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Navigating the 2021-2022 School Year

​Louis Riel School Division’s Response to Manitoba’s K-12 Guidelines for September 2021 Plan 

The Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) applauds Manitoba Education's efforts to return to in-class learning for the 2021-2022 school year. The province recognizes that our public schools are essential "to the mental health and well-being of children.”

The measures taken in our schools over the last two years helped us remain safe and stay in school despite multiple waves of infections in the region.

Our community will continue to demonstrate compassion during this period of transition. I'm confident that students, staff, and families will respect each other's decisions and accept different personal responses to the government's directive that as public health removes restrictions and moves to recommendations, the changes will also apply to schools.

Christian Michalik, Superintendent

OTHER RESOURCES

COVID-19 Parent/Guardian Resources
Student and Staff Reported Absence Dashboards
Positive Cases of COVID-19 in LRSD 2021-2022


Learning Preparedness

School Staff Preparedness



Starting on March 15, 2022, schools will be operating at the Limited Risk (Green) level on the Pandemic Response System (PRS). Public health measures in our school communities have been modified to reflect the current public health situation. Here is a summary of the changes as a result of the change to Limited Risk (Green) on the PRS:

  • The use of masks is no longer required in indoor places; however, the LRSD Board of Trustees strongly recommends the continued use of masks in schools and on school buses. The Board will review this recommendation related to masks after Spring Break.

  • Physical distancing and cohorting are no longer required in schools.

  • Isolation requirements have been replaced by isolation recommendations.

Policies related to these changes were updated or rescinded at the March 15 public board meeting. Relevant Safe Work Procedures continue to be updated accordingly. 

Mask Usage

On Friday, March 5, Manitoba Education sent all school divisions a letter stating: "As changes to public health requirements take place in the community, they will be mirrored in schools and child care facilities." Members of the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) Senior Leadership Team (SLT) attended a meeting with Public Health on Thursday, March 10 in which that direction was reiterated. 

In consultation with the SLT, the LRSD Board of Trustees has made the decision to strongly recommend the use of masks by staff and students while indoors or riding the bus. Medical-grade masks will continue to be made available for all students and staff in LRSD. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, LRSD has closely followed the PHOs. For example, in September 2021, mask usage was not mandatory for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, but was mandated in the PHOs for all other public spaces. Based on this information, LRSD developed a policy to require the use of masks in our schools. Manitoba Education's guidance was updated shortly thereafter. 

On Feb. 15, 2022, Public Health announced that use of masks for students while participating in physical education was no longer mandatory, guidance which was applied in all LRSD schools. Despite this change, the division's COVID-related absences continued to fall from a peak of 883 on Jan. 21 to a low of 90 on Mar. 4. A similar trend can be seen among staff. Staff and families are encouraged to continue reporting absences from school and disclose any COVID-related absences to ensure the data remain as accurate as possible. Click here to see more data on staff and student absences.  

Physical Distancing and Cohorting

As directed by Manitoba Education, physical distancing and cohorting are no longer required. Schools will begin to remove these measures and principals will advise their communities when changes occur.

Isolation Recommendations

Isolation for COVID-19 is still advised in the following situations:

  • People with symptoms should stay home and isolate for five days (no matter their vaccination status) after symptoms start until they have no fever and other symptoms have improved over the past 24 hours.

  • Individuals who have tested positive but do not develop symptoms should isolate for five days from the date of the test.

  • Individuals should wear a well-fitting, well-made mask if they must have contact with other people while ill or when their isolation is finished for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic.

Our divisional COVID-19 Infographics have been updated to reflect Public Health's move from requirements to recommendations. It is important to note that students should continue staying home when sick.

LRSD leadership will continue to monitor the situation closely and carefully within our schools and share our observations with families, public health officials and education department officials.

Risk mitigation measures will remain a focus in LRSD, including the promotion of vaccination and testing, self-screening for symptoms, staying home when sick, enhanced personal hygiene, and, if necessary, physical distancing, the use of cohorts, and outbreak management.


School Attendance

Regular attendance is mandatory, whether learning at school or from home. All students are expected to participate fully in their educational instruction. Students will be assessed on their work, reflective of their performance and learning. LRSD will ensure that all students who have been accepted in the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre have access to the required technology.


