HSD Plan to Resume In-Class Learning

August 17, 2020

View Parent/Guardian Letter (PDF)

The purpose of this document is to communicate an overview on how the Hanover School Division plans to welcome our students back to school. Our first and foremost priority is the safety and well-being of our students and staff as we get ready to return to our schools and workplaces. HSD continues to be committed to following all Public Health recommendations and Manitoba Education directives to ensure we are implementing current public health requirements.

This re-entry plan is designed to be a fluid document that allows us to focus on safety, health and well-being alongside student learning and success. This document will evolve as we receive further guidance and directions from Public Health and Manitoba Education. We are committed to continuous and transparent communication with our parents, guardians, and our staff as we believe information is critical in order to address any challenges and obstacles that may arise.

On July 30, 2020, the provincial government announced that in-class learning would resume in September, for all students in the province. Communication, screening protocols, enhanced hand hygiene, physical distancing and the use of cohorts will be a focus for schools in keeping our students and staff safe.

Hanover Schools will reopen for teachers and staff on September 2, 2020. First day of classes for most students will be on September 9, 2020. This plan has been developed with the considerations and conditions of preparedness outlined in Welcoming Our Students Back: Restoring Safe Schools and K-12 School Settings Practice Guidance and Protocols.

Hanover School Division will continue to work closely with Manitoba Education, Public Health, parents/guardians, caregivers, staff, and students as plans evolve for the coming year. Updates will be communicated via email/website/social media as new information becomes available. We understand that parents/guardians and caregivers are increasingly focused on the safety and well-being of their children while in other settings. As questions arise about your child and how the school implements public health guidance, school division staff will strive to provide clear, accurate, and transparent communication.

We encourage the use of www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/ l as the official source for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding Covid-19 in Manitoba.

Thank you again for your continued partnership and your patience as we welcome our students back and engage in the resumption of learning and prioritization of safe school environments.

 
  • School Day
  • Mental Health
  • Communications
  • Public Health

School Attendance and Participation

  • School attendance is mandatory for children aged 7 to 18 in Manitoba.  All students are expected to participate fully in learning, even when remote learning is required.  
  • Since the Manitoba government has announced that in person classes are resuming, remote learning is no longer an option for students.
  • Divisional remote learning will be in place for students who have been medically advised not to return to in-class learning due to COVID related risk factors. 
  • School teams and classroom teachers will support the development and provision of at-home learning packages for students who are isolating or quarantined.  In these cases, parents would be required to pick up work packages from the school.
  • Decisions about school closures in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 will be made on a case by case basis with Public Health leading the response and providing guidance.
  • Public Health will advise staff and students if they have been in close contact and if they need to self-isolate or self-monitor, including when they can return to school.

The model described below, we believe, provides the best quality education for ALL students while at the same time following all Public Health Orders. The social-emotional well-being of our students is a priority during this global pandemic.

For our staff to work at optimal performance and appropriately manage their mental health and well-being, it is important that we create a plan that provides teachers with the opportunity to excel at their abilities to educate children in the curricular areas that they are skilled at teaching as much as possible.  Most teachers will have the ability to teach their class or courses that they were assigned in June 2020.  Teachers will retain their planning and lunchtimes in accordance with the teacher collective agreement. HSD may also elect to assign Educational Assistants, Student Services Clinicians, and Instructional Coaches to supervise classes as required. 

Please also be aware that our planning must be nimble enough to allow us to shift into Level 2 or 3 of the provincial plan if directed by Public Health and Manitoba Education.

Individual schools will publish and communicate school specific plans and details before the end of August.

2020-2021 School Calendar  

Manitoba Education has announced that schools will open for teaching staff on September 2, 2020, and students will return after the long weekend. For the Hanover School Division, that means a start date of September 9, 2020, for most students. The Hanover School Division 2020-21 calendar is published on our website.

