Return to Shule
COVID-19 Safety Plan*
*Please note that our protocols may change in response to public health developments related to COVID-19
The Morris Winchevsky School is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff, families, and our greater community. We have therefore taken the time to develop this safety protocol, hoping to minimize the risks of a physical return to our location at 918 Bathurst St. in Toronto. Our COVID-19 Safety Plan follows the provincial, federal, and Toronto District School Board regulations, and errs on the side of caution wherever possible. For general updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, please visit the designated federal website.
According to the regulations announced on Sept 18, 2020, our school and holiday celebrations fall well within the allowed capacity for both indoor and outdoor community gatherings. Our teachers will be trained in how to reduce surface- and community-transmission, and will be wearing personal protective equipment while on-site. We therefore ask that all students keep their masks on the entire time they are indoors.
Changes to Class Structure
We are taking measures to ensure each student’s safety and health is protected as much as possible. As you may know, the Ontario government has expanded the number of people allowed to gather indoors to 50, as of August 21st, 2020. In order to meet these requirements we have decided to take a number of steps to reduce the number of people gathered on our floor at any given time. For this reason, we ask all students to remain in their class cohorts from the beginning of the school day until its end, including during snack breaks. We have thought through how to maximize each space we occupy in the building to ensure students are as distanced from each other as possible. Lastly, we intend to take advantage of St. Alban's Square’s (the Parkette on Barton St.), located within a 5 min walk of 918 Bathurst to hold as many classes outdoors as weather permits.
Unfortunately, we have also decided to cancel the communal snack-time for now. While this was a central part of our community at the Shule, it was also a time when there were many interactions between students, parents, and staff. We therefore invite you to send your children to the Shule with snacks and drinks, and a staggered Snack Time will take place in the classroom. Chug (art/music/podcast/cooking clubs) and all other activities, as described in the class schedule (in blue) will continue to take place on a staggered class-by-class basis, with increased disinfecting and PPE supplies.
Going forward, we will also split the Kinder Kapers class in two and run weekly programs. Each family will be given the opportunity to choose whether they will prefer to follow Schedule A or Schedule B as outlined in the schedule below.
We will be adopting a policy of staggered arrival and departure times, to reduce interactions among students. Upon arrival and before departure, each student will be greeted by a staff person, ensuring that they disinfect their hands and that their mask is being worn properly (covering their mouth and nose).
While we understand that such a tight schedule will be difficult to maintain, we ask for your support and cooperation in making sure the students arrive and leave at the designated times. Exceptions can be made on a person-by-person basis, and following consultation with the Education Director. Other exceptions will be made for students whose siblings are in different classes. In this case, we ask that all siblings arrive at the earlier time and leave at the later departure time, to minimize disruptions to classes.
The 918 Bathurst St. building will be sanitized, including railings, chairs, tables, and bathrooms. We ask that no more than 2 people be present in the bathroom at a given time. All students will wash their hands before eating during their Snack Time. Parents are asked to screen their children each morning before Shule using the Ontario Self-Assessment form or the questionnaire below.
If you or your child have answered yes to any of these questions,
please stay home and get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
Remote Learning Options
While we are delighted to return to in-person learning with our Oct 4, 2020 Sukkot/Sukkes Party at Dufferin Grove Park and classes at 918 Bathurst St. on Oct 18, 2020, we want to make sure that students who do not feel comfortable returning in person have the option of remotely accessing Shule.
Each class will have a mobile device which will be streaming on Zoom either from the beginning of the Shule day until the end or for a period of time, as set by the teacher, in communication with the parents.. Joining the class remotely is optional, and each parent will have the opportunity to decide whether their child will join the in-person or the remote classroom on a week-by-week basis. The Teacher’s Assistant(s) will be in charge of remote learning, developing versions of the lesson plans with their respective teachers in order to maximize the remote learner’s participation in the class.
If public health policy in Ontario changes throughout the school year, we may revert to remote learning as a school, as we did in the Winter 2020 semester, however, we do hope this will be our last option.
Personal Belongings & Toys
We ask that all students hang their coats and other personal belongings on the hooks below the stairs at 918 Bathurst St. This coatroom offers enough space for all the students’ belongings and reduces the risk of surface transmission of the virus.
School supplies will be disinfected and divided into personal kits, with each student getting their own scissors, glue, pencils, etc. After use, these will be disinfected by Shule staff and stored on-site for the following week. Any supplies or toys that cannot be disinfected between shule weeks will not be used. We ask that families refrain from adding supplies to the personal kits. In the event that a family wishes to bring any items from home, we ask that the Education Director and Teacher be notified in advance and a disinfecting plan be developed for these items.
Process for Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
If a student has had contact with a COVID-19 positive person, has fever or any other COVID-19 symptoms, they must stay home and the Education Director be contacted. The Education Director will inform all staff and members of the student’s cohort who have been in contact on those days of a confirmed case of COVID-19. Staff will not share personal information, including the name of the individual whose status was confirmed but will contact Toronto Public Health (TPH) for contact tracing purposes.
If a student develops symptoms during the Shule day, they will be isolated on-site, their parents contacted to pick them up, and when/if a positive COVID-19 status is confirmed, the student’s cohort will be notified.
Students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days and follow Toronto Public Health direction and protocol. TPH will contact positive cases directly and provide a letter directly to the other staff/students identified to have a high risk of exposure. The Communications Department will work with TPH on letters to school or community, as determined by TPH.