[UPDATE — 12/03/20] Further to yesterday’s announcement from Minister of Education Kelvin Goertzen, beginning Monday, January 4, all Grade 7 to 12 students will participate in teacher-led, synchronous off-campus learning via Microsoft Teams with a tentative return to campus Monday, January 18.
For Kindergarten to Grade 6 students, on-campus learning will resume as planned on Monday, January 4, and bus service will continue as per usual for those students. Kindergarten to Grade 6 families may opt for remote learning during this two-week period.
BH Beginnings and Junior Kindergarten will continue to operate per Manitoba’s current public health guidance for childcare and early learning centres.
[UPDATE — 11/12/20] On Tuesday, November 10, the Province of Manitoba moved to a RED – CRITICAL response; however, all schools in the province remain at the modified ORANGE – RESTRICTED level.
Further, Manitoba Education announced an additional three days of professional development for staff, two of which must be taken before winter break. Please make any necessary care arrangements for your daughters in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. In addition to no classes being held on Monday, November 23, as communicated previously, we will have two additional days with no classes to be held on Friday, December 4 and Friday, December 11. There will be no Extended Day care offered on these days. Only BH Beginnings will remain open.
[UPDATE — 11/02/20] Effective today, November 2, the Winnipeg metropolitan region moved to the Critical (Red) level on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, while area schools, including Balmoral Hall, continue to follow the measures implemented under the Restricted (Orange) level on October 26.
This means that should anyone in your household display symptoms of COVID-19 (as outlined in Shared Health’s online assessment tool), your daughter(s) will be unable to attend on-campus classes at Balmoral Hall School until such time as isolation is no longer required by Manitoba Public Health.
[UPDATE — 10/27/20] CRITICAL SERVICES WORKER (CSW) DEFINITION FROM MANITOBA EDUCATION
In a CRITICAL (RED) response level, Balmoral Hall School will endeavour to accommodate Kindergarten to Grade 6 children of critical service workers who cannot make alternative care arrangements. Per Manitoba Education, priority access will be given to health care providers, and other critical services workers will be eligible and prioritized as follows:
- Health Services
- Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education Providers (Teachers, Administrators, Support Staff)
- Child Care Workers
- Law Enforcement
- Corrections Workers
- Fire and Paramedic First Responders
- Direct Social Services and Child Protection Workers
Additional Critical Service Providers (This may include people who provide essential services to Manitobans such as front-line natural resource workers, gas station attendants, grocery store staff, and hospital/clinic support staff, such as those listed in The Essential Services Act.)
[UPDATE — 10/22/20] The Province of Manitoba has directed that schools in the Winnipeg metropolitan region, including Balmoral Hall School, move to response level ORANGE (RESTRICTED) as of Monday, October 26.
Based on the experience to date and public health advice, Manitoba Education has advised schools that the following measures will take effect under response level ORANGE (RESTRICTED):
Schools must ensure two metres of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, and adjust classroom space as necessary; excess furniture must be removed from classrooms to create additional space; other spaces within schools must be repurposed to accommodate more distancing (e.g., multipurpose rooms, empty rooms, shared spaces, common areas, and libraries).
Extracurricular activities are only permitted if all learning and distancing requirements have been met. If these activities continue, established guidelines must be followed and, in the case of sports, participants should maintain distance when not active.
Teachers and staff who move across cohorts of students, including substitute teachers, are required to wear medical masks. Medical-grade disposable masks have been issued to all schools. N95 masks are not required.
Indoor choir and the use of wind instruments are not permitted.
All field trips must be postponed or cancelled.
Blended learning (in-class and online) for grades 9–12 where distancing cannot be achieved will continue as per status quo.
K–8 students may be offered a temporary remote learning option for the duration of the Restricted level (Orange).
All other public health measures are still in effect.
[UPDATE — 09/16/20] Regarding the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, Balmoral Hall School continues to operate under the CAUTION (YELLOW) response 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 — 09/10/20] 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 — 09/02/20] 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.