Covid-19 Updates


January 13: Important Information for Families

 

On Monday, January 17, we will be welcoming your child(ren) back to in-person learning. We are continuing to keep our schools safe and in addition to our current safety protocols, some new measures will be in place. These include the new COVID-19 screening tool, two Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for each student and offering high quality masks to students and staff. 

In preparation for next week, we want to make sure you are aware of our health and safety processes and guidelines. These practices follow the Ministry of Health guidelines, which are mandated by the Ministry of Education. 

Masking:
As we know, Omicron is highly contagious, and we want to do everything we can to keep students and staff safe. Starting this Monday, masks for Kindergarten students will be mandatory. This measure was put in place in consultation with Niagara Region Public Health. For Kindergarten students who haven’t worn a mask yet, teachers and DECEs will work with them so they can gradually become accustomed to wearing one. Students will be offered 3-ply cloth masks, and staff will be given unfitted N95 masks. 

 

Self-Screening:                                                                                                            
It is important that you ensure your child(ren)’s self-screening has been completed each and every day. The new self-screening includes symptoms specific to the Omicron variant. The self-assessment is linked to every school website for elementary students. Secondary students log into their portal and complete the screening from there. We will continue with daily reminders for families who do not complete the screening tool each day. 


Staying Home When Feeling Sick:
If your child doesn’t feel well, and has not passed the self-screening tool, please keep them at home and follow the guidance of the screener. 


Rapid-antigen Tests:
Before the break, families had the option of using a rapid antigen test (RAT) at home. In the coming weeks, you will be provided with two more RATs to use if your child shows symptoms. 

You are not required to report the results of these RATs to your child(ren)’s school as school board reporting has changed. Positive rapid antigen or PCR tests can be reported to your family heath practitioner or Niagara Region Public Health.

COVID-19 Case Reporting at Schools:
The Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Education, has directed school boards to stop reporting positive COVID-19 cases at schools. This is due to the availability of COVID-19 lab testing, and Public Health Units are no longer communicating lab-confirmed test results with school boards, contact tracing, or dismissing school cohorts.

In place of reporting lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, school boards will be reporting absenteeism rates of 30% or higher due to illness in schools. More information will be announced by the Ministry of Education.

To help keep schools safe, families and staff must continue to do the daily self-screening and keep their child home when they’re sick. The DSBN continues to support vaccinations as the most important way to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.


Alternate Learning Options:
If you prefer that your child returns to in-person learning at the end of January instead of Monday, your child’s school would be pleased to discuss the learning options that are available to you. Please contact your child’s school to start the conversation.

We are thankful for you and your family’s ongoing patience, kindness and understanding as we keep moving through this pandemic. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your school directly.



January 10: Helpful links for Remote Learning

With temporary remote learning beginning tomorrow on Tuesday, January 11, here are 2 links that will help you and your child(ren) get set up to learn from home. To all DSBN students and families, your school and/or teacher will be connecting with you before the end of the day today. 

→ Getting Connected Online: dsbn.org/elementary/getting-connected-online
→ Student Password Reset: student-password-reset.dsbn.org/

For the fastest updates, please follow:
 

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Update: Tuesday, January 4, 2022

On Monday, January 10, school staff will be preparing for the week of temporary at-home learning which will begin on Tuesday, January 11. 

ELEMENTARY: Elementary homeroom teachers will contact their students on Monday, January 10 to share learning information for the week. 

SECONDARY: Secondary principals will be sending information to students by end of day Monday, January 10, so students can be ready for at-home learning on Tuesday, January 11. 

If families have questions about temporary at-home learning, they can contact their school on January 10 for assistance.

 

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Update: Monday, January 3, 2022

On Monday, January 3, the Ontario government announced that schools will be closed for in-person learning for a short time until January 17. For us at the DSBN, this means that temporary at-home learning will begin on Tuesday, January 11 (Monday, January 10 will be used to give staff time to prepare).

We will tentatively return to in-person learning on Monday, January 17, however we will be offering families flexible learning options until the end of January (this is the end of Semester 1 for Secondary).

Found out information as soon as we learn it by visiting this updates page or by following us:

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Happy Holidays Everyone!

