Archived letter from January 12, 2022 emailed to the school community
I hope you are well.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your encouragement, support, and flexibility. The JK to Grade 6 transition to distance education was close to seamless for the children who were “ready to reconnect” at 9:00am on Wednesday morning! I want to thank the teachers for their creativity and sensitivity in designing engaging learning experiences. Lastly and most importantly, I want to thank the students for their wonderfully positive attitude and for trying their best during these less-than-ideal circumstances.
The Minister of Education has announced that schools will be returning to in-person learning on Monday, January 17 and we are ready and looking forward to seeing the students. JICS students will return to school for in-person learning on Monday, January 17, 2022. Daycare will begin on January 17, 8:00am for registered users.
Toronto Public Health has updated (Jan 10) the “COVID-19 Screening for Children/Students” and the “My Child Must Self-Isolate – For How Long” information posters. Please review them here: 994c-Screening-Questionnaire-Child-Care-Day-Camp-School.pdf (toronto.ca)
Here is what is different:
COVID symptoms have been divided into two groups. The first grouping requires only one symptom to be present and the second grouping requires two symptoms to be present.
Close contacts to a positive case outside of the household:
If the child is fully vaccinated and has no symptoms, the child does not need to self-isolate and can continue with in-person learning. Household members (including siblings) are not required to self-isolate.
If the child is not fully vaccinated, the child must stay home and self-isolate for 5 days (or 10 days if 12 years of age) from last exposure. Household members (including siblings) are not required to self-isolate.
If a child has COVID symptoms or has tested positive:
Child must stay home and self-isolate for 5 days (or 10 days if 12 years of age and not fully vaccinated) from the day the symptoms started (or test date if no symptoms) and until symptoms have improved for 24-48 hours. Household members (including siblings) must also self-isolate for 5 days.
We are anticipating further communication from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health in the coming days and we will share any changes with you.
As we have communicated in the January 5 email to parents, here is what we have in place:
JICS Daily Screening
Rigorous morning screening and monitoring of symptoms are our best defence to keeping the school open. Please continue to check your child/ren closely for symptoms each morning and complete the (updated) JICS Daily Screening beginning January 17. Students who arrive at school without the screening completed by 8:00am will remain outdoors until the screening has been successfully submitted. Keeping COVID out of the building is our strongest defense!
Research consistently indicates that proper use of medical masks is an optimal prevention tool against COVID-19.
To mitigate the risk of transmission and ensure that we maintain, as much as possible, a safe working/teaching and learning environment, we have N95 masks for all teachers and staff.
Parents are required to provide proper fitting masks for children JK to Grade 6 to be worn indoors. We strongly encourage proper fitting N95 masks, medical masks, or 3-ply cloth masks for students. Parents should provide 3 masks daily (arrival, after morning recess, after lunch/afternoon recess) and 2 labelled containers: “clean masks” and “used masks” along with child’s name.
The JICS Lab School strongly recommends that all parents get their children vaccinated as soon as reasonably possible.
Please log into your SFO account to update the school regarding your child/ren’s vaccination status. Use the link provided to you at the end of the SFO form to upload your child/ren’s vaccination certificate. Even if your child currently is not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, please fill out the form now.When your child’s vaccination status changes in the future, please contact Shama Joshi, School Office Administrator, to re-assign the SFO form for you to update your child’s record.
All eligible JICS Lab School children must be fully vaccinated for the 2022-2023 school year and provide proof of vaccination.)
The University of Toronto requires and monitors that all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in full accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Rapid Screening Program
All teachers, staff, and students will continue to participate in the Rapid Screening Program supplied by CDL. Please continue to test twice weekly Sunday/Wednesday and upload results onto Thrive.
Saliva PCR Tests
It is our understanding (hope) that Sick Kids Hospital will continue to offer saliva PCR testing to all staff and students. More details to come.
Cleaning and Sanitization
Hand sanitizer stations are installed in each classroom throughout the school. Routine sanitizing of facilities and high touch surfaces takes place throughout the day. Daily professional deep cleaning takes place at the end of day.
Wall-mounted AERA MAX Professional air purifiers were installed in every classroom and specialty class this summer by the University. These four-stage “true HEPA filtration system” air purifiers remove 99.99% of coronavirus. This is in addition to the existing MERV-13 filtration ventilation in renovated classrooms. Windows are open to increase the flow of fresh air into classrooms.
We have increased measures to separate grade cohorts and have suspended in-person Special Friends, clubs, and extra-curriculars until further notice.
Daycare will run 4 separate afterschool cohorts: Nursery, JK & SK, Gr 1-2, Gr 3-6.
If the child/student who has travelled outside of Canada is not fully vaccinated, they are not to attend school/childcare for 14 days, even if they traveled with a vaccinated companion.
If the child/student is fully vaccinated, their second dose must have been received 14 calendar days before they return to in-person learning.
The JICS Lab School is committed to following government directions and maximizing student and staff safety. We have maintained our position that in-person learning is critical to the positive mental health of children. We thank you for your support and encourage you to email us with any questions you may have as we look forward to receiving more information from Toronto Public Health.
All the best,