September 8th, 2020
The Ministry of Education’s Guide to Reopening Schools required boards to develop a process to consider reasonable exceptions to the mask requirement for students. Wearing a mask helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and helps to protect people who are around you. Since some people may have the COVID-19 virus and not know it, everyone should wear a mask when they go into an area where they might come into contact with other people. When other people wear a mask, they are helping to protect you.
These guidelines will be in effect as schools reopen in September 2020. For WRDSB students in grades Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, non-medical or cloth masks are required indoors, including in hallways and classrooms, and on the school bus. We will provide reusable cloth masks to students, ensuring that everyone has the necessary personal protective equipment to return to school safely. Students may use their own non-medical masks if they wish. If a student does not have a mask for riding the bus, one will be provided. Proper mask wearing procedures will be taught directly, reinforced through signage throughout the school, and ongoing verbal reminders will be provided. All school staff will also be required to wear masks, except where accommodations have been approved.
Wearing a mask throughout the day may be a challenge for our youngest learners. Our staff will work with students to make sure they understand why they are wearing a mask and how to wear it safely.
We recognize that there are unique situations that may prompt parents/guardians to request a mask accommodation or exemption for their child. Exemptions to mask requirements may be necessary to accommodate some individuals under Ontario Human Rights Code. No one should experience harassment or other discriminatory treatment based on a Human Rights Code ground because they are unable to wear a mask.
Parents/Guardians/Adult Students should contact their school administrator to request an accommodation prior to September 11, 2020 and should make every effort to engage in the accommodation process prior to the beginning of in-person instruction.