RICHLAND ACADEMY

Deeper ThinkingConfidentWorld Ready

Covid-19 Reopening Plan

Our priority is the safety and well-being of all of our students, families, teaching faculty and staff while delivering on-site instruction and personal connection between all involved.

The reopening of Richland Academy was guided by the following principles:

  • To protect the health and safety of students and staff
  • To follow the guidelines set out by York Region Public Health and Ontario Ministry of Education
  • To provide students with some familiarity of school routines for social/emotional/physical/academic learning
  • To provide clear expectations for teachers and students during this modified pandemic period

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on our children, staff and families, it is important for us to plan for COVID-19 and mitigate the associated risks. This document provides guidance and direction for staff and families to reduce the potential risk for infection.

This guide will provide your family with an overview of our plans to return safely back to school in September 2021. This guide supersedes Richland Academy’s policies and procedures that are already in place. Covid-19 Pandemic plan measures/policy will be reviewed with all staff prior to their start date.

This page will be periodically updated as the pandemic response, recommendations and guidelines continue to evolve. Communication will be sent by email to all families when changes are made to keep you informed at all times.

We look forward to working with you and your family this upcoming school year.

“I wanted to take a moment to extend our thanks and appreciation to the teachers and staff at Richland for the incredible work that is being done on a daily basis in continuing to provide quality education to our children.

The overall situation remains difficult and stressful for all with no end in sight however; Richland Academy teachers have proven dynamic and have been able to pivot well into this unprecedented virtual learning environment seamlessly.

We recognize and thank you for all your efforts in taking care of and keeping our children safe.”

From S.E. Senior Kindergarten parents (2020-2021)

The following expectations and procedures are in place to ensure that health, safety and hygiene standards are met.

In general:

  • All movement around and within the building is to happen with the expected 2m/6feet distance
  • Children and staff are not to be in school if they show any symptoms of illness and must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning
  • Students are on campus only for the duration of the school day
  • Students may not enter the building before their arrival time unless they are enrolled in the before care program.

Last updated on January 14, 2022

Staff, students and visitors must self-screen before entering the school.

Please DO NOT send your child or their siblings to school if he or she is showing any symptoms of illness or has been required to self-quarantine.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
    • Temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher
  • Cough or barking cough
    • Continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing (not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
  • Shortness of breath
    • Out of breath, unable to breathe deeply (not related to asthma or other known causes or conditions you already have)
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
    • Painful swallowing (not related to seasonal allergies, acid reflux or other known causes or conditions)
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose
    • Not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather or other known causes or conditions
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell
    • Not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders, or other known causes or conditions you already have
  • Extreme tiredness
    • Unusual, fatigue, lack of energy (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
  • Muscle aches
    • Unexplained, unusual, or long-lasting (not related to sudden injury, fibromyalgia, or other known causes or conditions)
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
    • Not related to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps or other known causes or conditions

For more information, please visit https://www.publichealthontario.ca

Parents/guardians will have the responsibility of screening their children daily before sending them to school. Students will not be admitted to school if they have failed the screening protocol.

York Region Public Health Screening
Updates have been made to the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool and the COVID-19 screening tool for employees and essential visitors in schools and child care settings.

Key changes to the screening tools include:

  • Symptoms – in alignment with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms, the screeners now include a shortened list of symptoms that are most commonly associated with COVID-19.
  • Isolation period – in alignment with the Ministry of Health’s Management of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 in Ontario and COVID-19 Guidance: School Case, Contact, and Outbreak Management, asymptomatic high-risk close contacts of a case are now required to isolate for 10 days, unless they are fully immunized or previously tested positive, as above.
  • Siblings and other people in the household of the individual identified as a high-risk close contact can go to school, child care or work. Household members who are fully immunized or who previously tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have since been cleared are not required to stay home.
  • International travel – unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are now exempt from federal quarantine if they travelled in the company of someone who qualified for an exemption from quarantine based on vaccination status. However, they may not attend school or child care for 14 days after their arrival.
  • Rapid testing – the screening tool now includes a question about a positive screen on a rapid antigen or home-based self-testing kit.

We will continue to update the screening tool as public health guidance evolves and are committed to keeping our community informed of any changes.
Public health units continue to have the authority to implement additional measures based on local circumstances.