School Calendar

Non-instructional Days in LRSD for 2021-2022

1.     Tuesday, September 7, 2021
2.     Monday, September 27, 2021
3.     Friday, October 22, 2021
4.     Friday November 26, 2021
5.     Friday, February 4, 2022
6.     Friday, March 18, 2022
7.     Friday, April 22, 2022
8.     Friday, May 6, 2022
 
Winter Break
Last Day of School: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
School Re-opens: Thursday, January 6, 2022

Spring Break
Last Day of School: Friday, March 25, 2022
School Re-opens: Monday, April 4, 2022

Last day of school in 2021-2022: Thursday, June 30, 2022


Mental Health and Well-Being

LRSD is committed to the systemic promotion of mental health and well-being. The pandemic has inspired us to draw upon our prior learning and bring it to the forefront in our planning.
 
We aspire to help those in our communities to be able to answer the following:
  • I know what well-being is.
  • I know what impacts my well-being and the well-being of my community positively and negatively.  
  • I have strategies to improve my well-being and the well-being of others.

Mental Health Promotion 

Comprehensive School Health is an internationally recognized approach to supporting improvements in students' educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated, and holistic way.  

LRSD schools have Mental Health Promotion Teams with staff that have been trained in Comprehensive School Health to engage in Mental Health promotion planning. These teams will be helpful to promote positive mental health in schools. Clinical Supervisors and clinicians are valuable support to the work of Mental Health Promotion teams and promoting positive mental health in schools.

Mental Health Promotion is about creating environments that promote and sustain positive mental health for everyone. Activities, supports, and learning opportunities are designed to enhance protective factors and minimize risk factors. Schools are an ideal setting in which to promote mental health for children and youth, providing an opportunity to reach large groups of children during their formative years of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural development. 

Mental Health Promotion in schools focuses on enhancing protective factors that contribute to the social and emotional growth of children and youth and decreasing the risk factors that impede psychosocial development.
 
6 Ways to Wellbeing
LRSD and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority promote the "6 Ways to Wellbeing" as a helpful way to encourage students, families and staff to engage in thinking and activities to support their wellbeing.
  • be active
  • be positive
  • be social 
  • be curious
  • be purposeful
  • be mindful

A video explanation is available here.

Please see the document Supporting Well-being and Well-becoming in LRSD for more information to promote a common understanding of our collaborative learning regarding mental health and well-being.

Well-being and Resilience: Recommendations to Support Students
The LRSD Inclusion and Clinical Services team has created the following resources to support well-being and resilience.

Schooling during the pandemic is a significant transition for all students and staff. Well-being and Resilience: Clinical Recommendations to Support Transitions to School Re-opening references the Circle of Courage to assist staff in understanding potential challenges for students and the planning required to promote student and staff resilience. The document provides:
  • Awareness of the impact of this pandemic on all students and families
  • Understanding of possible struggles students may experience upon a return to school
  • Strategies to help reduce the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of students
  • Strategies that support student's resilience and well-being for the transition back to school

Manitoba Education has also recommended resources in their Restoring Safe Schools document to support Mental Health and Well-being for students, staff, and families.

Please also see the following Mental Health and Well-being supports available:


Manitoba Government:
Government of Canada
Canadian Mental Health Association
Shared Health
Strongest Families

Provincial Assessments

Manitoba Education's Restoring Safe Schools: Planning Guide for 2021-2022 School Year released on August 5, 2021, indicated the province’s commitment to developing a new student assessment framework that includes strengthening classroom assessments in all grades and creating new summative assessments in the early years, middle years and Grade 10.

Manitoba Education has shared that in the 2021-2022 school year, the Grade 3 Assessment in Reading, Lecture and Numeracy and the Grade 4 Assessment in French Immersion Lecture, and the Middle Years Assessment of Key Competencies in Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Expository Writing will continue.

The pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the Grade 12 provincial exams during the last two school years. Manitoba Education has indicated that during the 2021-2022 school year they will move forward in developing a Grade 10 assessment. In light of this, we have been advised that the Grade 12 provincial tests will not proceed in 2021-2022.


Institutional Preparedness

Safety and Health Protocols

Modifying Behaviours that Mitigate Risk

There are many uncertainties about the COVID-19 pandemic that may cause us to feel stress. You might be wondering how long the pandemic will last, how it may evolve, or how long will in-school learning continue?

The answers are uncertain and spending too much time worrying about them may make us feel worse. Some things that you CAN control daily:
  • Stay home if you show any cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle ache, headache, nausea, fatigue)
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Exercise every day
  • Spend time outside
  • Take time to focus on breathing
  • Treat others with kindness
  • Focus on schoolwork
  • Talk with friends or family members on the phone or online 

Screening

Screening for symptoms is critical to identify any potential cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible before exposure to others. If you are unsure whether or not your child should be tested and self-isolate, use the COVID-19 Screening Tool to confirm next steps.

