Plan for Re-Opening Schools
At Waterloo Catholic we have missed seeing our staff and students in our schools – and we think that you would agree. We also know however, that all of us feel very strongly that if we are to return to our schools, we have to do so in a very safe and thoughtful manner. What follows is a high-level introduction to all of the factors we have been considering as we plan for the return of students. We know that we all want good learning to happen, but we are equally motivated to ensure that all our staff and students are feeling both safe and healthy, in mind, body and spirit.
We have been working diligently with Waterloo Region Public Health, the Ministry of Education and their connections to the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province, as well as other community and stakeholder colleagues to ensure a plan that is thoughtful and responsive. As a board we were asked to prepare models for three different scenarios: learning that continues to be fully remote, an adapted model where physical distancing and cohorting (or bubbling) is observed and a conventional model with enhanced protocols. While we are opening in a conventional scenario in elementary and an adapted scenario in secondary, but we are ready with very short notice to pivot to one of the other scenarios if necessary and asked to do so.
This webpage provides an overview and framework for our reopening of schools at Waterloo Catholic. We hope that it provides you with the confidence to return to school knowing that we are making our very best efforts to ensure the health and well-being of all. This document is just a beginning and more communication and details will continue to be forthcoming as we journey toward September and beyond. There has been a change in the school year calendar, at the request of the Minister, and we have added a third PA Day on September 1st, which will assist staff in being ready for the return of students under our new reality.
We know that just as things have continued to evolve since March 13th when we left our classrooms, things are likely to continue changing and evolving. We will be nimble and always respond to the latest information from public health and the Ministry. Our Board website and this web page https://www.wcdsb.ca/plan-for-re-opening-schools/ will be the best place to find all relevant updates.
Our Guiding Principles
The decisions that have informed our plan have been challenging and thus it was necessary to have some key guiding principles by which to make those decisions. Each of the following lenses have played a significant role in our decision making. At the top of the list you will find the need to respect health and safety of our staff and students. We know this is the top priority for all involved and justifiably so.