UPDATED JANUARY 20, 2021
Dear ASD-S Families,
We have shared a great deal of information recently about
how our schools are working to support the safety of our students and staff as
we re-open schools and adjust to COVID-19.
We understand that some families and students may feel
anxious to be returning to school. Attending school is important for learning
and development. It provides a supportive community and structured routine that
allows children to thrive. Public Health has worked closely with the Department
of Education and Early Childhood Development to develop a Return to School plan
that supports a positive environment for children to learn, while ensuring protective
measures are in place for the school community.
It is important to note that you play an essential part in
the effectiveness of these safety measures. We have a shared responsibility to
help reduce the risk of COVID-19, by knowing what symptoms to look for and what
to do if you spot them. Below you can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions
related to your child’s health, returning to school, and COVID-19. These are
subject to change as we learn more about COVID-19. The most up-to-date information
can always be found on the GNB
child need to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms every day before school? What
does that look like?
Parents are responsible for reviewing the screening
questions with their child(ren) prior to leaving for school and only
sending their child to school when they are well.
If a child has 1 or more of these symptoms of COVID-19,
families should keep the child home from school and call 811 or their primary
healthcare provider for advice:
above 38 degrees Celsius
new cough, or worsening chronic cough
new onset of fatigue
new onset of muscle pain
of sense of taste
of sense of smell
children, purple markings on the fingers and toes
It is important to talk to your children about these
symptoms so they can be aware of them and self-identify them to you or their
students have their temperature checked at school or on the bus?
Students will not be required to have their temperature
taken prior to entering their school or boarding the bus. Instead
parents/guardians are asked to check for signs of fever, like flushed face or
chills, and/or take their child’s temperature prior to leaving for school as
part of the screening process.
symptoms seem a lot like the common cold. Am I really supposed to keep my child
home from school every time they have these symptoms?
In the past we might have thought it acceptable to attend
school if a child had “just a cold” or felt “a little sick”, however we are now
working together in the midst of global pandemic. While we still believe
that “Attendance Matters”, preventing the spread of illness is critical.
If a child displays 1 or more symptoms of COVID-19, they
must stay home and call 811 or your primary healthcare provider should be contacted to
determine whether COVID-19 testing is required and for advice.
Students will not be penalized for staying home due to valid
has allergies or a constant runny nose. Do I have to keep them home?
Students who have been identified by their primary healthcare
provider as having asthma, seasonal allergies or who suffer from chronic runny
nose/nasal congestion are not required to stay home based on these symptoms
alone. Consider the list of symptoms when determining if your child should stay
home from school. Are their symptoms different from what they usually
experience? Do they have any other symptoms? If yes or you are uncertain, call
811 or your primary healthcare provider.
Will my child be sent home from
school if they have symptoms?
As in previous
years, if a student alerts their teacher to feeling unwell, the teacher will
notify a parent/guardian to pick up their child. The student will be supervised
in an area where physical distancing can be maintained, and will wear a mask
while they wait to be picked up. If you get an urgent call regarding the health
of your child during the school day, you will be required to pick them up as
soon as possible, consistent with school practice. It is important all families have a plan
in place in case they need to pick-up their child from school early. A sick child will not be sent home on the bus. Educators are not medical experts. It is important that you speak to your children about self-monitoring and what symptoms to be aware of so they can notify you or their teacher if they feel unwell.
school or Public Health test my child for COVID-19 without my
No, testing is at the parent/guardian’s discretion. However
if a child is not tested, Public Health may require that child to remain home
and isolate for 14 days.
had 1 symptoms and stayed home. When can they return to school?
If a child has 1 symptoms of COVID-19, families are asked to
contact 811 or their primary healthcare provider to determine if COVID-19
testing is required. If COVID-19 testing is required, Public Health will inform
you when isolation may be lifted. If
testing is not required, they can return once fever (with no medications) and
other symptoms have been resolved for 24 hours or if they have been directed to
do so by a health care professional.
My child has
health issues. Should they attend school at all this year?
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s
health, you must consult with your child’s primary healthcare provider.
If a student has a medical condition and is recommended by a
health professional not to attend school in person this year, a learning plan
will be provided by their assigned teacher with educational support. If a
student has an immunocompromised household member who is required to stay home
as recommended by a health professional, and this condition prevents the
student from attending school, the student will be provided with a plan to
continue learning at home. Families will be required to provide medical
documentation in these cases.
If your child has received a recommendation from a health
care provider to remain home from school this year, please contact your child’s
nervous to send my child back to school. Can I request the school provides them
materials to learn from home?
In the event that a parent/guardian chooses not to send their child to school, the parent/guardian is responsible for their child's learning. At this time, teachers at K-8 are not required to provide home learning materials or meet on Teams with students who remain at home. At high school, teachers will continue to post learning materials on Teams, however, we encourage students to attend classes in person on their designated days to receive direct instruction from their teachers. Those who have been informed by Public Health that they must self-isolate will receive learning materials and instruction from their teachers.
For those of you who have chosen to keep your child home at this time, we are making available the Home Learning site, which was developed this past spring during the provincial school closure. This site provides families with activities and ideas to support education at home and keep your child engaged in learning. We encourage you to also check with your child’s school as teachers may be posting homework and assignments on their Teams site if they are currently using it for this purpose.
child have to wear a mask?
Every student is expected to have two clean community masks
with them every day. Masks must be washed frequently and should be labeled with
During the Red phase, students from K-12 are required to wear a mask on the bus. Students K-8 must wear masks at all times in school unless eating or sitting quietly at their desk. Students in grades 9-12 must wear a mask at all times in school except when eating. This includes outside and during physical education class, for all grades.
We recognize some children will deal better with wearing a
mask than others at first. Students are more likely to be comfortable wearing a
mask if they see members of their family wearing one at appropriate times, too.
matter what mask my child brings to school?
When worn properly, wearing a mask can reduce the spread of respiratory
- Non-medical face masks, also known as community masks, should:
made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or
large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without
for easy breathing
securely to the head with ties or ear loops
comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
cover the neck
be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials
happens if someone at my child’s schools is diagnosed with COVID-19?
If someone tests positive for
COVID-19, Public Health will work with the school to notify your school
community while maintaining confidentiality.
Public Health will
- Do contact tracing to determine which
individual(s) require self-isolation and possibly the need to be tested. This
could include a class, classes, the entire school and others.
- Inform close contacts, who were required to
self-isolate, when their isolation is complete and able to return to
If a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed at a school during the Red level, the school will be closed to students for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing. During this time teachers will be supporting students’ learning at home
How can I support my child(ren) and their school community?
Families have an important role to play in the safe attendance at school. Families can positively impact their children and contribute to the
health of their communities by:
• modelling the behaviours needed
to limit the spread of COVID-19, such as hand washing, proper cough and sneeze
etiquette, physical distancing, mask wearing in public, and staying home when
• monitoring children daily for
symptoms and calling 811 or your primary healthcare provider if symptoms are
• talking to your children about
COVID-19 and what symptoms to be aware of
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work
together towards the start of an exciting and healthy new year!