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Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This section has been created to provide regular updates on the coronavirus – COVID-19 – and its impact on students, staff, families, schools and operations.

We encourage you to visit this site regularly.

Last Updated:

Apr 1 - Schools are closed
Mar 31 - Ministry of Education Communications
Mar 30 - Contractors/Sub-contractors
Mar 30 - Practice physical distancing
Apr 1 - Learning at home
Mar 23 - EQAO Assessments
Apr 2 - Protection, Assessment, Health and Safety
Mar 30 - Additional Resources
HWCDSB schools are closed until May 4, 2020

HWCDSB schools are closed until May 4, 2020

Last Updated: April 1, 2020

Ontario schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020 to fight the spread of COVID-19. The announcement was made by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce at a news conference on March 31, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff.

HWCDSB schools and administrative buildings are CLOSED to non-essential staff on government orders, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020 as part of the province’s COVID-19 containment efforts. This includes sports fields, playgrounds and childcare centres.

We recognize that this is an unprecedented time in Ontario and across the world and we continue to join the world in prayer for the well-being of all who have been or will be infected by this virus.

Ministry of Education Communications

Last Updated: March 31, 2020

In a Message to Parents on March 31, 2020, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce outlined the government’s plan for the next phase of Learn at Home and how the Ministry will be supporting students, families, and educators during this period. The Ministry has instructed school boards that, by Monday, April 6, teacher-led learning will resume across the province.

Ontario schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020 to fight the spread of COVID-19. The announcement was made by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce at a news conference on March 31, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff. The province is working closely with schools board to roll out the second phase of Learn at Home to support the continuity of learning. Read full statement.

Contractors/Sub-contractors - (Updated March 30, 2020)

Contractors/Sub-contractors - (Updated March 30, 2020)

Update: March 20, 2020

Contractors/Sub-contractors, please click here

Contractors/Sub-contractors, please be aware of the procedures in place by the HWCDSB to protect you, our staff and our students from the potential transmission of COVID-19 as you do work in our schools over the next few weeks.

Since February 11, the HWCDSB has increased cleaning of high-touch point areas using an additional disinfectant spray after regular cleaning. This after-disinfectant spray cleaner kills germs within 5 minutes after it has been sprayed. During the first three days of March Break (16-18), all schools were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

If you are doing work at our sites, we ask that you also consider:
• what steps your business has taken to identify and prevent the spread of COVID-19
• whether anyone at your home or work location has experienced symptoms such as fever, cough,
• if anyone at your home or business location is currently in self isolation.

Thank you for your support as together we work to contain the spread of this virus.

Ontario Stepping Up Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 on Construction Sites ...
Practice physical distancing

Practice physical distancing

Last Updated: March 30, 2020

While much of COVID-19 is outside of our control, there are some things we can all do to help contain the spread of the virus. The first is frequent hand washing, but the other important action that will significantly reduce community spread is physical distancing.

Physical Distancing means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
• avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
• avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
• limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
• keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible

Here’s how you can practice physical distancing:
• greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
• stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment
• shop or take public transportation during off-peak hours
• conduct virtual meetings
• host virtual playdates for your kids
• use technology to keep in touch with friends and family

If possible,
• use food delivery services or online shopping
• exercise at home or outside
• work from home

Remember to:
• wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face
• cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm
• avoid touching surfaces people touch often

If you’re concerned you may have COVID-19:
• separate yourself from others as soon as you have symptoms
• if you are outside the home when a symptom develops, go home immediately and avoid taking public transit
• stay home and follow the advice of your Public Health Authority, who may recommend isolation
• call ahead to a health care provider if you are ill and seeking medical attention

For more information: Government of Canada Coronavirus or 1-833-784-4397

The HWCDSB strongly encourages everyone to do their part and practice effective social distancing.
Learning at home

Learning at home

Last Updated: April 1, 2020

Following the provincial government's announcement on March 31, 2020 regarding the school closure extension and the rollout of Phase 2 student learning, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has been working diligently with our senior staff, curriculum teams, principals and employee group representatives to actualize the return to teacher and educator supported learning. This next phase of Learn at Home will begin on Monday, April 6, 2020 and will be delivered remotely using online resources and technologies.

Learn at Home is the Ministry of Education's online learning which provides a variety of educational resources to enable students at every grade level to continue learning while away from school. These resources are developed by Ontario educators, and resources for all grades are informed by leading instructional guidance. For those students who are in secondary school, we are providing access to online courses directly based on Ontario curricula.

In our commitment to support continued student learning, the HWCDSB has also prepared a number of optional resources and activities available to students and their families on the myClass Learning Management System.
Grade K-12 School Closure Activitiies
Playocracy Game-a-Day
Learning at Home Supports for Grades 9-12

(If students do not have their logins, please contact your school principals at the email listed on your school website in the "About Us" link under "Contact Us.")

EQAO Assessments

EQAO Assessments

Last Updated: March 23, 2020

Given the school closure period and the uncertainty beyond that point, the Ministry of Education has advised that it will be cancelling EQAO assessments for the remainder of this school year.

For students who are graduating in the 2019-20 school year, the literacy graduation requirement as set out in Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements, 2016 will be waived. Students who are not graduating this school year will have the opportunity to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
Protection, Assessment, Health and Safety

Protection, Assessment, Health and Safety

Last Updated: April 2, 2020

How to protect yourself
Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre. There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus, but there are actions you can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.

You can take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
• wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• sneeze and cough into your sleeve
• avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
• avoid contact with people who are sick
• stay home if you are sick
• practice physical distancing

For more information, please visit Hamilton Public Health Services.

Assessment Centres
Hamilton has two COVID-19 Assessment Centres that are now open. These clinics will assess whether people need more medical care and/or testing for COVID-19 based on symptoms (cough or fever), travel history and/or exposure to known cases.

Visit Hamilton Public Health Services to learn more.

Heightened Concern & Anxiety
We all want to be in control of our fear and cope with the stress of this pandemic in a healthy way. For things you can do, please visit Coping with Anxiety during COVID.

School & site cleaning
Board custodial staff has increased its cleaning and sterilization procedures with an increased focus on the cleaning of high touch-point areas and an additional disinfectant spray upon completion. In addition, soap dispensers and hand-dryers will be monitored closely to ensure safe handwashing practices.

Government of Canada Travel Health Notices

For information on COVID-19, please visit:
Hamilton Public Health Services
Ministry of Health
Government of Canada