The winter break begins Friday, December 24, with an expected return date of Monday, January 10. If we learn new information from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health over the break, we will post it here as well as on our social media channels. We hope you have a safe and cozy holiday break!

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From the Director: Update for the week of December 20

Dear Families,

Students and staff have done an excellent job following COVID-19 protocols to keep each other healthy. Recognizing that COVID-19 cases are increasing in Niagara, we understand that there are families who may wish to keep their child(ren) home for the last days of school. DSBN is offering some flexibility to this week’s schedule:

On Wednesday, December 22nd and Thursday, December 23rd, students have the option to attend school in-person or spend those two days learning at home.

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS:

  • Families who choose to keep their child(ren) home to learn online will be able to access asynchronous learning materials by going to: www.dsbn.org and click on the “Learn From Home” banner
  • Students will not be marked absent
  • Families who feel the online learning option is best for them are asked to let the school office know, or enter this choice in Safe Arrival and choose, “Parent Aware”

SECONDARY STUDENTS:

  • Teachers will post daily asynchronous learning materials for students on December 22 and 23. Students can choose to complete these materials in-person at the school or finish them at home
  • Students who choose to learn from home will not be marked absent – please enter this choice in Safe Arrival and choose, “Parent Aware”
  • If students or families have any questions about these options, please call the office

If any families, elementary and secondary, have questions or concerns specific to your school, please contact your school directly.

We wish all students and their families a wonderful winter break.

Warren Hoshizaki
Director of Education



COVID-19 Media Advisory - Eden High School

 

Niagara Region Public Health (NRPH) has advised the District School Board of Niagara that students at Eden High School will temporarily be dismissed from December 15th to December 23rd. This dismissal stems from a current outbreak at the school and is a measure to proactively prevent further spread of COVID-19 within the school and to the community.

Students and staff who were identified as close contacts have already received a letter Niagara Region Public Health with instructions for self-isolation and recommended testing.

Although students are not physically at the school, their learning will continue. Eden will move to online learning for the rest of December. Students in need of technology will be supported by the school.

Eden will open for in-person learning on January 10, 2022.

During the closure, custodians will be deep cleaning the entire school.

Individuals with questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to contact Niagara Region Public Health for assistance from a Public Health Nurse on the COVID-19 Info-Line, which is staffed weekdays from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:15 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9:15 a.m.- 4:15 p.m. at 905-688-8248 or toll-free at 1-888-505-6074.

COVID Antigen Testing During the Winter Break

 

Sometime before the start of the winter break, every student will be provided with a rapid antigen screening kit to use over the holidays if they choose. 

The kits have been provided by the Ministry of Education as a voluntary screening measure to help promote a safer return to school in January 2022. Read more about these efforts in the Ministry of Education’s letter to families.

The test kits should only be used on individuals who are not showing any symptoms. 

To learn how to use the kits, you can watch this video or read information on the Niagara Region Public Health website.


COVID Antigen Testing During the Winter Break
CMOH - Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Aged 5 to 11[15]

DSBN Staff Vaccination Disclosure Update

 

The DSBN is following the Ministry of Education’s policy that requires school boards to collect the vaccination status of all DSBN staff. It is mandatory that DSBN staff provide documentation to confirm that they are fully vaccinated, or they must disclose that they are not vaccinated. If staff are not vaccinated for medical reasons they will be required to provide documentation. Some staff may also have religious or personal reasons for not getting vaccinated.

All staff who are not vaccinated will be required to take regular rapid antigen testing to make sure they test negative for COVID-19. In addition to regular testing for COVID-19, staff who have religious or personal reasons for not getting fully vaccinated will also have to participate in a Ministry of Education provided training session.

The DSBN Staff Vaccination Disclosure Information website will summarize the collective vaccination rates of all DSBN staff. This information will be aggregated, depersonalized, attestation, statistical data, meaning that it is anonymous and will not identify any person, or school. The vaccine disclosure information will be posted on the DSBN website at https://www.dsbn.org/covid-19-information and will be available by September 15. It will be updated monthly. 

Additionally, all non-DSBN partners who provide services to students, from school nurses, to extracurricular athletic coaches are included in these measures.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your school.


From the Director: An Update on September 2021



Dear DSBN Families:

As we get closer to June, we are already planning for the 2021-2022 school year. As I shared with you in March, we remain committed to returning to in-person learning in September 2021. We believe this is best for students’ learning, mental health, and well-being.

