COVID-19 Updates 2021-2022

COVID-19 Updates 2021-2022

Access the School Screening Tool

March 10, 2022

RE: UPDATE ON COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES AS DIRECTED BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario has announced that most COVID-19 health and safety measures in schools will end on Monday, March 21, 2022 – the first day of school following the March Break. This will align schools with the broader community.

There will be no mandatory masking, cohorting, distancing and confirmation of screening.

Gatherings, such as in-person graduations, will be permitted once again. 

Schools will also re-open for visitors who must pass the school screening tool prior to entry.

IMPORTANT: 

Before leaving home, students are still required to screen for COVID-19 daily using the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool. There is a link on rainbowschools.ca.

The online screening tool reflects the most current guidance. Recent changes include isolation requirements when a household member has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19. There is also updated guidance related to travel. When completing the screener, please scroll down and follow the directions outlined below the results banner.

If you are sick, stay home.
If you are well, come to school.
When in doubt, wait it out.

While masking will no longer be mandatory in the community, on school buses, and in elementary and secondary schools, staff, students and families may wear a mask should they choose to do so. Individuals should assess their situation to determine what is best for their own circumstance.

Personal choice to wear a mask or not wear a mask will be respected and supported.

Schools will continue to have Ministry issued masks available for students for the remainder of the school year. Staff will also have access to masks.

Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, ventilation and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting remain in place. Schools will also continue to report student and staff absences to the Ministry of Education until at least April 14, 2022. This data is published online at ontario.ca.

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits will be provided in accordance with provincial guidance. Students with COVID-19 symptoms can return to school after two negative RATs 24 hours apart and no symptoms for 24 hours (48 hours for nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.)

Friday, March 11, 2022 is a Professional Activity Day for staff, which will give students an early start to the March Break from March 14 to 18, 2022. 

At home or abroad, please continue to follow health and safety measures.

For local guidance, visit Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

For families who travel out of the country, the Government of Canada has guidance, travel advisories and resources at COVID-19 and International Travel.

On behalf of all Rainbow Schools, we appreciate your ongoing support. 

Let’s continue to be kind and considerate as we respect personal choice when school resumes on Monday, March 21, 2022. 

While masking will no longer be required, remember that screening for COVID-19 before leaving home for school will continue. 

Please complete the screener daily, scroll down and follow the guidance. 

Please stay home when you are sick. 

I would like to wish all of our students and families a healthy and happy March Break. Whether you participate in indoor activities or go outside to enjoy fresh air, have fun.

February 10, 2022

RE: COMMUNITY PROTESTS AGAINST COVID-19 MANDATES

Dear parents/guardians:

As you know, protests are currently underway against provincial COVID-19 mandates.

It has come to our attention through social media posts that protesters are encouraging students to participate in school walkouts on Friday, February 11, 2022 at 2 pm.

Some students may decide to participate.

A walkout is not a school sanctioned event.

Demonstrations of this nature are not permitted on school property.

As this is not a school activity, no supervision will be provided once students leave school property.

In the event that students participate, we respectfully request that they express their viewpoint off of school grounds in a peaceful manner that does not create concern, expose students and others to risks involving health and safety, and hinder the operation of schools.

Rainbow District School Board recognizes student voice. Students who feel strongly about this matter may want to consider other ways to express their views such as letter writing.

Police are aware of possible walkouts and will be contacted if there are any concerns.

February 9, 2022

RE: UPDATED GUIDANCE FOR MASKING OUTDOORS

Dear parents/guardians and students:

When local case counts increased significantly last fall, Public Health Sudbury & Districts implemented enhanced COVID-19 protection measures for schools. On February 7, 2022, school boards were advised that there is no longer a need for enhanced measures at the local level in light of the provincial guidance.

As a result, students are not required to wear masks outdoors while cohorted. Students will continue to remain in their cohorts while outside during nutrition breaks. Mask requirements for indoors remain the same.

The updated guidance for masking outdoors will take effect in all Rainbow Schools in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin Island on Thursday, February 10, 2022. Parents/guardians may ask their children to wear a mask outdoors should they choose.