Symptom and exposure screening must occur at the start of each day.
  • Staff and students must self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Staff who have any symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home, isolate, and be excluded from work. Schools will maintain records of staff absenteeism.
  • Parents and caregivers are responsible for ensuring their children are not displaying symptoms before sending them to school or on the bus. Screening questions are available at COVID-19 Screening Questions to facilitate this process.

Please refer to our COVID-19 Infographics for information about isolation recommendations.

Contact Tracing

The virus continues to circulate very broadly in the community. Schools no longer provide close contact notifications on individual cases. 

School officials regularly communicate/report to school communities on attendance patterns and the prevalence of cases within their school. 

  • The provincial K-12 Schools Dashboard continues to report on confirmed staff and student cases. For more information, visit: COVID-19 Dashboard: School-Aged Cases and School Staff Cases in Manitoba. 

  • Schools will communicate concerns directly to their regional public health authority and to Manitoba Education and Early Childhoof Learning. 

  • If increased COVID-19 activity is suspected, public health officials will direct the school to send a school notification letter to recommend self-monitoring of symptoms, and to avoid non-essential contact outside of school, especially with individuals at risk of severe disease. An alert status will be added to the COVID-19 dashboard when the school community is notified. 

  • When COVID-19 cases and respiratory disease activity increases in a school, public health officials may recommend the implementation of a period of rapid antigen testing or other preventive measures in school, such as postponing extracurricular activities.

  • Where transmission continues to increase or where COVID-19 cases are affecting school operations, up to one-week of remote learning for the class/cohort or school may be recommended by public health officials. If a longer period is required, public health officials will reassess. Remote learning status will be noted on the COVID-19 dashboard. School officials will continue to inform families of classroom, cohort and entire school shifts to remote learning. 


Please note that this information is taken directly from Public Health as of January 14th, 2022.

In the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD), we have developed dashboards that allow the public to view self-reported student absences and staff absences. The dashboards refresh every school day at 4:30 p.m. and can be found on our website under About Us ➡ Data Literacy ➡ Student and Staff Reported Absence Dashboards

These dashboards allow the community to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in schools in LRSD. They also provide the community with a glimpse into the reports we look at internally to monitor, make decisions about our schools' capacities, and provide information to the government in a timely and evidenced-informed way.

If Transmission Rates Are Elevated

If information collected by the school suggests increased in-school transmission above that expected, public health may recommend:

  • Further preventive measures such as re-introducing mask recommendations and physical distancing, pausing extra-curricular activities, field trips and assemblies, and moving to low-risk activities during physical education and music classes.

  • Further surveillance testing if new patterns of disease presentation or transmission are emerging.

  • Communication to the school community with advice on monitoring for symptoms and isolating if sick. Based on the sample template, public health will issue community notification letters for schools to send out for distribution as required.

Remote learning is a measure of last resort and is not anticipated to be recommended by public health for ongoing COVID-19 management, unless exceptional circumstances arise.

Mask Protocols

LRSD continues to strongly encourage students wear a well-fitted, three-layered mask and will make medical-grade masks available to all staff, students, and visitors in need. Click here for a video on how to make your mask fit better. Another suggestion is to wear a well-fitted cloth mask over a three-layer disposable mask for a better fit.

Cohorts/Groups

Cohorts are no longer requied. 

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is no longer required in schools. 

Safe Work Procedures

LRSD has developed Safe Work Procedures to ensure the safety and health of staff, students, and other individuals that access divisional facilities. These procedures are continually reassessed and revised in accordance with current public health orders and guidance. Divisional Policy GBG – Board Commitment to Safety and Health requires that "every employee of the Louis Riel School Division […] take all reasonable measures to support the safety of other employees, protect the public and environment, and prevent loss of assets and/or damage to property." Accordingly, staff must ensure that they are aware of the most current Safe Work Procedures and that they are adhered to at all times.

All Safe Work Procedures can be accessed by staff in the Workplace Safety and Health portal.

Ventilation

In the Louis Riel School Division, we are using an evidence-informed approach when assessing the air exchange in our schools. We are currently in the process of an air exchange audit in each of the learning spaces in our schools. This process has been ongoing since September as there are a very limited number of contractors who provide this service in Winnipeg and an accurate reading can only be taken when schools are empty (during evenings, weekends, professional learning days, etc.).  

The audit consists of a first reading, adjustments if deemed necessary after the first reading, and then a second reading is taken. If the first reading shows less than 3 air exchanges per hour after adjustments have been made, repair and maintenance work is scheduled.

While we await repair or maintenance work in those identified learning spaces, a supplemental HEPA air purifier unit will be temporarily provided.

