About Us » Status of LDCSB Schools During COVID-19

Status of LDCSB Schools During COVID-19

The section below will be updated as required with information regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving a student or staff member in a school setting.
 
Parents, students and staff have an understandable interest in knowing when a positive COVID-19 case has been identified in their school community. In the interests of privacy, we will not identify students or staff.
 
In the event that the LDCSB is advised by our local health units of a change that would affect a school, we will notify parents, students and staff accordingly.
 
 
Announcements regarding specific cases in schools are posted in our News section.
 
  • Elementary schools: all LDCSB elementary schools are open
    • 2 active cases at Assumption, Aylmer

  • Secondary schools: all LDCSB secondary schools are open
    • 1 active case at Mother Teresa, London
    • 2 active cases at Catholic Central, London

  • Centre for Lifelong Learning - Adult and Continuing Education: open 
  • Community Use of Schools: extremely limited
 
 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Families will have the option of full remote learning delivered by LDCSB if they choose not to have their child(ren) attend in person for this school year. Attendance will be taken every day, and students will be expected to work within a five-hour instructional day each school day. There will be restrictions on the ability of students to transfer between full remote learning and in-class learning.

Can students switch between in-person and remote learning option at any time?
No. Students can only switch learning options at designated transition dates. Families are committing to either full-remote or in-person learning for a set period of time.

Can students switch between in person and remote learning during the first week or so of school?
No. Students can only switch learning options at designated transition dates. We require adequate time to reorganize class lists and assign teachers for both in-class and full-remote learning before September. 

Can we choose a partial in-person and remote learning option for elementary (for example, 2 days in-person and 3 days remote)?
Families are committing to either full-remote or in-person learning.

What are the transition dates to switch between full-remote and in-person learning? 
Elementary: November 2 and February 8. Families will have to notify the school at least four weeks in advance if they want to transition between modes. 

Secondary: February 4. The transition date to switch between full-remote and in-person learning remains February 4. Secondary families must notify their school by January 8 if they want to transition between modes. 

These transition dates were selected to align with reporting dates and to preserve cohorts. This allows the student to complete a term with the same teacher. Families need to notify schools in advance so we can make the needed changes to classes and staffing.  

How many days will a secondary student be in the school building each octomester?
10-12 days. Since students will be in class 50% of the time and learning from home the other 50%, they will be in school buildings between 10-12 days per octomester.

What will full-remote learning look like? 
Full-Remote learning will differ depending on the grade or course. However, it will be significantly more structured and robust than the Continued Learning model school boards offered in the Spring. Attendance will be taken and monitored. Full-remote learning will be teacher-led and will involve synchronous and asynchronous learning. 

The Ministry of Education has provided requirements on the number of synchronous learning minutes. These will be divided into various blocks of time to allow for short breaks as necessary. 

Kindergarten: 180 minutes  
Grades 1-8: 225 minutes  
Grades 9-12: 120 minutes per course in a eight-semester (octomester) model   

 

Are parents expected in assist during the 5-hour online learning requirements?
Families will not be planning lessons, but depending on the circumstances in a household, some families may have to assist students with areas such as set-up or routines.

Will students in full remote learning cover the same material as those students attending in-person learning?
Yes.

What remote learning platform will be used?
Students will use the same platform used this Spring: The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). If a student is new to the LDCSB, they will be provided with support on how to use the VLE.

What is the difference between full-remote learning, distance learning, synchronous learning and asynchronous learning?

  • Full remote or distance learning: online learning that happens at home. These classes can be either synchronous or asynchronous.
  • Synchronous learning: learning that happens in real-time using text, video, or voice communication.
  • Asynchronous learning: online learning that doesn’t happen in real-time. This may involve pre-recorded video lessons, individual tasks, or participating in online discussions.

 

Who will be teaching full-remote learning classes?
Students will be taught by an LDCSB teacher. The teacher may not be from their school. The other students in the class also may not be from their school as well. Both asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities will be provided. Attendance is required and students must participate each school day.

