With yesterday’s announcement from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding masking and winter weather approaching, we want to provide families with an update on masking and the steps we take to keep students safe when severe weather occurs.
Masking in Schools
Yesterday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly recommended that individuals wear masks in indoor settings. We continue to consult with York Region Public Health, who are strongly recommending masking in indoor settings. York Region schools and workplaces continue to be mask friendly environments and masking is strongly encouraged in YRDSB schools and buildings, and on all forms of school transportation. All students, staff, families and visitors who choose to wear a mask, or who are advised or required to wear a mask will be supported in doing so. A limited number of masks are available; children who wish to wear a mask but do not have access to one, may contact their school.
School Transportation Cancellations
School transportation (buses and taxis) may be cancelled due to extreme cold or inclement weather. On these days, schools will remain open unless otherwise stated. If school transportation is cancelled in the morning, it will also be cancelled in the afternoon. Any special or hot lunch days and field trips will also be cancelled.
Families should use their best judgment to decide whether to send their children to school on extreme cold or inclement weather days. Students will not be penalized for missing school on those days. For safety reasons, please let the school know if your child will not be attending school that day.
Emergency closures will be considered when conditions may not be safe for students and staff members to attend school for the full day. This may include events that significantly limit school operations or access to the school site (e.g., widespread, prolonged power failures or downed power lines).
In keeping with our current practice, we will continue to keep our schools open as much as possible. However, it is important that families have alternate childcare arrangements planned for the rare occasions when schools may be closed. Before and aftercare programs will not operate if schools are closed.
Communication to Families
Decisions about school transportation and school closures will be made as early as possible and no later than 6:00 a.m. We will do our best to notify families in advance when we may be considering closing school and Board offices. Transportation cancellations or school closures are communicated through:
- Student Transportation Services – www.schoolbuscity.com or 1-877-330-3001
- Board and school websites
- @YRDSB Twitter account
- Radio and TV media outlets