If the symptomatic individual is fully vaccinated* OR under the age of 12 years old, they should self-isolate for at least five days from symptom onset AND until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), whichever is longer in duration.

If the symptomatic individual is not fully vaccinated and is 12 years old or older or if they are immune compromised, they should self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset AND until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for gastrointestinal symptoms) and they no longer have a fever, whichever is longer in duration.

If a student/staff is required to isolate, all household members, regardless of vaccination status, are also required stay home.

*An individual is considered fully vaccinated if they have received:

  • The full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine), or any combination of such vaccines, or
  • One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or
  • Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada
    and
  • They received their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago
  • An unvaccinated student or child under 12 years who travelled outside of Canada with fully vaccinated parents is not required to quarantine; however, they must stay home from school or child care until the 14-day self-isolation period has finished
  • Unvaccinated youth 12 to 17 years are subject to the 14-day quarantine and are not be able to return to school until their 14-day isolation period is complete
  • Vaccinated children 12 and over with no symptoms following travel are not required to quarantine and can attend school and/or childcare
  • If an unvaccinated essential visitor or staff member has travelled outside of Canada, they must stay home from school until the 14-day self-isolation period has finished, except for essential reasons. If the traveler remains asymptomatic, household members can continue to attend school and child care
  • If an essential visitor or staff member has travelled outside of Canada and is fully vaccinated they can self-monitor for symptoms but do not need to quarantine (in alignment with the exemptions for quarantine under the Federal Quarantine Act). If symptoms develop the individual should isolate and seek testing immediately

Allergies

If you are experiencing allergy symptoms for the first time or there is any change in the type of allergy symptom you usually experience, you and your unvaccinated/partially vaccinated household members must stay home from school and child care and not leave (even for essential reasons) until the symptomatic person tests negative for COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated and are experiencing allergy symptoms, you are not required to stay home from school.

Vaccinations

York Region Public Health and Public Health Ontario clearly state that vaccinations are an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and allow students, families and staff to safely resume normal activities.

  • The most important thing parents can do to ensure the return to school is safe is to get vaccinated and to ensure their children, ages 12 to 17, are fully vaccinated
  • It is not mandatory that students ages 12-17 be vaccinated to attend school in person
  • Information about upcoming mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics can be found at york.ca/COVID19Vaccine
  • Richland has implemented a vaccine disclosure policy for staff as directed by the Ministry of Education
    • All school employees are required to undertake one of the following:
      • provide the Board with proof of full vaccination against COVID-19;
      • provide a formal/official documented medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
      • participate in an educational program approved by the Ministry of Education.
    • This approach also applies to school transportation drivers, student teachers, frequent school visitors and others who deliver services in schools.

Vaccine Side Effects

  • If a staff member, student, attendee or visitor received a COVID-19 vaccination in the last 48 hours and is experiencing mild headache, fatigue, muscle aches and/or joint pain that only began after vaccination and no other symptoms, they may continue to attend school/child care/day program or camp if they are feeling well enough to do so
  • If a staff member, student, attendee or visitor lives in a household with an individual who received a COVID-19 vaccination in the last 48 hours and is experiencing mild headache, fatigue, muscle aches and/or joint pain that only began after vaccination and no other symptoms, they are not required to self isolate (stay home)

Arrival time: 8:20am – 8:55am

 

Grades Location
JK/SK Kindergarten Lobby (parking lot door)
Grade 1-3 Main Entrance
Grade 4-8 Rear Parking Lot Entrance/Exit

Late Arrivals will only be permitted to enter through the Main Lobby Entrance between 9:15am and 9:45am. Please e-mail attendance@richlandacademy.ca if your child will be late or will be absent from school.  Please indicate child’s full name, grade level and reason for absence or late.

During arrival, students and families must be wearing a mask and line up outside their designated entrance 2 meters/6 feet apart (keeping physical distance). A staff member will be present at point of entrance to take each child’s temperature, and allow entry.

In order for these arrangements to work well, it is mandatory for students and families to adhere to the designated drop off and late arrival times.