All other health and safety measures remain in place, including the additional measures announced by the Province of Ontario prior to the return to in-person learning. These include daily screening for symptoms, availability of 3-ply cloth masks for students, and cohorting during recess and outdoor breaks.

Please continue to use the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care and follow the guidance. Be sure to scroll down the page so you don’t miss anything.

All students and staff are required to screen rigorously on a daily basis before coming to school or work. Daily confirmation of screening will continue until further notice.

Our message is simple: If you are sick, stay home. If you are well, come to school. When in doubt, wait it out.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

January 24, 2022

RE: RETURN TO FOUR PERIOD DAY FOR SEMESTER 2

Dear students and parents/guardians:

The Ministry of Education has advised school boards that they may return to a four period day with the support of local health units.

After consulting with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, we are pleased to inform you that secondary students will resume their regular timetable in the second semester.

There will be four periods a day effective Monday, February 7, 2022.

On behalf of secondary school administrators, I would like to thank our students and families for your patience and support during the modified schedule.

We will continue to follow health and safety protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19.

January 18, 2022

Letter to parents/guardians from the Minister of Education and the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

January 17, 2022

RE: RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce absences, and support our school communities, the Ministry of Education has provided rapid antigen tests for use by students and staff when they are experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19.

School boards were required to de-kit boxes in order to distribute two tests per individual. All instructions were followed to ensure the safe re-packaging.

This testing option, which aligns with the updated testing guidance from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is voluntary for students, children and staff.

If a symptomatic individual chooses not to participate, they are presumed positive and should isolate immediately and follow the updated testing guidance in the COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge document.

Please read the information below carefully, if choosing to participate.

When to Use a Take-home Rapid Antigen Screening Kit:

For individuals choosing to participate in this testing option, they must display symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19.

As outlined in the updated guidance and the school screening tool, this includes:

Fever and/or chills; OR
Cough; OR
Shortness of breath; OR
Decrease or loss of taste or smell; OR

Two or more of:
runny nose/nasal congestion
headache
extreme fatigue
sore throat
muscle aches/joint pain
gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e. vomiting or diarrhea)
Symptomatic individuals must complete the rapid antigen tests at home.

If the first RAT test is positive, there is no need to use the second test. A positive RAT is highly indicative that the individual has COVID-19. A positive RAT does NOT need to be confirmed with a PCR test. Positive RAT tests do NOT need to be reported to the public health unit, school or child care.

If the first RAT test is negative, complete the second test separated by 24-48 hours.

Using the Take-home Rapid Antigen Screening Kit:

There are three different varieties of rapid antigen tests that are being distributed by the province. Please see the links below for instructions on how to use each variety:

1. BTXN Rapid Response™

2. SD Biosensor

3. Trimedic FaStep®

You may also reference this how-to video: https://youtu.be/EWSFJ1JoUd0

Please disregard the asymptomatic reference at the beginning of the video. Only use the test if symptomatic. The video provides helpful instructions.

Important note:
Parents/guardians may choose to administer this screening on children who may need help (i.e. younger children).

What to do after your test:

You will know the outcome of the test within 15 minutes.

If the first rapid antigen test is positive, there is no need to use the second test. A positive rapid antigen test is highly indicative that the individual has COVID-19. Positive rapid antigen tests do NOT need to be reported to the public health unit, school or child care.

If the first rapid antigen test is negative, complete the second test within 24-48 hours of the first test. If two consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to have COVID-19 infection, and the individual should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present).

If the individual who tests positive is fully vaccinated or 11 years of age or younger, they must self-isolate for at least 5 days from symptom onset and until their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), whichever is longer in duration.

If the individual who tests positive is 12 years of age or older and is either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, they must self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset or from the date of their test (whichever was earlier).

If the individual who tests positive is immune compromised (regardless of age and vaccination status) they must self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or from the date of their test (whichever came sooner).

If symptoms persist / worsen, individuals are encouraged to seek advice from Telehealth or their health care provider.

Please note:

In alignment with updated testing guidance, there is no confirmatory PCR test required if an individual tests positive.

