The following paragraphs detail specific measures that LRSD has implemented to achieve these goals.
All screening that identifies suspected cases of COVID-19 should be referred to Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.
Symptom and exposure screening must occur at the start of each day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The impacts of COVID-19 on student learning will be felt into the 2021/2022 school year and beyond. These impacts have affected students and staff in different ways and a varied, strategic approach to address them is required.
As the new school year begins, teachers and students will collaboratively assess strengths, identify challenges, and set new learning goals. The information gathered from these formative assessments can be used to plan rich learning experiences and targeted interventions. Student assessment and transition planning should emphasize and respond to learning needs identified in June 2021 report cards.
School teams will 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
We should maintain distancing up to 2 metres as much as possible. There should always be at least 1 metre of physical distance between students while seated in class. Physical distancing should be prioritized in common areas. Each classroom space should be verified using the Physical Distancing Calculator to ensure that all available space has been used to maximize distancing between students.
Kindergarten and Hands-On Learning
Play is a powerful antidote to stress and can be very therapeutic for children who may have experienced trauma related to the impacts of COVID-19 on their family. Play promotes physical and mental health and development, and gives young learners an outlet for their energy, concerns, and emotions. Grade 1 students who did not attend in-person Kindergarten due to COVID-19 may also benefit from a more playful introduction to school.
Play centres are recommended for kindergarten and pre-school classrooms, provided children follow good hygiene practice before and after use. As classroom space allows, teachers may reduce the number of children at each play centre to minimize direct contact as much as possible and allow children to make self-selected choices during this time. Environmental cues, such as two chairs at a centre, will help children see how many friends can play there.
Morning and afternoon or alternate day kindergarten classes will make up separate cohorts. Many materials and games can remain in use if children wash their hands before and after their use. Clean and disinfect the tables at least once per day. Manipulatives should be cleaned as per regular pre-COVID-19 procedures and practices.
As per standard procedures, it is recommended that schools have toys that are easily cleaned and disinfected. It may be prudent to increase the frequency of the cleaning schedule for these items, especially when illness is circulating in the setting or the local community, or if symptomatic staff and children have been touching the toys. Toys without hard surfaces, should be removed as they cannot be easily cleaned.
Plush toys should be avoided. Children’s personal toys (i.e., for security or comfort) are not to be shared with other children and should be stored in a way that ensures this.
Utilizing the outdoors for teaching continues to be a priority. As long as weather permits, teachers will be encouraged to plan to use outdoor learning environments as much as possible. Children may play on play structures or play equipment (e.g., tire swings, playhouses) as long as spacing can be maintained and they clean their hands before and after. Sharing toys in an outside setting (e.g., a sandbox) is permitted as long as effective hand hygiene can be ensured before and after play.
Teachers will encourage movement during free play and build resilience by keeping children engaged, emphasizing the program structure and schedule, and providing children with choices when possible.
School and classroom libraries are open for use. Ensure good hand hygiene before and after use.
Students in grades 7 and 8 will resume Practical Arts programming at the assigned locations. Information on each school’s programming will be provided to parents by their home school.
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.
Wind instruments and indoor singing are allowed, while ensuring adequate ventilation and encouraging physical distancing where possible. Instruments, including accessories (e.g. drum sticks, mallets) should not be shared, except for equity of access purposes. If sharing, instruments and accessories will be cleaned and disinfected between users.
Arts teachers should be teaching in their own classrooms as much as possible. However, Arts learning can also be modified in a variety of ways if required in order to decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Examples of modifications include teaching outdoors, having teachers travel from class to class, and using online learning. When planning, school teams implement plans based on their individual contexts.
Physical education activities will mirror current public health orders. Physical education teachers will continue to maximize outdoor learning as much as possible, as they present a lower risk for transmission of COVID-19. A more detailed document has been developed to provide guidance on how sports and other activities could be modified/adapted to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. It is available at Province of Manitoba - Sports Guidelines.
Students in K-6 will not change for Phys. Ed.. Students in grades 7-12 may change for Physical Education classes providing the number of students changing at a time allows for 1-2 metres of physical distancing.
Additional information can be found at Sport Manitoba COVID-19 Update and also at the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association - 2021-2022 Return to School Sport Plan.
The Louis Riel School Division will continue to collaborate with partner organizations (SCAC, MHSAA) to ensure a safe return to play occurs for extracurricular and interscholastic sport.
As schools reintroduce sport opportunities for students, families will receive updated information directly from their schools.
Additional information can be found at Sport Manitoba COVID-19 Update and also at the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association - 2021-2022 Return to School Sport Plan.
The Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre, in partnership with Manitoba Education and St. James Assiniboia School Division will continue to support and maintain resources for school divisions, schools, families, and students who are teaching and learning remotely during the 2021-2022 school year. LRSD has been allocated a number of seats in the MRLSC for students in kindergarten to grade 8 (English and French Immersion) who are immunocompromised or who live in a household with someone who is immunocompromised. A medical note is required for referral to the MRLSC. Please contact your home school Principal for more information. Should a parent wish to have their child return to their brick and mortar home school at any point in the school year, a medical note indicating it is safe to do so will be required.
Students in grades 9 to 12 in English program schools who are required to learn from home for medical reasons can register for InformNet beginning August 30, 2021, after advising their home school principal. Students in grades 9 to 12 in French Immersion schools can register with their home school for a program offered by LRSD.
LRSD continues to leverage technology such as Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, to support teaching and learning during a pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic our priorities have been:
Ensuring students have access to the internet and laptops.
Offering professional development for teachers to transition to an online teaching environment
Enhancing technology in the classroom for staff and students
Online tools such as Microsoft Teams and OneDrive have become part of daily classroom routines, even with the majority of students continuing to learn in schools.
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.
Overnight trips are currently prohibited. Any changes will follow public health orders at the time.
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.
Recess and Lunch Breaks
Public health officials advise 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 for kindergarten to Grade 6.
practise good hand hygiene before and after use of shared equipment and before and after recess/lunch breaks.
mark zones, manage group sizes, and avoid contact among groups.
masks are not required while playing outside (schools will develop their own processes for managing transitions).
Students are encouraged to 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 cafeteria services and breakfast, and lunch programs, provided they follow public health recommendations and orders in place at the time. Family-style, buffet, or potluck meals should be avoided.
Students are encouraged to keep personal belongings with them.
Staff will minimize the use of assemblies and gatherings in schools to avoid crowding. Consider smaller grade-specific or cohorted assemblies. Types and size of gatherings and assemblies need to align with public health recommendations and orders at the time.
Schools and school divisions may conduct opening exercises in accordance with public health measures at the time.
Teachers can ease the social pathway by:
- facilitating connection and conversation
- re-creating norms that will allow students to feel psychologically safe in an optimistic and efficacious learning environment
- inviting each student's perspective by asking open questions so that each student feels connected to the learning community
- providing trauma-informed learning for staff, parents, and students, enabling everyone in the school community to recognize and respond mindfully during this unusual situation
- appointing a caring adult to build a relationship for those students you know to be vulnerable
Assessment practices that prioritize emotional well-being are what is needed during school reopening. Some recommendations include:
- Be cautious of using diagnostic quizzes and high stakes evaluation that will heighten the stress for some learners and therefore will not provide meaningful or accurate direction for the teacher
- Consider formative, low-threat assessments-for-learning to reveal students' strengths and needs
- Facilitate interviews that invite student and family perspectives. These richer strategies will engage student voices positively and uncover unanticipated insights.
Strategies to support the mental health and well-being of students will be documented using the Class Profile template; in instances where needs are particularly complex, a student-specific plan may be necessary. See the documents:
School teams are encouraged to continue to focus on establishing the essential outcomes for each curricular area with baseline assessments and learning plans that fit individual, small group and whole class needs.
- Teacher teams will establish essential outcomes and determine what all students must know, understand and be able to do as a result of each unit of instruction.
- Schools will structure the school day to allow for recovery and extension learning activities by all available staff and as a result of the various team structures put in place to respond to students' individual, small group and whole class learning needs.
- Schools will plan for those students who require additional time and programming to meet the needs of their recovery learning plans. Intervention efforts will be monitored and adjusted, as needed, using a regular cycle of data collection and sharing.
Looking to Data
Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman have designed a well-researched process for structuring conversations centred on data (see Collaborative Learning Cycle presented in Got Data? Now What?: Creating and Leading Cultures of Inquiry, 2012; Printable reproducible available
; English summary available
; French summary available
Each year, students arrive in classrooms with varying abilities. To mitigate this reality and thus promote the success of each student, schools employ several valuable processes, notably:
- referencing learning goals indicated on the final report card
- holding transition meetings between the teachers of the current and previous years
- holding staggered Opening Day Conferences to learn more about students directly from families
- conducting baseline assessments and addressing gaps in learning by re-teaching concepts before introducing new content
- preparing class profiles to document Tier 1, 2 & 3 education strategies.