 

Grades Class Dismissal Enrichment Dismissal Location
JK/SK 3:15pm 3:45pm Kindergarten Lobby
Grade 1&2 3:15pm 3:45pm Main Lobby
Grade 3 3:30pm 4:00pm Kindergarten Playground Exit
Grade 4 3:30pm 4:00pm Kindergarten Lobby
Grade 5-8 3:30pm 4:00pm Rear Parking Lot Exit

Siblings: If you would like to pick up older siblings at the same time as younger siblings, please call the office to make arrangements.

Early pick up is highly discouraged. Only when necessary or deemed urgent, please call the office on the day of the necessary early pick up so that your child can be waiting for you in the main lobby at the requested time. Early pick-up requests can be made no later than 3:00pm, as it will conflict with our dismissal process.

As in the past, but now more than ever, we are encouraging families to keep their children home when they are sick or not feeling well (i.e. fever, body aches, chills, sore throat, upset stomach, diarrhea, etc).

When your child is absent from school due to COVID-19 (or any other reasons) we are asking parents to:

Contact the school via telephone (905)224-5600, or email our new attendance email attendance@richlandacademy.ca on the day of the absence to inform the school of the student’s illness. When emailing the attendance address, please be as specific as possible.  State the child’s name, grade level and reason for absence.  If your child will be away for a number of days, please indicate date of return.

Any student arriving after 8:55am will be considered late. The mail entrance doors will be closed until 9:15am for late arrivals. Parents of children under 12 years old cannot leave their child unattended until they are allowed entry.  Late students can only enter through the main entrance.

Only children who have been previously registered may attend before and after care.

Before care will be available from 7:30am – 8:20am. Entrance will be through the Kindergarten Lobby.

Aftercare will be available from 3:45pm-6:00pm.  Please note that the earliest release time is 4:15pm. Students will be released to their parents/guardians through the main entrance lobby door.  Parents/guardians may not enter the school building. Please ring doorbell in the lobby for aftercare only.

Please visit our website (parent portal) for the before and aftercare registration form. If you are registering for the before and aftercare program for September, please complete form with payment and return to the main office no later than September 7/21 in order to confirm registration.

Richland Academy no longer accepts drop-ins. Only children who have been previously registered may attend before and after care.

Before care will be available from 7:30am – 8:20am. Entrance will be through the Early Years Lobby following the same drop-off protocols as above.

Aftercare will be available from 3:00pm-5:00pm for Pre-Kindergarten and 3:15pm to 5:45pm for JK to Grade 8. Please note that the earliest release time is 4:15pm. Students will be released to their parents/guardians through the lobby door.  Parents/guardians may not enter the school building.

Please visit our website for the before and after care registration form.

Face masks prohibit the spread of the virus even when an infected person is without symptoms. Richland is adopting the following guidelines for face masks:

  • Parents/guardians will be expected to provide their child with a properly fitted non-medical three-layer mask to wear at school. Please provide extra ones in the backpack every day to change if needed. If a student does not have a mask, they will be provided with a non-medical three-layer mask by the school.
  • Masks are required indoors for students in Grades JK-8 and all staff.
  • Masks may be temporarily removed indoors when eating or drinking.
  • Masks are not required outdoors, but distancing will be encouraged between cohorts.
  • Please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website for mask recommendations. N95 masks will be made available for staff only.
  • All parents, faculty and staff will be expected to wear masks during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.
  • Masks should:
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops
    • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change of shape
    • Cover both the nose and the mouth

Exemptions from Masks

Some students, staff and visitors will be exempt from wearing masks in Richland Academy. We expect all staff and students to be respectful of those who wear masks and those who cannot wear a mask for medical and other reasons for which an exemption applies. Students, parents and staff must therefore expect that there will be individuals in the school who will not be wearing masks because they qualify for an exemption. In such cases, appropriate measures such as face shields, greater physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and other infection prevention and control measures will need to be considered. If increased distancing is employed, caution must be exercised so as not to stigmatize the student/staff. The importance of increased distancing may depend upon the current epidemiology and vulnerability (e.g., immune issues, etc.) of the staff/student or proximate staff/students. Accommodations require consideration of the human rights needs of the person requesting an exemption, as well as the medical and health and safety needs of others. Protecting students/families and staff who are at high risk for COVID-19 should be considered in relation to assessing the appropriateness and nature of a mask exemption. It is expected that all reasonable steps and considerations will be taken before a student/staff is not permitted.

Appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are among the most important protective strategies and are critical to limit transmission.

  • Hand sanitizing dispensers are placed at each entrance/exit; including classrooms.
  • Students will be educated on proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Reminders and reinforcement will be given often; including signs posted around the school
  • Students must wash or sanitize their hands:
    • Before they enter or leave the classroom; such as before/after recess, before/after PE, before/after using the washroom or any other time they leave and have to re-enter the room;
    • Before they enter and exit the school building (arrival and dismissal)
    • Before and after eating;
    • During scheduled breaks for washing hands at appropriate times; and
    • Before putting on mask and after removal
  • Students should not share water bottles, beverages or food with other students.
  • Students must bring their own water bottles. Students will not be permitted to drink from water fountains but may re-fill theirs water bottles at the designated re-fill station.

As much distancing as possible between students and students and staff of different cohorts will be promoted and measures will be taken to allow for physical distancing. Physical distancing measures are to be layered with other public health measures such as screening, hand hygiene, cohorting, enhanced cleaning and masking.

Examples of physical distancing will include:

  • Directional Arrow markers on the floor to direct traffic coming and going and as a reminder of areas that are six feet apart during arrival and dismissal.
  • Modified activities to minimize close physical contact, congestion or movement.
  • Reduce congestion in common areas (school office, gym, hallway, cafe) through cohort specific scheduling
  • Minimize face-to-face interactions by designating one-way hallway and stairway traffic when possible and designating certain doors and times for entry and exits.
  • Modified lunch times and recess times.
  • Limiting non-essential visitors to the school.
  • Parents are encouraged to keep 2-metres distance when interacting with teachers, staff or other parents and students.

In order to limit the amount of student-to-student contact, children will remain and travel with their designated cohort.

  • Students will remain in their cohort while indoors.
  • On the playground, cohorts will be designated to specific areas in order to maintain a safe physical distance from other cohorts.
  • Cohorts may consist of more than one classroom. For example, both 1A and 1B may be one cohort.
  • Students do not need to stay within their cohorts during recess and breaks outdoors, but distancing will be encouraged between cohorts.
  • Cohorts will be assigned specific washrooms, if there is no washroom in their classroom.
  • If students need to leave their cohort for additional support, before or after school care and co-curricular activities, measures such as mandatory masks and physical distancing will be strictly followed.

In order to keep exposure to a minimum, our specialist teachers will not be visiting all cohorts within the same week. Specialist classes will take place in 2-4 week cycles.

The amount of time with the specialist teachers will be the same, or more, as during a non-Covid school year yet in a more condensed time period. With the addition of a second French teacher to our school, the amount of time between French blocks will be much shorter (10-12 days). Class schedules will be shared with families during Parent Orientation in September.

Specialist classrooms such as the Visual Arts Studio and Performing Arts classroom, Library, ICT Lab and Learning Commons are permitted to be used this school year, with sanitizing practices in place between cohorts.  The French teachers will go to each homeroom classroom.

Health and Physical Education

Each class will continue to have Physical Education and Health 2 to 3 times a week with Mr. Demers. Physical education will take place outdoors whenever weather permits. With the large area in our gymnasium, students will be able to effectively physically distance themselves from the teacher and from one another.

In physical education classes, the use of the gymnasium, physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment are permitted with physical distancing as much as possible

  • High and low-contact sports activities are permitted
  • High-contact activities are permitted indoors and outdoors – masks are required indoors and encouraged outdoors, where possible
  • Low-contact activities are permitted indoors – masking is encouraged but not required indoors for low-contact physical activities if a minimum distance of 2 metres (6 feet) can be maintained between cohorts and as much distancing as possible maintained within a cohort

Students should wear their PE uniforms to school on their scheduled PE days (listed below) as the use of change rooms will not be permitted.

Grades 1-3 PE Uniform Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Grade 4-8 PE Uniform Days: Wednesdays and Fridays

Performing Arts

The use of wind instruments is permitted indoors within a cohort. During Performing Arts the students will not be sharing wind instruments.  Grades 6-8 will be responsible for renting or purchasing their own wind instruments and proper cleaning techniques will be taught. A large focus of our Performing Arts program will be focused on drama, presentation and communication skills, music and technology integration and music and cultural appreciation. Singing will take place with masks on while indoors until further notice.