A return to in-person means our students can be face-to-face with their teachers and peers for a full-day of learning, Monday to Friday. Students will be engaged in a wide array of curricular opportunities including hands-on and experiential learning.

It also means the return of extracurriculars including athletics, clubs, and other engaging activities. We will begin with outdoor opportunities and will make modifications to other activities to ensure they uphold necessary protocols directed by Niagara Region Public Health. Over time, schools will add to the complement of extracurricular offerings that students can participate in.

Our finalized plans for the 2021-2022 school year will be shared with families in mid-August to ensure we provide as much detailed information as possible. These plans will include information about your child’s school schedule, as well as health and safety protocols provided by Ministry of Education and Niagara Region Public Health. Remote learning options will be available for elementary and secondary students who require it. Parents will have an opportunity to communicate their children’s needs regarding remote learning in mid-August.

While we are making plans for a full return to in-person, full-day, everyday learning in September, we recognize that we will need to be ready to provide different options if circumstances pertaining to COVID-19 change. Should that happen, we will share information with DSBN families via our website, social media and through your child’s school.

For elementary students, the Virtual School will be closing at the end of June, and all students will be automatically registered in their home schools. 

We are looking forward to an in-person return to school in September 2021. Your school principal will provide further updates in the coming weeks. Until then, our schools and our staff are working hard to make the end of this school year as successful for your child as possible. We are hopeful that a return to in-person learning in late May/June will still be possible. 

Sincerely,

Warren Hoshizaki

Director of Education


April 12, 2021

Dear DSBN Families:

Today, the Ministry of Education announced that on Monday, April 19, instead of returning to in-person learning, students will be moving to remote learning. Students with special education needs, whose needs cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue with their in-school program. This decision was made in response to the rising COVID-19 cases, to keep students, staff, and our community safe.

Elementary principals will be sending information on Friday, April 16, and Secondary principals will be sending information on Wednesday, April 14 to let you know about how your child will be engaged in learning with their homeroom and/or subject teachers online. 

Our educators are able to transition to remote learning easily as they have previously, and will support your child through both asynchronous and synchronous learning.

While we were looking forward to having everyone back after the break, your child and your family’s safety is what matters most.

Sincerely,
Warren Hoshizaki
Director of Education


April 1, 2021

Dear DSBN Families:

There has been a lot of speculation in the news about what will happen with schools following the upcoming holiday and April break. We are pleased to confirm that today, the province has announced schools will remain open. Students are scheduled to return to school after the long weekend on Tuesday, April 6, and then will come back following the Spring Break on Monday, April 19.

The province recognizes how important in-person learning is for our students’ well-being and achievement, and we are thrilled that students will keep learning in their classrooms. Schools will continue to implement enhanced health and safety measures, and we will continue working closely with Niagara Region Public Health to ensure every school meets these requirements.

We will share updates with you as soon as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage you to continue following Public Health advice and safety protocols to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you for ongoing patience, understanding and support, and we look forward to seeing your child on Tuesday.

Sincerely,
Warren Hoshizaki
Director of Education

March 15, 2021

What to do when a child has COVID-19 symptoms 1What to do when a child has COVID-19 symptoms

February 3, 2021



The Ontario government has officially confirmed that DSBN students will return to in-person learning this Monday, on February 8. We're looking forward to welcoming everyone back!

 
🟠 Secondary students and families will receive a letter today from their school.
🔴 Update for elementary families is found below:

🔴 Dear DSBN Elementary In-Person Learning Families:

We are excited to welcome your child back to in-person learning on Monday, February 8. Please review the information below to be prepared for a few new safety practices:

  1. Children in Kindergarten are encouraged to wear a mask, but they are not required to based on the Ministry of Education and Niagara Public Health recommendations.
  2. Children in Grades 1-3 will now be wearing masks in class and on the bus, just like their peers in Grades 4-8. We have masks for students who don’t have one or who have lost or damaged theirs.
  3. When playing outside and unable to safely distance, students will wear their masks.
  4. As has been our practice since school started in September, we will not permit non-essential visitors in our school. You can continue to drop off or pick up items for your child in the school foyer.
  5. You may have heard that schools may be offering COVID-19 testing. This will be implemented by Niagara Public Health and the Ministry of Education and will not be determined by the DSBN.  As we receive information, we will keep you informed.

