Superintendent’s Office

september 3, 2021

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

We look forward to welcoming back our students next week and to hearing and seeing the excitement in the hallways as we resume school. As HSD or the Pandemic Response System plans change, we remain committed to keeping you updated.

We are dedicated to keeping our schools safe and open by following Public Health guidelines. These guidelines include requiring mask use, hand washing, sanitizing stations, cohorting K–6 students, physical distancing where possible, and urging all students and staff to stay home if they feel unwell.

On August 20, we shared the Hanover School Division reopening plan with families. In that communication, we indicated that HSD continues to follow Manitoba Public Health Orders. On August 24 and September 2, new Provincial Health Orders were announced, and these orders impacted a couple of items from our reopening plan. The changes and updates are as follows:

Mandatory Masks
Masks are required for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students, staff, and visitors while indoors and while riding on a school bus. Mask breaks can occur with physical distancing of 2 meters (to the greatest extent possible) and during physical education class. Schools and buses will be equipped with disposable masks for those in need. Masks can be removed when outside. A medical note must accompany all mask exemption requests. Mask exemptions that were approved last year will continue. Exemption forms can be requested from your child’s school.

Resumption of Activities
Planning for the resumption of school-based activities is underway. Activities are permitted based on established processes and must follow public health guidelines. In HSD, this means cohorting will be maintained in K-6. Team practices can resume in Grades 7-12. Consideration of inter-school play is under review with guidance from Manitoba High School Athletic Association and other partners.

Volunteers/Community Use of Schools
Volunteers and Community Use of Schools will be on pause for the month of September (with some exceptions). This will allow for a transition period for teachers and students to settle into routines. It will also allow time to learn additional information regarding requirements for visitors in schools. We will reevaluate at the end of September.

In-School Vaccination Clinics
Public Health officials have indicated that they may offer approved COVID-19 vaccines through the school-based immunization program. We expect to learn additional information in the coming weeks and will share this information when it becomes available. It is our understanding that parent communication will be sent in advance, and parental consent will be required.

Important Information Regarding Travel
For information regarding requirements after travelling please refer to the Government of Canada website.

Provincial Resource Documentation
Additional details of yesterday’s public health announcement can be found on the provincial news release. The province has also updated the K-12 Guide for Parents/Caregivers and Students, providing further information on what’s new/changed for this school year. Visit the Restoring Safe Schools website to access COVID-19 resources for parents/caregivers.

School-Specific Information
Individual schools will release their back-to-school plans following this correspondence, including information regarding Meet Your Teacher events.

As always, the Hanover School Division will continue to follow the Public Health Orders and Manitoba Education guidance to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and school communities. Working together, we can keep the risk of transmission low in our schools which will help keep our schools open for in-class learning.

Respectfully,

Shelley Amos, Interim Superintendent/CEO
Hanover School Division

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