Library

The school library will once again open its doors to students. Students will have scheduled visits once a week to the library with their cohort.

The use of shared material is permitted as the risk associated with transmission is low. Shared materials are important for learning (for example, toys for imaginative play, manipulatives for math, computers and other tech, books, art supplies, PE equipment etc.). Shared materials will be cleaned and disinfected often. The focus will be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the risk of infection related to shared materials.

School supplies such as pencils, pens, erasers, coloured pencils, markers and scissors will be provided by the school. If a parent or guardian would like their child to have their own supplies, you are free to send them to school with your child. Please ensure that all personal items are labelled and in a pencil case or box.

For a list of personal items required for each grade please visit the Parent Portal.

Richland has adopted extensive sanitation and cleaning procedures including, but are not limited to:

  • Posting signs throughout the school encouraging proper hand sanitization and respiratory hygiene practices (covering coughs and sneezes).
  • Continuous cleaning throughout the day, using state-of-the-art disinfecting products and materials.
  • Monitoring restrooms for adequate hand soap and towels.
  • Ensuring that hand sanitizer is placed inside each entry door of the school and classrooms.
  • Continuous monitoring and changing of filters in ventilation systems
  • Water fountains disinfection and changing of filters.

Richland Academy has an excellent and updated ventilation system which has been instrumental in keeping our students and staff safe. Our campus manager ensures that the filters are changed every three months and that the system continues to run efficiently at all times. In addition, Richland Academy has purchased individual stand-alone HEPA filters for each classroom to provide an extra layer of protection. We have added an additional 5 stand-alone HEPA filters to be placed around the school in common areas and offices.

For January 17 to January 28

We are very pleased to offer students not on campus opportunities for distance learning if they are not able to come to school. Students who remain home will continue to be able to access lessons and activities similar to those of their in-school classmates through Google Classroom.

Students at home will also have the opportunity to participate, collaborate and communicate with their teachers and in-school classmates through live Zoom lessons whenever appropriate and when lessons take place in the classroom.

Teachers will only be available through Zoom during their regularly scheduled classes. Physical Education classes will not be available through Zoom and therefore we suggest having your children be active during the regularly scheduled PE times. Mr. Demers will add links and videos to his Google Classroom that you can choose to use. Other specialty classes may not be available to certain grades for logistical reasons. Homeroom teachers will share their class schedules and links with you so that you are aware of the times your child should be online synchronously or asynchronously.

Students at home will not have scheduled 1:1 instruction time with their homeroom teacher, specialist teachers and support staff as this is simply not feasible at this time.

Teachers will speak with their online students regarding online etiquette and expectations for independent work while in their virtual class as they will be engaging with their students in school. Teachers will not be available to provide immediate feedback on work submitted online due to time constraints of managing both in-class and online learning.

Who should parents contact if they have questions about Home Learning?

Please send e-mails to your child’s classroom teachers. Please be patient and allow 24 hours for their response.

While it has been our goal and commitment to families and teachers to only offer in-person learning this school year, with the introduction of the Omicron variant we have had to shift our commitment to this short-term plan, outlined above, which will take place from January 17-28th. At the end of this period, we will reassess and re-evaluate, as this plan is not meant to be long-term. 

Student Expectations and Tips for Success

Keep Cameras On – All students are required to keep their cameras on unless instructed otherwise by the teacher. It helps keep students engaged socially and ensures that our students are active participants in their learning.

Be an Active Participant – It is important for students to be engaged and active participants in a virtual setting. Valuable learning occurs when students participate in class lessons, discussions, and activities by responding to their classmates and teacher.

Be On Time for Every Class (Attendance) – Although students are learning virtually, it is still important that they report to each class every day on time, and are ready to learn.

Wear School Appropriate Attire – We want to make sure the learning environment is maintained at all times.  It is an expectation that students wear their Richland uniform shirts to avoid distractions to the learning environment.

Eating and Playing are for Lunch and Snack Times Only- Students will have scheduled lunch, snack and recess times. We want to make sure a learning environment is maintained and therefore students should not be eating food while attending virtual classes. Please ensure breakfast is eaten before starting your first class.

