COVID-19 FAQ for Willingdon Parents
Willingdon Elementary FAQ document
Parent Community Questions
Last updated: October 5th
Q.1. What is the entry sanitation routine for kids entering the junior and senior campus buildings and how is sanitation monitored?
A: The established guidelines and entry process are the same for both campuses. Students come in using their assigned door and must sanitize their hands at the door prior to entering the building. Staff members at each door monitor the sanitization routine every morning, recess and dismissal.
Q.2. What is the latest drop off and pick up protocol for students in Kindergarten? Are parents required to wear masks in the school yard?
A: For kindergarten drop off and pick up, we now ask parents to do so at their designated gate, and respectfully to not enter the school yard. Any person who enters the school yard for any reason is required to wear a mask.
Q.3. After a positive COVID case is identified, who is responsible for contact tracing within the school?
A: Public Health officials are advised by school administrators and they establish what needs to be done and who will be contacted. Public Health is responsible for determining the risk level (as per the COVID Evaluation Protocols document sent by email to parents on Sept 25th), and they decide in consultation with school officials who were in close contact with the individual, who is at risk, and if the school is to send an email or phone call to a targeted group (deemed at moderate or high risk) advising them to go for testing.
Q.4. What precautions are being taken to avoid contact by non-classroom teachers and contractors (e.g. lunch monitors and specialists)? If a case is found in the school among these people, will every student that they came in contact with be asked to quarantine?
A: We have assigned a specific lunch monitor for each group. At times, when they are absent, we have had to replace them with others (as school routines necessitate). Both specialists and lunch monitors are always required to respect the 2 metre distance from students, and are also required to wear their personal protective equipment. If any of these people test positive, Public Health officials will assess the risk levels to the students they came in contact with on a case by case basis (following the COVID Evaluation Protocols sent by email to all parents on Sept. 25th).
Q.5. Are classroom “bubbles” allowed to mingle on the school yard grounds during play time and how might this be assessed if one student tests positive for COVID?
A: Students are allowed to play with others from their grade level when they are in the school yard, however, we do ask (and remind them) that they respect physical distancing of 2 metres at all times as they play, as practical. If a student tests positive for COVID, Public Health experts will assess the risk level for each unique case (as per the risk assessment guidelines and criteria sent to parents on Sept 25th), and they alone will determine who will need to be notified, quarantined and tested. School administrators will advise Public Health officials that students of the same grade share yard space together, and depending on the individual, this is not necessarily considered high risk.
Q.6. If the school provides an email notification that a confirmed case of COVID was found at the school, will parents of children sharing a class with the positive case be notified at the same time as the general notification?
A: Mass emails are sent at the same time to all our parent community and our staff members about a positive case. Those in close contact with the individual receive a separate email, at the same time (same day), with directives to follow from Public Health on what to do and if they need to be tested or quarantined. As well, Public Health officials will also call them.
Q.7. (UPDATED OCT 5) If a student tests positive for COVID-19, do all students in that class need to get tested, and how long will they need to quarantine? When can they come back?
A: Public Health officials are advised by the school administrators and they establish what needs to be done on a case by case basis (see Q.3 above). School-wide notifications are done by email, but specific follow ups for higher risk people could be done by phone or email, for the fastest response. In most cases, parents from the affected class are contacted directly by Public Health by phone and through the school by email and they are asked to have their children (from the specific class group) isolate and be tested. Public Health and EMSB isolation policy for COVID-19 cases is 10 days for students, and after that, if the student has had no symptoms for a 48 hour period, the parent or guardian can complete the Commitment Form (emailed to parents on Sept 25th) and the student can return to school. As per Public Health and EMSB isolation policy, close contacts of COVID-19 cases need to isolate at home for 14 days after the last close contact with the case prior to returning to school.
Q.8. Do siblings get sent home from school for isolation if their brother/sister was in a classroom that was notified of having a positive test, or are they permitted to continue attending school?
A: While living with someone who is awaiting test results (but a positive has not been confirmed), siblings who are not showing any symptoms can continue going to school. Once someone in the immediate household tests positive, then Public Health will advise the family on how to proceed for quarantine or further testing. Please refer to the COVID Evaluation Protocols that were emailed on Sept. 25th for specific scenarios and conditions for staying home or returning to school.
Q.9. If my child gets a COVID test, but does not get the results right away, does my child need to quarantine/isolate, and do I have to notify someone at the school right away?
A: Yes, it is likely that your child would need to stay home if they had been tested for COVID. More generally, children need to stay home if they fall into one of the following three categories: (1) they are showing COVID symptoms, (2) they have been notified and advised to be tested by Public Health officials, or (3) they have already been tested, and are positive. Please refer to Q.7 and the COVID Evaluation Protocols (emailed Sept.25th) for more detailed information. If possible, we ask that you advise the secretary at either campus as soon as possible if your child has gone for testing (and not just when you get the results).
Q.11. What should be done if a student has a family member who is being tested for COVID, should the student stay home? Should the school be notified of this situation and what is the expected protocol?
A: While living with someone who is awaiting test results, children who are not showing any symptoms can continue going to school. Once someone in the immediate household tests positive, then Public Health will advise the family on how to proceed for quarantine and testing (refer to the COVID Evaluation Protocols emailed on Sept. 25th for more detailed scenarios). Please advise school officials immediately if someone in the immediate household has tested positive.
Q.12. Is administration at Willingdon notified by Public Health officials if a student is sent to get a COVID-19 test?
A: Public Health officials do not advise the school every time a member of the community gets tested. We are advised immediately, however, when someone within our school (student or staff) tests positive, and we notify the broader community (Q.3 discusses contract tracing procedures).
Q.13. If a child is required to stay home (health testing, school shutdown, family member is ill with COVID symptoms), will work and distance education continue to be provided by the same teacher?
A: Teachers have now set up their Google Classrooms and will be posting the material needed for students that are at home to refer to and complete. However, teachers cannot teach the students virtually when only a few are absent daily. Parents must ensure their child is keeping up with what is posted by the teachers online. If there is a total school shutdown, teachers will continue teaching their entire class but will do so online using Google Meet with their students.