St Margaret School Community
December 22, 2020
Dear Parents / Guardians:
A case of COVID-19 has been identified at St Margaret School. Public Health has identified one classroom as high-risk contacts.
All high-risk students and staff are required to self-isolate at home.
Individuals in the affected class have been immediately notified by the school. Public Health is in the process of contacting all high risk contacts of the positive case, and will provide individual guidance to them.
At this point in time, all other students and staff can continue to attend school and are advised to self-monitor for symptoms and seek testing if symptoms develop.
Please know that St Margaret staff – as well as staff at our school board head office – are working with Region of Waterloo Public Health to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in students, staff and the community.
A Note About School Cleaning Processes
Upon confirmation from Public Health that one or more individuals at a school site have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Facility Services will be notified as soon as reasonably possible. Members from the Facilities team will make arrangements to disinfect school spaces as deemed necessary. This is typically done after school ends for the day and before school begins the next day. However, in some cases, depending on the timing of notification and size of the school, disinfection may occur at the beginning of the school day.
Disinfection involves the use of standard cleaning products available in your school, plus one or more high speed disinfection units. A disinfection unit is used to ‘mist’ surfaces with a chemical called Clorox Total 360. The product needs to sit on a surface and air dry for it to be fully effective. It has been reviewed by our staff and has been deemed safe when used as directed.
Custodial and maintenance staff who apply the mist will be wearing full PPE including masks, goggles, and gloves. Classroom spaces are safe to occupy after the chemical has been applied.
A video of product application can be found here: https://youtu.be/BIlhdx3XQI0?t=75
What does this mean for students at the school?
- Public Health will work with the school to identify high risk student and staff contacts of the confirmed case.
- Parents/guardians of students who have been identified as high risk contacts of a confirmed case will be contacted directly by Region of Waterloo Public Health and provided specific directions related to the need for the student to self-isolate and get tested
- Parents/guardians of students who have been identified as low risk contacts of a confirmed case will not be contacted directly by Public Health and are not required to self-isolate. The school will provide general information for these students and families.
- In the event a cohort must self-isolate or the school must close, you will be notified by the school. The school will keep you informed about any plans regarding return to school.
- The term cohort includes students and staff in the same class, students involved in group activities or who have been in shared spaces during school, students that ride the same bus, attend before/after school care, or participate in extracurricular programming together.
- Continue to monitor and screen your child for symptoms of COVID-19 daily.
What is COVID-19?
· COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans
- COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to fever, cough, trouble breathing, sore throat or nasal congestion. A list of symptoms, including atypical signs and symptoms, can be also be found in the ‘COVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms’ on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website
- People may be able to pass COVID-19 to others from 48 hours before symptoms begin to 14 days after the start of symptoms
Additional COVID-19 resources can be found on Region of Waterloo Public Health’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/COVID19.
Welcome to the winter season. Here are some updates and reminders:
-Please continue to complete the daily COVID test.
-Remember to listen to the news each morning and/or check the Board website for cancellations. This year when Transportation is cancelled, the school will be closed to students and staff. Teachers will post activities by 10:00 a.m.
-This is the Advent Season. The themes are:
*Week 1 is HOPE (light a purple candle)
*Week 2 is PEACE (light a purple candle)
*Week 3 is Joy (light a pink candle)
*Week 4 is LOVE (light a purple candle)
-Thank you for supporting our Virtual Book Fair!
-All students signed a ‘shovel’ for our Crossing Guard George. We thanked him for helping parents and student cross the road safely!
-We thank the Arias Family (Majestic Balloons) for filling the school each month with spirit!
-The students did an amazing job during the ‘Gathered to Become’ Butterfly activities. Each student will receive a complimentary pass to the Butterfly Conservatory.
-Check out the Board website for new ‘New Ontario support for Learners Financial Assistance Program’
-Here are some resources to support ‘Mental Wellness’ at home and with your family:
“Are you looking for information on how to support your child’s mental health and wellness during Covid? We’ve created 2 short (1 min) videos to help Parents and Students learn about how to access help.
See the videos below:
Parent version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nybgiTQV638&feature=youtu.be.
Youth version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDgqx35g9q8&feature=youtu.be
Parents, you are invited to consider sharing the youth version with your child(ren).
For a direct link to our Mental Health and Wellbeing Site on our Webpage click here: https://www.wcdsb.ca/programs-and-services/mental-health-and-well-being-at-wcdsb/)
We hope this helps your family during this challenging time.