Re-opening of Schools: February 8, 2021

February 3, 2021

Re-opening of Schools: February 8, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Today the Ministry of Education, with recommendations from the Chief
Medical Officer of Health, and local public health units, announced that
elementary and secondary schools in the Durham Catholic District School
Board will re-open for in-class instruction on Monday, February 8, 2021.
Click here to view the announcement [1].

Effective Monday, February 8, 2021, students enrolled in in-class
learning will return to the classroom with enhanced protocols and
routines in place that will support the health, safety and well-being of
all members of our Catholic learning community.?

Students enrolled in our elementary or secondary virtual learning
schools are not impacted by this announcement.

In accordance with the Ministry of Education and public health
officials, the following enhanced health and safety measures will be in
place when schools re-open, in addition to the layers of protection that
were already in place since September 2020.


Masking is now mandatory for all students in Grades 1-3, subject to
reasonable exceptions. This masking requirement is in addition to the
existing requirement for students in Grades 4-12. Where physical
distancing is not possible during outdoor activities, masking will be
required for students in Grades 1-12. Students in Kindergarten are
strongly encouraged to wear a mask. Families are encouraged to send two
masks to school each day for each child (one for indoor and one for
outdoor use).

Starting Monday, February 8, 2021, masks must be worn on the school bus,
as well as outdoors at bus stops, by students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.


All students and staff are required to conduct daily screening for
symptoms of COVID-19 before attending school using the COVID-19 school
screening tool [2].


For ease of access for students, a direct link to the Covid-19 school
self-screening tool is now available on the DCDSB app.
Parents/guardians, students and staff with mobile devices are encouraged
to download the DCDSB app from Apple App Store or Google Play. The app
can be located by searching “Durham Catholic District School Board”.

The self-screening tool can also be accessed at [3].

Confirmation of Self-Assessment for Secondary Students

All secondary students will be required to confirm that self-screening
has been completed each day. This can be confirmed verbally as students
enter their classroom, or by showing the green checkmark that appears on
their device after completing the self-assessment.

Alternate arrangements will be made by the school for secondary students
with special needs who do not have the capacity to conduct/confirm their
own self-assessment.


To support provincial efforts to stop further spread of COVID-19,
schools will focus on the prevention of students congregating during
non-instructional time, such as recess and before/after school. Parents
and guardians are asked to reinforce this important information with
their children.

Parents, guardians and caregivers who are dropping off and picking up
students are asked to refrain from gathering, and adhere to physical
distancing protocols at all times. The use of masks/face coverings are
strongly encouraged for all parents/guardians even when outside.


The Ministry will be expanding targeted testing for students, staff and
their respective households in high-priority areas that are experiencing
high levels of community transmission and outbreaks. More information
will be forthcoming if/when testing sites are established.


Child care centres operating within our DCDSB schools will be open.
Please contact your child care centre directly to confirm before and
after school programming.


Bus transportation will resume its normal operating schedule on Monday,
February 8, 2021. Students in Kindergarten-Grade 12 will continue to
wear masks on school buses, as well as outdoor bus stops. Screening must
be completed prior to boarding the bus each morning.

We are excited to welcome students back to the classroom, and will
continue to promote strategies that encourage positive mental health and
well-being. Thank you for your cooperation during this time as we work
together for a safe return to school. May we continue to pray for the
health and safety of our school communities.

Yours in Catholic Faith,

Tracy Barill

Director of Education

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