Updates for Families

Friday, April 9, 2021

To All KPR Families,

As we begin a much needed and deserved break in the school year for our students and families, I want to share, once again, how much we truly recognize and appreciate everyone’s resiliency and dedication in supporting our students in these unprecedented times.

We remain hopeful that, with the arrival of the spring sunshine and the growing promise of vaccinations, brighter days are on the horizon for us all.

Provincially, the government has indicated they continue to monitor the ongoing status of our schools. Should any decision be made next week that changes our school operations, we will share that information with you as soon as we are able.

We also are moving forward with our enrolment planning for the 2021-2022 school year. At KPR, we believe in-person learning is the best option for student well-being and academic success. We also know that, given the pandemic, families value the option to choose between in-person and virtual learning.

To assist with our planning, we are asking students and families interested in virtual learning for 2021-22 to indicate their initial commitment now. Further details can be found in our KPR NEWS below. 

Meanwhile, in light of the provincial stay-at-home order, it is more vital than ever to follow public health advice over Spring Break, for a safe return April 19. The following public health measures are crucial to curb the spread of COVID-19:

·         Socialize only with your own household.

·         Stay home and get tested if you feel ill.

·         Participate in asymptomatic testing opportunities available in COVID assessment centres and select pharmacies over Spring Break, and when testing comes to schools in your area.

·         Screen your child every day during Spring Break for COVID symptoms before attending child care, using the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool

·         Practice good hand hygiene, masking and physical distancing.

·         Refrain from travelling.

·         Visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse to learn about public health measures.

The provincial government has indicated that pharmacies currently offering asymptomatic testing and COVID assessment centres will accept testing appointments for April 12-18 for students, education staff, and children and staff in child care centres. Please see KPR NEWS below for further information.

I wish everyone a healthy, refreshing and restoring Spring Break. Take care and stay well.

Sincerely,

 

Rita Russo, Director of Education

 

KPR NEWS

 

Opting for Online Learning

With vaccinations continuing, we hope to once again provide rich, varied educational experiences for all students in our schools in 2021-22. We also will provide virtual learning options for elementary and secondary students. While final details are being confirmed, online programs for next year will be based largely on current virtual school structures.

 

Elementary

  • Virtual students will participate in synchronous learning (live, real-time instruction with the teacher) and asynchronous learning (work posted online for students to complete at any time).
  • Entry to or exit from full-time virtual learning will occur at three designated times in the school year: September 1, Fall Progress Report, Spring 2022.

 

Secondary

  • Virtual high school also will include synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • Our virtual learning opt-in portal includes a list of available courses to help students and families make a decision on virtual learning. You will be able to confirm your participation in virtual learning before the 2021-22 school year. Please note we cannot offer courses virtually if they have an in-person component.
  • Entry/Exit from virtual learning will occur at the start of each semester (September 2021/February 2022).

Elementary and secondary families wishing to opt-in to virtual learning for 2021-22 should visit https://optin.kprdsb.ca


Asymptomatic Testing

To support safe return to school after the break, voluntary asymptomatic testing has been expanded. 

  • Staff and students will be able to access asymptomatic testing at select pharmacies and assessment centres April 12-18, by booking an appointment online. Visit the Covid-19 Testing Locations website for a location near you.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart will be offering Rapid Antigen Screening for students and staff starting April 14. Please see the attached list of participating stores; those located within KPR are highlighted. To book an appointment, contact the store directly.

KPR has two Asymptomatic Testing Clinics during the break for students, staff and families from specific schools: Saturday, April 10 at East Northumberland SS (ENSS) for ENSS and its feeder schools; and Saturday, April 17 at Thomas A. Stewart SS (TAS) for TAS, Adam Scott CVI and their feeder schools. More information has been shared with the invited school communities. Pre-registration is not available.

 

Critical Need for Self-Screening: Spring Break

When classes resume, we ask everyone to be especially vigilant in completing the daily self-screening for illness every morning before heading to school. We stress again that staff and students should not come to school if they have any symptoms of illness.

The provincial screening tool is available here:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

 

 

Wednesday April 7, 2021

To All KPR Families, 

This afternoon, the provincial government announced a stay-at-home order for our province, beginning tomorrow (April 8).

At this time, our schools remain open to in-person learning.

We understand that these are difficult days of increased anxiety and tension for us all. We want to assure you that we continue to work closely with the four public health units throughout our jurisdiction, who lead all local efforts for the protection of community members of all ages. We speak with the health units daily, and have an ongoing dialogue around measures to keep our schools safe for students and staff.

We want to remind all families to reinforce with students the critical importance of wearing masks at school. We have been fortunate to have had very few cases of school transmission; most COVID cases associated with schools have been connected to exposure outside of the schools. 