Visitor Access – Welcoming Students and Families

Continued restrictions regarding visitor access and events in public spaces prevent us from offering and hosting an open house/meet your teacher event in the usual format.  Individual schools will communicate with families regarding their welcome back plans. Prior to Sept. 9, schools will create a schedule for parents and students to facilitate meeting the teacher and provide an opportunity for questions.  This may take place virtually or by individual appointment.

Grades K-8

  • This model maximizes the number of students able to attend school while respecting physical distancing through a cohort model.
  • K-8 students will attend school full time five days per week, maintaining a consistent schedule for families.
  • A physical distance of 1 metre will be required between students as per Public Health and Manitoba Education direction.
  • If a class size is above the allowable physical distanced number, school principals will either create split classes over an entire grade or find alternative arrangements to meet the 1-meter cohort model. A teacher may be re-assigned to teach the new class or an additional teacher may be hired.
  • Students/classes will be using the cohort model to a maximum of 75 students
  • Students are taught regularly scheduled PE, Music, and French classes with appropriate modifications to adhere to public health orders. Industrial Arts/Tech Ed classes may happen in the home school.  Students will not be transported between schools.
  • Students will stay in their homeroom classrooms,  and specialist teachers will switch from class to class for the majority of the time.
  • Use of the gym may be permitted if sanitization can occur between cohorts.

Cohorts

Cohorts involve keeping groups of students (e.g. classes) together and avoiding interactions with other groups. Physical distancing within the cohort is required to the greatest extent possible, including separation between desks. However, it is recognized that strict physical distancing at all times, particularly with young children, is not practical in the school setting. The purpose of cohorts is to limit the mixing of students and staff so that if a child or employee  develops an infection, there are fewer possible exposures and contact tracing can be more easily done.

    • Maximum cohort size is to be no more than 75 students. There is no limit on the number of cohorts, as long as distinct cohorts of 75 can be separated to prevent contact with other groups. 
    • Each cohort must be able to arrive, depart, and participate in school activities without co-mingling as much as possible with members from other cohorts.
    • Whenever possible, keep children and staff together with the same cohort throughout the day, including lunch breaks and recesses. Locations of classrooms, use of additional space and timetabling by cohorts can all be considered to reduce mixing.
    • Stagger schedules and movement of cohorts to avoid being in shared spaces (e.g., foyers, hallways) at the same time.
    • Avoid the movement of classes of students where possible. It is preferable that teachers move between classrooms instead of students.
    • Keep daily records that include the names of students, staff, and volunteers of cohorts.

Recess/Lunch Breaks

Public health advises that playgrounds and play structures are low risk for transmission. There are no specific requirements for cleaning play structures. Schools must also:

    • Schedule outdoor play to maintain cohorts of children and staff.
    • Maintain separate containers of equipment for each class or cohort, and clean between recess periods.
    • Mark zones, manage group sizes, and avoid contact among groups.
    • Ensure hand washing or hand hygiene is performed before and after recess.
    • Ensure crossing guards receive additional information about how to physically distance while performing their duties
    • Non-medical masks can be removed during outdoor play to provide a mask-free break.
    • Students must bring their own lunches, or provided lunches must be individually wrapped in disposable containers. If weather permits, lunch breaks may be held outside.
    • Schools can continue to offer breakfast and lunch programs with necessary adjustments to ensure health guidelines are in place. 

No-Sharing Policy

It is important to reinforce in children the policies of no food sharing and no water-bottle sharing. Generally, these policies are intended to reduce potential exposures to allergens, but the practice of not sharing food or water bottles in schools also helps reduce virus transmission among staff and children. Students are encouraged to keep personal belongings with them. Lockers use will be discontinued to avoid congregation in hallways.

Grades 9-12

General Information

  • Grades 9-12 students will participate in blended in-class and teacher directed learning at home, with a minimum of two days in class per school cycle.
  • Schools will assess and may increase in-class learning for Grades 9-12 up to five days per week if they can maintain physical distancing and limit interaction between different groups of students. 
  • Directional lanes will be created in hallways to facilitate a quick transition from point A to B.  Lingering and visiting in the hallways will not be allowed.
  • Students will carry their personal belongings as locker use will be paused.
  • The priority focus is on teaching core subjects. Electives may be limited to accommodate scheduling, if they do not affect educational requirements. Consideration may be given to offering some electives remotely.
  • Schools are attempting to run as many electives as is feasible. Where electives have been paused or disallowed due to public health recommendations, those teachers will be reassigned.

