Update to Families: COVID Protocols

Limestone Learning Foundation
Updated Guidance for Schools
Posted on 02/24/2022
Message to Families

The Ministry of Education has updated COVID-19 guidance for school operations.  In the coming weeks or months, we anticipate additional changes that we will communicate at that point.  These current changes have been reviewed with KFL&A Public Health and will result in the following adjustments for Limestone schools: 

Masking in Kindergarten: KFL&A Public Health has removed the mandatory masking for kindergarten students implemented in December 2021.  However, KFL&A Public Health continues to strongly encourage masking for Kindergarten students.For Kinder, masking will now revert to what was in place prior to December 2021 based on the August 2020 motion from the LDSB Board of Trustees: That all students in the LDSB, including Kindergarten, wear masks inside schools and on buses, allowing for appropriate medical exemptions.For younger students in Kindergarten, staff will explore alternatives, such as face shields, for students who are unable to wear masks. Staff will work toward compliance among younger students with compassion and a focus on education. There will be no disciplinary action for students in Kindergarten having difficulty complying with this direction.

Assemblies: While secondary schools are permitted to have assemblies, given the current room capacity limits that require spacing, only small assemblies would be permitted. Assemblies at elementary schools must remain virtual at this time. 

Larger School Spaces: KFL&A Public Health has indicated that secondary schools may utilize larger spaces within the school during lunch or break times for students.  Grade 7-12 sites are encouraged to cohort while eating; however, this is not mandatory. Students will be permitted to use larger spaces within the school, like cafeterias, so long as physical distancing is maintained, and room capacity limits are respected. Given some of these larger spaces are being utilized for classroom spaces in some schools, there will be some variation in how these spaces are used during break or lunch times.

Music Classes: Students will now be able to play wind instruments with as much distance between students as possible being encouraged. For elementary students, cohorts must be maintained and two meters, or more, should be maintained. Masking will be required when not playing the instrument.

Singing is now reinstated. For elementary students masking and cohorting is required, and two meters distance must be maintained. For secondary students, masking is required with as much distance as possible maintained between individuals.

Physical Education Classes:  The use of gymnasiums, swimming pools, change rooms, weight rooms, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor equipment are permitted with as much distancing as possible being encouraged. High and low contact activities are permitted as follows:  

  •  Masking is required for indoor sports when not actively engaged in the activity. 
  • Masks can be removed when actively participating in the activity if they cannot be worn safely while participating.
  • Masking is not required when playing high or low contact activities outdoors.

Extra-Curricular Activities and VaccinationsThe provisions for physical education classes also apply to extracurricular athletics.Winter seasons are currently underway and vaccination requirements were in place when these teams/groups were created for this season.  Given the province has removed the vaccination passport  effective March 1, 2022, the vaccination requirement will be lifted as of March 1, 2022.  Any existing teams in the current season would still require vaccinations given they were created with that condition, and it is still unclear whether community-based venues may still require proof of vaccination. Based on current information, new teams/clubs being created, or any new season moving forward would not require proof of vaccination. However, vaccinations may still be required if external venues maintain this requirement. It should be noted that the spring season for extracurricular athletics is outdoors.At this time K-6 must remain in cohorts for extracurricular activities.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.