Student Registration

Mobility is a part of life for many families in Canada, and while there has been less mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic, some families will still choose to relocate for better housing, work opportunities, and many other reasons. We can expect that families will continue to relocate within the City of Winnipeg, between cities and provinces across Canada, and internationally. Furthermore, relocation will continue to happen throughout the school year, meaning that students new to our division can arrive at any time. 

To guide the safe and successful welcoming and registration of new students, the following guidelines apply:

  • Families new to LRSD must contact the school by phone or email to arrange a registration appointment. Families who are uncertain of which school to contact can use the online LRSD School Finder or contact the Board Office for assistance. Unscheduled in-person visits to the school will not be accepted.

  • The school will arrange an appropriate meeting time and communication method (in-person, online, or other) to facilitate new registrations.

  • If the family is relocating from out of province, they will be asked to contact the International Student Program (ISP) office (204) 253-8025. ISP staff will verify whether the family must complete a mandatory quarantine period. Families may be asked to verify their travel dates, quarantine schedules and plans. Families may also be asked if they would be willing to voluntarily disclose the vaccination status of their family members. 

  • Once all information is verified, the ISP office will contact schools to notify them that the registration process can begin. New registrations can be facilitated online but student attendance at school can only occur after any mandatory quarantine or isolation period has been completed.


International Student Program

Homestay Program

Through the homestay program, students get to experience what it is like to be a member of a Canadian family in a warm, welcoming and safe home environment. International students will live with a family and participate in family life, including helping with chores.

Living with a homestay family provides international students with the true Canadian experience and exposes students to many unique activities and events. Living in a Canadian home also gives students excellent opportunities to practice their English or French language skills.

Homestay families are carefully chosen. All homestay families are interviewed and must pass security checks. Their homes are also inspected to make sure students will be living in a safe, healthy and supportive environment.

International students staying with a homestay family can expect:

  • A family and home personally selected and approved by the ISP homestay Coordinator

  • A private room

  • Three healthy daily meals

  • A positive and supportive atmosphere in which to study and live

Independent International Students

Many international students arrive as 'independent' students, meaning their parents have made private arrangements for custodianship and accommodations, often involving immediate or extended family members. For these students, their legal guardians and custodians are responsible for fulfilling quarantine requirements that may be in place at the time of arrival.

When independent international students are anticipated to arrive, the following guidelines apply:

  • All travel plans and dates for independent international students must be submitted to the ISP office well in advance of travel to Winnipeg.

  • A copy of the quarantine plan that the student will submit to Canada Border Services must also be provided to the ISP office. 

  • Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must also be provided to the ISP office prior to traveling to Winnipeg, for both, homestay and independent international students.

  • Upon arrival in Winnipeg, independent international students will be asked to confirm their arrival by calling or emailing the ISP office.

  • Registration of independent international students in schools will not occur until after the student has completed all applicable quarantine plans. These dates will be scheduled by the ISP office.

Travel Restrictions and Denied Study Permits

Given current travel limitations due to the limited availability of international flights, and limited granting of study permits to international students, LRSD will offer the following to students who are unable to arrive in Canada for their intended program of study in LRSD:

  • Students can defer their registration until a later date.

  • Students can cancel without penalty. 

Online learning options will not be made available to international students who are unable to travel to Winnipeg.


Students Returning from Travel

Effective February 15, 2022, public health removed self-isolation requirements for people entering Manitoba from other parts of Canada. Public health orders restricting travel to northern Manitoba are no longer in place. Anyone travelling to Manitoba from an international destination must follow the federal testing and self-isolation (quarantine) requirements. The Public Health Agency of Canada requires fully vaccinated travelers entering or returning to Canada to wear a well-constructed and well-fitting mask when in public spaces. This includes schools and daycares. Please refer to LRSD’s infographic for more information about travel isolation requirements. 


Childcare and Before- and After-School Programs

The division and its Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) partners have worked together to develop a strong planning partnership by building a bridge between the two systems to support a seamless transition for young children as they move from childcare to school.  

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has not put our collaboration on hold. The division and ELCC partnership will continue to be paramount to ensure a safe and consistent collaboration for childcare centres located in divisional facilities. 

The ongoing collaboration helped support the numerous transitions from the closure of childcare services to providing childcare for essential workers to expanding accommodation for all workers and, finally, to opening childcare centres at full capacity, all while adhering to public health safety guidelines. This will continue as we collectively navigate responsively to Public Health mandates during COVID-19. 

More information on childcare spaces.


Family Centres

All LRSD Family Centres are scheduled to reopen in April 2022.