Landmark Collegiate

    • Due to the nature of scheduling and electives, cohorts are not practical
    • 2-metre physical distancing is required to the greatest extent possible
    • Grade 9’s will come in full days everyday
    • Grade 10-12 will begin the school year using an odd-even 50% in class and 50% independent/remote model within our 6-day cycle. Attendance will be decided using the alphabet and by the legal last name. The school will announce the exact nature of the split in their plan.

Green Valley school

    • Due to the nature of scheduling and electives, cohorts are not practical
    • 2-metre physical distancing is required to the greatest extent possible
    • GVS will begin the school year splitting their Grades 9-12 student population in half using the alphabet. Approximately half of the high school students will attend Monday and Wednesdays and half will attend Tuesday and Thursday. Friday will be used as a day for the entire class to participate in online learning with their teachers. This model will allow for students to participate safely in a full day of classes while they are learning in person. In addition once a week the class can meet as an entire group online to continue their learning safely. 

Niverville High School

    • Due to the nature of scheduling and electives, cohorts are not practical
    • 2-metre physical distancing is required to the greatest extent possible
    • NHS will begin the school year using an odd-even 50% in class and 50% independent/remote model within our 6-day cycle.  Attendance will be decided using the alphabet and by the legal last name.   The school will announce the exact nature of the split in their plan. The timetable will follow a day 1, 1, 2, 2 cycle to accommodate courses that run every other day.

Steinbach Regional Secondary School

    • Due to the size and scheduling of this school, cohorts are not practical.  
    • 2-metre physical distancing is required to the greatest extent possible.
    • The SRSS will use an odd-even 50% in class and 50% independent/remote model within our 6-day cycle. Attendance will be decided using the alphabet and by the legal last name. The school will announce the exact nature of the split in their plan.

Students with Special Needs

  • Students in grades K-12 identified as having special needs will attend five days per week
  • In senior years, a few students with significant learning and personal health care needs may receive their educational programming in a designated resource, transition, or special education classroom to retain students in a cohort.  This precaution is to reduce co-mingling with other cohorts, and keep students and their support staff together in one cohort.
  • Extra attention will be given to hand hygiene and cleaning and sanitizing equipment used by students with special needs.  Grooming room cleaning procedures will be provided.
  • All staff will be aware that many students with special needs require assistance with dressing, feeding, and toileting.  Some students will need assistance with wiping noses, spittle, drool, and diapering as they did prior to the pandemic.  These personal and health care tasks will continue in a dignified respectful way as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Students with special needs often exhibit chronic coughs, sneezes, runny noses, or nasal congestion that were evident prior to the pandemic.  Medical conditions that preexisted COVID 19 are not a requirement for exclusion, such as asthma and allergies.  Staff should exercise judgement, and when in doubt, err on the side of caution.
  • Universal Precautions for handling body fluids will continue to be implemented. Utilization of any additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will follow direction from Health.

Remote Learning for Students Who Are Medically Advised Not to Attend

  • The division will deliver remote learning for students with health conditions who are medically advised not to attend class.
  • Each child has the right to an education whether a child has a health condition or not. Teachers will provide appropriate work and assessments to support students with health conditions. If needed, Student(s) will be provided with a technology device. Programming for these students will be provided through technology or paper packages. Teachers and Learning Support staff will be in regular contact with these students. 
  • Each school will have a student care team (resource team) who will monitor and support the classroom teachers in these situations. 
  • Student Services clinicians will be available to help support teachers, families, and students maintain ongoing contact with each other on an as needed basis.
  • Supports may include:  Family/parenting support, teacher support, and information/materials for coping with the wide range of expected responses from the pandemic.

