection centres.
    • Parents will have the option to choose whether their unvaccinated asymptomatic children (who are not high-risk contacts) participate in the program

Please see the following letter from WDGPH: LINK

We will share more information on the program as it becomes available.

COVID-19 Screening Tool

Each day students and staff are asked to complete the COVID-19 Screening Tool before leaving home for school and follow the appropriate guidance. Students or staff who fail the screening tool should not attend school. A copy of the screening tool can be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

If students are feeling ill, even those without COVID-19 symptoms, they should remain at home until they are feeling better.

We wish you all a safe and healthy Thanksgiving weekend and hope you can enjoy the beauty and blessings that have been provided with this season.