The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is our priority at TBCDSB.
Parents/guardians and staff may have questions about COVID-19 (the Novel Coronavirus) and how this will be managed in our schools.
We are actively involved in communication with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and the Office of the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Click/Tap below to see our most recent updates concerning the COVID-19 Closure
Today, the Government announced a return to school protocol for all publicly funded Ontario schools.
For Thunder Bay Catholic, this announcement provides further clarification and detail on the Minister’s selection of the Conventional (5 Day) Model for return to school on Thursday, September 3rd for students.
Throughout the pandemic, we have diligently been preparing for various return to school models (conventional, adaptive and remote learning). The details announced today will assist us to prepare even further, for the upcoming conventional school year model. The Conventional Model will consist of a normal school week (5 days) with some instructional adaptations and enhanced safety protocols. It has always been our priority to keep our students, staff and families safe. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure health and safety precautions are adhered to, with the assistance of the additional Ministry resources provided.
We will continue to communicate to our TBCDSB family of our reopening plans, with transparency being of utmost importance. We will have more information in the near future as we work with the information provided today.
The Ministry recommends pre-registration, the limitation of visitors within schools/sites and cohorting.
* For those who have completed our Return to School Survey, please know your responses can be amended. Further details regarding today’s announcement are as follows:
- Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 will attend school 5 days per week, with one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch.
- High Schools will be permitted to open with daily attendance by students with cohorting in place to limit the number of student-to-student contacts. Distancing measures will be in place in all elementary and secondary schools.
- Parents will make decisions regarding in-person attendance for their children for this school year. They will also have the option of remote learning, delivered by TBCDSB.
- Our Board will be ready to implement adapted and remote learning models, should they be required.
- Students in Grades 4 to12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school.
- Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks in common spaces.
- Medical masks will be provided for teachers and Board Staff.
- Reasonable exceptions to the requirement will be put in place by our Board.
- Students with special education needs will attend school 5 days per week with the same supports students have been accustomed to.
- Transportation (busing) will have enhanced health and safety protocols implemented
- A new school health monitoring system will be established through a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education. TBCDSB and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will monitor and respond to reports of COVID-19 symptoms.
- Board Staff will receive training on required processes and procedures on three Professional Development days to begin the school year.
- The Ministries of Education and Health are working together to provide testing capacity to keep schools safe and treat any affected student or teacher/staff member.
Thank you to everyone for your continued patience, support and understanding during these unprecedented times. Please remember, for those who have completed our Return to School Survey, please know your responses can be amended. More information will be forthcoming.
Please read the Minister's Message to parents, here:
I sincerely hope that you, your children, and your families are staying safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Over these past weeks, our government has been inspired by you and your children’s eagerness and flexibility in transitioning toward remote learning. We know that this has not been easy, especially with the profound impact COVID-19 has had on your lives and livelihood. The ability to keep our students engaged in their learning journey has been remarkable.
Yesterday, the Minister of Education announced that the school closure will extend until May 31, 2020.
We will continue to notify our families as we receive more information.
It was a priority of the Ministry to close schools, ensuring the safety of our students, families and Board Staff. School closures are vital in the fight to flatten the curve.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The last few weeks have been surreal, for all of us. I pray everyone is well, and you and your families are taking the necessary precautions to remain safe during the COVID-19 closure.
It was a priority of the Ministry of Education to close schools, ensuring the safety of our students, families and Board Staff. School closures are vital in the fight to flatten the curve. Yesterday, the Minister of Education announced that the school closure will extend until May 4, 2020 and we are thankful for this decision of safety.
Our shared goal is to ensure the successful completion of the school year for all students, and to support students to advance to the next school year, earn credits and to graduate.
The Minister launched Phase II of the Learn at Home Initiative, indicating the following:
- Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers;
- Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows:
- Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week
(focus on literacy and math)
- Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week
(focus on literacy, math, science and social studies)
- Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week
(focus on math, literacy, science and social studies)
- Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students
(focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)
- Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail;
- Requiring final report cards for all students;
- Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate;
- Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction;
The Minister touched upon Special Education and ways to utilize non traditional methods of delivery and assistance with additional benefits to these families and their children. We are awaiting further information and directives on this.
As a parent, I understand there are many unknowns, which can be daunting. Discussing the current situation with your children pose challenges, especially for younger minds. With this being said, we have created an online tool-kit with mental health resources to help bridge this gap. I hope these tools assist in the communication with your children and I encourage you to take a look at these resources located on our website in the navigation menu entitled: COVID-19.
Many of you have been trying to keep your children occupied, focused and engaged in a routine over the past few weeks. I’ve had many comments from parents about what they’re doing to keep their children learning while being at home. Many of you have been utilizing the Ministry’s Learn at Home resources, or various other assistive materials; some of you have even been creating your own lesson plans. For this, I applaud you. Important lessons can be learned at home, that do not necessarily involve a textbook or technology.
Over the past two and a half weeks, our Team has been working diligently, preparing for phase two of the Ministry Learn at Home directive. This continuation of learning will incorporate our educators, many who have already reached out to their students; checking in on their well being and even providing some instruction on their own initiative. I cannot thank our educators enough, these gestures further illustrate how much they care about their students and their love for their vocation, especially during this time of need.
What can you expect in the coming days regarding your child's education:
- Principals will be reaching out to you, regarding your child's devices and connectivity within your home.
- Educators will be checking-in.
- Educators will provide information on next steps for the continuation of learning. They may have some questions regarding the best way to communicate with your family.
- Instructional Videos will be located on our website to show students and parents how to connect to many of the resources we have available.
- Please know, we do not expect students to complete the same amount of work that they would complete during a typical day. We encourage students to continue to work on their academics, however we understand that some families are going through some difficult times. The Ministry has set out the hours of school expectations, as seen above, which are still necessary - as Educators will be grading and providing report cards. *For clarification the hours indicated by the Ministry, along with work provided by the Educators, are mandatory and must be completed by students.
I would like to say thank you, for your flexibility and understanding regarding your child’s education. Know we value your time and your desire to continue your child’s education from home. We’re all in this together, and I hope soon, we will be learning again inside our classrooms at Thunder Bay Catholic.
Please take care, be safe and God Bless.
Director of Education
I am writing to you today exactly two weeks since our government declared a State of Emergency in the province. I know this period has not been easy for you or your children, especially as the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak begin to have increasing effects on your day-to-day lives and livelihoods...
Please read more:
In light of the current situation surrounding education in Ontario and the COVID-19 closures, school Boards across the province are currently awaiting the Ministry directive on the phase II Learn at Home initiative.
Our Board, beginning with the Secondary level, began the process of reaching out to students and parents through email and phone, regarding devices and connectivity within their homes. In the coming days Senior Elementary and Elementary families will be contacted. School Principals will help determine technology needs for each situation.
It is important to our Board to ensure equitable communication in establishing student’s needs to assist in their continuity of learning. Students/Families who are unable to respond online can contact their school and leave a phone message. A school representative will return the call of a student or family that is unable to respond digitally. This process will continue throughout the week.
Thank you to everyone for their patience as we continue to assist our TBCDSB Families during this challenging time.
Dear parents and guardians,
Please be advised our playgrounds will be temporarily closed during the COVID-19 closure. Please see signs posted at school locations.
Thank you for your understanding.
Letter from the Minister of Education:
Dear Ontario parents,
I am writing to you in unprecedented times. The foremost priority of the government is to keep all Ontarians safe, including our students and educators. Working with our partners and all levels of government, we will do whatever it takes to deliver on this imperative.
Please continue reading via the following:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As you may already know, the Ontario Government has closed all publicly funded school Boards following the March Break, as a precaution to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. Doug Ford's government released a statement stating: “We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe”.
What does this mean?
Schools and the Catholic Education Centre (CEC) will be closed to students, staff and the public beginning March 16th until April 5th. Classes will resume on Monday, April 6th. This closure is a preventative measure to stop the spread of this virus among our TBCDSB Family..
We know you have questions. This government announcement has come on suddenly, we will continue to update you as information becomes available. Our toolkit is available online with further updates and information.
The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is our priority. We can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding during this time.
See you tomorrow.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are continuing to take precautions with COVID-19 Virus (novel coronavirus) to maintain safe and healthy environments for all.
March Break is quickly approaching and would like to share this important messaging from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
Please thoroughly read the attached message:
- The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) recommends the following related to travel: Check your destination (including the US) at travel.gc.ca for the latest advisories related to COVID-19 and be prepared for rapidly changing recommendations or requirements related to your destination.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is advising all travellers returning to Canada from travel abroad (including the US) to monitor their health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days. If you develop these symptoms, isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible and call the TBDHU at (807) 625-5900 or 1 (888) 294-6630 OR call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 to access further information. For more information on monitoring and self-isolating visit our website at tbdhu.com/coronavirus#self.
- All travellers who have returned from Hubei province (China), Iran or Italy are required to isolate themselves from others on their arrival and contact the TBDHU at (807) 625-5900 or 1 (888) 294-6630 within 24 hours of their arrival in Canada.
- Regarding cruise ship vacations, because the virus can spread quickly due to the close contact between passengers, the PHAC is recommending Canadians avoid traveling on cruise ships. Visit canada.ca/coronavirus for more information.
- While travelling, there are everyday actions that can reduce exposure to germs to protect your health:
- Clean your hands using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer (minimum 60%).
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid shaking hands and use alternative greetings instead, including head nods or waves.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve; get rid of used tissues immediately in the garbage and clean your hands.
- Keep a distance of 2 metres from those showing symptoms (e.g. cough).
- If you are feeling ill while travelling, stay away from others/crowds and do not use public transportation. Seek medical attention.
- Masks are only recommended for those with symptoms (e.g. cough, fever).
As the COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly, the TBDHU will continue to monitor closely and provide updates for the Thunder Bay District as they become available. Please visit tbdhu.com/coronavirus and follow our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) for the most up to date information.
Again, we need to emphasize universal precautions including handwashing, coughing and sneezing etiquette and staying home when you are ill.
Please visit https://www.tbcschools.ca/about/covid-19 to learn more. Please take the time to educate yourself and help others (especially your child), on methods to prevent the spread of viruses.
We urge you to stay informed, educated and be proactive during this time. Self-monitoring is extremely important and please, if you or your child are feeling unwell, please stay home. The main health organization updates can be located within our online toolkit.
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Helpful graphic on explaining COVID-19 to Children, via Elise Gravel. Thank you St. Pius X Kindergarten Team (Mrs. Jostiak and Mrs. Taylor) for sharing this.