February Learning Options
Although we are ready and excited for your child to come back, we understand that for a variety of reasons, you may not yet be ready to send your child back to school. That’s okay. We want to be flexible with you to ensure your child keeps learning in an environment that you are comfortable with.

Alternate Options Available for In-person Elementary Students
If you feel a little more time learning at home works best for you and your child, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s Home School Principal to discuss other short-term home learning options that are available.  This could include DSBN Learn from Home Asynchronous online learning options or paper work packages, all while your child remains connected to their Home School and homeroom teacher. These options will be available for up to 4 weeks, at which time families will have the opportunity to confirm their learning preference (either virtual or in-person) for the remainder of the school year, making it an ideal option for families who just need a little more time.

Next Steps
If your child is returning to school for in-person learning, you do not need to contact the office. We’ll see them on Monday, February 8. Even though we are back, it is important that you continue to do your child’s daily self-screening before sending them to school. Here is a link: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

If you are choosing to delay your child’s return to in-person learning, please inform the school office as soon as possible by email or leaving a voicemail so that we can connect with you to discuss options. 

As always, please feel free to reach out to your principal with any questions or concerns you may have.

January 28, 2021

In the Ontario government's announcement today, we can confirm that DSBN elementary and secondary students will NOT be returning to in-person learning next week. DSBN students will continue to learn remotely. We will update you as soon as we learn more.

UPDATE: January 20, 2021

The Ontario Government has confirmed that DSBN Elementary and Secondary schools will NOT be returning to In-Person Learning on Monday, January 25. Students will continue to learn remotely. Please follow all DSBN social channels for future updates.

UPDATE: January 7, 2021

Dear DSBN Elementary In-Person Learning Families:

Today, the province announced that elementary schools across Ontario will be closed until January 25. Students enrolled in the DSBN Virtual School will not experience a change to their learning.

While we know elementary students and staff were eager to be back to in-person learning, this decision was made to keep students, staff, and our Niagara community safe.

What this means for in-person elementary learners

The closure extension means that your child will continue daily learning with their homeroom teacher, engaging in synchronous, asynchronous, and independent learning. You will still be able to contact your home school principal, and your child’s homeroom teacher is still available to answer your questions.

During this closure, we encourage DSBN students and families to continue to be vigilant with safety protocols such as frequent handwashing, wearing a mask if applicable, and staying home with family.

We look forward to welcoming elementary students back to in-person learning on January 25, 2021. If the province releases updated information about this plan over the next week, we will be sure to inform you as soon as we learn more.

We are continually thankful for the supportive community we have in Niagara, and for the effort you are putting in to help keep each other safe from COVID-19.

Sincerely,
Warren Hoshizaki,
Director of Education

UPDATE: December 30, 2021

We hope you had a relaxing holiday break with your family. We are looking forward to starting school in January 2021, however it will look a little bit different than it has in other years.

🟠   Information for In-Person Elementary Students:

Elementary students across Ontario will be learning remotely the first week back to school, which is January 4-8, 2021. During this first week, students will be learning online with their teachers. We will return to in-person learning on Monday, January 11. 

Your child’s teacher will be contacting you on Monday, January 4 to share the day’s activities and to let you know how they will be connecting with your child for the remainder of the week. Your child’s teacher will work with you to provide a flexible program. 

Elementary families were sent an email from their school administrator on December 30 with more information about the first week of school including how to borrow a device, and how to log in to your school’s learning platform. Be sure to look for that email and if you have questions, please send an email to your child’s school administrator.

🔵   Information for Virtual School Students:

Students in the Virtual School will continue with their regular programming. Parents were sent an email on December 30, 2020 from their school administrator with more information about next week.

🔴   Information for Secondary School Students:

Schools will remain closed for three weeks until students return to in-person learning on January 25, 2021. During this closure period, all students will participate in online learning.

Secondary schools will continue to follow the daily schedule posted with one course a day. Students will need to check their D2L Brightspace or Google classrooms for directions from their period teacher each day and must log in by 10:30 am to be marked present. Teachers will provide synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to students during regular instructional hours.