Please also be vigilant in completing the daily self-screening of your child or teen for illness every morning before heading to school. We stress again that students should not come to school if they have any symptoms of illness.

The provincial screening tool is available here:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

In closing, we know that everyone needs a break and is very much looking forward to next week’s re-scheduled March Break. As we wrap up the week towards that much needed rest, please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

Sincerely,

Rita Russo  Director of Education 

 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

 

To All KPR Families,

This note follows up yesterday’s message regarding the possibility of Ontario schools being closed to in-person learning beyond the Easter weekend.

This afternoon, the provincial government announced that schools will remain open next week, April 6-9. Both online and in-person classes will continue as usual from Tuesday, April 6, to Friday, April 9.

In addition, Spring Break will go ahead as scheduled, April 12-16.

The government indicated they continue to monitor this situation. We will share any information on possible future provincial decisions regarding schools, as soon as we’re able.  

 

Current COVID-19 protocols will remain in place when schools are open next week. We remind everyone that the following requirements will continue next week:

  • Before going to school each morning, please self-screen for signs of illness at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. The screening questions also are posted in 19 languages at Download COVID-19 screenings | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario 
  • Stay home if you have even one new or worsening symptom listed in the screening tool. You can return to school once you receive a negative test result or alternative diagnosis from a health care provider, or 10 days after your symptoms began, if you feel better.
  • All adults and siblings in the same household with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms must self-quarantine. They cannot return to school until the person with symptoms receives either a negative COVID-19 test result or alternative diagnosis.

 

As more information becomes available, we will continue to keep everyone informed.

In the meantime, I wish you a happy, healthy and restful long weekend.

Sincerely,

Rita Russo,  Director of Education

 

 

March 31, 2021

Good afternoon KPR Families,

Spring is a special time for many. It’s a time of reflection, connection and celebration. As the long weekend approaches, I hope you enjoy the time to rest, relax and reconnect with what makes you smile.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a similar position to last December, when rising cases of COVID-19 made the immediate future unpredictable. You may have seen media coverage this week about the provincial government considering a possible provincial lockdown, potentially as early as this weekend, to curb the spread of COVID.

While we do not have a definitive answer yet, it is important to prepare ourselves for the possibility of an extended break and a return to online learning for all students.

At this time, we are encouraging students and staff to take needed belongings home with them before this weekend, just in case we are asked to shift to online learning only.

We recognize that this information is top-of-mind for many people. As more information becomes available, we will continue to keep everyone informed. 

Please see below for a couple of additional updates.  

Stay well everyone, and enjoy the weekend! If you are celebrating Easter, I hope E. Bunny is good to you!

Sincerely,

Rita Russo

Director of Education

 

KPR NEWS

Possible Shift to On-line Learning for All

We strongly encourage everyone to be prepared for a possible extension of this four-day holiday weekend or Spring Break. While NO DECISION has been made on the matter yet, we need to prepare ourselves for the possibility of a return to on-line learning. 

Based on previous experience, if the province does announce a return to on-line learning, it would take place on regular school days and schedules, using classroom teachers’ usual communication platforms (e.g., Edsby, Google, D2L). It would involve both synchronous (real-time learning with the teacher connected to the class live) and asynchronous learning (work posted on-line, to be completed at any time).

Once again, NO DECISION on this matter has been made as yet, and we will provide further updates directly to families and staff as they become available.

April is World Autism Awareness Month

I also want to take this opportunity to recognize World Autism Day tomorrow, April 2nd and invite you to Raise the Flag for Autism Day, being celebrated in Ontario on Tuesday, April 6. The purpose of this special day is to increase awareness, understanding and highlight the work that still needs to be done to remove systemic barriers and help children, youth, and adults on the autism spectrum live their best life.

I want to extend my appreciation to our Autism Support Team for the wonderful Resource Package they’ve shared to schools today, with a number of announcements, posters and activities to help bring more awareness, acceptance and inclusion into our classrooms and schools. My sincere thanks to that team for all their great work! 

Volunteer Asymptomatic Testing Clinics 

After taking a break this weekend, voluntary asymptomatic testing by LifeLabs will resume for students, families and staff who have no COVID-19 symptoms. Clinics are being held on a rotating basis around KPR, and all schools will be offered a testing opportunity at some point. When testing is scheduled for your school community, your school will send home detailed information.  

 

 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Dear KPR Families,                                                                                         

While today has greeted us with buckets of rain, I can’t help but feel grateful for the warm, sunny promise of spring we had this week and its reminders that rebirth and growth are part of the natural cycle of life. I feel hopeful when I see and hear our students’ day-to-day commitment to kindness, respect, and to creating a better, more caring world. And the ever-increasing numbers of people receiving vaccines to protect against COVID are making me feel that there is, indeed, a light at the end of this long tunnel for us all. We truly have so much to be thankful for as Canadians, and I have no doubt that we will continue to support one another in the coming weeks and months.

