HEALTH AND SAFETY

This page was last updated on September 13, 2021.

HTS COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

List of 10 items.

  • VACCINATION

    “Immunization is the single most effective preventive intervention and its widespread uptake will dramatically reduce infection rates even among unvaccinated people, including children.” - School Operation for the 2021-2022 Academic Year in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic,  Science Table, COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario.

    We continue to support the global effort to end COVID-19. In recent weeks and days, there has been information emerging at a rapid rate and frequent communications shared with school leaders relating to the safe return to in-person learning. As of Tuesday, September 7, the provincial government has announced that all schools are required to have immunization disclosure policies that cover all staff, students, volunteers, visitors and on-site contractors. Currently, the rules state that people who are not fully vaccinated or have a medical reason for not being vaccinated would require regular antigen testing. HTS is a member of the Creative Destruction Lab Rapid Screening Consortium and we are currently working on our protocols for administering antigen rapid tests within our community. Further information will be shared with our community as soon as details are finalized, prior to the start of school. 

    Taken from the York Region’s e-Newsletter, YR Matters, “Youth should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 24 to provide increased protection when they return to school on September 7. Anyone born in 2009 or earlier who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can book their second dose appointment 28 days following their first dose. Most York Region vaccination clinics are now welcoming walk-ins for first and second doses. 

    It remains critically important for those who have not received their COVID-19 vaccines to get them. A complete vaccine series of two doses offers a stronger, more sustained level of protection against COVID-19 and variants. Cases of myocarditis and/or pericarditis following immunization with COVID-19 vaccines are rare. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines continue to greatly outweigh any potential risks.” - YR Matters, York Region’s e-Newsletter, August 11, 2021 

    We have an employment COVID-19 vaccination policy in place for all staff, strongly recommending that staff be fully vaccinated. We strongly recommend students born in 2009 and earlier be fully vaccinated so that our community can thrive and be protected during these challenging times.
    The Government of Ontario website includes vaccine information, including booking vaccine appointments outside of York Region.
  • RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING

    As part of our safety protocols, HTS has joined the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Rapid Screening Consortium to implement rapid screening at our workplace. CDL Rapid Screening Consortium is a private-led, not-for-profit initiative with the goal of establishing a robust rapid screening system and operational implementation strategy to be delivered as a public good to Canada and then the world. As such, all HTS staff will undertake two rapid tests every week as part of our screen protocols to keep our school safe. We are currently working out the processes for administering rapid testing on students, visitors and contractors to HTS.
  • STUDENT AND STAFF SCREENING

    All students and staff must self-screen every day before attending school. All screening will take place through Edvance

    Please follow the steps below to complete your daily screening:
    1. Log in to Edvance
    2. Click “Complete Screening”
    3. Upon completion, you will receive notification of whether you are permitted on campus or asked to stay home and follow the advice of public health.
    If you have any questions, please contact helpdesk@hts.on.ca.

    We will continue to ensure that all students and staff have completed the COVID-19 screening prior to arrival on campus. Screening will be recorded once completed in Edvance and recorded in our attendance records. For staff and students who arrive without completing their survey, they will be asked the screening questions by an HTS staff before they can continue with their day.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: For everyone who has the OPN app from last year, you can delete your account and remove the app from your device(s).

    This screening was adapted from the York Region Public Health school's screening form (September 3, 2021) and includes additional HTS protocols in the screening.

    Students and staff are permitted on campus if they or anyone in their household has had a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 48 hours and is experiencing any of these symptoms that are mild and only began after vaccination:

    • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
    • muscle aches
    NOTE: If symptoms worsen, continue past 48 hours, or if you develop other symptoms: you should notify the HTS nurse and leave school immediately to self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test.

    Students, staff and everyone in their households must stay home if any member of the household has COVID-19 symptoms (not related to a COVID-19 vaccine, as noted above) or is waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms. DO NOT come to campus for in-person learning or to work and follow the protocols outlined below. Students who feel well enough may join their class online.

    If your child and/or any household members are experiencing any of the symptoms below, please DO NOT come to campus for in-person learning. Follow the protocols outlined below and join your class online. 

    • FEVER AND/OR CHILLS - A temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
    • COUGH OR BARKING COUGH - Continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing (not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • SHORTNESS OF BREATH - Out of breath, unable to breathe deeply, (not related to asthma or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • SORE THROAT OR DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING - Painful swallowing (not related to seasonal allergies, acid reflux or other known causes or conditions)
    • EXTREME TIREDNESS - Unusual fatigue/lack of energy (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction or other known causes or conditions)
    • MUSCLE ACHES - Unexplained, unusual or long-lasting (not related to sudden injury, fibromyalgia or other known causes or conditions)
    • RUNNY OR STUFFY/CONGESTED NOSE - Not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather or other known causes or conditions
    • DECREASE OR LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL - Not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders, or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA - Not related to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps, or other known causes or conditions you already have
  • VISITOR SCREENING

    The health, safety and well-being of students and staff is a top priority at HTS.

