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Update About the Return to School Plan

September 8, 2021

The K-12 education sector met with public health officials today to review the provincial return to school plan and, consequently, we are updating the community on Louis Riel School Division's (LRSD) plan. After hearing feedback from families and staff, reviewing the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and consulting legal counsel, medical-grade masks (provided by the division) will be mandatory for all staff, students and visitors in our schools K-12 and on school buses. The division currently has a stock of 353,000 regular medical masks and 63,000 pediatric medical masks and we will continue to procure as required.

Earlier in the summer I had proposed a community education campaign to build collective agreement on mask usage in LRSD schools; however, given that the fourth wave has arrived, LRSD needs to be clear that masks will be required to begin the school year. This mask mandate fulfills our statutory obligation to create a safe environment for staff and students. Our community education campaign will continue and focus on how to safely navigate the current stage of the pandemic, including in-school vaccination clinics.
 
As we shared on August 12, we are exploring the idea of voluntary disclosure of vaccination status for staff. We are also exploring this same self-disclosure for students who are eligible to be vaccinated. Additionally, and in light of recent announcements from other jurisdictions since our last update on vaccines, we continue to actively explore with our education partners the potential of requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for eligible students and staff and the use of rapid testing kits in schools.
 
On Tuesday, August 24, we will have more detailed information to share on all aspects of LRSD’s return to school plan. Staff and families will be encouraged to respond to the plan by sharing their thoughts, feelings and concerns through ThoughtExchange.
 
Our aim is to not only start school in September in a safe and welcoming way, but also to sustain that effort and stay in school despite the fourth wave.
 
Stay safe and be well,

Christian Michalik
Superintendent
 
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RT @cjsLRSD: C'est le jour du #lancement pour l'équipe de ballon météo CJS! It's #LaunchDay for the CJS weather balloon team! 📍Oakville, MB https://t.co/zFhrFC9OE2

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The @ManitobaMuseum is hosting Teacher Appreciation Weekend on Oct. 23 and 24. Teachers, teacher candidates, and homeschooling parents are invited to bring up to four people for a free visit! Get all the details: https://t.co/m4i1TpQuvU Photo from @ManitobaMuseum https://t.co/DUA9UAEfe2

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We are seeking additional feedback on Policy JLII: Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination of Students Participating in Extra-Curricular Activities from students in grades 7 to 12 and their families, staff, and coaches. Learn more: https://t.co/DLdyzFtQpf https://t.co/93uIVEVkdH

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