The following paragraphs detail specific measures that LRSD has implemented to achieve these goals.
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.
Symptom and exposure screening should 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.
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.
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.
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.
Disposable medical-grade masks will be made available to staff, students, and visitors who are in need.
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.
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
School and classroom libraries are open for use. Ensure good hand hygiene before and after use.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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