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St. Michael's School Protocols during the COVID -19 Pandemic






RR 2  SIMCOE, ON   N3Y 4K1 



   PRINCIPAL – MR. M. SKRZYPEK                                                                       SECRETARY – MRS. E. MERTENS 




St. Michael’s Walsh COVID 19 Prevention Protocols 

Hello St. Michael’s Walsh Families 

We are looking forward to meeting you and our students next week!  As you know, due to COVID 19 protocols, we have established a number of procedures to ensure physical distancing can occur for the students and for our families as we engage in pick up’s, drop off’s and daily school routines.  The purpose of this letter is to inform you of these procedures.  

Staggered Start Days 

By now you will have been contacted by phone from the school and from your classroom teacher informing you of which days your child(ren) will be attending school next week. Please note that your child will be attending school only on those days.  All students will begin regular attendance at St. Michael’s Walsh on Wednesday, September 16, with the exception of those who chose to participate in distance learning.  If you are participating in distance learning, you will be contacted by the teacher who will be instructing your child shortly (note that this will not be a St. Michael’s Walsh teacher).     


Please remember that all students in Grades 3 – 8 are required to wear a mask at St. Michael’s Walsh.  Because our Grade 3 students are in a Grade 3/4 split, our school board has placed an expectation that they too will wear a mask (this is the case for all Grade 3/4 classes in the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board).  It is a good idea to practice mask wearing for extended periods of time before school starts to prepare your child.  Students will not be required to wear masks while eating, during recess or during outdoor learning opportunities.  Please ensure that your child brings at least two masks on the first day of school (they will need more than one in case of loss, breakage or if it becomes dirty).   


Students who take the bus will be picked up based on the scheduled shared with you by transportation services.  Should you not have this information, please visit their website at  If you are dropping off your child, please use the parking lot beside St. Michael’s Church.  Please do not enter the school grounds, as we want to ensure that we minimize the amount of potential contacts between families at our school.  School and church grounds will be clearly identified with signage. There will be staff on the school grounds supervising the yard beginning at 8:35 am.  When the bell rings, each class will enter through a separate entrance in the school, with students 2 meters apart, in order to ensure physical distancing.  Should your child arrive late, please bring them to the office door, ring the bell, and Mrs. Mertens will admit them.  Please do not accompany them into the school.   


Recess will be somewhat different as we adjust to the reality of COVID 19 in our community.  Students will use the same doors that they entered into the school.  Please note that during recess students will be allowed to remove their masks (masks will be placed in their desk or a bag that is provided from home), and therefore it is important they understand that they must maintain a 6 foot distance from their peers.    We will have 5 “zones”, with only one class per zone.   

The following are guidelines for recess behaviour in accordance with COVID 19 protocols:  

Students will not be permitted to enter other class zones.  They will be asked to have a “walk and talk” recess with their classroom peers.   

Students will not be permitted to have any play equipment outside during recess due to the potential risk of contamination.   

Students will need to avoid games that could include physical contact (e.g. soccer, basketball, tag).  Please note that as we move forward, we may be able to review some of our recess protocols and adjust them.   

Rest assured that teachers are looking forward to many outdoor classes where they will be able to use equipment during the school day.   When students return to class, they will enter through the same door they exited, keeping a 2 meter distance from their peers. 


Staff have committed to ensuring that students wash their hands frequently in the classroom.  At a minimum, students will be asked to watch their hands twice in a 100-minute period, and more frequently should it be required (e.g., if they go to the washroom).  Staff will review hygiene expectations with students, including how to wash their hands.  We are requesting that you provide a box of Kleenex for your child in order to minimize contamination of their masks (e.g. if they sneeze, or on a cold day their nose begins to run). 

Backpacks and Classroom Materials 

Please minimize the amount of materials in your child’s backpack.  Teachers will not be using agendas this year to provide communication between home and school.  Instead, you are encouraged to visit your child’s classroom Brightspace page, which will be update regularly, to learn about what is happening in the classroom.  Please email your child’s teacher, or call the school, should you wish to communicate with your child’s teacher.  Notes can also be used, however, please remember we are trying to minimize the amount of potential contacts that could occur between home and school 

End of School Day Pick-Up 

Teachers will ensure that students have washed their hands one last time before walking students outside to line up to board their school bus.  Students will wear their masks when leaving the school and boarding the school bus.  If you are picking up your child, please wait in the parking lot beside St. Michael’s church.  To avoid congregating and to ensure physical distancing, please wait at your car.  A staff member will identify you and send your child to you.  Again, to ensure physical distancing, please do not walk onto the school grounds to meet your child.  Parents, please allow some time before leaving to ensure that other children are walking behind your vehicle.   