    The School is open based on the assurance that all persons entering the school premises have taken proper precautions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

    Entry into the school is restricted to staff and students. Parents and visitors have limited access to the school, by appointment only, to allow for pre-screening and must only enter through our main doors for us to document and collect contact information.

    As you are aware, the best understanding of the present evidence is that COVID-19 can be transmitted by persons who do not exhibit symptoms. There is no guarantee that COVID-19 will not be contracted by persons entering school premises. It is the collective strategies that work together to minimize the spread of this disease and we all play a role in protecting our communities. 

    All VISITORS complete the HTS VISITOR COVID-19 SELF-SCREENING FORM prior to arrival at the School. Visitors must wear a face mask, sanitize their hands upon entry and leaving the school, and maintain physical distance from others as much as possible.
  • SCREENING QUESTIONS

    Question #1: Are you currently experiencing any of these symptoms? Choose any/all that are new worsening and not related to other known causes or conditions you already have. 
    If the person got a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 48 hours and is experiencing fatigue or muscle aches that only began after vaccination, select “No.”
    • FEVER AND/OR CHILLS - A temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius/100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
    • COUGH OR BARKING COUGH - Continuous, more than usual, making a whistling noise when breathing (not related to asthma, post-infectious reactive airways, or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • SHORTNESS OF BREATH - Out of breath, unable to breathe deeply, (not related to asthma or other known causes or conditions you already have)
    • SORE THROAT OR DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING - Painful swallowing (not related to seasonal allergies, acid reflux or other known causes or conditions)
    • EXTREME TIREDNESS - Unusual fatigue/lack of energy (not related to depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction or other known causes or conditions)
    • MUSCLE ACHES - Unexplained, unusual or long-lasting (not related to sudden injury, fibromyalgia or other known causes or conditions)
    • RUNNY OR STUFFY/CONGESTED NOSE - Not related to seasonal allergies, being outside in cold weather or other known causes or conditions
    • DECREASE OR LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL - Not related to seasonal allergies, neurological disorders, or other known causes or conditions you already have
    • VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA - Not related to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps, or other known causes or conditions you already have

    Question #2: Is someone you/your child lives with currently experiencing any new COVID-19 symptoms and/or waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms? 
    *If the individual experiencing symptoms received a COVID-19 vaccination in the last 48 hours and is experiencing mild fatigue, muscle aches and/or joint pain which only began after vaccination, select “No.” If fully vaccinated or previously positive in past 90 days and since cleared, select “No.”

    Question #3: In the last 10 days, have you/your child been identified as a “close contact” of someone who currently has COVID-19? 
    *If fully vaccinated or previously positive in past 90 days and since cleared, select “No.”

    Question #4: In the last 10 days, have you/your child received a COVID Alert exposure notification on your/their cellphone? 
    *If testing occurred and a negative result was received or if fully vaccinated or previously positive in the past 90 days and since cleared, select “No.”

    Question #5: In the last 14 days, have you/your child travelled outside of Canada AND: 
    • been advised to quarantine as per the federal quarantine requirements AND/OR 
    • is the student/child under the age of 12 and/or not fully vaccinated?

    For fully vaccinated travellers entering Ontario via plane, Public Health recommends that travellers who are not exempt from federal quarantine should tell their household members who are not fully immunized to remain off campus for 14 days. A COVID-19 test should be taken 6-8 days after the traveller's return date. 

    Question #6: Has a doctor, health care provider or public health unit told you that you/your child should currently be isolating (staying at home)? This can be because of an outbreak or contact tracing.

    Question #7: In the last 10 days, have you/your child tested positive on a rapid antigen test or a home-based self-testing kit? 
    *If the student/child has since tested negative on a lab-based PCR test, select “No.”
  • SCREENING RESULTS

    If you selected “YES” to ANY of the above (Q#1-7), the student/staff should stay home (do not go to school or child care).
    If you answered “YES” to any of the symptoms included under question 1, DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL: 