Recovery Learning

  • Recovery learning needs will be identified and targeted on a continual basis.
  • Recovery of learning needs were identified on the June report card and will continue to be targeted through a formative assessment process administered by teachers.
  • Hanover School Division will continue to host the two-day initiative titled Strong Connections. During this time, teachers will further assess students’ social-emotional behaviours as well as current academic standing.
  • Teachers will have access to HSD Instructional Coaches to help support their planning for the recovery of learning.
  • Teachers will collaborate with their Learning Support (Resource) dept in their school. There is the possibility that students who did not participate in remote learning this past school year will need to put in some extra work. Most students who were not able to participate in remote learning were looked after and accommodations were made to support their learning making recovery of learning this fall limited.

What are the divisional strategies for re-engaging students who have not participated in remote learning?

This past June, teachers participated in transition meetings. Teachers had the opportunity to inform receiving teachers about the engagement of their students during remote learning. In September, teachers will be aware of those students who did not participate in remote learning and provide appropriate support. 

Provincial Assessments

An update from Manitoba Education on the provincial tests and assessments schedule for the 2020-2021 school year: 

Grade 3 Assessment and Middle Years Assessment

    • The provincial data collection associated with the Grade 3 Assessment in Reading,  and Numeracy, as well as the Middle Years Assessment of Key Competencies in Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Expository Writing, and Student Engagement will be suspended for the 2020-2021 school year. 
    • Schools and school divisions are encouraged to continue to use the assessments as one of many tools to help identify students’ strengths and needs in key competency areas in order to guide instructional planning. 

Grade 12 Provincial Tests

    • Grade 12 provincial exams are scheduled to proceed as normal.  Schools will be notified if the public health situation warrants a change to the provincial tests. In the event of cancellation, other forms of assessment will be used to determine students’ marks.

Planning for Manitoba Education Response Levels 2 and 3

How will the school division implement the learning plan if the government shifts to Level 2:  Blended Learning (in-class and remote)?

    • K-8 students and students with special needs are prioritized for in-class learning.
    • Grades 9 to 12 will participate in teacher-led remote learning, with limited use of school facilities for specific programming and assessment.

How will the school division implement the learning plan if the government shifts to Level 3:  Remote Learning (with exceptions)?

    • Remote learning will be in place.
    • Schools are closed to the public with the exception of Kindergarten to Grade 6 students of critical workers.
    • Teachers will plan and pivot to teach online and provide printed work packages for students who do not have access to technology or the internet.
    • Deployment of technology will take place the same as March 2020. 

Technology education programming for Levels 2 and 3

    • We have installed drive-up Wi-fi in all our communities for families that cannot access appropriate wifi.
    • We will deploy iPads from our classrooms to students in Grades K-4 that do not have access to a device until our supply has been depleted. 
    • We will deploy Chromebooks from our classrooms to students in Grade 5-8 that do not have access to devices.
    • HSD will use Google Classroom and G Suite of online tools for Grade 7-12 programming.
    • HSD continues to explore the use of SeeSaw for K-6 for online programming.

North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response

HSD has partnered with Kevin Cameron’s work with the North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.

Be Prepared to Talk About COVID-19

Provide reassurance to children and youth about their personal safety and health. Telling children that it is okay to be concerned is comforting. Reassure them about their safety and explain there are many things they can do to stay healthy.

Mental health resources that are available for parents:

Mental health resources that are available for educators:

Mental health resources that are available for students:

Students and Families

  • Hanover School Division will continue to take direction from Public Health and Manitoba Education.  We believe that continuous, transparent communication is essential in these unprecedented times. 
  • HSD will continue to provide regular updates to our school community as they are received.  We will provide information through email, as well as posting on our divisional website.
  • Make sure your contact information is up to date and accurate to ensure you receive timely notifications.
  • We understand that parents/guardians and caregivers are increasingly focused on the safety and well-being of their children while they are in other settings. 
  • Expect clear communication from staff when you have questions about your child and about how the school is implementing public health guidance. 
  • To avoid misinformation, please use official sources for the most up-to-date and accurate information. This can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html.

