Expect a normal school year, and some precautions

·2 min read

COVID-19 is still top of mind for educators as classes across Lambton County resume Tuesday.

Masks will not be mandatory in any Ontario school, nor will the online screening tool. However the Lambton-Kent District School Board “strongly recommends” students, staff and visitors continue using it to check for symptoms before heading to class.

“You must stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms,” states the website. Also anyone who is sick or has any symptoms of illness, including those not listed in the screening tool, should stay home and seek assessment from their health care provider if needed.

The head of the St. Clair District Catholic School Board echoes those comments asking parents to continue using the app.

But Scott Johnson says he’s pleased the 2022-2023 year is wide with opportunities for students.

“I am pleased that our schools are ready to return to a normalized school experience, where students can engage fully in academic, athletic, artistic, social justice, wellness and faith formation activities throughout the school day,” he writes in a letter to parents.

“This will include opportunities for experiential learning and outdoor education; and in our secondary schools, a return to fully operational cafeterias.”

Johnson adds the schools will continue the extensive cleaning which took place in the last two years and will provide masks for those students and teachers who want them to avoid exposure.

And he says, the schools have invested heavily in ventaliation systems.

“Over the past three years, St. Clair Catholic has invested $7.7 million in school ventilation upgrades.

“Our schools are equipped with excellent ventilation systems ... the highest-grade filters and additional HEPA filters that meet or exceed ministry requirements - in every classroom, portable and school.”

The first day of classes in Lambton-Kent School District will be Tuesday, Sept. 6. Senior Kindergarten will also begin full-time attendance on Sept. 6 while Junior Kindergarten will have a staggered entry with half of the students attending on Wednesday, Sept. 7 and the other half of Thursday, Sept. 8.

Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent