Health & Safety

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are paramount in our return to school protocol. Please see below for new procedures and enhanced health and safety precautions.

  • Thunder Bay Catholic has installed wall mounted hand sanitizer units in all classrooms and shared spaces.

  • There will also be stand alone sanitizing units at entrances at each school.

  • Soap is also available at all handwashing areas within schools and sites.
  • Masks and other PPE have been sourced by the Ontario government. The Ministry will work with school Boards to confirm demand and facilitate timely delivery and supply.

  • Educators and staff will be provided with medical masks and eye protection. All school-based staff will be required to wear masks, with reasonable exceptions for medical conditions.

  • School based staff who are regularly in close contact with students will be provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • Students in Grades 4 -12 are required to wear non-medical cloth masks indoors in school. Outdoor times like recess, can be used as opportunities to provide students a break from wearing masks within their cohorts.

  • Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged, but not required to wear masks in indoor spaces.

  • On school buses, to the extent that physical distancing may not be possible, the use of non-medical masks for students in grades 4 -12 will be required. Students in Kindergarten to grade 3 will be encouraged, but not required on student transportation. Exceptions should be made for students with medical conditions or special needs that prevent masking.

  • Staff or students with sensory or breathing difficulties may be exempt by the school principal, guided by school Board policies.
  • All Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board sites will have designated entry and exit doors to control the flow of traffic.

  • Physical distancing signs will be posted on our doors and throughout the sites.

  • Itinerant Teachers who move between schools/sites are required to complete the screening process, and sign-in/sign-out procedures at each site. These educators are also required to wash their hands between movement of classrooms/sites.

  • Staggered entry to the school will be used to allow less students into the hallways at a time.

  • Schools will significantly limit or even prohibit visitors, including parents. Any visitors to a school should be required to self-screen and to wear a mask while on school premises.
  • Wall mounted Hand Sanitizer Dispensers have been installed in each classroom for ease of use. Students will sanitize their hands upon entry and exit of each classroom.

  • Students will remain in the same consistent seat in the class as much as possible.

  • This area becomes their personal “bubble” and should be 2-metres from the nearest student, when possible.

  • Where possible, the same students should remain with the same teacher with minimized rotation.

  • Physical barriers such as unused desks, or visual markings, can be used to assist with the separation.

  • All student belongings will be kept in their personal area, ie. no use of shared spaces such as mudrooms, lockers, coat racks or cubbies.

  • Desks and tables should not be removed from the classroom; however the same desk/table should be used by the student each day.
  • Playground equipment will remain out of service.

  • Staff may use pylons or other unique markings to assist students in maintaining 2-metre (6 feet) while remaining in their cohort - distancing from one another in the yard.
  • Recess may be staggered based on the size of the outdoor space and the availability of supervisors. The schedule will depend on the number of classes and size of the playground.

  • Students must play only with their designated group or cohort.

  • Where possible, areas should be designated outdoors for each class to minimize contact with other students from outside their instructional cohort.

  • Consideration should be given to the painting of markings within the school yard to indicate 2-metre distances where needed.

  • Principals will develop a schedule and routine that allows for students to maintain appropriate physical distancing, while still having an opportunity for fresh air (mask break) and physical activity.

  • One consideration is to build outdoor learning time into the instructional period and have each teacher scheduled to take their class outdoors at specific times throughout the day. Note: Students should at least have two recesses during the day. This is imperative for their mental health and well-being.
  • Washrooms will be marked off to ensure physical distancing of 2-metres when multiple students are in the washroom at the same time. Maximum occupancy signage will be posted with physical distancing being monitored.

  • Signage will be placed inside the washroom, reminding students of both physical distancing and proper hygiene practices.

  • Washrooms will be cleaned in the morning, throughout the school day and again each evening.
  • We are all required to avoid close greetings (e.g., hugs, handshakes).

  • People will continue to spread out into different areas.

  • Students will be organized into smaller groups (cohorts) that stay together throughout the day.

  • Minimize the number of different Educator(s) and Student Support Person(s) that interact with groups of students throughout the day (i.e. minimize the amount of mixing between students and different staff in the setting).

  • Staggered pick-up and drop-off times.

  • Staggered recess/nutrition break, lunch and class transition times to provide a greater amount of space for everyone.

  • Taking students outside more often.

  • Managing flow of people in common areas, including hallways.

  • Assemblies and other school-wide events/gatherings will be held virtually or avoided. This will limit a large number of people gathered in one space.
  • Wherever congestion/close contact/lineups may be expected, floor/wall markings may be placed to assist students in keeping 2-metre (6 feet) distances from one another.

  • Where required a plexiglass screen will be placed on desks where close communication is required and physical distancing is not possible.

  • Where practical, separation markers should be placed to signal one-way direction within the school. This will assist in maintaining 2-metre distances for everyone in the school.

Click here to View Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board Signage

  • Students will be allowed to eat their lunch in their classroom with their cohort to decrease the contact that would have occurred in a gym or cafeteria setting.

  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to pack easily accessible containers (for little hands) in order to reduce touch-points.

  • Students will be asked to wash their hands before and after eating.

  • A no food sharing policy will be enforced.

  • Outside food from restaurants or chains may not be delivered into schools, visitors are not permitted in the school during this time.
  • Students will be encouraged to bring their own labelled water bottle to school each day.

  • Drinking directly from the fountain during COVID-19 will not be permitted.

Routes will run as normal under the Conventional Model with enhanced protocols for health and safety.

  • Students in grades 4-12 will be required to wear masks.

  • Students in Kindergarten to grade 3 are encouraged to wear masks.

  • Added Disinfecting of buses (daily).

  • PPE will be provided to drivers.

  • Assigned seating will be required (Siblings to sit together where possible).
https://www.tbcschools.ca/about/covid-19/return-school/health-safety

© Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board 2020