Message to SRCE Families from Paul Landry, SRCE Regional Executive Director of Education: Thank You and COVID-19 Updates

November 25, 2020

Good Afternoon SRCE Families:

Thank You.

Two small yet significant words that come your way with the utmost gratitude and deep admiration.   I extend my sincere thanks to you for your ongoing support and cooperation as we continue to find our way through this global pandemic. 

In the SRCE, we continue to focus on the Nova Scotia Back to School Plan which puts the safety of children, students, families and staff first and foremost. One of the many strengths of the Plan is that it is responsive, and our practices can be modified quickly if required. The direction to move to a different learning model will be given by Public Health as they assess the COVID-19 situation locally.

As we mark almost three months into the 2020-2021 school year with the upcoming Christmas Holiday break on our minds, we are also seeing a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia and cases impacting three schools to date.  Yesterday, Tuesday, November 24, 2020, the Province announced enhanced restrictions to deal with the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases. This information may be accessed in the following news release at:

New Restrictions to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

I also want to share with you a flow chart that the Nova Scotia Health Authority recently provided to show how Public Health officials respond to reported cases of COVID-19 in a school community.  Please refer to the following resource:

Contact Tracing in Schools

Contact Tracing in Schools: What steps does Public Health take when a case of COVID-19 is reported in a school community?

Dr. Strang has reminded us that schools reflect the community around them.  If COVID-19 is present in a community, we must expect and be ready for it to be present in our schools.  When or if that happens, public health will immediately become involved.  They will coordinate and provide advice on what actions must be taken and what communication needs to be issued.  I certainly recognize that a COVID-19 exposure can be a very concerning experience for our school communities.  Rest assured that the SRCE staff is prepared and ready to support families and school communities through the process.

As Dr. Strang recently stated “these cases are a stark reminder that we need to be diligent about following the public health measures.”   At home, please continue to reinforce the importance of our shared responsibility in following and respecting the public health measures that will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep each other safe. These measures include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Practicing good handwashing and other hygiene steps;

• Wearing a non-medical mask;

• Practicing cough and sneeze etiquette;

• Maintaining physical distance when and where required;

• Enhancing cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces; and

• Staying home if you feel unwell.

COVID-19 Daily Checklist

To reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 and maintain a safe learning environment in our schools, families are required to continue to closely monitor and screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms daily using the COVID-19 Daily Checklist before sending them to school or on the school bus.

I have received feedback from our school administrators that you are doing a tremendous job with these daily screenings and keeping your children home when necessary. We are very appreciative of your attention to this very important routine that will help to keep our learning environments healthy and safe.  

COVID Alert App

As you may be aware, Health Canada's free COVID Alert App is now active in Nova Scotia. COVID Alert is a free exposure notification App. People using the App will be able to receive COVID-19 exposure alerts directly to their smartphones. The App lets you know if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. You can also use the App to let others know if you test positive without sharing any personal information.

I encourage you to download this App as part of our public health measures.  Additional information may be accessed at:

COVID Alert App Available in Nova Scotia

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Download COVID Alert

How the COVID Alert App works

Please find accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19 at:

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment as we continue to support one another, work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help each other stay as healthy and safe as possible.  We will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Landry
Regional Executive Director

Strait Regional Centre for Education
304 Pitt Street, Unit 2
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2T9
902-625-7065/1-800-650-4448; 902-625-2281 (fax)
srce@srce.ca / www.srce.ca
Follow SRCE on Twitter @SRCE_NS