Staff

  • Upon return to the workplace, schools and departments will hold a health and safety meeting to review workplace practices relating to COVID-19 and other health and safety matters. 
  • Additional communication may be required as new information is made available that may affect work practices.
  • Correspondence/guidelines/procedures have been distributed to schools and staff including:
    • Welcoming Students Back to School
    • HSD’s re-entry document
    • MSBA document
    • HSD cleaning and disinfecting guideline
    • Handwashing posters
    • Screening posters
    • Physical distancing posters

The Hanover School Division is committed to ensuring that all public health orders and guidance is followed at each school level. An orientation will be held for each employee group before the start of school. Prior to Sept. 9, schools will create a schedule for parents and students to facilitate meeting the teacher and provide an opportunity for questions. This may take place virtually or by individual appointment.

Appendix A – Developing A COVID-19 Safety Plan

HSD is directing the development of COVID-19 Safety Plans that outline the policies, guidelines, and procedures to be put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our schools and departments. HSD may need to identify and implement additional protocols/guidelines if it is determined that the protocols do not sufficiently address the risk to staff and students. All guidelines/protocols are based on expert guidance from recognized authorities like Manitoba (Public) Health, Manitoba Education, Manitoba School Boards Association and others.

Understanding/Assessing Risk

    • The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face. Higher risk situations require adequate protocols to address the risk.
    • The risk of person-to-person transmission is increased the closer you come to other people, the amount of time you spend near them, and the number of people you come near. Physical distancing measures help mitigate this risk. 
    • The risk of surface transmission is increased when many people contact the same surface, and when those contacts happen in short intervals of time. Effective cleaning and hygiene practices help mitigate this risk.

Guidelines & Considerations

Communicating (physical signposting and employee training or reviews) to all stakeholders, to their level of involvement with the school or department, the following public health best practices for each worksite:

    • Do not enter the worksite if sick or exposed.
    • Provision of a phone number to call to obtain service.
    • Stay home if sick or exposed through known cases or travel.
    • Monitored access to the building.
    • Student appointment protocols.
    • Cough and sneeze protocols.
    • Hand washing and hand sanitizing protocols.
    • Physical distancing protocols.
    • Surface sanitization protocols.
    • Personal protective equipment will only be provided by the division as a last resort to staff when work tasks do not allow for proper physical distancing.
    • Review of the full or applicable parts of worksite COVID-19 safety plan for students, staff, visitors, or contractors according to their needs.

Measures to Consider

    • Manitoba Health provides a variety of signage that can be posted in the workplace for communicating public health best practices – https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/
    • Worksite teams and committees should consider developing worksite specific signage to reflect worksite selected protocols to all stakeholders.
    • Involve front line staff, supervisors and administrators, site safety teams in implementation of the COVID-19 Safety Plan.
    • Identify  common use areas where people gather, like break rooms, meeting rooms, general offices, and other and apply control measures to those areas.
    • Identify proximity work situations where staff cannot adequately maintain physical distancing and apply control measures to those areas.
    • Identify common use shared tools, machinery, supplies or equipment in the worksite and apply control measures to those areas.
    • Identify high touch work surfaces and apply control measures to those areas.

Roles & Responsibilities

Employer

    • Select, implement, and document risk assessments and appropriate site-specific control measures.
    • Ensure that all resources (information, authorization administrative changes, technology, training, human resources) and materials (personal protective equipment, equipment, cleaning and disinfecting products and systems) required to implement and maintain plan are reasonably made available as practical when required.
    • Ensure that supervisors and staff are informed about the content of safety policies.
    • Conduct a periodic review of the effectiveness of the plan. This includes a review of the available control technologies to ensure that these are selected and used when practical.
    • Maintain records of training and inspections.
    • Re-examine all tasks in the workplace, especially those that require the direct care of students, and ensure that safe work procedures are updated with COVID-19 practices.
    • Where possible, have staff perform only essential tasks to maintain the student’s education and well-being. Tasks that are non-essential should be put on hold until directed otherwise by the provincial health officer.