    INDIVIDUAL WITH SYMPTOMSHOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
    Tested for COVID-19 and waiting for resultsDo not attend school/child care 
    • Self-isolate (even if fully vaccinated); stay home except to get tested or for a medical emergency
    • Isolate away from household members while results are pending
    Not fully vaccinated household members - do not attend school/child care; stay home except to get tested or for a medical emergency
    Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) who do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home
    Negative test result
    • Can return to school/child care after fever/ symptoms improved for 24 hours and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. diarrhea, vomiting, etc.) have resolved for 48 hours
    • Advise school/child care about negative test result
    All household members with no symptoms can return to school/child care
    Not tested for COVID-19Do not attend school/child care 
    • Isolate for 10 days from symptom onset
    Not fully vaccinated household members - do not attend school/child care; stay home except to get tested or for a medical emergency 
    • Not fully vaccinated household members must self-isolate for 10 days from last exposure to the symptomatic individual 
    Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) who do not have symptoms can attend school/ child care and are not required to stay home
    Received an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional NOT related to a potentially transmissible viral illness with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 (e.g. asthma or allergic rhinitis)Return to school/child care after fever/symptoms improved for 24 hours and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. diarrhea, vomiting, etc.) have resolved for 48 hours
    • Advise school/child care about the alternative diagnosis by a health care provider
    All household members with no symptoms can return to school/child care

    Returning to school
    You can return to school only when you are cleared by your local public health unit, regardless of test result. The HTS nurse must also provide a return to campus date based on HTS COVID-19 protocols.

    If you develop symptoms
    Contact York Region Public Health. If you do not live in York Region, please contact your local public health unit or doctor/health care provider for more advice.


    If you answered “YES” to question 2, DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL:
    Is anyone you live with currently experiencing any new COVID-19 symptoms and/or waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms?
    1. If you/your child are unvaccinated, do not attend school/child care; stay home except to get tested or for a medical emergency
    2. If the symptomatic person goes for testing and receives a negative result, you/your child can return to school/child care if you/your child do not have symptoms; let school/child care know about the negative result of the symptomatic person
    3. If the symptomatic person received an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider that is not related to a potentially transmissible viral illness with symptoms compatible with COVID-19, you/your child can return to school/child care if you/your child do not have symptoms
    4. If you/your child are fully vaccinated (or previously positive) and do not have symptoms you can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home
    Returning to school
    You can return to school only when you are cleared by York Region Public Health unit. The HTS nurse must also provide a return to campus date based on HTS COVID-19 protocols.

    If you develop symptoms
    Contact York Region Public Health. If you do not live in York Region, please contact your local public health unit or doctor/health care provider for more advice.


    If you answered “YES” to question 3, DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL:
    In the last 10 days, have you been identified as a “close contact” of someone who currently has COVID-19?

    Notify the HTS Nurse immediately at ncosta@hts.on.ca to let them know.  The HTS Nurse will be following up with every student/staff who answered yes.

    UNVACCINATED PERSON IDENTIFIED AS A “CLOSE CONTACT”HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
    No symptoms Isolate for 10 days from last exposure to person with COVID-19 as instructed by public health (e.g., cohort dismissal letter) 
    • Get tested on day 7 (after last exposure to person with COVID-19) – continue to isolate even with a negative test result
    Not fully vaccinated school/child care aged children within the household - do not attend school/child care 

    Not fully vaccinated adult household members may continue to attend school/child care as long as they don’t have symptoms; stay home except for essential reasons
    Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) who do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home
    Has/Develops SymptomsGet tested and isolate for 10 days from symptom onset
    • Try to isolate away from household members 
    • Let school/child care know when symptoms started
    Not fully vaccinated household members cannot attend school/child care; stay home except to get tested or for a medical emergency
    Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) who do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home
    FULLY VACCINATED PERSON IDENTIFIED AS A CLOSE CONTACTHOUSEHOLD MEMBERS
    No symptomsDo not have to self-isolate – can attend school/child care
    • Get tested as soon as possible
    Household members with no symptoms can attend school/child care
    Has/Develops SymptomsLeave school/child care immediately to self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing
    • Isolate for 10 days from symptom onset
    • Let school/child care know when symptoms started
    Not fully vaccinated household members cannot attend school/child care; stay home except to get tested or for a medical emergency
    Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) and do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home

    Returning to school
    You can return to school only after 14 days, even if you get a negative test result. The HTS nurse must also provide a return to campus date based on HTS COVID-19 protocols.

    If you develop symptoms or test positive
    Contact York Region Public Health. If you do not live in York Region, please contact your local public health unit or doctor/health care provider for more advice.