For more information about what to do if you receive a positive test result, please follow the guidance.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

January 16, 2021

Letter from the Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts re: return to in-person learning.

January 13, 2022
Updated: January 14, 2022

RE: IN-PERSON LEARNING RESUMES ON MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2022

Dear parents/guardians and students:

In-person learning will resume on Monday, January 17, 2022 in all Rainbow Schools in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin Island. Transportation will also resume. Enhanced health and safety measures are being implemented to keep schools as safe as possible.

While we look forward to welcoming students back to class, it will not be business as usual. Please read this letter carefully so you know what to expect in the days and weeks to come.

Staff Absences
Like other sectors in the community, schools may experience staff shortages due to a high level of absences. We will do our best to replace staff with supply teachers and casual support workers, however, there is a limited pool for both. This will have an impact on students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 who require greater supervision while at school.

In the event that we do not have a teacher and/or supervisor for an elementary class, we will notify parents/guardians early in the morning before students leave to take the bus or walk to school. Please check your email every morning to see if you have a message.

If your child’s class is cancelled, you will not be able to send your child to school. Parents/guardians will be called to pick up children who come to school. We will not be mixing cohorts from different classes due to staff absences. Cohorts will continue to be maintained as much as possible, both indoors and outdoors.

Screening
The COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care has been updated to include more symptoms of COVID-19 and new guidance on testing and isolation. Students and staff are required to screen rigorously on a daily basis before coming to school or work.

If you are sick, please stay home. This is essential to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you or your child have a symptom, even a mild one, please stay home. Follow the updated guidance in the screening tool.

Daily confirmation of screening
The Ministry of Education has directed school boards and schools to perform daily confirmation of self-screening for students.

Parents/guardians of students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 will be required to submit a form to confirm that they have completed the screening tool for their children. Schools will provide the link to parents/guardians via email before the start of each school day. (If you do not have email, please contact the school.)

Students in Grades 7 to 12 will confirm that they have completed the screening tool with their teachers in homerooms. The student’s daily attendance will serve as confirmation.

Emergency Contacts
All parents/guardians must ensure they have shared a full list of emergency contacts with the school. This will be important in case parents/guardians are not available. Emergency contacts must be aware that they could be called to pick up children when they are sick.

Masking
Please ensure your child wears a mask to school, including the bus, and send extras in case they get wet. Schools will have a supply of three-ply cloth masks that children will be encouraged to wear. Students will be required to wear masks indoors and outdoors at all times. Kindergarten students have the option of wearing face shields or visors if masks cannot be tolerated. We encourage families to watch these videos on how to properly wear a mask – for kids and for teens. We have also developed a fact sheet.

Testing
Rapid Antigen Test kits were sent home with in-person learners prior to the winter break. Families were asked to save a test to use before returning to school after the break. Your child’s participation in rapid antigen screening is voluntary. Students are not required to complete the testing to return to the classroom. They are also not required to submit results.

For those who do have access to a test and wish to participate, it is recommended students conduct a rapid antigen test on Monday morning PRIOR to coming to school. Students who test positive on a Rapid Antigen Test will be required to self-isolate immediately. Students will no longer be required to confirm the result with a PCR test.

Case and Contact Management
The Ministry of Health has updated its guidance for schools and child care settings on case, contact and outbreak management. The guidance contains important information on COVID-19 testing and isolation requirements in response to the Omicron surge. We encourage you to read the guidance document and keep it handy for reference.

Dismissal of cohorts
Given the widespread transmission of the Omicron variant and changes to the provincial testing approach, Public Health will no longer be advising school boards of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and/or asking schools to dismiss cohorts or declare outbreaks. As a result, schools will not have access to this information to share with parents/guardians as we have in the past. The COVID-19 Advisory Section on the Board website will not be updated.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in schools will not be reported on the provincial website. Going forward, school boards will be required to report absences due to illness. As mandated by the Province, if absences rises to a defined level (approximately 30%) in schools, we will notify Public Health Sudbury & Districts and follow their guidance.

