Message from the Director of Education

Message from the Director

Dear Families,

Thank you to all students and families for your patience and perseverance as we reopened our schools over the past week or so.

While there are always challenges to a new school year as everyone adjusts to new routines and structures, given the amount of changes that have been implemented due to COVID-19, I am impressed with how students and staff have adapted.

We continue to work closely with KFL&A Public Health and our neighbouring school boards on health and safety protocols. The most important strategy we have to keep schools open, and students and staff safe, is to ensure everyone is completing daily self-screening of COVID-19 symptoms, and keeping cases in the community to a minimum with no community spread. If your student answers yes to any of these questions on the screening tool, they must stay home and self-isolate right away. Call your healthcare provider or go to an assessment centre to find out if they need a COVID-19 test. Staff have continued to emphasize the importance of following public health guidelines to maximize safety and minimize risk. This is a collective effort for our entire community.

Some important reminders:

Elementary opt in/out deadline: Elementary families who wish to move students from in-person to remote learning OR remote learning to in-person learning, must do so anytime on or before September 14, 2020. To do this, families must contact their student’s home school. Another opportunity to opt in or out at a later date is still to be determined. While we will do our best to accommodate requests after September 14, 2020, moves may be dependent on space availability and other factors.

LDSB Virtual School: First, I would like to thank staff for working so diligently over the past couple of weeks to establish our first-ever virtual school. We know there are still a few bumps to be worked out and we appreciate everyone’s ongoing patience.

The new LDSB Virtual Secondary School is up and running as of Tuesday this week. If your student is having issues with their courses, or logging on to Minds Online, please email the Secondary Lead Administrator or call 613.817.9322. Responses may be delayed due to the volume of inquiries. Please be patient and someone will get in touch as soon as we can.

The new LDSB Elementary Virtual School will begin September 24, 2020. Until that time, students and families will receive support with the assigned learning activities from their home school teacher, and our Synchronous Student Support Team made up of elementary teachers and educational assistants.

COVID-19 Outbreak Protocol & Reporting: KFL&A Public Health is finalizing some additional Information sheets/flowcharts to assist families with navigating the various school and public health protocols. We will share these helpful documents once they are ready. They include:

  • My student did not pass COVID-19 screening
  • School protocols for students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19
  • Return to school protocols for students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms
  • School protocol when students of staff test positive for COVID-19
  • School protocols for when a COVID-19 Outbreak is declared

Another important piece of our protocol is the reporting of positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving a student or staff member in a school setting within the board upon notification by KFL&A Public Health. In the interests of maintaining privacy, information will not identify the students or staff member that has received a positive COVID-19 test. It is also important to note that a positive case at a school does not mean the individual was exposed to COVID-19 at the school. They may have been exposed somewhere else in the community. If KFL&A Public Health advises the board that a class, cohort, or school should be closed for a period of time, families, students and staff will be notified.

As we re-familiarize ourselves with our schools and school day routines, we must all remain flexible and patient as we refine our routines and processes going forward. Undoubtedly, we will continue to encounter some challenges over the coming days, weeks and months. We will manage this change best if we continue to work together. I know that all students and staff are doing the best they can, and the strength of Limestone remains the quality of caring and dedicated people we have throughout the system.

Thank you for your continued support.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education