[UPDATE — 09/23/20] We are making a change to the lunch routine for Kindergarten and Grade 1. Beginning Friday, Sept. 25, students will have recess outside from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. followed by lunch in the dining hall (rather than their classrooms) from 12 – 12:30 p.m.
[UPDATE — 09/21/20] We made the decision to open another classroom space on the second floor of the atrium for the Grade 9/10 cohort so that students will have more space to move around during their breaks at flex and lunch. Going forward, the library space will now be used as a Grade 10 classroom.
School Librarian Ms Einarson is collaborating with teachers to ensure that students have access to library materials as needed and according to best practices for libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
[UPDATE — 09/17/20] Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) revised its “Return to School Sport Plan” as of September 15, 2020.
[UPDATE — 09/16/20] Regarding the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, Balmoral Hall School continues to operate under the Caution (Yellow) level.
Families are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the various levels as it is possible that a change can occur with less than 12-hours notice, which will certainly have an impact on families.
LIMITED RISK (GREEN) — The spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment for COVID-19 is available.
In-class learning resumes for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. School-based childcare centres will continue with regular operations. School buses may operate at normal capacity, with enhanced sanitization and other measures as advised by public health officials. Directives from Manitoba Education and guidelines approved by public health officials will provide any additional guidance.
CAUTION (YELLOW) — Community transmission of COVID-19 is at low levels.
Schools will be open for in-class learning. Kindergarten to Grade 8 students and students with special learning needs will participate in in-class learning five days per week. At Balmoral Hall School, students in Grades 9 to 12 will be on campus to participate in in-class learning five days per week, as well.
RESTRICTED (ORANGE) — Community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring. However, the virus is being transmitted at levels that public health and the health system can manage.
K–12 schools may be more restricted by occupancy limits. Students in K–8 and students with special needs will be prioritized for in-class learning. Students in 9–12 will participate in teacher-led remote learning, with limited use of school facilities for specific programs and assessment. Childcare centres located within schools will operate at reduced capacity, as outlined in Public Health Guidance for Child Care. Public health recommendations for masks may be adjusted for this response level and should be monitored.
CRITICAL (RED) — Community spread of COVID-19 is not contained and/or there are significant strains on our health care system.
Schools will be closed to the public with the exception of Kindergarten to Grade 6 students of critical workers. Early Learning and Child Care guidelines will be followed with reduced class sizes and strict prevention and controls in place. Virtual classrooms and teacher-led remote learning will be in place. Childcare in schools will operate at reduced capacity and will be limited to students of critical services workers, as outlined in Public Health Guidance for Child Care Centres.
[UPDATE — 09/14/20] We would like to alleviate some of the congestion created by staggering the pick-up times at the end of day. Please keep in mind Junior School parents have until 4:15 p.m. to pick-up students. We are recommending that the following staggered pick-up schedule be implemented beginning September 14, 2020:
- JK/K/1 from 3:30–3:40 p.m.
- 2/3 from 3:40–3:50 p.m.
- 4/5 from 3:50–4:00 p.m.
We might also suggest that parents may choose to park in the area and walk to enter at the pedestrian gate by the Dalton House doors. It would be important to maintain physical distancing while waiting for your child.
[UPDATE — 09/10/20] As noted in Manitoba’s “Guide for Parents, Caregivers & Students: What to Expect When Welcomed Back to School” (September 2, 2020) …
Any incident of COVID-19 in a school will result in immediate contact by Public Health with instructions if that student and/or cohort must self-isolate, if they need to be tested, and when they can return to school.
As further detailed in Manitoba’s “COVID-19 K–12 School Settings Practice, Guidance & Protocols” (September 2, 2020) …
In the event of the confirmation of a case of COVID-19 connected with a school, Public Health will lead the response and ensure appropriate supports are in place to coordinate the response. Contact tracing involves identifying the contacts of a positive case and contacting those individuals who may have been exposed. Public Health may:
- request records that identify cohorts/groups of staff, students, volunteers and visitors in the school for a specified timeframe;
- contact students, staff and families if they have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case, and confirm whether they need to self-isolate or self-monitor, and when they can return to school;
- recommend testing following established guidelines to staff, students, volunteers and visitors who may have been exposed to a positive case;
- assess the need for the school to be closed for a period of time.
Schools will clean and disinfect areas where exposures took place. These areas will not be used until they are determined to be safe. School closure would be a last resort and only upon evidence of transmission among multiple cohorts.
Form letters and standard messages for school administrators will be available (from Public Health) to share with parents, staff, and students when a case is confirmed in a school. If there is an outbreak at a school, this will be announced through Manitoba media bulletins and Public Health will provide instructions to those who have been in close contact.
[UPDATE — 09/08/20] The Province of Manitoba advises ELCC staff to wear non-medical masks when caring for children of any age when physical distancing is not possible.
[UPDATE — 09/02/20] The Province of Manitoba has prepared information with a focus on the fundamentals of learning and working around COVID-19 including:
• Parent Guide – providing what parents and guardians can expect when school resumes;
• Mask Use Guide – providing information on the use of masks in school and on buses, when you put them on, what happens when they are soiled and other tips;
• Easy Reference for Parents to the Pandemic Response Notification System – providing parents with a simple understanding of how changes in their school’s COVID-19 response level will affect their day-to-day school routines;
• COVID-19 Screening Questions – a tool for parents and schools to screen for signs and symptoms; and
• COVID-19 in Schools and Early Learning and Child Care Centres – providing guidance on cases of COVID-19 in schools and child-care centres.
[UPDATE — 09/01/20] Masks will be required on all school buses. This is a change from the previous requirement which only applied to Grade 4 and above. The new rule includes drivers, students, and any other passengers on the bus.
Parents with multiple children who must enter and exit through different cohort-assigned entrances have the options to: 1) follow the procedures and go to multiple doors; or 2) treat themselves like a bus cohort utilizing the main front entry/exit point. At drop-off, students will be expected to sanitize their hands upon entry and go immediately to their assigned classrooms. For pick-up, family names will be called and students must remain in their classroom until their family name is called. However, Junior Kindergarten students must still be walked by a parent to their entry/exit point, the 2nd door of Junior School building (next to Aikins House), where they will ring the bell for BH staff. Junior Kindergarten students cannot be dropped off or picked up at the main front doors.
[UPDATE — 08/27/20] We have added clarification and details to several areas in the plan, summarized as follows:
Masks are now strongly recommended from Kindergarten through to Grade 3;
We have now defined our student cohorts and outlined the pick-up and drop-off procedures, as well as information about staggered start times in Junior School;
There are now details about the modified Extended Day program;
The section on parent and volunteer visits has been updated to reflect our appointment-only policy; and
Dana Hospitality has provided their on-campus meal plan information for this fall.
[UPDATE — 08/19/20] Out of an abundance of caution and based on the input of public health experts, educators, and parents, masks will now be required for students in Grade 4 to 12, teachers, staff, and visitors when physical distancing of two metres is not possible at Balmoral Hall School. Parents and caregivers will continue to choose whether younger students should wear a mask. Further guidance on exceptions will be available soon regarding specific mask-free time and for those not recommended to wear a mask.