School re-opening January 25

In-person learning resumes January 25
Posted on 01/21/2021
image of sign Schools reopen January 25
Dear Families,

Earlier this afternoon, the provincial government announced that schools in the KFL&A region will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, January 25, 2021. With a downward trend in positive COVID-19 cases in our region, the local Medical Officer of Health has endorsed the return of students and staff. This is good news indeed for students and families who chose in-person learning.

The extended state of emergency and stay-at-home order (which does not include schools as of Monday) will continue until February 11, 2021.

The LDSB Virtual School will continue as usual.

Before students return to school, families need to ensure they are screening students daily for symptoms. If students experience any signs or symptoms this week, they should be tested for COVID-19 at an assessment centre 24 to 48 hours before returning to school. Also, if students and families have travelled out of the KFL&A region, you must monitor for symptoms and immediately get tested if symptoms develop.

When we return to school, existing COVID-19 protocols will continue. These include daily screening, face coverings, physical distancing where possible, and the cleaning of high-touch surfaces. A provincial directive for mandatory masking for students in Grades 1 to 3 is new, however, this is not a change for Limestone as mandatory masking for Kindergarten to Grade 3 (where possible) was introduced last fall. Masking outdoors, when physical distancing is not possible, is also now required across the province. This will be strongly reinforced. We have already been reinforcing these masking measures in Limestone for some time now so these routines will not be new for students. Students will also be provided with a refresher on COVID-19 school protocols upon their return. Secondary students will be encouraged to avoid congregating during break/lunch times.  

We know the past few weeks of remote learning have been a challenge for many, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. Our goal is to ensure families may choose whatever learning method works best for their student(s) and their personal circumstances. Should secondary students wish to change from the LDSB Virtual School back to in-person learning, or vice versa, please contact your home school. A new date for elementary students who wish to enroll in the LDSB Virtual School, or return to in-class learning, will be released soon. We will do our best to accommodate families as much as possible if space is available. 

A reminder that families can apply for one-time funding of $200 or $250 (for students with special needs) to help offset costs during the 2020-2021 school year. The deadline to apply is February 8, 2021. Learn more on the government’s Support for Learners webpage.

We look forward to welcoming students back to school next week. To ensure we can keep students in school, I urge you to be vigilant. While our numbers locally are trending downward, everyone must continue to do their part by completing the daily self-screening of COVID-19 symptoms, following public health guidelines like staying in our region, and staying home when sick. We know from the experience of the past few months with COVID-19 that the health of our larger community determines the health and status of our schools. We need to continue to work together to keep our schools open for the important roles they provide in supporting students and families.

Please stay safe and continue to follow all public health protocols as directed.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education