    If you answered “YES” to question 4, DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL:
    In the last 10 days, have you received a COVID Alert exposure notification on your cell phone?
    1. If you/your child are unvaccinated, do not attend school/child care – get tested and stay home while test results are pending, except for a medical emergency; not fully vaccinated household members should also not attend school/child care while test results are pending
    2. If you/your child gets a negative result and have no symptoms, you/your child can return to school/child care; let school/child care know about the negative test result; you/your child should self-monitor for 10 days from when they received the COVID app notification and should seek retesting if symptoms develop
    3. If you/your child have symptoms, unvaccinated household members should also not attend school/child care; contact Public Health for advice for you/your child and unvaccinated household members
    4. Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) and do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home

    If you have any of the symptoms listed in question #5: DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL:
    In the last 14 days, have you/your child travelled outside of Canada AND:  
    • been advised to quarantine as per the federal quarantine requirements AND/OR 
    • is the student/child under the age of 12 and/or not fully vaccinated?
    1. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 may not attend school/child care for 14 days after their arrival in Canada
    2. Children under the age of 12 who travelled in the company of someone who qualified for an exemption from quarantine based on vaccination status do have some exemptions from federal quarantine outside of attendance at these settings
    3. Fully vaccinated travellers without symptoms and who meet all federal quarantine exemptions can attend school/child care

    If you answered “YES” to question #6, DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL:
    Has a doctor, health care provider, or public health unit told you or someone in your household that you/they should currently be isolating (staying at home)?
    1. You/your child must isolate and follow Public Health’s advice
    2. If you/your child develops symptoms, go for testing and contact Public Health for advice; if you receive a negative result, contact Public Health to confirm if you/your child can return to school/child care; let school/child care know about the negative result and you/your child were cleared by Public Health
    3. Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) and do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home
    4. Unvaccinated household members should contact Public Health for advice on testing and isolation

    If you answered “YES” to question #7, DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL:

    In the last 10 days, has the student/child tested positive on a rapid antigen test or a home-based self-testing kit? 
    1. If you/your child tests positive from a rapid antigen test, get a PCR test, isolate and contact Public Health for advice 
    2. Not fully vaccinated household members must isolate until you/your child receives a negative PCR test and are cleared by Public Health; let school/child care know about the negative PCR result 
    3. Fully vaccinated household members (or previously positive) and do not have symptoms can attend school/child care and are not required to stay home

    If you answered “NO” to all questions, your child may go to school.
  • STUDENT/STAFF WITH SYMPTOMS AT SCHOOL

    If a student/staff exhibits one or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while on campus, they will be brought to the school nurse. As a precaution, the student/staff will be separated from all other students/staff and kept in the nurse areas in an isolation zone until a parent or emergency contact is able to pick them up to take them home, or, in the case of staff, they are able to drive home. 

    All HTS siblings/children/partners of symptomatic individuals will need to go home and are asked to participate in their learning remotely. Siblings should be monitored for symptoms while home. 

    A printed copy of next step instructions will be distributed to parents who are picking up their child. 
  • TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF ONTARIO

    Travel increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and variants of concern in our school community. In order to mitigate against the risk of transmission, we are asking staff, students and families to minimize travel and to be judicious about being on campus after travelling. 

    If a student/staff or anyone in their household has travelled outside of Canada, or has had a layover outside of Canada, please use this website to review the restrictions based on which country you have travelled from. These restrictions are determined by the Government of Canada. 

    For fully vaccinated travellers entering Ontario via plane, Public Health recommends that travellers who are not exempt from federal quarantine should tell their household members who are not fully immunized to remain off campus for 14 days. A COVID-19 test should be taken 6-8 days after the traveller's return date. 

    Parents/guardians and staff must work with our School Nurse to provide travel details and the reason for travel of the household member. 
  • REPORTING

    Private schools must immediately report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the school’s health unit, which is York Region Public Health for HTS, as required under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and provide any materials (for example, daily attendance and transportation records) to public health officials to support case management and contact tracing and other activities, in accordance with all applicable privacy legislation. Public Health officials will determine any additional steps required.

    Under Section 28 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Heads of School have a duty to report to the Medical Officer of Health if they are of the opinion that a student or staff member has or may have a communicable disease (e.g., COVID-19). However, not all instances of ill individuals in the school setting are required to report to Public Health, as these are frequent occurrences and typically students have non-specific symptoms. 

    The Head of School, or designate, should report immediately to Public Health when made aware of any of the following:
    • A student/staff/visitor has tested positive for COVID-19
    • A student/staff/visitor has symptoms of COVID-19 and was exposed to someone know to have COVID-19
    • A student/staff/visitor has symptoms of COVID-19 and has travelled in the last 14 days prior to symptom onset
    In addition, the Head of School is required to report the above information to the Ministry of Education. 

    HTS will fully support York Region Public Health with any investigation relating to COVID-19.

    The Head of School records this information, including attendance, contact information and visitor sign-in logs for possible York Region Public Health contact tracing purposes. The Head of School reports the name, date of birth, and personal contact information of staff/student to public health officials. An incident report will be completed and filed with the school as a measure for our Health and Safety Committee to review.

    If there are any confirmed COVID-19 cases at HTS, the Head of School will work with York Region Public Health to communicate with our community. 