How Can Parents Help

Stay in Touch – Teachers will mainly be communicating regularly through email. Stay in contact with classroom teachers, specialists, support teachers and administration but understand it may take time for a response. The office is open and the administration team will be at the school. Please feel free to call for immediate assistance. If you have concerns, let someone know. We are committed to making this be a valuable learning experience. We are here to help!

Establish Routines and Expectations – It is important to develop good habits from the start. Help students get up, eat breakfast, get dressed (in a uniform shirt), and be ready to attend class. Keep normal bedtime routines, and normal rules for digital devices.

Help Students ‘Own’ their Learning – Provide support and encouragement, and expect your children to do their part. Struggling is allowed and encouraged! Don’t help too much. Becoming independent takes lots of practice. At school, your child independently engages with other students and many adults on a daily basis and the same is encouraged during virtual learning. Once your child is set up on their device, parents are encouraged to leave them to work independently and be guided by their teacher so they remain focused and less distracted.

Create a Positive Learning Environment – Your family’s regular learning space for occasional homework might not work for extended periods. Set up a physical location that’s dedicated to school-focused activities. Make sure it is quiet, free from distractions and has a good internet connection.

Checking Ins – Not all students thrive in distance learning; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure. Please check in with your child regularly. These check-in routines can help avoid later challenges and disappointments. They help students develop self-management and executive functioning that are essential skills for life.

Help Us Maintain a Professional Learning Environment – Although we appreciate high involvement from our parents and know it is essential to helping our students experience academic and behavioural success, please remember that the appropriate parent protocols for communicating with teachers are to contact them via email and not during the online class sessions. Failure to adhere to this expectation could result in both the student and the parent being removed from the Zoom session.

Attendance: In the event that your child is not able to attend a class or device/internet access causes your child to miss the live classroom session, please let your teacher know and they will ensure your child has all the information needed to complete the daily tasks.

Technical Difficulties: Technical difficulties may occur. Many of our staff and students are working from home alongside parents and spouses who are also working, as well as siblings and children also doing virtual learning. This may cause internet disruption or dropped Zoom calls. If your child requires it, please help them problem solve through these moments. Patience and understanding are key in getting through these moments of frustration. If your child is having technical difficulties or has trouble logging in to a particular program, please contact Mr. Cheung and he will assist you. acheung@richlandacademy.ca.

Privacy Guidelines for Parents/Guardians: To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during virtual learning, all parents/guardians are asked to follow the following privacy guidelines.

  • Do not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of the virtual learning session, including not posting on any social media platform.
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during the live virtual learning sessions on Zoom should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Parents/guardians should email their child’s teacher or the Head of School with any questions or concerns regarding privacy or virtual classroom expectations.

I want to thank everyone in advance for your support, patience, flexibility, and understanding during this time. Please know that as we travel on this unprecedented journey together that we are continually thinking of your family and all of those on the frontlines who are fighting the battle to control the spread of this virus. We hope to see you all very soon and wish you continued good health.

Students missing school due to illness or self-isolation will have access to their grades Google Classroom. Teachers will be updating their Google classroom regularly so that students who are unable to come in do not miss out on important activities, tasks or assignments. Students and parents are encouraged to maintain communication with their teachers during this time to establish reasonable expectations. For example: if a child is ill and rest is required, the expectation would be that they focus solely on healing and return to their school work when they are ready.

Starting on January 17th, our two Kindergarten classes will no longer share the cafe for snack and lunchtime. Kindergarten #1 will eat in the Kindergarten Lobby and Kindergarten #2 will continue to eat in the cafe. Our grade 3 classes will no longer eat in the cafeteria, they will eat in their individual classrooms. Therefore, grade 1-8 will be eating lunch in their classrooms.

The following guidelines will be followed:

  • All students and staff wash their hands before eating snack or lunch.
  • All students and staff wash their hands after eating snack and lunch.
  • All tables are cleaned and disinfected before and after eating snack and lunch.
  • Students sit in their designated spot in class/cafeteria for snacks and lunch.
  • Lunch (Grades 1-8) – Our two lunch programs/providers will be Kids Kitchen and LunchBox. Please visit their websites to set up an account or visit our website (parent portal) for further information regarding the programs.