Supervisors 

    • Ensure that staff are knowledgeable regarding the controls required to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
    • Direct work in a manner that eliminates or minimizes the risk to staff.
    • Post or relay educational and informational material in an accessible area for staff to review.

Staff 

    • Know the controls required to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
    • Participate in any COVID-19 related training and instruction.
    • Follow established work procedures and instructions as directed by the employer or supervisor.
    • Report any unsafe conditions or acts to the supervisor.
    • Know how and when to report exposure incidents.

Maintenance Supervisor 

    • Maintaining an inventory of PPE for custodians, cleaning and disinfectant products, and well-maintained equipment used for cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Providing adequate instruction to custodians on the hazards associated with cleaning work areas and on the safe work procedures specified in this exposure control plan.
    • Directing the work in a manner that ensures the risk to custodians is minimized and adequately controlled.
    • Revising the work schedule to ensure priority intensive cleaning of impacted work area surfaces and touchpoints.
Health Screening

Self-screening is mandatory for all staff, students and visitors to any school division building.

Guidelines & Considerations

    • We ask that parents and caregivers remain outside of the school to drop off their children.  Teachers will greet students at the designated entrance and ask if they have self-screened prior to entry. 
    • All staff and students are required to complete the self screening using the poster or online tool developed by Manitoba Public Health prior to entering a building.
    • Students and staff will need to self-screen at home before going to school.  Parents and guardians are responsible for ensuring that self-screening measures occur prior to the child arriving at school. (Screening Tool – Shared Health)
    • If a child becomes sick at school or is demonstrating symptoms, parents will be contacted, and the student will need to go home immediately.  Please note that the administrator will have the final say in determining if a student should go home.  If parents are not available, emergency contacts will be contacted. 
    • Students exhibiting any symptoms throughout the day shall be isolated, and don a medical-grade mask (provided by the school) while being cared for by school staff.
    • If a person in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or if anyone in the household has travelled out of the province, they are required to consult with Health Links prior to attending the school.
Contact Tracing and Outbreak Management

Decisions regarding appropriate responses in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 will be made on a case by case basis with Public Health leading the response and providing guidance.

Guidelines & Considerations

    • If symptoms develop while at the school, the person will be isolated in a predetermined isolation space. Where a separate room is not available, they must be kept at least two metres away from others.
    • A medical mask will be provided to and worn by the sick student, unless there are safety issues that prevent the student from wearing a mask.
    • Parents or caregivers will be notified to come and pick up their child immediately. They can contact Health Links – Info Santé at (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257) or the child’s health care provider for direction, if required.
    • If the student is young and requires close contact and care while isolated, staff can continue to care for the child until the parent is able to pick up the child. Caregivers are to be mindful of hand hygiene and avoid contact with the respiratory secretions of the student. A medical mask is to be worn by the staff person caring for the child.
    • If a staff member or volunteer in a school becomes symptomatic, they will immediately isolate themselves from other staff and students, notify their administrator, and go home to monitor symptoms.
Student Management – Physical Distancing

Physical distancing protocols need to be reviewed and implemented.

Guidelines & Considerations

    • Parents and caregivers should remain outside of the school during  drop off/pick up of their children.
    • Avoid close greetings like hugs or handshakes, and remind students to keep their hands to themselves when possible.
    • Two metres of physical distancing is required, to the greatest extent possible.  When this is not possible, students must remain within cohorts to reduce exposure to others.  Cohorts (designated groups of students) will distance themselves from other groups to limit  exposure. In these instances, there must be at least one metre between students as they sit at their desks.
    • Incorporate more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between students and staff. For younger students, adapt group activities to minimize physical contact and reduce shared items. For adolescent students, minimize group activities and avoid activities that require physical contact.
    • Strive to minimize the number of teachers that interact with groups of students throughout the day.
Staff – Physical Distancing

Physical distancing protocols need to be reviewed and implemented.