    Under no circumstance will the School share the personal information/name of an infected person with the community. Protecting the medical and personal information of our community members is of great priority to us. 

    York Region Public Health will follow up with HTS to discuss any changes to cleaning protocols that may need to be performed. These areas, or if deemed necessary, the entire school, will be closed until these changes to cleaning are completed. Additional direction will be taken from York Region Public Health and/or the Ministries of Education, Health and Labour Training and Skills Development.
  • CONTACT INFORMATION & RESOURCES

    Helen Pereira-Raso, Head of School, headofschool@hts.on.ca or 905-737-1114 ext. 226
    Natalie Costa, HTS Nurse, ncosta@hts.on.ca or 905-737-1114 ext. 238

    Telehealth Ontario: 1 866-797-0000
    York Region Health Connection: 1 800-361-5653
    To find the closest pharmacy or assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/covidtest
    For more information about COVID-19, please visit York.ca/COVID19

COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY

List of 4 items.

  • FACE MASKS AND COVERINGS

    Face coverings are an added preventative measure along with other infection prevention and control measures, such as physical distancing.

    To keep students and staff safe, the provincial government is requiring all students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 must wear non-medical or cloth masks or face coverings indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes, on school transportation and outdoors during recess where students cannot maintain physical distancing. ​​

    All staff and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 are required to wear face masks, entering and exiting the school, walking in the halls, common areas and to the bathrooms.

    Student Masks 
    As an added layer of protection, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends wearing 3-layer cloth masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Existing 2-layer cloth masks can still be used as before if they are well maintained and well-fitting.

    Please provide your child with two-layer masks, at minimum, to wear at school. Packing an extra mask or two for changes throughout the day is recommended. 

    All students must wear a mask participating in before and after care programs as an additional protective measure.

    Parents are asked to supply their child(ren) with:
    • 3-4 face masks each day, clearly labelled with their child’s name. This allows for a new mask to be worn after recesses and lunch.
    • A small cloth or lunch-sized paper bag is recommended to put their mask away in when it is not being worn
    • And a small unscented personal hand sanitizer so students can disinfect their hands as they feel comfortable. Please note that each classroom as well as many other spaces in the school are outfitted with hand sanitizer dispensers. 
    Disposable, 3-layer masks are available for any student who has forgotten to bring a mask to school upon entrance into the school and in every classroom. Hand sanitizer is also provided throughout the school and in every classroom.

    Disposable face masks are for one-time use and are to be disposed of properly at the end of the school day. The disposable face masks are not to be reused multiple times. After disposing of a mask, students and staff must wash their hands with soap and water or apply hand sanitizer. 

    Mandated Use
    Face masks and coverings are mandated for all staff, students and visitors upon arrival and exit, during class, in hallways, common areas, washrooms and any movement throughout the school. This is important as we can not ensure physically distancing measures can be met in these spaces which are used by multiple people.

    All staff and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 are required to wear face masks while in the building. Masks are encouraged outdoors when you cannot be physically distant from others.

    Medical masks (surgical/procedural) are required to be worn by school staff outdoors if two metres of distance from others cannot be maintained. Eye protection is also required if a staff member comes within two metres of an unmasked individual both indoors and outdoors, as per occupational health and safety requirements.  At the advice of the local public health unit, schools may choose to implement additional masking measures based on local circumstances.

    Teachers can continue to take their students outside for a short break during longer class periods to give students an opportunity to remove their masks while ensuring physical distancing.

    Eating lunch, recess, and outdoor classes also provide a break from wearing a face mask for all students and staff as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

    Wearing Masks During Drop Off and Pick Up
    All parents/guardians who leave their vehicle during drop off and pick up must wear a face mask or covering. We are asking our families to do this as an additional layer of protection in our community.

    Exemptions
    Reasonable exceptions to the requirement to wear masks will apply. Students who have a medical condition that requires an exemption from wearing a face mask should contact the Head of School, who will require a note from their doctor. The Head of School is solely responsible for approving accommodations and exemptions, and School staff are solely responsible for enforcing the masking policy.

    Mask Types
    Medical masks (surgical, medical procedure face masks and respirators like N95 masks) should be reserved for use by health care workers and first responders. At HTS, we have asked all staff and students to wear masks while at school.

    Wearing a face shield can be worn in conjunction with a mask, but it does not replace wearing a face mask. 

    All staff working with students are encouraged to wear both a face shield/goggles and a mask where physical distance can not be maintained. 