Teachers will adapt their teaching practices to meet the needs of their students and will:
- articulate clear learning targets
- provide ongoing feedback
- adjust learning targets or set new learning targets
- ensure regular communication with students and their families
- document strategies to support academic learning using the Class Profile template
School teams have considered the team structures that they utilize to meet student needs to streamline the intervention and ensure a focused approach to addressing recovery learning needs with an expedited timeframe:
- Same course or grade-level teams
- For example, all the math teachers who support a group of students or all of the Grade 2 teachers in a school form a collaborative team to design baseline assessments and learning moves to address identified essential outcomes.
- Vertical teams
- Link teachers with those who teach content above or below their grade level to support differentiated responses to the range of recovery learning needs.
- Electronic teams
- Use remote technology platforms to create connections amongst teachers across Families of Schools and/or the division to co-create learning plans for like students.
- Interdisciplinary teams
- Create cross-curricular teams of teachers where the focus of planning is on a shared student; look for opportunities to address shortfalls in literacy
- Logical links
- Group teachers together based on similar focus (Could be cross-grade, cross-curricular, across schools, etc.). (see Whatever it Takes, R. Dufour, 2004)
- build a classroom community;
- establish routines; and
- assess baseline skills and knowledge in the areas of literacy and numeracy.
At each grade band, consideration for essential outcomes and powerful student-centred learning strategies are shared. Play-based, inquiry and project-based teaching strategies are emphasized.
The document is not prescriptive and does not presume to have all the answers; however, it is hoped that teachers will use the structure as a planning tool, selecting sample strategies that work for their students and inserting others from their repertoire. It is for this reason that the document is being shared in both
The document promotes a framework that is familiar to LRSD teachers, namely
The First Six Weeks of School from Responsive Classroom
. With its emphasis on both academic and social emotional wellbeing, this framework aligns well with provincial expectations related to recovery learning.
The Learning Team looks forward to supporting teacher teams as they collaborate to plan and implement recovery learning. Requests for assistance should be directed to your school principal.
Suggestions from Manitoba Education include:
- Reaching out in new ways to families since many traditional orientation events will be cancelled
- Strengthening communication channels with families and actively promoting engagement
- Adapting meaningful child-focused play and teacher-guided learning to adhere to safety guidelines
- Continuing to encourage and focus on purposeful play
Young learners achieve their Kindergarten outcomes best when teachers value child-centredness, purposeful play and inquiry, and authentic literacy and numeracy experiences that also support social interactions, community building, and children's growing ability to regulate emotions and behaviours. In LRSD, we will consider the importance of social and emotional well-being as carefully as we do children's physical well-being.
As mandated by the Manitoba government in
Welcoming Our Students Back: 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.
The following paragraphs detail specific measures that LRSD implemented to achieve these goals.
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.
To facilitate contact tracing, staff attendance will be tracked through the Absence Management System (AMS).
Visitors to schools and itinerant Divisional Employees will, upon entry to each worksite, sign-in on the Entry Log with the date, name, and entry time, and the location(s) being accessed in the building. Staff will need to sign-out their departure time on the Entry Log.
Handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds is the recommended hand hygiene practice. Staff and students must 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:
Physical distancing is encouraged to the greatest extent possible.
For Kindergarten to Grade 6 where cohorts are in place, physical distancing should be practised outside of the classroom/cohort and during non-instructional activities (e.g, entering/exiting the school, recess, lunch, breaks, etc.).
All schools will work to avoid overcrowding in indoor common spaces and implement strategies to spread people out within the available space. Schools will manage the flow of people in common areas, including hallways, to minimize crowding and allow for the ease of people passing through. They will implement the practice of staggered entrance and exit times or use separate entrances (if feasible).
Schools will implement physical distancing requirements of one to two metres to the greatest extent possible.
The maximum number of individuals congregating in a common space for extracurricular indoor and outdoor settings, including staff meetings, must comply with the up-to-date public health orders.
Staff will follow the same Public Health Safety Mask Etiquette as students.
Masks are mandated 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.
The following professional learning norms (articulated in Policy GCIA) shall guide our professional growth as we respond to the ever-evolving public health situation.
- Student learning informs professional learning.
- Professional learning is most efficacious when it's personalized, differentiated, job-embedded and collaborative.
- Professional learning is a continuous, collaborative inquiry:
- designed to incrementally improve practice;
- informed by student learning data;
- grounded in current research; and
- guided by both the school's and division's multi-year strategic plans.
- Professional learning must be framed by continuous cycles of assessment, planning, and action that measure the impact of collective teaching practice on student learning and lead to greater collective efficacy.
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.
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. Even as public health orders and guidelines are loosened, the continued vigilant practice of screening for symptoms, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing when possible, mask wearing and vaccination will be required to 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