Details About Specialty programs:

  • Coop students will not be attending placements and will receive directions from their teacher
  • Home Build students will not be participating in the Home Build and will receive directions from their teacher
  • Dig IT students will receive directions from their teacher
  • Niagara Link students will receive directions from their teacher
  • Connecting to College programs will continue online as usual
  • Alternative Education programs will transition to online learning and students will receive directions from their teacher
  • eLearning courses continue as usual

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact your teacher after the winter break. If you need a device or other support, please contact your school administrator.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

As we have since schools opened in September, we are following strict protocols to keep our students and staff safe. This includes ongoing cleaning of high touch points throughout the school, daily self-screening, restricting entry to the school, and wearing protective equipment.

In December 2020, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams confirmed that the transmission of COVID-19 in schools has remained low, and schools continue to be a place for students to learn safely. We would like to thank all our families for their diligence in working with us to support COVID-19 safety protocols. Working together to follow the provincial protocols gives everyone the best chance of being successful against this virus.

UPDATE: December 21, 2021

Dear DSBN Families:

Today, Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, announced that there will be a province-wide lockdown. Below are the specific details for what this means for your child’s learning:

Elementary Students:

  • Schools will be closed for in-person learning January 4-8, 2021, reopening for in-person learning on Monday, January 11, 2021
  • Starting Monday, January 4, your child’s teacher will email you regarding remote learning opportunities that will be available for your child
  • Schools will re-open with all COVID-19 safety protocols on Monday, January 11, 2021
  • If you need a device for your child, please contact your child’s school on January 4, 2021 and arrangements will be made at that time

Secondary Students:

  • All secondary students will now be learning online from January 4 – 22, 2021 for all courses
  • Teachers will provide learning materials online following your school’s January schedule
  • The first day back to in-person learning for secondary students will be Monday, January 25, 2021 according to your school’s schedule. All COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place
  • Your student’s school principal will follow-up with more detailed information regarding specialty programs

Your child’s school principal will be communicating more information with you next week. Thank you for working together with us to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19, and to protect our school communities.

Sincerely,
Warren Hoshizaki,
Director of Education

UPDATE: December 17, 2020

Dear DSBN Families:

During 2020, we have all learned to expect the unexpected. As we approach the start of the winter break, we wanted to share some information with you.

At this time, students are scheduled to return to school on Monday, January 4, 2021.
However, the Ministry of Education or Public Health may decide to extend the winter break beyond January 4 for students.

If the break is extended, I would like to reassure you that the DSBN is prepared to move to a remote learning environment for your child.

Elementary Students:
To begin, students in elementary would have access to asynchronous learning materials which would be made available through our website at dsbn.org. Your child’s homeroom teacher will also be connecting directly with you during the first week of January.

Secondary Students:
Students in secondary will continue to learn by accessing the online component of their courses.

How Information Will Be Communicated:
Should the break be extended you will receive further communication directly from the DSBN. We will also share this information on our social media, and with local media.
If the break is not extended, the first day of school will remain Monday, January 4, 2021.

Preparing for the Winter Break:
Although we do not know what the Ministry of Education/Public Health will decide, as usual, your child should bring home any personal items from their desks/lockers.

Thank you for your understanding, and I wish you and your family a safe and healthy new year.

Sincerely,
Warren Hoshizaki
Director of Education

Parent Return to School Guides

Making sure you’re ready for your child’s return to school is important to you, and it is to us as well. Below, please find links to parents guides to help you and your child get ready for September. If you have questions, please contact your child’s principal for information.

Please visit and follow the DSBN Virtual School Website for Elementary Virtual School Updates: virtual.dsbn.org

kindergarten-parent-guide     
Cover-Elem-Return-Parents-Guide-2020-21-1       Cover-Elem-Virtual-Learning-Guide-2020-21-1
Secondary-Guide-2020-cover            



August 26, 2020

The health and safety of your child is important to us, which is why we are pleased that the Ministry of Education and Public Health Ontario have released their COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools.

This plan will help us ensure that we are doing the utmost in DSBN schools to keep students and staff safe, and that we are following consistent protocols when dealing with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We will be studying this document, and adding the mandated protocols to our existing school reopening plans.