Management of Staff/Children with symptoms

  • Staff who becomes ill while at school will be sent home immediately and directed to seek assessment and testing at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
  • Symptomatic children will be immediately isolated from others in our designated Wellness Room until they can go home.
  • Parents/caregivers or emergency contacts will be notified to pick up the sick child as soon as possible.
  • If the child has siblings, they must also be isolated in Wellness Room and sent home as well.
  • Unless there is a medical reason to prevent it, the ill student in the Wellness Room will wear a mask until a parent, guardian or designee picks him/her up.
  • Children isolated in the Wellness Room will keep a safe 2m or 6ft distance from others.
  • While waiting for the child to be picked up, the child will be supervised by the Wellness Coordinator and if she is not available then one other member of our administration team.
  • In addition, where possible, anyone who is providing care to the child should maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet. Staff providing care will wear a face mask, gloves and visor. Hands must be washed before and after taking off a mask. Staff must ensure that they wash their hands or use hand sanitizer (if hands not visibly soiled) immediately upon removal of the gloves. The most important measures are proper hand hygiene and maintaining a 2-meter distance as much as possible.
  • The Wellness Coordinator or administrative staff caring for the child will create an illness report for ill/symptomatic child.
  • Hygiene and respiratory etiquette should be practiced while the child is waiting to be picked up.
  • Tissues will be provided to the child for proper respiratory etiquette, with proper disposal of the tissues and proper hand hygiene.
  • The Wellness Room will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, once the child has been picked up.
  • The child or staff member will be encouraged to be tested for Covid-19 so that they can have a prompt return to school.

When a child or staff person becomes ill, a member of school administration will report the illness to: York Region Public Health

  • The staff member will contact York Region Public Health to notify them of a potential COVID-19 case and seek advice regarding the information that should be shared with staff and parents/guardians of children enrolled at the school.
  • York Region Public Health will provide any further direction on testing and isolation of close contacts.

Ms. Nalini is Richland Academy’s Wellness Coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating the planning, development, implementation and monitoring of Richland Academy’s wellbeing initiatives, policies and protocols.

The Wellness Coordinator will:

  • Provide First Aid treatment to students, write up of incident reports, and call parents/guardians when a child is ill.
  • Monitor staff and students well-being and keep track of daily logs regarding fevers, illness or any other symptoms related to Covid-19.
  • Review and update policies, practices and protocols based on current information provided by York Region Public Health.
  • Communicate health, safety and well-being policy changes/updates to families and staff.
  • Maintain records and keep track of students returning to school ensuring they have a physician’s note and adhered to the policy of staying home for 24 hours.
  • Monitor staff and students while in the Wellness Room until they are picked up or are able to drive home (staff).
  • Monitor staff to ensure they are following safety protocols (e.g. masks, visors, physical distancing, proper hand washing).
  • Support staff with materials, programs, guest speakers, workshops and training that encourage positive mental health, mindfulness and overall well-being.
  • Keep abreast of current global wellness and well-being initiatives and activities, developing a network of resources and contacts.
  • Provide training for Richland Staff on the following:
    • To be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19
    • The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • How to use cleaning agents and disinfectants, and ensure: Required disinfectant contact times are followed (i.e. amount of time that the product will need to remain wet on a surface to achieve disinfection).
    • Use of safety precautions and required personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Directions for where and how to securely store cleaning and disinfectant supplies

If your child tests positive on a rapid test or PCR test, please contact the school and let us know. The school will then follow up with the close contacts in their cohort.

Important: A positive case at the school does not necessarily mean the individual was exposed to Covid-19 at the school. They may have been exposed somewhere else in the community.

School Closure

The decision to close the school will be determined by York Region Public Health.

Records

  • The school will maintain daily records/logs of anyone entering schools. Records will include the following information: name, company, contact information, date, time of arrival/departure, reason for visit, rooms/areas visited, screening completed, etc.
  • The school will keep attendance records for all staff and students.
  • The school will monitor attendance records for patterns or trends (e.g. students and staff in the same group or cohort absent at the same time or over the course of a few days).
  • Attendance records will be available on-site at all times, and the school may be required by Public Health to share these records for contact tracing purposes if there is a case of COVID-19 related to the school.
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