What type of device is needed for remote learning?
Students will need a device/setup with internet access, a microphone and a speaker. If a student does not have the necessary technology available for remote learning, the family is asked to contact their school.

What will happen if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school?
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they cannot return to school until they are cleared according to public health guidance.

How will families know if there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in LDCSB schools?
In alignment with the Ministry of Education Guidelines and the Ministry of Health, a COVID-19 status webpage has been created. This webpage will list any changes to a class or school as a result of an active COVID-19 case. Click here to view the page 

In the interests of privacy, information provided will not identify student(s) or staff member(s). At schools where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, families will be notified via SchoolMessenger. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or needs to stay home to self-monitor for symptoms, will they be able to access full-remote learning classes, so they do not fall behind?
The process will be the same as during a ‘normal’ year. The family will contact the classroom teacher, who will assign work for the student as soon as they feel healthy enough to do so.

Will there be a nurse on staff at every school?
No, we do not have nurses in schools. As part of the Ministry announcement regarding additional nurses, these are being assigned to local health units and will be available to schools as a resource.

If a school is forced to close due to COVID-19, will all students be enrolled in full-remote learning?
Yes.

How will schools be kept clean?
Schools will have increased cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces and common areas during the course of a school day. Cleaning and disinfecting will be completed on a rotational basis. Frequency will be determined by amount of use.

How will students access washrooms?
Proper physical distancing measures will be required, with a certain number of students allowed at a time. Washrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.

What measures are being put in place to ensure proper hand hygiene?
Hand sanitizing self-dispensing stations will be at school entrances. Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom, as well as the main office. Students will be trained on appropriate hand hygiene during the first day/week of school and reinforced on a regular basis. Breaks will be scheduled to allow students to wash their hands as necessary.

Will staff receive training regarding health and safety protocols?
All board staff (including occasional teachers and casual support staff) received mandatory training on health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 prior to the start of the school year.  

Will students be required to wear a mask in school?  
Public health units have stated their support for mandatory face coverings for all students as one public health intervention to ensure students are safe in school. Face coverings are an additional measure of protection to help ensure the safety of our students and staff, especially in classrooms.  

Face coverings are required for students in Grades JK-3. For JK to 3 students these include disposable or cloth masks, face shields, or similar items as long as they cover the nose, mouth and chin. Students in those Grades JK-3 who have difficulty with face coverings because of their young age will not be denied entry to school. They will be taught best practices and encouraged to comply as best as they are able. Families are encouraged to practice wearing face coverings at home so students are comfortable with this routine by the time they return to school. 

Staff: All staff will be provided with and be required to wear medical grade masks at all times within the schools, plus outside if two metres physical distancing cannot be maintained. In addition, for staff who are regularly in close contact with students, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to staff as required. 

Exemptions: Students or staff with documented sensory or breathing difficulties may be exempted of the masking requirement. 

What if a student refuses to wear a mask?
If a student refuses to wear a mask and does not have a preapproved medical accommodation, the principal will address and review the situation. 

Will students and staff be required to self-screen?
Everyone is expected to be responsible and accept their shared and collective actions to preserve public health. Parents/guardians are expected to monitor their children for signs of infectious illness every day. Students and staff who are sick should not attend school in-person.
All students and staff will be required to self-screen daily before attending school. If someone is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home from school and seek testing and appropriate medical attention.

What will happen if a student or staff member develops symptoms?
Any student or staff member who develops COVID-19 symptoms while in school will:

  • Be immediately separated from others in a pre-designated isolation area until they can go home
  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Not take student or public transportation
  • Be supervised, from a distance where possible, after they are isolated (by persons wearing appropriate personal protective equipment)
  • Wear personal protective equipment that is consistent with health guidance

 

How will we report suspected and confirmed cases?
Schools must immediately report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the school to the local public health unit. Schools must provide any materials (for example, daily attendance and transportation records) to public health officials to support contact tracing and other activities in accordance with all applicable legislation, including the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Public health officials will determine any additional steps required, including but not limited to the declaration of an outbreak and, in discussion with the School Board, closure of classes and/or schools. School boards must report daily, any suspected and confirmed cases within the school community to the Ministry of Education.

