COVID FAQ’s July 22

This page is intended to keep parents informed of Reopening Planning for September 2020. Included here will be information about what that will look like, including the model students will be returning to school under, what health and safety protocols will be in place, transportation, and other important areas of concern.

This page will be updated regularly as we get new information from the Ministry of Education, or when plans become finalized. Information found here is the most current we have.

Return to School

1. There has been a lot of information in the media about how my child will return to school, including attending on alternate days, coming full time, etc. What will the school day look like in the fall?

The Ministry of Education has asked school boards to prepare three models for returning to school.

    • Model 1 is called a Full Conventional Model and would mean that all students attend school everyday. Class sizes would be the same as before with no reduction in student numbers. There would be enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols in place at all schools.
    • Model 2 is called an Adaptive Delivery Model and means that students are organized into groups called “cohorts” of no more than 15 students. Each cohort would attend school every other day – 3 days one week, 2 the next. Cleaning would happen between cohorts attending.
    • Model 3 is called a Fully Remote Model and means all students and staff remain at home, and the curriculum is delivered through enhanced digital means. This will include what is called synchronous learning, or “live teaching” through Microsoft Teams or other platforms. If students do not have access to devices or internet, the Board will strive to provide those for families.

Contrary to what has been reported, Lakehead Public Schools will NOT choose the model for school in the fall. The Ministry of Education, in consultation with Provincial Public Health Command Table, will inform each school board in the province what model they will open under in September.

2. When will I know what model will be selected?

The Ministry of Education has told school boards to expect information in early August. Once we are told the model for return, we will communicate this to all families.

3. How do I let my school know if my child will or will not be physically attending school in the Fall?

Parents must re-register their child(ren) through this survey https://www.lakeheadschools.ca/2020rts. The survey asks if you will send your child to school if we return fully conventional (Model 1) and if we return in an adapted alternate day (Model 2). If parents choose “No” for either then their child(ren) will automatically be added to the list of students who will learn remotely.

4. When will school start?

The school year starts August 31 with 3 PA days for staff to receive training to be properly prepared for new protocols and practices. The first day of school for students will be September 3, 2020.

5. If I have concerns about sending my child to school what are my options?

The Ministry has indicated that parents do not have to send their children to school if Lakehead Public Schools return under Models 1 or 2. Children who do not attend will learn through a remote model of instruction.

Health and Safety

1. Will students be tested for COVID-19 symptoms everyday?

It will be the responsibility of families to assess their children’s health everyday before sending them to school. Schools will send families a screening assessment that identifies the symptoms parents should look for, and students showing these symptoms are not permitted to attend school.

If any member of your household is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, your child must remain home, and you must contact your health provider for more information.

2. Will LPS staff be tested for COVID-19 symptoms everyday?

LPS staff will be required to perform a self-assessment before coming to work each day.

3. What enhanced hygiene protocols will be in place?

LPS has a strong partnership with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and they have provided us with clear direction regarding handwashing and other hygiene practices.

Students will be taught how and when to clean their hands properly, and how to cover coughs and sneezes. There will be age-appropriate signage throughout the school to remind students about proper hand hygiene, and regular hand hygiene breaks will be scheduled into the day at elementary. Hand sanitizer will be provided in each classroom and common areas.

4. Will staff and students be physically distancing?

Students and staff will be frequently reminded to physically distance themselves while at school, and there will be signs posted as reminders and providing locations for queuing and directions to move about the school.

If we are to return in the adaptive model, this will be achieved through smaller cohorts of students attending every other day. If we return in a full conventional model, it will be more difficult to achieve, but practices will be in place to maximize distancing.

5. Will students and staff be required to wear masks?

At present, the Ministry of Education and Public Health Units are consulting on the required use of masks in schools. Lakehead Public Schools guidelines will reflect the direction of government and health officials.

However, students and staff may choose to wear their own PPE to provide them comfort in this new situation.

6. What happens if a student becomes ill during the school day?

Any student who starts to exhibit any symptoms while in class will be immediately moved into the school’s designated Health Waiting Area. Parents will be called and asked to pick up their child as soon as possible. Schools will have specific guidelines for tracking and tracing students and staff who have been in contact with a symptomatic person.