Rapid Antigen Tests
The Ministry of Education has sent us two rapid antigen tests for students and staff who are learning and teaching in person. These tests will be distributed to students next week. NOTE: If you do not want your child to receive these tests to bring them home and you would prefer to pick them up, please notify your child’s school on Monday, January 17, 2022.

Students and staff will be required to actively screen each day, regardless of access to testing and to isolate if symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status and/or test access. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will now be deemed to have COVID-19.
The two rapid antigen tests provided are to be used when individuals are symptomatic.

As per the COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge Guidance, if two consecutive rapid antigen tests, separated by 24 to 48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to have COVID-19 infection, and the individual should isolate until symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms are present). We expect to receive more rapid antigen tests from the Ministry of Education as we move forward and will distribute them, as required.

Transfer to In-person Learning or Remote Learning
Throughout the pandemic, we have learned that in-person learning is important for the vast majority of our students, not only from an academic and social perspective, but also for their well-being.

As indicated at the beginning of the school year, the next opportunity to transfer to in-person learning or remote learning will be on February 7, 2022. Parents/guardians will be invited to complete a survey to confirm their status which will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year. The survey will be available January 18 to 20, 2022. Staffing will be adjusted at that time to accommodate requests for transfers. You will receive a link to the survey from your school.

Short-term learning at home
Schools will provide work for students who are required to self-isolate because they have tested positive or are required to quarantine because they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This also applies to students who are required to stay home based on guidance in the provincial screening tool.

Requests for short-term remote learning will be facilitated through the posting of assignments in Google Classrooms which will be updated regularly. Supporting materials such as anchor charts, success criteria and exemplars will be included, where applicable. Parents can contact schools if technology is required. The Ministry of Education has developed online resources which are featured on the home page of the Board website and can also be accessed at: rainbowschools.ca/parents/covid-19/learn-at-home-resources/. Paper copies will also be available on request where Internet access is limited.

Ventilation
All Kindergarten classrooms have HEPA units. Ventilation devices have also been added to classrooms that do not have mechanical ventilation. Filters are being changed regularly on ventilation systems to ensure they are operating at maximum efficiency and capacity. We are receiving a total of 30 additional units for our schools.

School Based Vaccination Clinics
Public Health may host vaccination clinics for students ages 5 to 11 during the school day. We will advise families if a clinic is being offered at your child’s school. Vaccination is voluntary. No student will be vaccinated without signed consent. Parents/guardians will be invited to provide consent to have their child vaccinated, should they choose to do so.

Vaccination Opportunities
There are many opportunities to get vaccinated. The schedule of clinics is updated weekly on the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website. Follow the link from rainbowschools.ca. There are also many resources on the vaccine online, including a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet: For Children (age 5-11) and COVID-19 vaccines for children and youth.

Sports/Music
Indoor high contact and high intensity extra-curricular activities are being paused at this time. Cohorting protocols remain in effect for music classes.

Return of Technology
If you borrowed technology from the school during the remote learning period, please bring it with you when you return to school for in-person learning. It’s important that technology be available for student use at school.

With enhanced Public Health measures, voluntary rapid antigen testing for students, vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11, and the availability of boosters for adults, we remain hopeful and optimistic as we reopen schools for in-person learning.

Health and safety, as always, will remain our first and foremost priority.

Please continue to follow Public Health guidance:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Stay home and isolate if symptoms appear.
• Practise two-metre physical distancing.
• Wear a mask at all times in indoor public spaces.
• Limit your exposure by limiting your contacts.

More importantly, please stay home when you are sick.

To protect in-person learning and keep schools open, only students and staff who are feeling well should be coming to school. When in doubt, wait it out.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

Your patience and support is greatly appreciated.

January 6, 2022

RE: FINAL EVALUATIONS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:

The move from in-person learning to remote learning, as directed by the Province of Ontario, has prompted Rainbow District School Board to review its final evaluation requirements for all secondary courses in semester 1.

As a result, we have made two important changes.

Final grades for all semester 1 courses will now be based solely on assessments completed throughout the semester. There will be no final exams or culminating activities. There will be no 30% final evaluation for courses in semester 1.