Guidelines and Considerations

    • Maintain 2-meter physical distancing whenever possible between staff and students. Modify work processes and practices to encourage physical distancing between all staff and students. If staff need to meet in person, ensure there is a 2-meter space between each staff. If 2-meter distance is not possible, maintain a 1-meter distance and implement the cohort model.
    • Follow public health directions regarding methods for maintaining physical distance,  such as not greeting others by hugging or shaking hands.
    • Manage the flow of people in public spaces such as hallways and on stairs, consider the use of one-way or lanes separated as much as physically possible.
General Hygiene Measures

Health hygiene protocols need to be reviewed and implemented.

Guidelines and Considerations

    • As per the Chief Public Health Officer’s orders, HSD considers hand washing to be the primary hand hygiene method.  Alcohol sanitizer is a secondary prevention method and will be available in all locations.
    • Ensure hand washing supplies are always available (i.e., soap, clean towels, hand dryers, paper towels and, if needed,  alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
    • Hand washing signs near all lavatory sinks. Staff, including teachers, administrators and support staff should wash their hands frequently to reduce the risk of transmission.
    • Ensure staff are provided with appropriate supplies and facilities with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Hand hygiene stations should be set up at the school entrance and other locations as appropriate.
    • Hand washing posters distributed for posting in all relevant locations.
    • Hand sanitizer stations set up at main entrances.
    • Hand sanitizer pumps installed in classroom areas.
Cleaning and Sanitizing

Effective cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces are an important part of overall health hygiene in the workplace.

Guidelines and Considerations

    • Schools should be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with general cleaning practices and follow all MSBA recommendations/directives as well as Manitoba Education’s Limited use of facilities guidelines.     
    • Develop a cleaning policy that focuses on high-traffic areas and high-contact surfaces such as doors and cabinet handles, stair railings, washrooms, shared office spaces, designated sick rooms, desks, keyboards, light switches, and communications devices. 
    • Set up a cleaning and sanitizing schedule so that high touch surfaces are frequently cleaned during the day. General cleaning and sanitization of the premises should occur at minimum once/day. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized at minimum twice/day. Washrooms shall be cleaned at minimum four times/day and usage monitored.
    • Providing adequate instruction, training, and supplies to custodians on the cleaning protocols or enhanced protocols developed for the workplace through provincial authorities.
Personal Protective Equipment

Hanover School Division will follow the Public Health and Manitoba Education recommendations.

On August 19, 2020, the province announced that non-medical masks will be mandatory in all schools for students in Grades 4 through 12, staff and visitors when physical distancing is not possible. 

Guidelines and Considerations

    • Non-medical masks will be mandatory in all schools for students in Grades 4 through 12, staff and visitors when physical distancing is not possible. Students in Grades K-3 can elect to wear non-medical masks according to personal preference.  
    • Bus drivers and all school bus passengers are required to wear a non-medical mask on the bus. Masks should be put on before getting onto the school bus and taken off after disembarking, if appropriate for the environment.  
    • Students and staff can elect to provide their own non-medical mask according to preference and comfort. A stock of non-medical masks will be provided on school buses and in schools for students or staff who require one. 
    • Medical grade masks will be provided and must be donned  in the event that a staff or student becomes ill while at school or work.
    • Where PPE has been identified for tasks prior to COVID-19 pandemic, continue to use this PPE when performing these tasks.
    • If physical distancing cannot be reasonably and practically maintained for any HSD directed work tasks, and all other control strategies do not provide adequate risk reduction for staff, then additional controls and / or personal protective equipment (PPE) will be applied on a case by case basis.
School Bus Transportation

Transporting students in a pandemic needs to be planned and precautions put in place to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Guidelines and Considerations

