Novel Coronavirus Update – March 13, 2020

Our Schools Are Closed March 14 – April 5

As you know, all OCSB schools are closed to students, staff and the general public from March 14 – April 5, 2020, as per the Province’s direction. 

We Are All In This Together

In stressful times, families and schools need to work together to foster supportive relationships for our students. The Minister of Education’s ministerial order to close all Ontario schools from March 14 to April 5, 2020, is designed to protect students, their families, staff, and the greater community. This is a positive message you can share with your children.  We have tips for supporting your child and youth on our website.

Looking for Advice

Ottawa Public Health is an excellent resource with up-to-date, evidence-based information. It is important to note we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any of our schools. However, the precautionary measures we took, including disinfecting of all high-touch surface areas such as desks, countertops, handrails and doors, seem to work. We also plan to do a deep clean of all buildings before children return to school on April 6, 2020. Your children’s health and safety is our number one priority.

Parent Questions

Field Trips and Athletics

All activities are cancelled during the March 14 – April 5, 2020 time-frame. Also, the Board has decided to cancel all over-night field trips to the end of June. 

Childcare, Permits and School Use of Facilities

All school permits are cancelled during this period, including March Break Camps located on our school sites. Before and After school programs, toddler and pre-school programs, including child care licensed spaces, are closed during this time.  

Will Adult and Continuing Education classes and programs continue?

No, all Adult and Continuing Education classes and programs are cancelled. 

Will International Language programs continue?

No, all International Language Programs are cancelled.

Will the OSSLT scheduled for March 31 be rescheduled?

Yes, the OSSLT will be rescheduled. No date has been selected at this time. Information will be provided as soon as it is rescheduled. Students who require the test to graduate will be supported.

Will the school year be extended into the summer months?

The decision to extend the school year would be made by the Ministry of Education. It’s too early to determine if that will be necessary although they have not given any indication that they are planning to extend the school year.

Will students be at risk of not graduating?

This three-week closure will not impact secondary school graduation.

Will this impact mid-term marks?

Students will not be penalized for missed work or assessments. 

Will mid-terms be postponed?

This is being reviewed, and an update will be communicated shortly. 

Will this impact college and university applications?

We do not believe there will be an impact. However, it’s best that you check with your college or university.

Will Co-op placements continue during this time?

No. These placements are suspended during this time.

Will students be provided with online learning opportunities during the closure?

The Ministry of Education is working on resources to support student learning during the closure. When we receive more detailed information, we will share it with our school communities.

Important Information for Travellers returning to Ottawa after travelling outside of Canada 

If you have travelled outside Canada and you extend your March Break vacation beyond March 23, 2020, you will be required to monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrived in Canada.  

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province (China), Iran or Italy are advised to self-isolate and: 

All other travellers returning to Canada are advised to:

  • Monitor their health for 14 days when they return to Canada. While abroad, they may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); 
  • Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 if they have any symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) such as fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing; 
  • If you start having symptoms, isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible. Immediately call a health care professional or Ottawa Public Health (613-580-6744). Describe your symptoms and travel history. To further protect those around you, wash your hands often and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid crowded public spaces and places where they cannot easily separate themselves from others.

Thank You

As these are unusual times, please reassure your children, especially graduating students, that their year will not be in jeopardy, and that we will continue to support their goals in completing their year.  

We will continue to provide updates through our website, social media channels and directly with families through School Messenger when new information becomes available.

Our prayer is that our students and their families will be safe during this period and that the local, provincial and global response to this situation stops the spread and contain the virus, while our researchers and medical experts find a cure.

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