Student safety and wellbeing are our number one concern at Millpond Academy. Our school takes a Whole Child approach to education meaning we look out for the physical, social, emotional and academic wellbeing of every child. We are aware of the risks of COVID-19 but also of the detrimental effects that isolation and school closures have on the physical and metal health of our students. Below you will find the precautions that we will be taking in order to allow our students to return to a full-time education in a safe space. For further information please reference the Sick Kids Recommendations For Returning to School document and recent letter to the Ontario Government from the Canadian Paediatric Society below.
SICK DAYS AND SCREENING
If your child or anyone they have come in contact with is showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive, they must stay home until they have carried out the proper quarantine. If they begin to show signs or symptoms at school they will be isolated and must be picked up, other families will be notified. If COVID-19 is suspected testing and contact tracing must be done, and Southwestern Public Health will be notified. Also, I have a list of teachers who are able to fill in for me if I am ill and unable to work.
The total student population in the school will be limited to 40 students for the 2021-2022 school year, this makes our whole school family significantly smaller than any other Public or Private school in the area. This will allow us to interact, learn and collaborate with some normalcy. Also, because parents naturally have contact with their children during non-school hours it is reasonable to allow them into the school building during drop off and pick up times. As long as government restrictions are in place, interactions with people outside the school family will be restricted.
CLEANING AND SANITIZING
The school will be cleaned on a daily basis. Supplies will be shared between students, unless you choose to provide your own, but will be cleaned or sanitized weekly or more as needed. Outdoor education and play will provide fresh air daily.
HAND WASHING AND ETIQUETTE
Students will follow proper hand washing procedures upon entry to the school and before and after eating. If you wish to provide hand sanitizer for your child this will be used as well. Students will be taught and encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes effectively, as well, they will be instructed to keep their hands and other objects away from their face.
Students and staff will not be required to wear masks, this is a personal decision to be made by each family, if it is your preference that your child wear a mask, this will be enforced during indoor, non-eating times. We do not require masks for several reasons. Masks hinder effective communication by dampening the sound and removing visual cues which, can make it difficult for students to learn different topics effectively. They also provide an added distraction and discomfort for all. We respect either choice to wear a mask or not.
Our school is equipped with an outdoor classroom area to facilitate learning in fresh air on a regular basis. We will also be outside for breaks multiple times a day. Inside, our school building is equipped with a new air filtration system to filter and purify the air.