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Return to School Guidelines for Parents and Students

For updates information visit Ottawa Public Health

August 26, 2020 - 1:45 pm


Torah Day School of Ottawa 

Return to School Guidelines for Parents and Students

September 2020

 

Source: Covid-19: Recommendations for School Reopening, SickKids (The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children), et al., July 29, 2020 

http://www.sickkids.ca/PDFs/About-SickKids/81407-COVID19-Recommendations-for-School-Reopening-SickKids.pdf 

and 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-reopening-schools

 

All recommendations will be regularly re-evaluated as the above document is updated,
and/or upon recommendations from Public Health authorities.

 

General Information

We are engaging a full-time Custodian at our school to make sure that we are sterilizing the building consistently.  In addition to encouraging hand-washing, each student will have their own hand sanitizer on their desk for individual use. Parents will provide the initial dispenser and we will continue to refill as needed. We are installing motion sensing soap and paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms. Students will remain in the same classroom (excluding recess, gym, and Extended French) for the entire day. Teachers will be moving classrooms in order to minimize movement in the hallways.

We have measured every classroom and assigned them based upon the student population and the physical size of each room. Desks will be placed 2 meters away from each other and the teacher will be teaching from a distance of 2 meters as well. When a teacher is required to walk around the class to interact with a student less than 2 meters away, he/she will be wearing a mask. The government does not recommend children wearing masks during school. If anyone would like their child to wear one, please feel free to do so.  Lunch will take place in the classrooms however, recess will be outside and staggered which will decrease the amount of students in the yard at any given time. 

We will be limiting outsiders entering the building (this includes not hosting the daily afternoon community Mincha Minyan). When outsiders do need to enter, they will be screened and have to follow posted safety guidelines. This includes parents, volunteers and anyone else who needs to enter the building. 

We will be hosting two full days of professional development with our teachers prior to the school year. We will be inviting health experts to train our teachers on exactly what their role is in maintaining a healthy school. We will also be training them on how to integrate our students back who have been out of school for six months. 

We will also dedicate the first several days of school to helping our students (many who may be afraid and nervous) to acclimate to the new environment. 

The parents' role in helping their children prepare for school will be extremely important.

 

Transportation

It is recommended that parents drop-off their own children to limit family-to-family contact or they may arrive on the Alta Vista bus. It is recommended that all parents drop-off children on time and avoid coming into the school building. If students are late, the greeter will come to the door and let them in/sign them in. The driveways will be for teacher parking only. Parents should only park on the street. This will allow for physical distancing at drop off and pick up.

 

Drop Off

Students are required to remain in their cars until Rabbi Perton, or a designated staff member, comes to your car to get you. This will cut down on lines to get into school to be screened.

At your car, parents will be asked a few health related questions regarding your children.

A designated staff member or volunteer will then screen all students at the front or side door by taking their temperature with an infrared no-touch thermometer. Parents are asked to wait until they see their children pass through screening and enter the building before leaving. Children arriving on the Alta Vista bus will not have their temperature taken a second time.

All students should be wearing a mask when they enter the school. When students arrive in their classrooms, they may remove their mask and place it in a Ziploc bag.

 

Pick Up

Parents are requested to be at the school, parked on the street, by 4:10. At this time, Kindergarten to grade 3 students will each be assigned to a separate designated outdoor waiting area where they will remain with their teacher until called to leave. At 4:15, grades 4 to 8 students will leave the building, and will each be assigned to a separate designated outdoor waiting area where they will remain with their teacher until called to leave.

The south parking lot will be blocked off from 4:00-4:30 to allow for physical distancing of each class. No one may enter or leave the south parking area by vehicle at this time.

Please remember to refrain from parking between the cones on the street until the bus has left for the day.

All students should be wearing a mask when they leave the classroom until they are picked up.

 

Masks in School

Once students enter their classrooms, they will not be required to wear masks. The reason being that all desks will be separated from each other by a minimum of two meters. Likewise the teacher will be teaching from a distance of two meters. Students will have to wear non-medical masks when they enter the school and when they leave the school at the end of the day.

If a family decides they wish their children to wear masks, please feel free to do so.

 

Preparing for School:

Please ensure the following procedures are practiced:

Please download and enable the Covid Alert app from Health Canada on to your phones. This is a contact tracing app that will allow Health Canada to inform individuals if they may have been exposed to Covid-19.

