WELCOME BACK

WE’RE KEEPING STUDENTS AND STAFF SAFE THIS SEPTEMBER

With the 2020-2021 school year underway, we want to share how we have prepared our campuses to ensure that students continue to receive quality education in a safe and healthy environment. Our priority is to get students back on campus, however, we understand that students and families may feel hesitant returning to school. Our team is determined to work with each family to determine a solution for each and every student.

For more information on how to apply to one of Blyth Academy’s campuses, please click here. Given physical distancing requirements, spaces are limited, so please apply soon to secure your child’s seat.

The following safeguards and guidelines have been put in place:

Our Classrooms:

Physical distancing is being practiced

Masks are worn by students and staff while on campus

Small class sizes are being adhered to

Alternative learning arrangements for students who are displaying symptoms will be provided (i.e. virtual classroom)

Outdoor space is being utilized as much as possible

Grades 5 – 10 has returned to full-time class five days a week

Grades 11 and 12 has returned to full-time class, except when larger classes need to be split into cohorts to comply with physical distancing

Blyth Academy Orbit is available to families who are not comfortable returning to physical schools for the 2020-2021 school year

Our Community:

Regular updates are being communicated to families via Edsby or email

We offer flexibility as students adjust to new learning

Mental health resources have been shared with students and parents

Our Safety:

Increased sanitation stations around campus

Regular and enhanced cleaning schedules

Monitoring of health by families using provided checklists

Any student or staff member displaying symptoms is to stay home

Students are organized into cohorts in order to limit contact

Plexiglass has been installed in appropriate office spaces

Hand sanitizer is available in classrooms, offices, entrances and exits

Hallways and stairwells have been designated for one way flow

Reopening Plan FAQs

What is the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) recommendation regarding student cohort sizes?

The MOE in conjunction with Public Health has suggested students be part of at most two in person class cohorts with class sizes of approximately 15 students. They further recommend that students have a total of approximately 100 direct or indirect contacts. Blyth Academy has developed a plan which ensures that these standards are met and in most cases exceeded.

How will staff and students be screened for symptoms?

Staff and students will be expected to self screen and remain at home if they feel unwell. Families will be provided with screening checklists approved by Public Health.

What protocols are in place for students or staff who develop symptoms at school or who test positive?

Any student or staff member who develops COVID-19 symptoms while in school will be immediately separated from others, in a separate room where possible, until they are able to go home.

Isolated students will be supervised with physical distancing maintained and PPE provided consistent with health guidance.

Staff with symptoms and parents/guardians of children with symptoms will be directed to use the online self-assessment tool and follow instructions. Persons who test positive may not return to school until they are cleared according to public health guidance.

Persons who retest negative (after an initial positive test) can return to school once they are symptom-free for 24 hrs.

Schools must ensure records of classes, including seating charts, bus cohorts, and daily records of any approved visitors to the school, including supply/occasional teachers or custodians are maintained and readily available to be provided to public health for contact tracing purposes.

What cleaning protocols are in place?

Blyth Academy has arranged for enhanced cleaning protocols for all campuses on a daily basis. Washrooms and high touch surfaces will be cleaned more frequently. Students may not share items. In the event of a suspected case Public Health will dictate the required cleaning.

What reminders will be in place for students to follow appropriate hand hygiene and safety procedures?

Hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and directional signage will be posted throughout the campus. Reminders to maintain physical distance will also be posted. In addition, all staff and students will receive training on safety procedures during the orientation days in September. Frequent reminders will follow throughout the term.

Will masks be required?

Masks will be mandatory for everyone in the building.

Will masks be provided?

Masks will be provided for staff. Students will be required to provide their own cloth or medical masks. Extra masks will be available on campus for those who forget.

Will visitors be allowed on campus?

No. Families who are interested in learning more about Blyth Academy will be able to book a virtual tour with the Principal. In certain circumstances, at the discretion of the principal, families will be able to tour the campus in person.

Will families be able to choose between in person and virtual learning?

Principals will survey families on their intent to attend virtual vs in-school classes. Students who are uncomfortable returning to school have the opportunity to attend Blyth Academy Orbit, our fully synchronous, face to face, virtual campus.

It is important for students to remain in the same stream in order to maintain appropriately sized cohorts.

Will live streaming be available to elementary i.e. grade 5 - 8 students?

Yes, live streaming will be available for this age group. Blyth Academy Orbit will also be available for Grades 7 and 8. 

Is student mental health being considered in the planning?

Staff are aware that this has been a difficult time for our students and that many are feeling anxious. Our small, personalized environments, commitment to regular communication with families and dedicated guidance counsellors are among the strategies that we believe will assist students this fall.

How do you anticipate communicating to parents?

Blyth Academy is committed to regular and timely communication in all circumstances.

Are there special requirements for private schools?

Once a community enters Stage 3 private schools are allowed to open but expected to adopt the guidance provided by the MOE. Schools must work with local public health and immediately report any suspected or confirmed cases to Public Health and MOE, Public Health will determine next steps.

Will international students be allowed to attend?

The decision to admit international students to Canada rests with the federal government. At this point in time we anticipate that international students who are currently in Canada will attend classes.

International students who arrive mid-year will be required to follow government quarantine procedures before attending classes.

Are there any changes to graduation requirements?

Students graduating prior to Feb are able to use the OSSLC to achieve the literacy requirement. 40 hours community service will be required for all students.

Will field trips occur?

Not under the current framework.

Will clubs and extra-curricular activities be provided?

Extra-curricular activities will be provided through the virtual environment.

Will schools have assemblies?

All large gatherings will be held virtually.

What is in place to protect staff?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act applies. In addition all staff should receive training prior to school reopening. A Joint Health and Safety representative must be appointed and trained in each school.

What are some of the possible adaptations for the school environment?

  • Staggered bell times

  • Maximize use of entrances/exits

  • Hand sanitizer, designated routes, visual cues

  • Stagger periods of movement

  • Limit congregation of staff/students

  • Special consideration for science labs etc.

  • Utilizing outdoor classrooms whenever possible.

What special considerations are in place for washrooms?

Washrooms will be cleaned twice daily and provided with adequate supplies of hand sanitizer and soap. Breaks will be arranged to prevent crowding in washrooms and signage reminders will be in place.

Will the campus have an isolation room?

Yes. PPE will be supplied and the room will be cleaned thoroughly after use.

What are the procedures for eating on campus?

Students will be required to eat in classrooms or outside at staggered times. Hand hygiene procedures will be followed.
Students should bring reusable water bottles rather than drinking from water fountains. Self serve items, microwaves, fridges and shared utensils will not be available.

Are students allowed to bring personal items to school?

Personal items should be minimized, not shared and stored separately.

Attend an information session

Learn more about our campuses by attending an information session!

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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