    Wearing and Removing a Mask
    It is important to keep in mind that when using a face covering, the outer layer should be treated as contaminated, therefore there is a greater risk to the user of cross-contamination each time they are putting on their mask, removing their mask, and storing their face covering, if the proper procedures are not followed. Students and staff must follow the procedures below.
    Removing the mask:
    • Clean hands
    • Remove from ear loops being careful not to touch the front of the mask
    • Fold it inwards and place in a clean, individually labelled breathable cloth/paper bag
    • Clean hands again
    Putting on a mask:
    • Clean hands
    • Open face covering storage bag
    • Pick up face covering by the ear loops and put on the face being careful not to touch the outside of the face covering to the face
    Be careful not to touch anyone else's face covering.

    Here is a helpful document on wearing and removing your mask.
  • HAND HYGIENE

    Taken from the Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario Science Briefs (July 19, 2021), SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses can be spread by respiratory droplet and contact transmission. As a result, and because virus shedding may occur prior to symptom onset or in the absence of symptoms, routine, frequent and proper hand hygiene (soap and water or hand sanitizer) is important in limiting transmission and should continue to be encouraged in schools. Routine hand hygiene is also beneficial for the prevention of many other childhood infections that have the potential to disrupt school attendance (e.g., gastrointestinal viral illnesses).

    Recommendations for hand hygiene:
    • Children and youth should be taught how to clean their hands properly (with developmentally and age-appropriate material)
    • Children and youth should be taught to avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible. This should be done in a non-judgmental and positive manner and should be reinforced regularly.
    • Respiratory etiquette: children and youth who have symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (not otherwise explained by underlying conditions, allergies) should stay home and should be reminded to sneeze or cough into a tissue followed by hand hygiene, or their elbow/sleeve if no tissue is available. In the event a mask is worn and becomes soiled, it should be changed.
    • Students and staff should perform routine hand hygiene upon entering and before exiting the building, after using the washroom, before and after eating, and before and after playtime with shared equipment/toys.
    • In settings of high community transmission, a regular schedule for hand hygiene, above and beyond what is usually recommended, is advised. Possible options include regularly-scheduled hand hygiene breaks based on a pre-specified schedule. 
    HTS has provided sanitization stations in every entrance, hallway, rooms of the school, and fields, so that students have access to disinfect their hands as much as possible. 

    Every Lower School classroom is equipped with touchless sinks and soap dispensers. Teachers work with students to support them as they wash their hands upon arrival in class, before and after lunch, and when they come in from recess. Hand sanitizing stations are available at all doors and students are encouraged to use the hand sanitizer before and after play.

    All washrooms in the school include touchless faucets, soap and paper towel dispensers, which are replenished regularly as part of our increased sanitization process.

  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING

    The SickKids COVID-19: Guidance for School Reopening (January 21, 2021) report states that “The objective of physical distancing is to reduce the likelihood of contact that may lead to transmission and has been a widely used strategy during the pandemic.” 

    At HTS, physical distancing indoors is one of the multiple strategies in place to reduce the risk of transmission.

    Teachers' workspaces have also been reduced in capacity to ensure that all workspaces provide enough spacing for staff to maintain physical distance.

    Access to Washrooms, Change Rooms and Lockers
    Washrooms
    • Only two students are allowed in a washroom at the same time. Not all stalls are available to ensure physical distance between students. Students must wear a mask while in the bathroom to protect themselves and wash their hands before leaving. 
    Change rooms
    • Will not be available to students. On the days that students have physical health and education classes, they are to come to school in their HTS athletics uniform. Please refer to the uniform section for specific items.
    Lockers
    • There is access to lockers and cubbies throughout the school. Students are advised to avoid congregating at their lockers.
  • SHARED MATERIALS

    Students can share materials during recess, within shared spaces and indoors with appropriate physical distancing measures, regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. This includes sharing computers, art supplies, books, indoor physical education equipment as well as learning and play-based materials.

    Materials will continue to be sanitized by teachers and the playground by our custodial team.

STAYING SAFE AT SCHOOL FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS

List of 4 items.

  • HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD IN THEIR LEARNING

    Consider the following to help your child:
    • Have regular, open conversations with your child. Explain that because of COVID-19 there are changes to school routines. Offer the information that you know, such as if they will attend in-person, learn at home, go to before or after care, or walk/bike to school.
    • Explain that we can limit the spread of germs by wearing a face covering, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, and sneezing and coughing into a tissue or elbow/sleeve. Be positive as your child works to develop these skills, as it takes time to develop new habits.
    • Teach your child how to wash their hands properly. Learn handwashing together by watching videos geared to your child’s developmental age and practice the handwashing timing of 15 to 20 seconds by humming musical tunes together.
    • Help your child become comfortable wearing a face covering as well as putting it on, taking it off and storing it safely. 
      Prepare your child for new school procedures to help limit close contact between people (physical distancing measures).
    • Ask your child what questions or worries they have, and respond as best you can. It is okay to say there is information that you don’t know yet, and you will learn together. 
  • PARENTS ROLE IN KEEPING OUR SCHOOL SAFE