Friday, January 28, 2022 to Wednesday, February 2, 2022 will be instructional days.

These changes will maximize instructional time and enable students who may have fallen behind to recover course content. Teachers will have more time to consolidate student learning and to support the completion of late or missed assignments to assist students in earning their credits.

The changes will also mitigate the potential for staff and student extended absences due to COVID-19 and the ensuing stress this may cause for teaching and learning. Student mental health and well-being remain a priority along with health and safety.

Additional support will be provided to ensure student success. Students from the Faculty of Education have been hired to help students catch up, close gaps and rescue credits as a result of absences. Schools will focus on strategies to support students in achieving their credits.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we adjust to COVID-19.

Please do not hesitate to contact your teacher for any support you may need.

January 3, 2022

RE: IN-PERSON LEARNERS MOVE TO REMOTE LEARNING

Dear Parents/Guardians:

In light of the surge of COVID-19 due to the fast spreading Omicron variant, the Ministry of Education announced today that in-person learners will move to remote learning effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 until at least Monday, January 17, 2022.

Rainbow Schools will reach out to in-person learners to complete a survey today to determine who requires technology to learn from home. Teachers will provide instructions to access the appropriate virtual platform (VLE for secondary and Google Classroom for elementary), verify email addresses, and ensure the home room/class timetable is posted within the platform.

Instruction will begin on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 for all students. Elementary and secondary students will follow their regular schedules remotely. Teachers will connect with students to provide additional information. Students who do not have access to the Internet will receive paper based assignments.

Students who have special education needs will continue to be supported remotely by their classroom teacher and an Educational Assistant. Mental health supports will also be available.

Please continue to follow Public Health guidance:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Stay home and isolate if symptoms appear.
• Practise two-metre physical distancing.
• Wear a mask at all times in indoor public spaces.
• Limit contacts to reduce the risk of exposure.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

December 15, 2021

RE: PLANNING FOR ALL SCENARIOS

Dear parents/guardians:

Based on the information that we have at this time, in-person learning will resume on Monday, January 3, 2022, as scheduled.

Given that the situation with COVID-19 and the new variant of concern is very fluid, however, we want to ensure that we are prepared for any possible changes.

We ask that students please bring home any personal belongings and learning materials so they are ready for remote learning, if needed. This will also ensure that students who are required to self-isolate following the break are prepared to participate in classes from home.

With enhanced Public Health measures, voluntary rapid antigen testing for students, vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11, and the availability of boosters for adults, we remain hopeful that case counts in our community will decrease.

If case counts increase over the holidays, the Ministry of Education and/or Public Health Sudbury & Districts could impose a delay to in-person learning. It’s important to note that no decision has been made at this time.

Should a return to in-person learning be delayed, staff in schools will reach out to families on January 3 and 4, 2022 to arrange for the safe distribution of technology.

Students who do not have immediate access to technology will complete work on their own until they are able to connect. If remote learning is mandated for all students, please be assured we will make the transition as smooth as possible.

As we get set to start the holidays and enjoy a well-deserved break, I would like to thank
our dedicated administrators, educators, support staff, students and parents/guardians for going the extra mile to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Remember to follow the critical ongoing COVID-19 prevention measures:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Stay home and isolate if symptoms appear.
• Practise two-metre physical distancing.
Wear a mask at all times in indoor public spaces.

Also remember to screen for COVID-19 daily. Continue to use the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children in School and Child Care: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ to monitor for symptoms and follow the direction provided. Stay home and seek testing at the first sign of a COVID-19 symptom, even a mild one.

The Ministry of Education has provided rapid antigen screening kits to in-person learners
to use during the winter break. The goal is to detect any potential cases of COVID-19 in
asymptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status, before they return to in-person
learning when classes resume.

Your child’s participation in rapid antigen screening is voluntary. Students are not required to complete the testing to return to the classroom. They are also not required to submit results.

For those who do wish to participate, it is recommended students conduct the rapid antigen tests every Monday and Thursday beginning December 23, until all tests have been used. The test on Monday, January 3, 2021 should be done PRIOR to coming to school.