Board and PAC Meetings

The LRSD Board of Trustees continue to meet regularly throughout 2021-2022 (see schedule). Meetings occur at our Monterey Board Office as well as via Zoom. Public participation is welcome, with advance registration required. 

Parent Advisory Councils continue to meet in-person, meet virtually, or do a mix of both during the 2021-2022 school year to meet the needs of individual communities. In-person meetings can only occur if all public health measures are followed.


Vision and Mission

LRSD remains firmly committed to its Vision, Mission and Values, Multi-Year Strategic Plan, and policies. By articulating LRSD's foundational principles, these documents provide clear direction. With the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, clear direction is more important than ever. The division calls on all members of the school community, which includes staff, students, and parents/guardians, to keep these documents top of mind as they engage in their daily work in 2021-2022 and beyond.


Facility Use Permits

We have restarted issuing permits to external organizations again.

Staff Services

LRSD staff should refer to the Safe Work Procedures on the Staff Services site to address staff-related matters about COVID-19.


Student and Family Preparedness

As mandated by Manitoba Education in Restoring Safe Schools: Planning Guide for 2021-2022 School Year, LRSD will continue to promote student and family preparedness by:
  • Developing comprehensive strategies for regular communication with families to raise awareness of the health and safety measures implemented at the school and across the division.
  • Ensuring the understanding that students should not attend school when sick or exhibiting  symptoms of illness.
    • Refer to the online COVID-19 Screening Tool to determine if a person should contact Health Links.
    • In-class learning may be increased or suspended on short notice in response to changing public health advice

The following paragraphs detail specific measures that LRSD has implemented to achieve these goals.

Screening and Self-Assessment

Students should be in good health to attend school. Before leaving for school parents/guardians are to use the Manitoba COVID-19 Screening Tool to ensure their children are not displaying symptoms prior to sending them to school or on the bus.

  • Daily screening for symptoms is critical to identify any potential cases of COVID-19 as quickly as possible before exposure to others. If someone is unsure whether they or their child should take a rapid test and/or self-isolate, they should be directed to the COVID-19 Screening Tool. Screening questions are available at COVID-19 Screening Questions to facilitate this process.

  • If a student shows any cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle ache, headache, nausea, fatigue) they should remain at home.

Symptom and exposure screening should occur at the start of each day.

  • Staff must self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Staff who have any symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home. Schools must maintain records of staff absenteeism.

People with symptoms should stay home and isolate for five days (no matter their vaccination status) after symptom onset until they have no fever and other symptoms have improved over the past 24 hours. 

Individuals who have tested positive but do not develop symptoms should isolate for five days from the date of the test.

Individuals should wear a well-fitting, well-made mask if they must have contact with other people while ill or when their isolation is finished, for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or test date if asymptomatic.

For more infomration, please visit the provincial government's website.

A chronic stable cough, sneeze, runny nose, or nasal congestion that is unchanged and clearly linked to a known medical condition such as asthma or allergies, is not an absolute requirement for exclusion. As well, children who are crying can exhibit a runny nose. Changing or worsening of chronic symptoms requires isolation and contacting Health Links — Info Santé. Staff should exercise judgment based on the symptoms, but when in doubt, err on the side of caution by excluding the child and advising the parent or caregiver to contact Health Links — Info Santé or their health care provider.

Routine screening or monitoring of temperatures with a thermometer or other device to assess for fever is not recommended. Normal temperatures can vary throughout the day and can be different between individuals. It is recommended that parents and staff focus on monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19, as outlined in the Screening Tool.

Staff and students are no longer eligible for PCR testing unless it is required for treatment and/or medical care or for confirmatory testing as required by the Orders Requiring Vaccination or Testing for Designated persons. Students can access Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) from the provincial testing sites. Designated staff can request RATs from their school or access them from a provincial testing site.

Voluntary Disclosure of Vaccination Status

So that we may make evidence-informed decisions, all families are encouraged to disclose their child(ren)’s vaccination status through the survey available on Tyler SIS. More details are available here.

Rapid Antigen Test Distribution and Use

Schools have distributed Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to students in kindergarten to Grade 6 as directed by the government. For more information, click here.

Student Public Health Safety Protocols and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Students will use hand sanitizer or wash their hands immediately upon entry into the school.

  • Personal hygiene practices that minimize the risk of virus transmission must be always followed. These include:

    • covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow

    • immediately disposing of used tissues in a garbage container

    • washing hands frequently, particularly after coughing or sneezing without a tissue, touching frequently used surfaces such as door handles or taps as well as before and after eating

    • avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth

  • Cleaning and sanitizing of shared spaces are a priority in LRSD schools and facilities. Washrooms are cleaned on a regular basis according to health and safety guidelines.


