HPEDSB release Return to Learning Plan for 2021-2022 school year

The HPEDSB Education Centre. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)




The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) have released an update for the safe return to school for elementary and secondary learners next month.

The ‘Return to Learning Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year’ is available now and is subject to revision as updated provincial and local guidance changes.

“We are confident with the multiple layers of protective factors in place, we will enjoy a year of instruction, support and activity for all students,” said Katherine MacIver, Director of Education for HPEDSB. “We know that regular school attendance is essential to student well-being and learning. With multiple layers of support, and inclusion of clubs and activities, we can attend to staff and student health, safety and well-being, and focus on student learning.”

Katherine MacIver, Director of Education for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. (Submitted photo)

HPEDSB is committed to the ongoing health, safety and well-being of students and staff. As a public school board, HPEDSB has a responsibility to ensure students and staff feel safe, and that protective measures are in place at schools and buildings.

This plan is aligned with  the Ministry of Education guidance document.

There is not one specific measure that will prevent COVID-19 transmission from occurring in schools, but rather multiple structural and individual elements that contribute to making schools healthier spaces, and reduce the risk of infection to in-person attendees.

Each of the control measures listed below provides some benefit in reducing spread. However, it is the combination and consistent application of these layered controls as a bundle that are most effective for reducing disease spread in schools.

Guiding principles:

  • Prioritize health and safety of students and staff
  • Maximize student learning time
  • Support student and staff well-being
  • Ensure equity of access to learning, supports and technology, and extra-curricular activities
  • Provide equity of access to extra-curricular activities, with safety protocols

Control measures include: screening, student masks, staff personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, distancing and congregating, recess and breaks outdoors, inclement weather days, cleaning and disinfecting standards and protocols, shared materials, shared spaces, cafeteria use and lunch protocols, food programs, assemblies, visitors, student transportation, ventilation, vaccination, mental health and student supports, specific academic programs and requirements, extra-curricular activities, before and after school programs, community use of schools, international students, protocols for emergency management and fire safety, and management of COVID-19 in schools.

Each section begins with a link to Ministry of Education directives, followed by the HPEDSB direction and can be found on the HPEDSB website.

HPEDSB serves approximately 15,000 students each day at 40 in-person schools (33 elementary, one K-12; four 7-12, two secondary) and two virtual schools (one K-8 and one 9-12). Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning. 

The district covers a wide geographic area of 7,220 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.

For more information and to read more about the control measures, please visit http://www.hpedsb.on.ca/2021/return-to-learning-plan-for-the-2021-2022-school-year/