Rapid antigen screening kits are only to be used when a child does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and has not had any exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Anyone with symptoms or identified as a close contact of a case should still get PCR testing. Rapid antigen screening tests should not be used as a substitute for PCR tests for people with symptoms or for people who are close contacts of cases.

Thank you for your ongoing patience, support and kindness.
Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

When we limit the spread of COVID-19, we protect in-person learning. When we protect
in-person learning, we give students an opportunity to experience school life
as it was meant to be.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

December 10, 2021

Joint letter from the Minister of Education and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

December 8, 2021

RE: VOLUNTARY WINTER BREAK RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING FOR COVID-19

To Parents/Guardians of in-person learners:

The Ministry of Education is providing rapid antigen screening kits to all students in Ontario to use during the winter break. The goal is to detect any potential cases of COVID-19 in asymptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status, before they return to in-person learning when classes resume on January 3, 2021. The testing is another measure to keep everyone safe.

The rapid antigen test kits will be distributed to students in Rainbow Schools on Friday, December 10, 2021. Your child’s participation in rapid antigen screening is voluntary. Students are not required to complete the testing in order to return to the classroom after the winter break. They are also not required to submit results.

If your child is absent on Friday, please call the school if you would like to arrange to pick up a testing kit.

Prior to using the rapid antigen screening kit, please read the information below.

When to Use the Rapid Antigen Screening Kit:

For students who choose to use the rapid antigen screening kit, it is recommended students conduct the rapid antigen tests every 3 to 4 days over the holiday break, on every Monday and Thursday beginning December 23, until all five tests have been used.

Rapid antigen screening kits are only to be used when a child is asymptomatic (i.e. does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and has not had any exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19).

Anyone with symptoms or who is identified as a close contact of a case should still get PCR testing. Rapid antigen screening tests should not be used as a substitute for PCR tests for people with symptoms or for people who are close contacts of cases.

Using the Take-Home Rapid Antigen Screening Kit:

The BTNX Rapid Response™ can be performed using anterior nasal swabbing (per the package insert, as approved by Health Canada) or using deep nasal swabbing (as recommended by Public Health Ontario in this document, given higher sensitivity compared to anterior nasal swabbing). Both types of specimen collection can be performed using the NP swab provided with the kit.

Please follow the instructions provided with this letter.

Important note:
Parents/guardians may choose to administer the test on children who need help.

What to do after your test:

You will know the outcome of the test within 15 minutes. If test results conducted so far are negative, your child may attend school as usual. Even if your child tests negative, they should continue to follow all relevant public health guidance, such as guidance on gathering, distancing, and masking.

A positive result on a rapid antigen screening test is considered a preliminary positive. A child that receives a positive result on a rapid antigen screening test should seek a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible (ideally within 48 hours) at a local testing site or pharmacy that offers testing and isolate themselves until the result of that confirmatory PCR test are known.

On behalf of Rainbow Schools, I would like to thank you for your ongoing patience as we continue to work together to keep everyone safe.

Please accept our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

November 29, 2021

RE: NEW PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES TO ADDRESS COVID-19

Dear parents/guardians:

New measures are being introduced to address the local increase of COVID-19.

Effective today, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is implementing Rapid Antigen Testing for students to do at home before coming to school.

Kits are being distributed to all students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 to test twice weekly – Monday and Thursday mornings. Unvaccinated students in Grades 9 to 12 can also test twice weekly by picking up a kit at their respective secondary schools. You may wish to learn more about how to complete the test by watching this video.

Unvaccinated students participating in school sports teams will be required to complete Rapid Antigen Testing before practice and games. Coaches and organizers will share details with students. Please support the testing should it apply to your child as we work with Public Health to continue to provide opportunities for students to participate in sports.

This testing is an effort to further protect in-person learning by detecting possible cases of COVID-19 in unvaccinated and asymptomatic students.

