WDGPH School Reopening Resources
*Note. These tools are currently being updated to reflect new information. Please check back soon for the updated screening tools.
- COVID-19 Screening Tool for Children
- COVID-19 Daily Screening Tool for Secondary School Students
Please use: Ministry of Health COVID-19 school screening
Preparing your child for returning to school
Going back to school can be hard or anxiety producing even during the best of times, and this is especially true this fall. During the COVID-19 pandemic, children have not been in school for nearly 6 months, and your child may feel nervous about returning to school. Here are some ideas you can use to prepare your child for returning to school in September.
Re-focus your child on routines and practice them before school starts – go to bed, get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get screened for symptoms, grab bookbag, lunch and mask, and leave for school.
Keep it positive.
Focus on the positive and fun parts of school like picking out school supplies and clothes, seeing their old friends and making new ones, seeing their teachers and getting to do fun activities.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Practice hand-washing and using hand sanitizer. Watch some hand-washing videos together. Children are going to be asked and reminded to do this many times a day, so developing a habit will be helpful.
- Practice covering coughs and sneezes and watch some videos together.
- Work on getting your child comfortable wearing a mask or face covering. Make sure your child knows how to put it on, wear it properly, remove it, store it and when to discard or replace it.
- Make sure your child can open and close their own food containers, packages and drinks. Start practicing with lunches and snacks before school starts.
- Same goes for clothing and outerwear. Practice putting on and taking off sweaters, shoes and outerwear.
Talk it out.
- Talk to your child about some of the new health measures and why they are important to follow in school. This may include wearing masks, sanitizing hands, physical distancing, not sharing their personal items with other students, and telling a teacher or staff when they are not feeling well at school.
- Talk to your child about cohorts, what that means for them and why it is important.
- A cohort is a group of students and staff who remain together each day.
- This may mean your child won’t see all of their friends as much as they used to.
- Lunch/nutrition breaks and recess may be different than before with distancing measures.
- Staying in a cohort makes it easier and quicker for public health to track and trace contacts when there is a suspected case of COVID-19.
Parent’s role in keeping schools safe
- Screen your child for symptoms every morning before school. This may include taking their temperature, asking them how they feel today or noticing if they are showing any new symptoms.
- Familiarize yourself, your family and your child with the common symptoms of COVID-19 so everyone knows what symptoms to look for in themselves and each other.
- COVID-19 and Children (Handout)
When to stay home
- Any student who is feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home from school.
- Students and their families must not enter school if they are feeling sick or have had close contact with a confirmed case or close contact with someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Government safety measures for travellers still apply when your child returns to school. Students and their families who have recently travelled outside Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days and cannot enter school during that time.
- Keep 2 metres distance when interacting with teachers, staff or other parents and students.
- Keep 2 metres distance during drop-off and pick-up.
Getting to school
- Consider using active transportation (e.g. walking, cycling, etc.) to get to school if possible. If your family/child is walking/biking to school with other families/children, keep 2 metres distance as much as possible.
- If your child normally takes the school bus, consider taking them to school if you are able and your situation allows for it. This may help with distancing on buses for those who do not have any other option.
- On school buses, masks or face coverings will be required, so have them ready at the bus stop.
- Limit personal belongings your child brings to school.
- Label everything, including masks and their storage containers.
- Discourage sharing of food and personal items like school supplies and masks.
- Pack extra masks in your child’s backpack if possible.
- Consider packing a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your child’s lunch to use before and after eating (if they know how to use it properly and safely).
- You may want to pack a tea towel or cloth for your child to eat their lunch on, changing it each day.
- How to Safely Use Reusable Cloth Masks and Face Coverings (Video)
- How to Use a Disposable Mask or Face Covering (Video)