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at an assessment centre, they cannot return to school until they are cleared according to public health guidance. After the initial positive test, when they retest negative, they can return to school after they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

We will communicate about the status of COVID-19 cases in their schools in keeping with ministry guidance and relevant privacy legislation and maintain a dedicated contact in the local public health unit and a list of the locations of the closest COVID-19 assessment sites.

What is the procedure if I need to come to the school to drop something off or talk to a teacher?
All visitors to the school must have an appointment and complete the self-screening assessment and wear a mask.

How will dropoff and pickup work?
Each school will communicate adjustments to dropoff and pickup locations and requirements to their school community. Physical distancing requirements remain in effect. Families with students new to the school, especially those in Kindergarten, will receive additional information from the school.

Will school pictures take place this year? If yes, will kids who are doing remote learning be able to come in and get pictures taken?
A decision on this has not yet been determined,

What will the process be for emergency pick-up?
The parent/guardian will complete a self-assessment before arriving at the school to pick up their child(ren). If they need to enter the school, they will be required to wear a mask.

Will bus transportation be available? How can I check to see if my child is eligible?
Southwestern Ontario Student Transportation Services (STS) has a new mandatory bus registration process. Students will be assigned seats. Masking will be required for drivers and students in Grades 4-12. Students in Grades JK-3 are strongly encouraged to wear masks. Additional information is available on the STS website, mybigyellowbus.ca.

What type of device is needed for remote learning?
Students will need a device/setup with internet access, a microphone and a speaker. If a student does not have the necessary technology available for remote learning, the family is asked to contact their school.

Will there be signage in the schools?
Signs will be placed at all school entrances reminding parents, students and staff of the need to self-assess prior to entering the building. Additional signage and directional arrows will be used inside LDCSB schools and buildings.

What personal belongings can my child bring to school?
Personal belongings students bring to schools (backpacks, clothing, sun protection, water bottles, etc.) should be labeled and must be kept separate from those of other students. Student belongings must be taken home each day (cannot be kept in the school overnight).

Will student need to bring their own school supplies (pencils, pens, rulers, sanitizer, etc.)?
Hand sanitizer will be available at various locations within our school buildings. Students will be asked to come to school with their own mask, full water bottle(s), and other necessary learning materials.

Should my child bring their own lunch to school?
Litterless lunches are being encouraged at both elementary and secondary as students will be required to take home any leftover lunch packaging/garbage.

With longer classes at secondary, will there be time for a short health break to eat a snack, stretch, etc.?
Yes, eating will be permitted in each classroom and the teacher will build in breaks including opportunities to remove masks when safe to do so.

Will water fountains be open?
Water fountains and filling stations will be covered over and cannot be used. Everyone will be required to bring their own full water bottle(s).

Will third party food services and nutrition program be offered?
Third party food services, including nutrition programs, will be delivered in a way that any student who wishes to participate can do so. "Grab and Go format" will be followed.

In order to socially distance students, will there just be desks and chairs in the classrooms?
Other than classroom desks and chairs, any furniture items taking up valuable classroom space or items that are hard to clean will be removed.

Will visitors be allowed in schools?
Visitors - including parents - will be prohibited except for emergency circumstances. Virtual meetings are strongly recommended. If on-site meetings are required, visitors must have a pre-scheduled appointment to ensure adequate safety planning prior to the meeting.

Will large gatherings and field trips be allowed?
No school assemblies or large gatherings, including concerts or dances are allowed. Field trips and activities requiring group transportation will not be planned at this time. Virtual Masses and individual classroom prayer services will take place.

Will there be any school team sports?
Team sports continue to be “on hold” until it is safe for team sports to resume.

Will there be support for student mental health and wellness?
Mental health is a core element of our re-entry to school plan. Information sheets and webinars for parents and students will be available to support re-entry and assist in managing anxiety and stress related to transitions.

