Is my child expected to wear a mask at school?
Yes, all students are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks/face coverings indoors while on school property, including in hallways and in classrooms. Outdoor times like recess can be used as opportunities to provide students with breaks from wearing masks within their cohorts. While students may wear their own mask/face covering, non-medical masks will also be made available for students, if required. Reasonable exceptions will be made regarding the mask requirement (e.g. for medical reasons). Learn more about our Mask Guidelines.
Where can I find out what schools have confirmed cases?
The TDSB is required to update the COVID-19 Advisories website daily with active confirmed COVID-19 cases in TDSB schools.
What if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at my child’s school?
Read the TDSB's Response Plan to Managing COVID-19
The Government of Ontario has provided a recommended process for school boards to follow in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school. As per this guidance document, the TDSB takes its lead from Toronto Public Health, who is responsible for determining if an outbreak exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented. It’s important to note that even though an outbreak may be declared in the school, Toronto Public Health will assist in determining which cohort(s) may be sent home or if a partial or full school closure is required based on the scope of the outbreak. The response will depend on the unique circumstances of each case.
In the interests of privacy, information provided to school communities will not identify the student or staff member who has received a positive COVID-19 test. If Toronto Public Health advises that a class, cohort or a school should be closed for a period of time, parents/guardians, students and staff will be notified immediately. The TDSB will also work with Toronto Public Health to support contact tracing and inform individuals who may have been in contact with the affected person. Learn more about health and safety measures here.
Will schools receive extra cleaning?
Yes. In addition to routine cleaning of general facilities throughout the day, caretakers will also conduct enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces (handrails, doorknobs, etc.) multiple times during the day.
How will classrooms be ventilated?
TDSB has been working over the summer to review ventilation and filtration
systems and to improve ventilation and increase the volume of fresh air to the
maximum extent possible. Some of this work includes ensuring clean filters are
installed prior to the start of the school year and increasing the number of
times they are changed and inspected during the year, and running systems two
hours before the school day to flush the building with fresh air. As you know,
some of our buildings are quite old and may not have mechanical ventilation. In
those cases, we will be ensuring that windows are opened to provide fresh
outdoor air and will support schools where there may be unique circumstances
that need to be addressed. Recently, both the provincial and federal
governments announced additional ventilation-related funding.
While some improvements are
possible, large-scale projects would require months to complete.
he Board used the
additional funding to upgrade and replace filters in all schools with existing
mechanical systems. In addition, the Board committed $6.0 M of the
funding, to purchase approximately 6000 institutional-grade High Efficiency
Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for schools that have limited (exhaust only), or
no mechanical ventilation, and that do not have operable windows. Those schools
in the high priority areas identified by Toronto Public Health (TPH), will
receive the HEPA filters. The congregated schools and the LOI schools that have limited or no ventilation will also receive HEPA
filters. All other schools with limited or no ventilation but with operable
windows may also receive HEPA filters, subject to available funding.
Will play structures on TDSB property be open?
After consulting with Toronto Public Health, all TDSB play structures will be open to students during the school day (one cohort at a time) and continue to be open to the public outside of school hours. As always, everyone who uses the play structures should practice hand hygiene before and after use.
Are large gatherings, such as graduations, taking place right now?
The TDSB takes its lead from Toronto Public Health, and, as such, large in-person gatherings, such as commencements and graduations are still on hold. Further guidance will be provided when we are able to host these types of celebrations.
What is the TDSB doing to support students’ well-being as they return to learning?
Returning to school after many months away will require time to address the social and emotional needs of students as well as continue to provide ongoing support to students who need it. All staff have a role to play in supporting students’ mental health and well-being. Building relationships and connections, offering support and building capacity of school-based staff will help ease the transition back to school and help meet the needs of students. Learn more here.