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Archive for the ‘Notice to Parents’ Category

Greco Gazette (SHPS Library Update)

06 Apr
Greco Gazette One
 

Announcement from Director John Malloy

26 Mar

March 25, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 continue all around us, I hope you and your families are doing well under what continues to be very challenging circumstances. I know the stress of social distancing, lack of routine and trying to balance everything as best you can is continuing to mount for many of us. During this unprecedented time, you likely have a number of questions about your child(ren)’s education and while I am not able to answer all of them at this point, I want to provide an update in hopes of addressing as many as possible.

First, as you may know, Premier Doug Ford has announced that schools will not be returning on April 6, 2020 as initially scheduled. We have not yet received any additional information on this, however we will update parents/guardians as soon as we do. In the meantime, we ask that you continue using the Learn at Home resources provided by the Ministry of Education and the Student Learning Resources provided by the TDSB.

The Ministry of Education has asked school boards to use the next two weeks to develop plans to establish the delivery of curriculum for an extended closure. Working with the Ministry, we are developing a plan that would connect teachers to their students and/or their parents/guardians on a system-wide basis and would restore teacher-led learning to the greatest extent possible. In developing this plan, we are considering a number of different factors:

 Exploring ways to provide students with access to devices and the internet.
 Accommodations needed by different types of learners, students with special needs, and English-language learners.
 Programming for Adult and Continuing Education students.
 Our support for student mental health and well-being including providing online resources and outreach to students and families.

As you can imagine, developing a plan for 247,000 students while schools are closed and on an extremely tight timeline, is challenging to say the least. At the same time, our goal is to create teaching and learning conditions that will, as best as possible given the circumstances, lead to the successful completion of the school year for all students and to support students in advancing to the next school year and to graduate. We will share this important plan with parents/guardians as soon as possible.

Finally, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health has announced the closure of a number of city amenities including all city-owned playgrounds, sports fields, and basketball and tennis courts to limit public congregation and reduce the spread of COVID-19. All Toronto schools have been called on to do the same. For that reason, the TDSB will be closing all playgrounds and other amenities, including our sports fields and basketball and tennis courts, until further notice. As always, I would encourage you to continue to monitor developments from public health and government officials. For the latest advice on how you and your family can stay safe and healthy, Toronto Public Health has a number of important resources that are continually being updated.

While there are challenges that lie ahead, I remain confident that we can find a way forward together. In the meantime, I want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding. I will be in touch again soon with additional information.

Sincerely,
Director John Malloy

 

School Closure Update (from TDSB)

13 Mar

March 13, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Further to the brief update sent yesterday afternoon, I want to provide a more detailed update on the provincial government’s unprecedented decision to close all publicly-funded schools in Ontario, including those at the Toronto District School Board, from March 14 to April 5, 2020 amid the growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Through this Ministerial Order from the Minister of Education, the Ontario government is ordering school boards to close schools to minimize contact between people, especially children, in order to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). For this reason, all childcare centres located inside TDSB schools will also be closed and all TDSB Extended Day Programs will be cancelled from March 14 through to April 5, 2020. We recognize that these closures and cancellations will be challenging for many families, especially those with limited childcare options and/or work flexibility. However, this approach is to ensure the health and wellbeing of all families and is consistent with the Ministerial Order to close schools and the decisions of many other school boards.

As all TDSB schools and sites will be closed, the following programs and services will also be closed/cancelled from March 14 to April 5, 2020:

• All Continuing Education and Night School Courses
• All permits
• All Authorized Recreation Programs
• All EarlyON Child and Family Centres
• All TDSB eLearning courses
• All field trips, athletic events, and arts performances
• All school-based meetings and other public meetings and consultations

We know that families will, understandably, have a number of additional questions. For more information, including a complete list of impacted programs and services, please visit the TDSB website, which we will be keeping updated with the latest information. Please note that the Ministry of Education has indicated that it will be providing resources that will be available online to support student learning during the closure. Once these are provided, we will post a link on our website.

As you can appreciate, the situation is changing on a daily basis, however we remain committed to updating parents/guardians when additional information becomes available.

Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

John Malloy
Director of Education

 
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Novel Coronavirus Update from Tor. Public Health

05 Mar

March 4, 2020

Dear School Community:

Re: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Travel from Iran

I am writing to provide you with an update about the novel coronavirus: COVID-19. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to actively monitor and respond to the situation in collaboration with our City, and provincial and federal health partners.

What has changed?
There has been an increase in cases of COVID-19 in Iran, and a small number of individuals in our community with recent travel history in this country have contracted COVID-19. As a result, there is now new direction for people who have travelled in Iran. If you, or your child, have travelled recently in Iran, you are asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days after your last day in Iran. This is similar to the advice for returning travellers from Hubei Province, China. These returning travellers are also asked to call TPH at 416-338-7600 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada, and we will provide you with further instructions.

