April 29, 2021
As we look towards the remaining two months of the school year, communication and transparency between the HSD Superintendent’s Office, our schools, and our community continue to be of utmost priority for us. This letter provides some updates as well as information pertaining to COVID-19.
Pandemic Response Level
We wish to remind parents that our schools continue to be in the orange level of the Pandemic Response System. This means that we will continue to follow restrictions in place, including the use of masks, distancing and additional cleaning measures. In addition, we are postponing or cancelling in-person concerts/events and pausing most off-site excursions while the current Public Health Order (PHO) is in effect.
We must remain vigilant and continue our efforts by following the fundamentals and all Public Health Orders. School divisions are expected to mirror and mimic the PHOs to the greatest extent possible. When attending school, please ensure your child follows proper hand hygiene and wears a mask when physical distancing is not possible. Remember to screen your child for symptoms every morning. Review the following COVID-19 protocols for more information on what to do if your child is sick (list of symptoms) and when it is appropriate to send children back to school after sickness/self-isolation.
One of the most important ways to keep our schools safe is to stay home when we are not feeling well (even if symptoms are mild). If a child becomes symptomatic while at school, a staff member will contact the parent/guardian. It is the expectation of HSD that parents will cooperate and are expected to pick up their child(ren) as requested. Siblings in the same school, or those who attend other HSD schools, will also need to be picked up.
While our regular busing schedule will continue, reducing the number of students on our buses will minimize virus exposure to riders. To that extent, we strongly encourage alternative transportation where possible. There is a higher likelihood that your child may be identified as a close contact as a result of riding on the bus. If there is a positive case on the bus, a bubble of 10 seats around the case is identified as the close contact area. Our buses have seating plans, and drivers keep daily attendance records.
Remote Learning Scenario
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the rise across the province, we encourage all parents/guardians to be prepared for a scenario in which their child’s cohort or school may need to transition to temporary remote learning. If deemed necessary, this would be done to avoid further escalation of cases and mitigate the impact on our school communities. HSD will consult with Manitoba Public Health and Manitoba Education before transitioning any cohorts or schools into an extended remote learning period. Depending on when we become aware of confirmed cases and the circumstances surrounding an outbreak, HSD may need to take action on short notice. Please consider this if your situation involves arranging for childcare.
If a cohort or school is transitioned to remote learning, some students in Gr. K-6 (children of eligible workers) may qualify to receive in-school supervision. In general, if a parent is at home on a day off or works at home, children are expected to participate in remote learning from home. While at school, these students will participate in and receive support for the same teacher-led remote learning that their classmates receive from home. Additionally, children with special needs in K-12 may qualify to continue learning at school. If your child qualified for HSD in-school supervision in the past (during previous remote learning periods in Nov./Dec. 2020 and Jan. 2021), they will be eligible to participate again if the need arises. If you have questions regarding your child’s eligibility for in-school supervision, please contact your child’s school.
Grade 12 Graduation
In June 2020, our senior years schools reimagined graduation and farewell celebrations in ways that recognized these important events while respecting public health guidelines. Building on that learning, school planning is underway to celebrate the milestone and accomplishments of this year’s Grade 12 students. Specific information from individual schools will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Learning Forward in Hanover School Division (New)
Hanover School Division is a student-centred school division with highly skilled, caring educators who plan for student learning based on students’ current level of academic achievement as well as developing an understanding of your child’s social-emotional well-being. On June 4th and June 7th, Grades 1 to 8 students will participate in HSD’s Learning Forward Days. These days will be scheduled the same as September’s Strong Connection Days. Half the class will attend June 4th, and the other half will attend June 7th. The purpose of these Learning Forward Days will be to collect assessment information about each child to assist next year’s teachers in understanding each child’s academic progress and social-emotional well-being. This is particularly important after a year of multiple adjustments in learning environments. Each family will receive more detailed information from their child’s school with a specific date for your child to attend and the nature of the assessments your child will complete.
Once again, thank you to everyone for your continued support and commitment with both the implementation of educational programming in our schools as well as ensuring safe learning environments for our children during the pandemic.
Shelley Amos, Interim Superintendent/CEO
Hanover School Division