COVID-19 Updates 2022-2023

COVID-19 Updates 2022-2023

Public Health News: Vaccination Opportunities
Access the School Screening Tool

September 2, 2022

Public Health News: Individuals aged 5-11 years of age now eligible for first booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine

All Ontarians aged 5 to 11 are eligible for a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and caregivers are now able able to book appointments for a paediatric booster dose through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling 705-522-9200 (toll-free: 1-866-522-9200). Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through participating health care providers and participating pharmacies.

Learn more

September 1, 2022

RE: WELCOME TO THE 2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:

We hope that you had a wonderful, restful and enjoyable summer.

We are excited to begin a new school year and look forward to welcoming students to Rainbow Schools when classes begin on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. There will be no early dismissal on the first day of school.

As directed by the Ministry of Education, the COVID-19 protocols that were in place at the end of the last school year will be in place when classes resume. There will be no mandatory masking, cohorting, distancing and confirmation of screening.

In-person learners will have opportunities to fully participate in the school experience, including extra-curricular activities such as sports, clubs and field trips. Staff at our virtual school will continue to provide a dynamic and meaningful learning experience to remote learners.

As always, we will prioritize the mental health and well-being of all students as we create warm, safe and welcoming environments where students feel a sense of belonging in school whether in person or online.

In the last school year, we engaged in conversations and consultations to renew our vision, mission, values and priorities. Strategic Directions is on rainbowschools.ca.

We have produced a Guide for Students and Parents/Guardians for the 2022-2023 School Year, a first step in establishing communications between school and home and home and school. We invite you to read the Guide which contains important information about policies, programs and procedures.

You can also access a School Year Calendar online. It’s another useful reference.

The Ministry of Education has recently updated the screening tool. Before leaving home, please screen for COVID-19 daily using the updated school and child care screening tool. Please scroll down and follow the directions outlined below the results banner.

While the requirement to isolate for five days has been removed, the screener has been updated to reflect the following guidance for students and staff:

  • If you have symptoms of any respiratory illness, stay home until symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.
  • If you have a fever, stay home until it’s completely gone.
  • If you have gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, stay home until symptoms have improved for at least 48 hours.
  • After isolating at home, wear a mask in public for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
  • If sick, avoid non-essential visits to vulnerable or older people for a full 10 days starting the day after symptoms appear — including visits to high-risk settings such as long-term care homes and hospitals.
  • If you’re in the same household as someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19, mask in public spaces, even if you feel better, and avoid vulnerable individuals and settings for 10 days after exposure. Isolate immediately if you develop symptoms.

The presence of symptoms, particularly respiratory symptoms, increases the risk of transmitting to others. Individuals should stay home if they are feeling ill to prevent the spread of illness.

A FRIENDLY REMINDER FOR IN-PERSON LEARNERS:
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.

Unless recommended in the screening tool, masking remains a personal choice that will be respected and supported. Schools will continue to have Ministry issued
masks available for students. Staff will also have access to personal protective equipment.

Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will continue. Ventilation has also been significantly upgraded in all schools.

All learning spaces have a portable HEPA unit in addition to any existing mechanical ventilation. HEPA filters were installed in all Kindergarten classrooms in the last school year. Filters are changed regularly.

Rapid Antigen Test kits will be available in accordance with provincial directives. As always, we will follow the guidance from the Ministry of Education, the Ontario Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Sudbury & Districts. Should there be a need to update COVID-19 protocols in schools, please be assured that we will advise you as soon as possible.

Let’s continue to work together to keep everyone safe.

Let’s also resolve to work together to make this school year successful and enjoyable for students.

Wishing our students, staff and families a wonderful school year filled with new achievements, renewed energy, positive school experiences and great friendships.