    Screening
    • Please ensure that you complete your child’s screening before coming to campus.
    • Please keep your child home if they are not feeling well for any reason and have them join their class online.
    • Familiarize yourself, your family and your child with the common symptoms of COVID-19 so everyone knows what symptoms to look for in themselves and each other
    • If you or your child is ill with COVID-19 symptoms or you are concerned that you or your child has been exposed to a case of COVID-19, you are encouraged to get tested at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre and do not come to school.
  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING

    • Parents should keep 2-metres distance when interacting with staff or other parents and students
    • Parents should maintain 2-metres distance during drop-off and pick-up
    • Parents are required to wear a face mask or covering if they exit their vehicle during drop-off and/or pick-up
  • PERSONAL ITEMS

    • Limit personal belongings your child brings to school
    • Label everything, including masks and their storage containers (small cloth bag or lunch-sized paper bag)
    • Don’t share food or personal items like school supplies and masks
    • Pack extra masks in your child’s backpack if possible
    • Disinfect your technology prior to your return to campus — this article provides you with some suggestions of how to do the cleaning without damaging your devices.

VISITING CAMPUS

List of 3 items.

  • Pick Up and Drop Off

    Kindergarten - Grade 5
    Before care - 7:30am - 8:00am
    All students must wear a mask participating in before and after care programs as an additional protective measure.
    Arrival - 8:00am - 8:15am
    Dismissal - 3:00pm - 3:15pm
    Co-curricular program end time - 4:15pm
    After care - 4:30pm - 6:00pm
    All students must wear a mask participating in before and after care programs as an additional protective measure.

    Grades 6-8
    Homeroom - 8:45am
    Dismissal - 3:20pm
    Co-curricular program end time - 4:30pm

    Grades 9-12
    Homeroom - 8:45am
    Dismissal - 3:10pm
    Co-curricular program end time - 4:30pm

    Parents are not permitted to come into the building for pick up and drop off.

    Kindergarten to Grade 5 teachers walk their students to the exit door at drop off to meet their parents outside. 

    Middle and Senior School students, Grades 6-12, enter and exit independently.

    Parents who exit their vehicle to drop off or pick up their child(ren) must wear a face mask.

    Parents may drop-off students on the right side of the main driveway. During morning drop-off, parents must park in a parking spot if they would like to walk their child to their entrance. Pulling up to the curb side is only intended for letting your child out of the car.
     
    Parking spaces are limited. Please arrive at your child’s designated arrival and dismissal times to avoid congestion in our parking lot. 

    As well, please be mindful of your speed and respect the directions given from our custodial staff during drop off and pick up. Their primary purpose is to keep our students, staff and parents safe.
     
    The Bethel Canadian Reformed Church driveway is private property and should not be used as a shortcut to enter the HTS driveway. Our partnership with the Church is crucial as we request their support throughout the year to accommodate overflow parking. Your cooperation and respect of their private property is required to ensure our relationship remains positive.
     
    When drivers choose to use the Church’s driveway, it prevents the drivers from leaving HTS to go north which causes a backup in the HTS driveway loop. We ask that all drivers turn into HTS from Bayview Avenue, not from the Church driveway.
     
    Please share this information with any friends or family members who drop-off your children in the morning.
  • Restricted Access

    Entry into the school is restricted to staff and students. Parents and visitors have limited access to the school, by appointment only, to allow for pre-screening and must only enter through our main doors for us to document and collect contact information.
  • Payment Process

    Tuition and other payments continue to be processed through School Cash Online or other systems. Face-to-face meetings are by appointment only and can only be accommodated under special circumstances this year.

SCHOOL OPERATIONS

List of 4 items.

  • Cleaning

    Taken from the  Science Table, COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario, Science Briefs (July 19, 2021), “The physical, emotional, and developmental health of children and youth has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on schools. It is essential that moving forward the needs of students be prioritized to ensure sustained in-person school attendance and in-person learning.” To ensure that we can continue to learn in person, it will take the collective efforts of our entire community to prioritize each other's health and safety. As we continue to implement and mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 in our school, we have erred on the side of caution balancing an opportunity for our students to be in community and experience some normalcy, while also implementing more restrictive measures in certain programs to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. 

    Permanent measures that support the ongoing operation of schools, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, include vaccination of all eligible individuals, exclusion of sick students and staff, hand hygiene, adequate ventilation, and environmental cleaning. 

