Good afternoon Parents/Guardians and Students,
We are looking forward to welcoming students back to school when in-person learning resumes on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Further to the message from Toronto Public Health earlier this week, we want to remind you of a few important things we must continue to do to help keep our schools safe and healthy for both students and staff before we come together again.
New TPH Screening Tool for Students
One of the most important things we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, is for students to screen themselves daily for any symptoms of COVID-19 and also follow the circumstances in which they should stay home. Toronto Public Health (TPH) has revised its screening tool for students, effective immediately. The update is that everyone in a household must now complete the updated COVID-19 screening daily. Both the TDSB Student Health Pass and the TDSB Health App have been updated with this change.
Testing for COVID-19
Toronto Public Health recommends staff, students and their household members who have even one mild symptom of COVID-19 get tested. TPH will continue to recommend asymptomatic testing in schools where necessary and will work with testing partners to coordinate testing in high-risk cohorts. We will provide updates on testing as it becomes available.
Continued Health and Safety Practices
Please remind your child of the continued importance of hand washing, physical distancing and mask wearing, which is required for all staff, visitors and students JK to Grade 12. Toronto Public Health offers guidance on the qualities of a good mask, which includes being made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric and, if possible, a middle “filter” layer.
Please remember that parents and students are not to congregate in the school yard, and, outside of school, students should not gather with others, even with those in their cohort.
In our schools, we will continue to promote these strategies as well as continue with our enhanced cleaning practices including twice daily cleaning of high touch surfaces, increasing air flow and improving ventilation including through the use of HEPA filters (in all learning spaces without mechanical ventilation), and opening windows for short periods of time throughout the day to introduce fresh air in classrooms and schools.
Public Health Nurses will also continue to support schools with responding to COVID-19 and building healthy school communities.
Mental Health and Well-Being
These challenging times are not only hard on our physical health, but also our mental health and well-being. Please join us for a webinar with our TDSB mental health professionals tonight -- Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. -- to learn practical strategies for coping through COVID and have an opportunity to ask questions and learn with our TDSB community. We hope you’ll join us.
Thank you for your continued support and patience. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to keep our schools safe so our students can focus on learning.
Karen Falconer Curtis Ennis Andrew Gold Craig Snider
Interim Director of Education Interim Associate Director Interim Associate Director Interim Associate Director