    • Physical distancing and/or cohorts are also required in school transportation. For more information, refer to the Guidelines for Transportation to Schools at https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/reopening/transportation.html
    • To support physical distancing on buses, to the greatest extent possible, parents are encouraged to transport their own children if they are able. Active transportation, such as walking and biking, should also be encouraged. For advice on carpooling, please visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restoring/transportation.html
    • Buses used for transporting students will be cleaned and sanitized according to the school division protocol or directives from Manitoba Education or Manitoba Health.
    • Parents of bus eligible students only, will receive an email from HSD for each student in their family asking if busing service (yes/no) to school is still required from September 9, to Christmas break. At some point in December we will email the same original parents asking if transportation is still required for the remainder of the school year. At that time you can opt back in to HSD transportation or continue providing transportation for your child(ren). It is critical that parents address the email by August 21 to provide HSD Transportation Dept time to build all bus rosters, following all Provincial safety protocols for the start of the school year.
    • Your bus driver will notify you between Friday September 4th and Tuesday September 8th with anticipated pick up and drop off times.
Restricting Access to Buildings

Restricting access to buildings is a risk avoidance strategy to reduce the probability of an infected person entering this building. Keeping potentially sick or infected or symptomatic people out of the building helps reduce the probability of community-based transmission of the virus.

Guidelines and Considerations

    • All staff and students who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have travelled outside Canada or Manitoba in the last 14 days or were identified as a close contact of a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must stay home and self-isolate in accordance with guidance from Manitoba Health.  
    • Post signage indicating that employees, contractors, or visitors exhibiting COVID-like symptoms are not allowed to enter the office building.    
    • Establish staff, student and visitors’ protocols addressing access to the building and post such or provide appropriate signage to communicate such at designated entrances.
    • Designate doors for entry and exit to prevent staff and others from coming into proximity with one another. 
    • Visitor Access:  Visitors or volunteers are permitted at schools, but visits should be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Online communication, video, and telephone should be used to interact with families, where possible, rather than in person.
    • Parents, caregivers, healthcare providers, volunteers, and other non-staff adults (e.g.,visitors) entering the school should be prioritized to those supporting implementation of public health measures and activities that benefit student learning and well-being (e.g.,teacher candidates, immunizers, meal program volunteers, etc.). This should also be limited to those who regularly volunteer to minimize the number of possible exposures.
    • All visitors and volunteers must adhere to self-screening, physical distancing, and recommended hygiene practices. Visitors with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should not enter the school. 
    • Schools are required to keep a list of all visitors.
    • Community use of schools will be suspended, with the exception of child care centres operating in schools.

Appendix B: School Preparation Requirements

Institutional Preparedness

  • Schedule increased cleaning and sanitation and ensure supplies are available
  • Plan for increased hand hygiene 
  • Adhere to self-screening and symptom monitoring protocols
  • Adhere to protocols for staff and students exhibiting symptoms
  • Display COVID-19 information signs 
  • Create physical distancing plans
  • Create a plan to manage foot traffic flow in entrances, hallways and shared space to  avoid congestion
  • Review food handling and no-sharing policies to reduce risks 
  • Remove or reduce play with toys and equipment that cannot be sanitized
  • Remove excess furniture to maximize space
  • Restrict the use of space that does not allow for physical distancing 

Learning Preparedness

  • Determine approach recovery learning and transition planning
  • Make adjustments to scheduling, timetabling, recess, etc. 
  • Plan for blended and in-class learning models
  • Plan to ensure access to devices and internet
  • Develop and continue to adjust a digital and remote learning plan
  • Develop alternatives to assemblies and other events to promote school spirit, etc. 

School Staff Preparedness

  • Provide orientation regarding public health protocols
  • Identify mental health and well-being supports
  • Create a professional learning plan that addresses COVID-19 priorities  and health and safety needs

Students and Families Preparedness

  • Communicate expectations defined for attendance and participation 
  • Educate students and families about hand hygiene, symptom monitoring and other public health measures
  • Encourage families to have a backup plan in place in the event of illness 
  • Encourage families to transport their children to school if they are able to assist with physical distance on school buses
  • Student/family engagement and outreach
  • Identify mental health and well-being supports

Copyright Credit: WorkSafe BC: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates/covid-19-returning-safe-operation/education