November 13, 2020
Current Pandemic Response Level
Although the Southern Health-Santé Sud region is at the Critical Level (Red), all HSD schools remain in the Restricted Level (Orange). The province sets pandemic response levels for schools.
Preparing for Critical (Red) Response Level
We ultimately hope to return to a safer response level in our communities but need to prepare for the possibility of our schools moving to the Critical Level (Red). Like all school divisions in Manitoba, our preparedness for such an occurrence is an essential part of our Return to Safe Schools Plan.
Manitoba Education has provided guidance on what would happen if schools moved to Critical (Red) of the pandemic response system. In a Critical (Red), schools are closed to all students except Kindergarten to Grade 6 children of Critical Service Workers (CSWs) who cannot make alternative care arrangements. In-class learning will be provided for Gr. K-6 children of CSWs so that they can continue to support our communities by providing essential services. All other students (Gr. K-12) will receive temporary remote learning.
Next week we will be sending out a questionnaire to parents/guardians of Gr. K-6 students, to determine the number of students in each school with at least one parent who is a CSW. This information will help us identify our CSW families so that we can best support these students in the event our schools are required to move to the Critical (Red) Level. The questionnaire will include information regarding provincial CSW classifications and eligibility.
As a result of Southern Health-Santé Sud shifting to Critical Level (Red), Hanover School Division has suspended all after school extra-curricular activities (sports/clubs involving students). This pause will remain in effect until further notice.
Additional Non-Instructional Days
Manitoba Education has announced that school divisions are to add in three additional non-instructional days for teachers. Two of these days will be before the December break, with the remaining day scheduled between Jan. to June. HSD has decided that Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and Feb. 26 will become non-instructional days. This means there is no school on those days. Please be assured that we will not be altering the school day cycle or the track days (for high schools) on these three days. They will be treated similar to snow days and counted as a Day 0. We understand that for some, child care arrangements can be a challenge. We hope that with this advance notice, arrangements can be made.
HSD school buses will continue to run; however, alternative transportation to school is strongly encouraged. Reducing the number of students on our buses will minimize virus exposure to riders.
Public Health Orders now mandate the closure of all play structures to members of the public during and after school hours and that all play structures are now for school-use only.
Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and willingness to adapt to these very challenging circumstances.
Shelley Amos, Interim Superintendent/CEO
Hanover School Division
For additional information regarding COVID-19, please visit HSD.ca/COVID-19