Limit items coming from home or those that need to go back and forth. Do not send to school items such as toys, candy, trading cards, electronics or other things students may want to touch or share with each other. Have some school supplies at home for homework, so students do not have to bring items home. 

Student clothing, including masks, should be washed regularly. Please try to use disinfectant spray on all items coming to and from school (ex. shoes, backpacks, school supplies)

Ensure all school lunch/snack containers/water bottles are washed daily.

Have children wash hands before leaving the house for school in the morning.

 

IF YOUR CHILD SHOWS ANY SIGNS OF ANY ILLNESS, PLEASE KEEP THEM HOME

 

Students or Family Members Showing Symptoms/Testing Positive

If a student is showing symptoms at school, parents will immediately be called to pick up their child. The school may request that the student and/or other family members be tested for Covid-19, with a subsequent negative result, before being allowed to return to school. We will address this on a case-by-case basis according to the instructions we receive from Public Health. 

There will be a student waiting room set up to isolate said student from others until parents can pick them up. It is extremely important that we have accurate phone numbers for parents and emergency contacts to expedite this process.

If any family member is showing symptoms, please get tested immediately. Please keep all children in the family home until you have a confirmed negative test result.

 

Parents/Family/Community Members Entering the School

We would kindly ask that parents and other community members limit entrance into the school. This is especially important at drop-off and pick-up times, when there may be several people in halls, etc. 

If you need to come to the school, please make an appointment. All those entering the school will be screened upon entry.

 

Student Behaviour

Students who choose to disregard rules regarding social and physical distancing, or other safety measures, will be sent home. Anything less would be compromising the health of everyone in the building. This rule applies to bus transportation as well.

 

Lunch and Snack Procedures

All students will eat in their classrooms. A supervision schedule will be created to facilitate this change.

Students should not be sharing or trading any food items.

All students should wash their hands with soap prior to and after eating. The classroom teacher should supervise students going to wash their hands 5 minutes before the lunch period and the lunch supervisor will supervise hand washing 5 minutes before the lunch period ends

The cafeteria will not be used for any student activities other than gym on inclement weather days. 

 

Recess Procedures

All students should practice hand hygiene before going out for recess. 

There will be 4 areas, one for each class, to use during recess. Supervising teachers are asked to ensure students stay with their grade in these areas.

All students should practice hand hygiene before returning from recess. 

High-contact team sports and games will not be allowed at recess (ex. football, etc.). The playground equipment will remain closed until further notice, though K-grade 2 students may still play in the fenced area (according to set schedule).

 

Classroom Procedures

Hand sanitizer, spray, and disinfectant wipes will be provided in each classroom. The use of these items should be strictly supervised by the teacher

Each classroom will be provided with two fans. Please have fans on and windows open as much as possible. Have doors and above-door interior windows propped open.

When in class, students and teachers will not be required to wear masks. If a student or teacher chooses to wear a mask, they may do so.

All students should use wipes/sprays to disinfect their desks before eating. Younger students should be supervised when disinfecting desks by teachers.

Shared supplies should be sprayed by the teacher after each use/end of day. If at all possible, limit sharing of supplies.

Eating in classrooms during non-lunch/snack times will not be allowed

Teachers should implement planned hand hygiene breaks (rec. 5 x per day). SICKKIDS recommends that, since we do not have sinks in classrooms, children use hand sanitizer instead of going to the washroom to wash hands. As all students will have individual dispensers, this should only take a few seconds.

Student desks should be moved 2m apart to abide by social distancing guidelines. There will be markings on the floor to identify proper desk location. 

When ‘lining up’ students, respect physical distancing guidelines (stars on floor, etc.)

Student items such as backpacks, coats, lunch bags, etc. should be separated or spread out as much as possible. Consider having half your students’ items in hall cubbies, and half in classroom bins (this will also help with distancing during transition times).

 

Gym Use

The gym will only be used when outdoor weather conditions do not permit outdoor gym. All PE activities will be non-contact and/or individual in nature until further notice. All PE equipment will be disinfected after use. The gym will remain closed and locked at all times of the day and may only be accessed by the PE teachers or administration.

 

For questions or information email Rabbi Boruch Perton at rabbi.perton@torahday.ca.