Mask Etiquette

LRSD strongly encourages all staff, students, and visitors to wear a well-fitting three-layered mask and will make medical-grade masks available to all staff, students and visitors in need. Masks can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Wearing masks is an additional layer of personal protection that can help prevent COVID-19 from spreading. For masks to be effective, they must be put on and removed properly. 

DO'S
  • Before putting on a mask, wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Inspect the mask for damage or dirt. Any disposable masks that meet these criteria should be discarded properly. If the mask is reusable, ensure it is cleaned or repaired prior to use.
  • Apply the mask and adjust to your face without leaving gaps on the sides and ensuring to cover your mouth, nose and chin.
  • Avoid touching the mask while it is being worn.
  • If you need to remove your mask, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Remove the mask by the straps behind your ears or head ensuring not to touch the front of the mask.
  • Pull the mask away from your face and dispose of it immediately into a garbage, or if reusable into a Ziplock bag or your personal backpack.
  • Wash your hands or apply alcohol-based sanitizer.

DON'TS
  • Do not use a mask that appears damaged or dirty.
  • Do not wear a loose mask.
  • Do not wear the mask under the nose.

Disposable medical-grade masks will be made available to staff, students, and visitors who are in need.

Communication

Our divisional website continues to provide the most up to date and comprehensive information for students and families. Since March 2020, our website has been updated as often as necessary to provide answers to frequently asked questions, important health protocols and the latest COVID-19 news. LRSD's social media accounts also provide regular, real-time updates. 

The division uses the MailChimp email platform to regularly communicate vital information to families. If you are not receiving our MailChimp updates, please reach out to your child’s home school to ensure your contact information is updated and you are opted in. You are also advised to check your Junk Mail folder in case the message has been misclassified and to add LRSD to your Safe Senders List.

In addition, LRSD's Senior Leadership Team will continue to engage all stakeholders and gather feedback from the community through various surveys and direct consultations as we move into the 2021-2022 school year. 


Learning Preparedness

COVID-19 will have impacts on student learning that will be felt beyond the 2021-2022 school year. These impacts have affected students and staff in different ways and a varied, strategic approach to address them is required. 

Throughout the current school year, teachers and students have worked collaboratively to assess strengths, identify challenges, and set new learning goals. The information gathered from these formative assessments continues to be used to plan rich learning experiences and targeted interventions.

School teams continue to incorporate the following principles in their approach to addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on student learning:

  • addressing the mental well-being of students and staff upon resumption of in-class learning as a foundation for learning
  • using assessments to further understand the impacts of COVID-19 for learners, examining themes across classes and school communities, and using the results to inform planning
  • understanding individual students' unique strengths and needs
  • building plans that acknowledge the diversity of student and educator experiences during the pandemic
  • collaborating with students, parents/caregivers, other classroom teachers, and student services personnel
  • meeting students where they are in their learning process as they transition from periods of remote learning back to in-class learning
  • developing plans to address the holistic needs of students, especially students identified as having been most at risk during the pandemic
  • providing access to rich learning experiences in all subject areas

Teaching and Learning

School and Classroom Libraries

School and classroom libraries are open for use. Ensure good hand hygiene before and after use.

Practical Arts

Students in grades 7 and 8 continue Practical Arts programming at the assigned locations. Information on each school’s programming will be provided to parents by their home school.

Arts Education (Dramatic Arts, Music, Visual Arts and Dance)

Arts education (dance, dramatic arts, music, and visual arts) is important in supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic growth. Arts programming will safely continue and be adapted to follow public health guidelines. This applies to both curricular and extracurricular activities.

On March 15, 2022, schools moved into Limited Risk (Green). As a result, there are no restrictions on singing or use of any instruments. 

Physical Education

As of March 15, physical education activities will return to normal practice with a continued focus on fundamentals, such as practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when sick. Physical distancing, cohorts and mask use are no longer required in physical education. Individuals may choose to continue to wear masks, based on individual risk or personal preference. Although individual K-6 schools may make their own decisions about changeroom procedures, there are no limitations at this time.

Please review  Measures for Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools at the Limited Risk level for specific guidelines.

Additional information can be found at Sport Manitoba COVID-19 Update and also at MHSAA.ca - Return to School Sport.

Sports Teams

The Louis Riel School Division will continue to collaborate with partner organizations (SCAC, MHSAA) to provide safe extracurricular and interscholastic sport. 