For Individuals who have travelled in other affected areas:
If you have travelled in mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore, please monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after leaving the affected area. If you are making travel plans in the near future, including over the March break, please consult the Government of Canada website for current travel advice and advisories related to COVID-19. Some countries have entry and exit restrictions.

If I have symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
If you, or your child, develop symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please call your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. For individuals who have travelled in an affected area, before you visit any health care provider, please call ahead to let them know about your travel history and symptoms. This will allow them to make special arrangements to see you quickly, provide testing, and ensure the use proper infection control measures.

What more can I do to prepare in case the local situation changes?
The best way to prepare is to consider the supplies you may need at home if you became unwell with any illness, not just COVID-19. For families, this may mean considering your household needs, and how you may address them if someone in your household becomes unwell. You may also consider having supplies on-hand so you do not need to leave home if you or a family member becomes ill, or plan ahead for childcare needs. If the situation changes, you may also consider changing your daily routine to reduce exposure to crowded places.

How can I stay informed?
One of the most important things you can do to prepare is to stay informed. Toronto Public Health continues to carefully monitor this evolving situation, and we regularly update our website with the latest, factual information at www.Toronto.ca/coronavirus. You can also call TPH at 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Translation is available in many languages.

Sincerely,

Dr. Eileen de Villa
Medical Officer of Health

 
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Novel Coronavirus Update from Tor. Public Health

02 Mar

February 28, 2020

Dear School Community:

Re: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

I am writing to provide you with an update about the novel coronavirus: COVID-19. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to respond to the situation working with City of Toronto and health care partners.

What is the risk in Toronto?
The risk of getting COVID-19 in Toronto remains low because the virus is not spreading in the general community. Toronto Public Health has investigated a number of individuals who have contracted COVID-19 after travel in an affected area, or having close contact with an individual who had COVID-19. Globally, most people have gotten this virus through travel in affected areas or through close, household contact with someone who had the virus. Overall, most infections have resulted in mild illness.

Has anything changed?
The list of designated affected areas has been expanded beyond mainland China to include Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran and Italy.

What do these changes mean for school communities?
You may have travel plans in the near future, including over the March break. If you are planning to travel, please consult the Government of Canada website for travel advice and advisories related to COVID-19. You should be aware that some countries have entry and exit restrictions. Incoming travellers to Toronto continue to receive information about COVID-19 at airports, including to:

  • monitor themselves for respiratory symptoms, including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing;
  • seek medical care immediately if these respiratory symptoms develop within 14 days after returning to Canada; and
  • inform their healthcare provider or local public health department about symptoms and travel history before they seek medical care.

People who are travelling in the affected areas are advised that for 14 days after their last day in this region they should monitor their health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and avoid places where they cannot easily separate themselves from others if they become ill.

Individuals who have signs and symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days of travelling in these areas will be asked to self-isolate and call their local public health department, which for Toronto is TPH.

How can I protect myself and my family from this virus?
We continue to advise members of the public to take the usual prevention measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the flu and respiratory illness, including:

  • wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze;
    if you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm;
  • get an annual flu vaccination, available from clinics and pharmacies; and
  • stay home if you are ill.

These measures may seem simple, but they are powerful ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

How can I stay informed?
Toronto Public Health continues to carefully monitor this evolving situation, and regularly update our website with the latest, factual information at www.Toronto.ca/coronavirus. We encourage you to stay informed through regular review of credible information sources such as our website. If you have any questions, you can can call TPH at 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Translation is available in many languages.

Sincerely,

Dr. Eileen de Villa
Medical Officer of Health

 
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ETFO Phase 6 Work to Rule (Letter from the TDSB)

28 Feb

February 28, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Recently, teachers and education workers with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) began Phase 6 of their ongoing strike action.

As of Wednesday, February 26, elementary teachers are only doing their scheduled teaching and supervision assignments during their regular instructional time and are not covering the classes of absent teachers. When elementary occasional teachers accept a job at a school they too will only cover the class of the absent teacher.

Most students will likely not see any impact in their classroom. However, should a teacher be absent and someone not be available to cover that class, it may become necessary to combine classes in locations such as the library or gym to ensure proper supervision and student safety.

ETFO has also indicated that their members will start participating in 20-minute pickets outside their schools for at least one day a week, however these pickets are not expected to impact classes. With regards to future one-day strikes, ETFO has said that it will not hold rotating one-day strikes next week but is prepared to further escalate its job action on Monday, March 9 should no tentative agreement be reached.

We appreciate your continued patience during these ongoing strike actions. Please note that principals and vice principals may not be able to respond to questions or concerns as quickly as usual as they are assuming additional roles and duties at this time.

Should there be any significant updates, we will communicate directly with parents/guardians as quickly as possible. As always, for ongoing labour updates, please visit the TDSB website and follow @tdsb on Twitter.

Robin Pilkey,
Chair

John Malloy,
Director

 
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