There are just a few items of news to share with you in my update this week.

Sincerely,

Rita Russo, Director of Education

 

KPR NEWS

Provincial Budget

As you may have heard, the provincial government presented its budget this week. It’s too early to know exactly how KPR schools will be affected in the coming school year. Over the next few months, Trustees will meet in Budget Committee to consider detailed financial reports and to set a budget for the coming school year. We will keep families, staff and communities informed as we work toward finalizing a budget in late spring.  

2021-22 School Year

Some families have been asking about plans for the 2021-22 school year with respect to online and in-person learning. Our planning for the coming school year is still on-going, and will be informed by both Public Health and provincial education directives. We remain hopeful that we will be able to provide our students with a rich, in-person school experience. At the same time, we are also considering possible aspects of virtual learning or expanded e-learning, particularly at the secondary level. As always, we will provide further information to KPR families as plans are confirmed.

Secondary Credit Completion Day

KPR has designated Friday, April 9 as a Credit Completion Day for secondary school students. Secondary students throughout the Board will not attend school in person on this day, and will be able to connect with their teachers online if needed. This day will be used by teachers to provide feedback to students on their culminating tasks, to support students at risk of not attaining a credit, and to prepare for a safe start to the next quadmester beginning on April 19.

Please note that this day applies to high school students only. Elementary students will attend school as usual on Friday, April 9.

All students will be off the following week, during the delayed March Break week of April 12-16.

Earth Hour

KPR encourages families to participate in Earth Hour this Saturday, March 27, starting at 8:30 p.m. As in previous years, we are all asked to turn off our lights as a symbol of the need to do all we can to protect our planet. For further information and suggested activities for families, please visit earthhour.org

Important Dates

April 2-5 – Easter Weekend, schools closed

April 9 – Secondary Credit Completion Day, no high school classes

April 12-16 – New March Break

April 19 – Final quadmester starts in high schools

 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Dear Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Students, Staff, Families, and Community:

We are saddened and horrified by the violence that occurred in Atlanta earlier this week, resulting in the loss of eight lives, including six women of Asian descent. Our thoughts are with those who are affected by these tragic deaths, and by the increase in anti-Asian violence throughout the pandemic. This event represents a terrible intersection of hatred toward women and anti-Asian violence.

Together, we know you join us in standing against these acts, and in solidarity with our local and national Asian communities.

This tragic event underscores how anti-Asian racism has proliferated throughout our communities from historical contexts into the present day, is a systemic problem, and has its roots in colonial thinking. It is the work of all, including education systems, to continually work against violence and hate.

It is incumbent upon all of us to condemn not only these senseless acts of violence, but also the attitudes, words, and actions that push people apart rather than those that emphasize our common humanity.

The flag at our Education Centre will be at half-mast until Monday to recognize the lives lost, and our hearts go out to the survivors, families, and friends of the victims of this appalling crime.

Sincerely,

Diane Lloyd                                                 Rita Russo

Chairperson of the Board                             Director of Education

 

Provincial Covid-19 Update

UPDATED SYMPTOM SCREENING

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has updated the provincial school screening criteria.  Students and staff with new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, as outlined in the school and child care screening tool, even those with only one symptom, must stay home until:

·         they receive a negative COVID-19 test result,

·         they receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional, or

·         it has been 10 days since their symptoms began and they are feeling better.

The provincial school screening tool has been updated to reflect these changes, at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

NEW QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS

The Ministry of Health has also issued new guidance for schools and child cares that requires all household contacts of individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 to quarantine until the symptomatic household member:

·         receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or

·         receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

This means that if a child OR an adult has symptoms of COVID-19, all other adults and children who live in the same household must quarantine and remain home from school or child care until the person with symptoms receives either a negative COVID-19 test result, or an alternative diagnosis.

 

If the symptomatic individual tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional:

·         the symptomatic individual must isolate (including from other household members) for 10 days from the start of symptoms, and

·         all members of the same household must isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual.

We recognize that these are significant provincial changes and we thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our students and staff safe. Schools will support students with materials to continue learning from home during any extended periods of absence.

We continue to work closely with local public health agencies to address this evolving situation. For more information about COVID response in our communities, please visit your local Public Health website:

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

http://www.hkpr.on.ca/

Peterborough Public Health

https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/

Durham Public Health

https://www.durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness/health-and-wellness.aspx

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit

Hpepublichealth.ca