Message from the Director – Nov. 18, 2022

Limestone Learning Foundation
Message from the Director – Nov. 18, 2022
Posted on 11/18/2022
Message from the Director

Dear Families,

I hope families had a safe start to the winter weather presented this morning, and earlier this week. The forecast suggests we will be getting more snow over the next couple of days.

As you are already aware, unless an agreement is reached between the province and CUPE, Limestone schools will have to be closed for students and the public for the duration of any withdrawal of services.  We remain hopeful for a fair and mutually agreeable resolution to the current impasse. There is reason for hope because it is our understanding that both parties have agreed to continue bargaining over the weekend until Sunday evening. If a resolution is not reached, then schools will be closed on Monday, November 21, 2022, and potentially longer.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Education clearly articulated the provincial expectations for school boards in contingency planning for the potential disruption. Consequently, for Monday, teachers will provide asynchronous learning tasks through pre-established methods like an online platform or e-mail. Depending on where schools/classes are with device allocation, some synchronous learning may begin Monday, but is more likely to be supported by Tuesday if it is still required. We will continue to action plans for distribution of resources, devices, and other supplies to further support student learning. Please know that equity of access to education is a primary concern and was also highlighted in the Ministry communication, as well as historical statements from the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Moving to further support student learning requires ensuring the maximum degree of access possible, even with critical staff unavailable to support students, schools, and the system.  

We will continue to provide information directly to families as soon as it becomes available. If a negotiated settlement is reached, we will confirm the status of our schools for in-person learning as soon as possible. Similar to an inclement weather day, this communication could be as late as Sunday evening, or early Monday morning through our regular Board communication channels, including direct e-mail messaging to families.

More than 750 CUPE employees play a critical frontline and behind the scenes roles every day in Limestone, supporting our students, school communities, and a wide range of school and system operations. Not having these staff create significant supervision, student support, health, and safety challenges in our schools. For example, building and school grounds safety, yard and lunch supervision, supervision and support for students with special needs, washroom and water cleaning/flushing, safe arrival administration, cleaning of spills/accidents, responding to calls, and, among others, managing access to the building. 

We appreciate this is challenging time for Limestone families and continue to hope that any disruption to in-person learning, and regular operations is short in duration, and that a positive, fair, and mutually agreeable provincial settlement is reached.

Earlier this week, we shared information from KFL&A Public Health encouraging everyone to remain vigilant and practice the simple public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of illness within our community. As a follow up, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, has asked that we share the attached letter with Limestone families emphasizing important information and reminders to help protect ourselves, our families, and our students against the spread of respiratory infections.

Thank you,

Krishna Burra

Director of Education

CMOH Letter to Parents and Caregivers - Fall Respiratory Season (English)

CMOH Letter to Parents and Caregivers - Fall Respiratory Season (French)

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