As of March 1, proof of vaccination is no longer required for participation in extra-curriculars. Mask use and physical distancing are encouraged where possible but are not required at this time.

Additional information can be found at Sport Manitoba COVID-19 Update and also at MHSAA.ca - Return to School Sport.

The Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre

Families of Kindergarten to Grade 8 students who are choosing to keep their children home for an extended period of time may want to consider applying to the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre by reaching out to their school principal to discuss. Please note that registrations that are committed to attend the MRLSC until the end of June will be prioritized.  

Students in grades 9 to 12 in English program schools who are required to learn from home for medical reasons can register for InformNet after advising their home school principal. Students in grades 9 to 12 in French Immersion schools can register with their home school for the École Apprendre Chez-Soi program offered by LRSD.

Local Field Trips

Field trips and off-site activities form an essential part of the learning experience for students at all grade levels. Careful consideration must be given to any plans that might involve taking students off the school property. To support decision making for possible field trips, teachers and administrators must use the following guidelines: 

  • All proposed trips must be structured to adhere to health regulations in effect at the time of booking, including transportation guidelines, supervision requirements, groups size limits, cohort structures (including the supervisors), food and nutrition requirements, and physical distancing limitations at the site of the field trip.

  • All plans for local field trips must be approved by the school administrator prior to booking sites and transportation. Detailed records must be kept of the trip plan, participants (including supervisors), and transportation details.

  • Enhanced planning for field trips will be necessary to ensure the health guidelines are met. When planning outings or field trips, consider the following:

    • Outdoor settings are lower risk for transmission of COVID-19.

    • Avoid crowded venues.

    • Ensure there is access to handwashing and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer during the outing. Handwashing will be required if the activity involves getting hands soiled.

  • For group transportation, physical distancing and/or cohorts need to be maintained. 

  • Staff members organizing off-site field trips will ensure that any public health requirements of the site being visited are met by the group attending.

Out-of-Province Student Travel

All out-of-province student travel remains suspended, subject to ongoing review. Planning for the return to possible out-of-province travel will require approval from the Superintendent's Department. Planning will require:  

  • Clear consideration for student and staff safety and well-being.

  • Consideration of COVID-19 circumstances and conditions in the destination region. 

  • Addressing travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, and vaccination requirements that may be in place for various regions and countries. 

  • Fulfulling all criteria required, including vaccination requirements for students and staff, in order to secure appropriate travel and medical insurance. 

School Staff Preparedness

As mandated by the Manitoba government in Restoring Safe Schools and Manitoba's back-to-school plan, LRSD ensured staff preparedness and compliance with Public Health orders and guidelines in all our schools and workplaces by:

  • Orienting staff to new public health protocols that must be followed in the school, before resuming in-class learning. 
  • Including all staff in orientation, including bus drivers, custodial staff, etc. 
  • Providing orientation to volunteers, if they are on-site in a limited way, to ensure they receive orientation when they begin. 
  • Using the online COVID-19 screening tool to inform staff orientation.
  • Presenting information on self-monitoring, managing a suspected case of COVID-19, managing shared spaces, etc.
  • Identifying staff who may need to work at home due to underlying health concerns that make them more vulnerable to exposure to COVID-19 and making any necessary adjustments.
  • Planning for health and safety training that may be required, and ensuring that professional learning focuses on COVID-19 pandemic priority areas, including recovery learning, collaborative planning, mental health and well-being and remote learning strategies.

Modifying Behaviours That Mitigate Risk

To ensure the safety of the work environment for all, staff will adhere to the Safe Work Procedures and keep abreast of updated procedures and protocols.

In the event that a family member of the staff person in the same household reports that they have received a positive test for COVID-19:
  • The staff member will immediately advise their direct supervisor.
  • The school and division will work with public health officials.

Staff Screening and Self-Assessment

Staff members must be in good health to attend work. Before leaving for the worksite all staff are to use the Manitoba Health COVID-19 Screening Tool.

As indicated by Restoring Safe Schools, arrangements will need to be made for teachers, administrators and school staff who may be at higher risk of COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions or other risk factors.

Testing for COVID-19

Testing for COVID-19 is recommended when a positive or negative result will inform decisions about your treatment or care.

The division has provided one box of 25 Rapid Antigen Tests per fully vaccinated teacher and educational assistant in the division. These tests should be reserved for symptomatic testing or if Public Health directs asymptomatic testing.

Other designated staff can request a package of three RATs from their school based on availability or access testing from the provincial testing sites. More information is available here.

Negative Result

If you have a negative result do not assume you are negative for COVID-19, it is recommended you take a second test 24 hours after your first and if available a third test 24 hours after the second. For more information on rapid antigen test and how to use them, see: manitoba.ca/covid19/testing/rat.html.

