Dear Parents and Guardians
Yesterday the Provincial Government announced the next phase of their vaccine rollout plans, and it’s good news for students and their families hoping to get a vaccine in the near future. As you know, the government also extended the Stay-At-Home Order until June 2nd. In conversations with Dr. Vera Etches and with staff from Ottawa Public Health, we are hopeful that we will see students return to in-person learning at some point in June. This direction will come from Ottawa Public Health once they feel that the community spread has decreased to a level that would allow our students and staff to return to in-person instruction.
What Vaccine Will Students Get?
Students will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is now approved for youth ages 12 to 17. If your child is 18 and is still in school, they will be able to receive the vaccine.
Starting May 31, 2021, individuals 12 years of age and older in Ontario will be eligible to register for a vaccination appointment. Vaccination clinics are expected to occur from June 14-25. More details will be announced in the coming days.
The Province will work with local public health units and School Board’s to hopefully offer second doses by the end of August.
Vaccination Rollout Plans
Ottawa Public Health (OPH), in partnership with the four local School Boards, will develop vaccination rollout plans in the coming days and submit those plans to the government. Once we have more details, we will share the information with you.
Planning for September 2021
The Board of Trustees approved the 2021-2022 school year calendar at the April 27th Board meeting. The first day of school for students is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th, the day after Labour Day.
The Ministry has confirmed that secondary students will have a maximum of two classes per day in-person for the fall. This will require that we continue with the quadmester model for the first semester. The plan at this time is for secondary students to attend class in person every day. Unlike this year, we are not designated to start next year with one day at school and one day at home. Our hope is that midway through the school year; we will return to the semester system with four classes per day.
Elementary schools are scheduled to return in September, similarly to our current year. There will still be some level of cohorting to allow contract tracing as needed again in the fall.
According to the Ministry of education, decisions around extracurricular activities and health and safety practices will be made before July 31st.
Thank you for your continued understanding and flexibility during the pandemic. The news of vaccines for students ages 12-17 is promising. There is reason to hope that we will all be able to gather as a faith community in our schools one day soon.