    The Science Table has outlined that one of the four major permanent mitigation strategies in schools is the cleaning protocols. The following are permanently in place at HTS:

    • Sanitizing fogging spray (Enviro Care® Neutral Disinfectant) is applied throughout HTS in advance of school reopening
      • Foggers produce micro droplets that suspend in the air for a short time after application, reaching the most inaccessible parts where conventional cleaning or spraying can’t reach. The application of sanitizers using micro droplet fogging is the final step in a step-by-step procedure to clean and sanitize facilities and equipment.
    • HTS has partnered with Chartwells housekeeping business unit to provide additional staff, expertise, systems and training
    • All high-touch points are cleaned twice during each school day and special attention is paid to other key areas 
    • Washrooms are cleaned four times each day
    • A deep cleaning of all spaces throughout the school occurs each night 
    • All classrooms have a supply of cleaning products and a sanitation station for students and teachers so that any surface can be cleaned at any time 
    • Hand sanitizing units are also located at all entrances, outside the Dining Hall, the gyms and both fields
    • The playground equipment is sanitized between recess 
    • Gym and sports equipment is cleaned and sanitized by teachers and staff 

    The cleaners and sanitizer we use are primarily Oxiver – a peroxide-based non-toxic, approved disinfectant sanitizer. We use sanitizing wipes as recommended by Public Health. 
  • Food Service

    Aramark Food Services have implemented safe lunch and snack protocols that ensure the safe handling of food, cleanliness, appropriate student flow and necessary physical distancing.

    For students in Kindergarten to Grade 8, Aramark staff delivers individually portioned lunch containers for students to eat at their desks, once finished students place their container on classroom carts to be returned to the Dining Hall. All students use hand sanitizer prior to eating and after eating. Students are able to remove their mask while seated at their desks for lunch. Classroom teachers clean students’ desks after lunch. 

    Students in Grades 9 to 12, are divided into two lunches. Aramark staff clean all the tables in the Dining Hall between the two lunches. Students are required to use the hand sanitizer prior to entering the Dining Hall and after leaving the Dining Hall. A hand sanitizer dispenser is placed outside the Dining Hall. The serving line has plexiglass panels, Aramark staff plate the food requested from the available menu. Students collect their plate at the end of the serving line. 

    Students and staff who choose to eat lunch in the Dining Hall are required to sit on the designated chairs facing forward. Chairs may not be turned around or moved. Students and staff must remain facing forward at all times - do not turn around to talk to the person seated at the table behind you.  Students can eat their lunch in the Dining Hall or they can ask for their meal to be placed in a compostable take out container and eat their lunch outside. Students are able to remove their mask while seated for lunch.

    Grade 12 students who have off-campus privileges are to adhere to the public health regulations while on their lunch break. Students should not eat lunch in another student’s vehicle unless they are from the same household.

    All students follow the proper protocol to remove and wear their masks before and after their lunch. All students should be sent to school with a small paper bag or a reusable cloth bag to store their mask in when not in use. Hand sanitizer is provided in every room and hallways throughout the school. We also encourage parents to send a small personal hand sanitizer with their child as an additional precaution.

    To ensure safety, we are not permitting any delivery of food from a delivery service or from parents (e.g., UberEats or Skip the Dishes) into the building for students or staff. Students and staff can bring their own lunch from home, all food is free from peanuts, nuts and nut by-products. Students and staff who leave the school for lunch must eat their food either outdoors or in the Dining Hall. 

    Peanut, Nut or Nut By-Product Allergies
    Some children are severely allergic to peanuts and/or nuts and nut by-products. HTS is a nut-aware facility and, as such, the School lunch is a nut-aware program.

    Should a child have a packed lunch or snack, please ensure that all food is free of peanuts, nuts and nut by-products. These foods must be for individual consumption only. Parents must refrain from giving children peanut products to bring to School. 

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact our Food Services Supervisor, Kelly Gorecki, at htsfoodservices@hts.on.ca or refer to the Healthy Eating and Nutrition Policy and related procedures.
  • Around the School

    • Touchless water faucets are available in all classrooms and all washrooms, soap and towel dispensers are touchless systems
    • Water fountains are disabled with the exception of the touchless water bottle refill option. Personal water bottles are required on campus for both staff and students.
  • Air Systems

    • HTS has installed new HVAC equipment throughout the building including fresh air exchangers, advanced building management systems and full air quality monitoring measurement. These new systems are fully engineered, tested and certified to deliver the designated temperatures and air quantities as designed by the construction engineers and building code.
    • We have program processes to measure indoor air quality (temperature, humidity, airflow, and outdoor fresh air)
    • All rooftop HVAC units have been fully serviced, measured, tested and validated. 
    • All HTS HVAC filters have a MERV 13 rating and will be changed six times a year.
    • Our HVAC units bring fresh air into the building and classrooms - our building will operate with maximum ventilation with 20% fresh air
    • The operating systems for the HVAC units were adapted to ensure significant fresh air is delivered to each classroom