If all tests are negative, you can resume your regular activities as long as you have no fever and your symptoms have been improving for 24 hours.

Positive Result

Isolation is recommended when you test positive on a laboratory based (e.g., PCR) test, on a rapid antigen test, or if you have symptoms without testing:

  • You should isolate for 5 days after your symptoms started and until you have no fever and your other symptoms have improved over the past 24 hours.

  • If you don't have symptoms and test positive, you should isolate for 5 days after your test date.

You should also avoid non-essential visits to high-risk settings (e.g., personal care homes, health care facilities, etc.) and non-essential contact with individuals at high risk of severe outcomes for 10 days after your symptoms started, or if you don't develop symptoms, for 10 days after your test date. As well, you should wear a well-made, well-fitted mask during this 10-day period if/when you have contact with other people.

Lingering symptoms such as cough or loss of taste or smell can persist beyond the isolation period, and if present, are not reasons for continuing isolation.

Personal Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

Handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds is the recommended hand hygiene practice. Staff and students should engage in frequent hand hygiene, including at the following times:
  • the start of the day and before going home
  • before and after recess
  • after going to the washroom and helping children with washroom routines after a diaper change (both children and staff)
  • before and after preparing food
  • before eating or drinking
  • after getting hands dirty
  • after wiping nose or handling dirty tissues
  • after coughing, sneezing, or blowing nose
  • after soothing a crying child
  • before and after putting on and taking off a mask
  • before and after being on a bus
  • after cleaning tasks (staff)
  • before and after playful learning with books, toys and other materials in Early Years classrooms

School staff will help young children to ensure handwashing is done correctly.

Hand hygiene will be reinforced in all classrooms and alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be made available at all building access points and throughout schools and divisional facilities. Young children will require supervision when using alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Schools will ensure the on-going practice of hand hygiene stations at entrances and exits to school facilities and classrooms and encourage frequent usage.
Good hygiene practices can be taught in an age-appropriate and playful manner. School teams may want to have timers to help ensure students wash for an adequate amount of time. See how many 15- to 20-second songs the children can identify. 

Respiratory etiquette should be modelled, taught, and reinforced regularly. This includes coughing and sneezing into a tissue or sleeve, as well as properly and promptly disposing of any used tissues, and exercising proper hand hygiene.

Personal items (e.g., hats, hair accessories, lip balm, food, and drinks) should not be shared. Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes, and encourage children to do the same.

As part of these routine measures, signage should be posted and highly visible, and it should include visual cues that remind staff and children to perform hand hygiene (e.g., sneezing or coughing into their elbow, putting used tissues in a waste receptacle, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer immediately after using tissues). Several printable resources, including posters and fact sheets, are available online at the following websites:

Mask Etiquette

Staff will follow the same Public Health Safety Mask Etiquette as students. 

Masks are strongly encouraged for all students, staff, and visitors. Public health will continue to monitor closely and will adjust guidance as needed. Masks and personal protective equipment will be available to staff and students for use.

A Caring and Collaborative Approach

No one has previously experienced a global pandemic of this scale. We are living an unprecedented time of dynamic change that requires caring, collaborative, evidence-informed, agile and solution-focused thinking.

Even as public health orders and guidelines are removed, the continued vigilant practice of screening for symptoms, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing when possible, mask wearing and vaccination will continue to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

No matter the level of response to the pandemic in which we find ourselves and regardless of the physical location in which we learn and teach, equity and inclusion will remain our guiding principles. 

Collaboration among education systems, schools, staff, and families has been key to our ability to thrive and flourish under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. 

We continue to engage in a collective process of reflection to strengthen what has worked and to respond to emerging needs.

Our approach to navigating 2021-2022 and beyond will continue to focus on two interconnected purposes that are the core mandate in LRSD: learning and well-becoming.


Christian Michalik, Superintendent

 
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RT @CanadaPaintings: Oji-Cree Flowers for the Elders Christian Morriseau ~ Anishinaabe n.d. https://t.co/Xc4xxnSs8Z

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J.H. Bruns Collegiate was recently dubbed the AAA/AAAA aggregate junior varsity badminton champion for 2021-2022 👏🏸 @jhbLRSD https://t.co/8CUOkP5hEI https://t.co/gzoFfkeZF9

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Join the LRSD team! We're #hiring a full-time, permanent Bilingual Receptionist. Apply today: https://t.co/Dznuet76sZ The posting closes on May 19, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. https://t.co/lhqvXP6vua

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