What support will there be for faith and spiritual well-being?
Faith and spiritual well-being are fundamental to our system priorities. Resources will be shared with staff and families. Virtual masses and individual classroom prayer services will take place.

What kind of support will be provided for students with special education needs?
Meeting the needs of all learners remains a priority. Included within this group are our students on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and with special education needs. Further, our students with very high special education needs have been given careful consideration with respect to full time attendance (Secondary Schools).

Will community use of schools be allowed?
Community Use of School Programs will be extremely limited and highly unlikely to operate.

Will we offer French Immersion remote-learning for French Immersion students who choose to stay home for remote learning?
We will offer the Ontario curriculum with a certified teacher assigned to the online class. If we are able to offer it in French based on the number of French Immersion students registered, we will. If not, it will be offered in English.

 

Will kindergarten students play freely in the classroom or will there be social distancing?
Students will be taught how to play in the classroom while maintaining their distance from others.

What will cohorts and bubbles look like in elementary school?
All elementary students will attend school during normal school hours five days per week. To reduce interaction, elementary students will be cohorted (grouped) with their classmates and their homeroom teacher with only limited contact with others. Classes will be “bubbled” with other classes so that each bubble has, where feasible, their own entry/exit doors, hallways, washrooms, etc.
 
Will students have access to playgrounds and outdoor sports equipment? What will physical education look like for students?
Physical Education will be offered outside whenever possible. Playground equipment will be closed as they would be a common touch point between students, cohorts and bubbles. Outdoor sports equipment will be provided by the school for use during recess. The use of shared equipment will be limited and will be disinfected after each use.
 
Will before and after school programs and daycares be available?
We are working with Before and After School Program providers to examine appropriate locations given that classrooms must be fully cleaned before and after use. Daycares in LDCSB schools will operate under the direction provided by the Ministry. Daycare staff must enter/exit the daycares using their own door(s) and cannot enter the rest of the school.
 

How many days will a secondary student be in the school building each octomester?
10-12 days. Since students will be in class 50% of the time and learning from home the other 50%, they will be in school buildings between 10-12 days per octomester.

What type of device is needed for remote learning?
Students will need a device/setup with internet access, a microphone and a speaker. If a student does not have the necessary technology available for remote learning, the family is asked to contact their school.

What will cohorts and schedules look like for secondary schools?  
All secondary students will be assigned to one of two cohorts (Cohorts A and B) and will attend in-school classes on a rotation basis (three days one week, two days the next week). On remote learning days, students will be assigned curriculum-linked independent work on the VLE. A eight semester (octomester) timetable has been adopted. This means at any given time students will have one courses rather than the normal four courses.  

Sample Student Timetable for In Person Learning
Students will attend in person learning in one of two cohorts (Cohort A or B). Each cohort will attend in person learning at school for two days a week for every week and Wednesdays will rotate.

In Person Learning

Class

75 minutes 

75 minutes 

75 minutes 

40 minutes 

75 minutes 

Period 1  

 In Person Learning

In Person Learning

In Person Learning

 

Lunch 

In Period 1 Classroom

Period 1 Study Hall is provided for students who need or chose to stay at the school

Students who stay for study hall will not be able to leave the school at lunch.

Independent Learning through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) at Home

Class

75 minutes 

75 minutes 

75 minutes 

40 minutes 

75 minutes 

 

Period 1  

Independent Learning Through the VLE

Independent Learning Through the VLE

 

Independent Learning Through the VLE

 

 

Lunch

 

 

Period 1 Synchronous Study Hall

 

 

Please Note:  Schools will remain in contact with any students who do not have an assigned course in any one of the eight octomesters.

 

Will secondary students have access to lockers?
Secondary school lockers will not be used at this time. All bags, shoes, boots, coats, etc. will remain in the student’s personal space in each classroom. This will be revisited as the winter months approach.

Will secondary school chapels and prayer rooms be open?
Yes, Secondary school chapels and prayer rooms will be open.