As you know, all students, staff and visitors to Rainbow Schools are required to screen for COVID-19 daily BEFORE leaving home for school by completing the COVID-19 School Screening Tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Stay home and seek testing at the first sign of a COVID-19 symptom, even a mild one.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has directed school boards and schools to perform daily confirmation of self-screening for students. This will begin Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Students in Grades 7 to 12 will confirm that they have completed the screening tool with their teachers in homerooms. The student’s daily attendance will serve as confirmation.

Parents/guardians of students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 are required to submit a form to confirm that they have completed the screening tool for their children. Schools will provide the link to parents/guardians via email. (If you do not have email, please contact the school.)

Remember to follow the critical ongoing COVID-19 prevention measures:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Stay home and isolate if symptoms appear.
• Practise two-metre physical distancing.
• Wear a mask at all times in indoor public spaces.

When outdoors, students are encouraged to maintain physical distancing.
NEW: Students will be required to wear a mask outdoors at all times.
Please send extra masks to school, in case they get wet during nutrition breaks.

As always, we will monitor our schools closely for any signs of COVID-19. When there is a confirmed case with an impact on a school, we will follow the guidance from Public Health.

Updated information will be shared on the Board’s COVID-19 Advisory Section: https://www.rainbowschools.ca/parents/covid-19/covid-19-advisory-2021-2022/

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 or the measures taken to address COVID-19, please visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19 or contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 ext. 524.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

November 24, 2021

Letter from the Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts re: Rapid Antigen Testing in secondary schools.

November 24, 2021

Letter from the Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts re: Rapid Antigen Testing in elementary schools.

October 4, 2021

Letter from the Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

September 17, 2021

RE: THANK YOU FOR SCREENING FOR COVID-19 AS PART OF YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

Dear students and parents/guardians:

Thank you for confirming that you screened for COVID-19 before coming to school these past two weeks as mandated by the Ministry of Education.

While the confirmation period has ended, daily screening is required throughout the school year. Please continue to screen for COVID-19 as part of your morning routine.

The COVID-19 School Screening Tool can be accessed online:
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Screening for symptoms daily before leaving home for school is important to limit any possible spread of the virus.

Parents/guardians must assess how their children are feeling. Secondary students can self-screen and monitor for symptoms. When students are sick, please stay home.

Parents/guardians may notify schools if their child tests positive for COVID-19. We will follow up with Public Health to determine if there is any impact on the school.

Please be assured that when action is required, Public Health contacts the school board. We will share information with the school community about the guidance from Public Health.

Information is posted on rainbowschools.ca at the following link: https://www.rainbowschools.ca/parents/covid-19/covid-19-advisory-2021-2022/

Please note: Public Health does not notify the Board when there is no action required.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.

We appreciate your kind co-operation.

September 7, 2021

RE: WELCOME TO THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR

Dear students and parents/guardians:

Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar and Trustees join me in welcoming students and parents/guardians to the 2021-2022 school year.

We hope you had a restful and enjoyable summer. It is with a sense of excitement that we welcome all students back to Rainbow Schools in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin Island.

Our dedicated school administrators, teachers and support staff look forward to reconnecting with students. We know students are eager to connect with each other.

Our first goal in the initial weeks will be to create warm and caring environments where students feel safe and supported. When students have a strong sense of belonging and connection at school, whether in person or online, they are ready to learn.

We have been working diligently to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year and we look forward to supporting our students in achieving success. Students and staff are pleased to see the return of some opportunities that are such a vital part of the school experience.

I invite you to review the following resources which are available at rainbowschools.ca:

Reopening Guide for Rainbow Schools
Guide for Students and Parents/Guardians
Calendar Card for the 2021-2022 School Year

As you will see in the resources, we have health and safety protocols in place to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and students will receive a review. As always, we continue to work closely with and take direction from local and provincial Public Health and the Ministry of Education.

Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe. Wishing everyone a wonderful start to a new school year!

August 16, 2021

Joint letter from the Medical Officer of Health and Directors of Education

Transportation

To learn more about transportation procedures, please call the Sudbury Student Services Consortium at 705.521.1234 or 1.877.225.1196 (toll free) or click the link below.

Sudbury Student Services Consortium
Return to School Procedures