Procedures in School 

Teachers will spend a considerable amount of time in our first few days together reviewing rules regarding physical distancing, new hallway markings and many of the items in this update.  We are asking for your patience in this process.  Rest assured that the safety of your children is our top priority and all of the protocols we have put in place have been done in order to minimize the risk of a COVID 19 infection in accordance school board, Ministry and Board of Health directives.  We are working on reassuring students that many of these rules that have put in place are “for now”, but not “forever”.   

Helpful Tips for Parents 

Discuss with your child the importance of physical distancing 

Practice putting on and off the mask 

Practice wearing the mask for an extended period of time 

Provide a storage bag or container for masks 

Ensure students know when to bring masks home (for cleaning purposes) 

Ensure your child has a mask for school every day 

Review recess protocol with your child (for example, no sharing of items outside, staying in your zone, avoiding contact with others) 

Review the importance of handwashing on a regular basis 

Review the school bus rules and appropriate behaviours 

Provide a Kleenex box for personal use in the classroom 

Help us by not congregating with other families during pick and drop off 

Remain positive.  Remind your child that this is for now, not forever 




St. Michael’s School COVID – 19 Identification Protocols 


With the 2020-21 school year about to get underway, the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board (BHNCDSB) and the Ministry of Education, want to inform you of the actions we are taking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our schools. This letter also includes details about what you can do to protect yourself and your family, as well as what happens if there is a positive COVID-19 case in our school or a COVID-19 outbreak is declared at St. Michael’s School.  


The most common symptoms of COVID-19 (PDF) include: 

Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater) 

New or worsening cough 

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) 


Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include: 

Sore throat 

Difficulty swallowing 

New olfactory or taste disorder(s) 

Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain 

Runny nose, or nasal congestion (in absence of underlying reasons for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.) 


Please consult the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 reference document for other clinical features of COVID-19, and when atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in children. 


If you’re worried your child or any member of your household has been exposed to COVID-19 or has symptoms, you use Ministry of Health’s Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool. You will get a recommendation on what to do next. 


You must screen your child for symptoms every day before they come to school and upon re-entry. You can use the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool for this purpose. If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they are ill, they should not attend school. You can report your child’s absence to us by contacting: 519-426-5462. 


Students who become ill during the school day will be isolated and must be picked up as soon as possible. 

Additionally, students who become symptomatic during the day will not be able to use student transportation or the Before/After School Program (if applicable). 


BHNCDSB and all schools are working closely with the Brant County Health Unit and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school. We will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available.  


To reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our school, multiple measures have been implemented. Here is a quick overview of what BHNCDSB is doing: 

All non-essential furniture, supplies and equipment have been removed from classrooms to assist with physical distancing. 

Face coverings or masks are mandatory for students in Grades 4-12 and highly recommended for students in Kindergarten-Grade 3, both in the classroom and on student transportation. Students will need to supply and use their own reusable face covering or mask (disposable if they wish). As we have a Grade 3 / 4 split class, our Grade 3 students will require a mask. 

Any student requiring a medical exemption from wearing a mask must submit a formal written request for approval. Contact your school principal. 

At a minimum, staff are required to wear a level 1 or level 2 mask and face shield. 

Regular hand washing and/or hand-sanitizing will be built into our school day and encouraged often. 

Where possible, adjustments have been made to the HVAC systems in schools. Additionally, windows will be opened if possible. 

There is extensive directional signage placed in all schools to encourage physical distancing. As well, maximum number of people in a single area, physical distancing, hand sanitizing reminders and many other signs have been placed throughout the school. 

There is increased cleaning and disinfecting of touch points, bathrooms and shared items. 

The Ministry of Health advises everyone to take an active role in protecting themselves from COVID-19. Here are a few things that you and your family can do: 

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 

avoid contact with people who are sick 

stay home and isolate if you, or anyone in your household, is sick 


BHNCDSB will follow the Ministry of Education’s Operational Guidance for COVID-19 Management in Schools:  

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, you will be informed as soon as possible  

Understandably, for privacy reasons, the identity of students or staff members who test positive for COVID-19 will not be identified  

The local health unit will provide public health guidance and direction to those affected, and will be in direct contact with students, staff and families for those who have been deemed a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case. A close contact would include any child or teacher in the case’s class/cohort, but may also include others.  

In most situations, individuals who would be classified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, will be told to self-isolate for 14 days. Any siblings or family members who reside in the same household will also be directed to self-isolate 

If a COVID-19 outbreak is declared in a school, you will be informed as soon as possible  

An outbreak is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases within 14 days of each other.  

The local Medical Officer of Health will provide public health guidance and direction when an outbreak is declared and BHNCDSB will follow this direction. 

An outbreak may result in the closure of a school if all students and staff members are directed to self-isolate for 14 days by the Medical Officer of Health. 

In either situation, BHNCDSB staff will work with impacted students and their families to ensure learning continues for those required to self-isolate.  

For more information, visit: or 




Mr. M. Skrzypek