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Update for Families

Return to Semester System

On November the 18th the Ministry of Education communicated that all secondary schools, province-wide, would be able to resume a regular timetabling model of four courses a day, unless not supported by the local public health units. After consulting with the Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit and the Brant County Health Unit, we will be returning to a four class per day semester system in February 2022. After exams and culminating activities are completed for the second quadmester, all secondary schools, including our secondary virtual school, will move to the traditional four course per day model on February 4th. Supports will be available to all students as we transition from the current quadmester system back to the semester system.

Voluntary PCR Testing for Students

The Ministry of Education has announced a province-wide program for the voluntary distribution of PCR tests at schools for staff and students that the BHNCDSB will be implementing starting in January 2022. Under this initiative, symptomatic students and asymptomatic staff and students identified as close contacts, are provided with the ability to pick up a test at school, collect the specimen at home and drop off at a selected drug store location.

When your child is sent home due to exhibiting symptoms you will now have the option of having a PCR test sent home with you so that you can test for COVID, then drop off at a pharmacy for assessment. You will also have this option if your child is part of a cohort which has been sent home after being identified as a close contact. Please use this link to determine a pharmacy near you.

Confirmation of Screening for all Elementary Students

Since the start of the school year, the Ministry of Education has required all secondary students to confirm their successful completion of the school screening tool upon arrival at school. This has been completed during attendance in their first period class. The Ministry of Education has included this requirement to confirm successful completion of the screening for all elementary students as well for the first two weeks after the Christmas break.

For grade seven and eight students, this will take the same format as is in the secondary panel, whereby students will attest verbally at the start of the day with morning attendance. For students in kindergarten to grade six, this will be achieved through the completion of a verification form. The form will also be sent out to you by your school administrator prior to the break. We ask that, after completing the screening, you sign or initial the form for the appropriate date and send to school with your child.

Reminder of Travel Quarantine Requirements

Please understand the requirements and restrictions for travel which may prohibit your child from attending school upon return from any trip out of the country. The student self-assessment tool states: If you are planning on travelling outside of the country at any time during the break,  it is important to know that, for those children under the age of 12 who are not fully vaccinated, even if they are exempt from federal quarantine because they travelled with a fully vaccinated companion, must not go to school/child care for 14 days.

School COVID Reporting Over the Break

Public Health Units and the BHNCDSB will continue to contact trace positive COVID cases over the Christmas break, but please know that when a case has been identified and students are being asked to isolate, that information will be coming to you in the form of an email by Public Health, and not the school. Please continue to check your email over the holidays in the event that Public Health needs to reach out to you.

Although we currently have no indication that students will not be returning to school after the holiday break, the pandemic continues to be fluid and ensuring that your child takes home personal belongings and learning materials prior to the break would be prudent.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we work together to keep our students, staff, and school communities safe.

Mike McDonald
Director of Education