Extra-curricular Vaccination Protocol

Limestone Learning Foundation

All participants (12 or older) in extra-curricular activities in the Limestone District School Board are required to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14-day waiting period) based on a recommendation from KFL&A Public Health as the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This protocol applies to all eligible participants (born 2009 and earlier) including students, staff, officials and volunteers in all inter-school sports and some high-risk activities like extra-curricular music programs.

The board introduced a phased approach to allow participants to continue participating in extra-curricular events if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated up until November 19, 2021, through the completion of twice-weekly testing. After November 19, 2021, only those participants with an approved medical exemption or an approved accommodation under the Human Rights Code will be permitted to continue with twice-weekly testing once we move into winter seasons. Students with approved exemptions will be provided with rapid testing kids through their school.

Unvaccinated individuals and partially vaccinated (one dose) will be able to complete fall seasons with twice-weekly testing, but will not be permitted to participate in the next “winter” season of extra-curricular activities starting at the end of November/early December.

Participants in intra-mural (within their own school) events/activities/clubs may not require vaccination if they can remain masked and/or distanced. Events that take participants outside their school, and where masking and/or physical distancing is not possible, may require vaccination. Schools will notify participants of requirements for these types of activities.

Once the new season begins, participants will again show proof of vaccination to confirm eligibility but will not be required to submit a copy. Schools will record that proof has been shown and that a participant is eligible. LDSB will only verify vaccination status and will not store any medical documentation.

All student participants and coaches must continue to adhere to all return-to-activity guidelines including daily screening, contact tracing, masking where required, and physical distancing where possible. It is important to note that these guidelines may change at any time and without notice depending on local circumstances and data.

We have compiled some frequently asked questions which we hope will provide more information. Families and students may submit questions not answered here to communications@limestone.on.ca


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mandatory vaccination protocol for extra-curriculars?

All eligible participants (born 2009 and earlier) including students, staff, volunteers and officials participating in all inter-school sports and some high-risk activities like extra-curricular music programs must be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14-day waiting period). Unvaccinated participants and participants with an approved medical exemption or an approved accommodation under the Human Rights Code must complete twice weekly testing.

Why do participants need to be vaccinated for extra-curricular activities?

Limestone will implement every strategy within our ability, and as recommended by public health, to keep student-participants, teacher-coaches/leaders and officials safe. This includes mandatory vaccination for all eligible participants (without an approved medical documentation) in extra-curricular activities as recommended by KFL&A Public Health and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

Who is considered a participant?

Participants in extra-curricular activities include students, staff, officials and volunteers.

Does this apply to all extra-curricular activities?

This mandatory vaccine protocol applies to all participants in all inter-school sports and some high-risk activities like extra-curricular music programs.  Participants in intra-mural (within their own school) events/activities/clubs may not require vaccination if they can remain masked and/or distanced. Events that take students outside their school and where masking and/or physical distancing is not possible may require vaccination. Your school will notify participants of requirements for these types of activities.

How are you collecting this information?

Participants will show proof of vaccination to confirm eligibility to designated school staff but will not be required to submit a copy. Schools will record that proof has been shown and that a participant is eligible. The board will only verify vaccination status and will not store any medical documentation.

When does this protocol start?

Participants who are in the process of acquiring full vaccination status will be permitted to participate in inter-school activities if they meet the following requirements: The first dose of vaccination is completed the week of October 4, 2021. The second dose of vaccination is completed the week of November 1, 2021. All participants must be fully vaccinated (including the 14-day waiting period following dose 2) as of November 19, 2021 unless they have an approved exemption.

What if participants cannot get the vaccine?

Unvaccinated participants or participants who have an approved medical exemption or an approved accommodation under the Human Rights Code will be required to provide proof of negative rapid antigen tests twice weekly. While we are trying to acquire rapid antigen tests, at this point families are responsible for obtaining rapid tests which may be purchased at pharmacies. Testing is not an option after November 19, 2021 without an approved medical exemption or an approved accommodation under the Human Rights Code.

How will testing work?

Participants are responsible for obtaining rapid tests which may be purchased at pharmacies. Participants must show test results to the school designate on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Schools will visually verify this information. If participants have a positive test, they cannot participate in any extra-curricular activities and will be directed to obtain a follow-up PCR test at an assessment centre, and await further direction of KFL&A Public Health.

What if participants cannot afford tests?

The board is attempting to acquire testing kits to support unvaccinated participants, however, at this time, participants requiring testing must purchase tests at their own cost. If families have questions, they can reach out to their school directly.

Does this mean that spectators can attend events if they are fully vaccinated?

No, not currently. As shared previously, all extra-curricular events (including those held outdoors) are closed to spectators to limit the number of contacts for students, coaches and officials. Currently, we do not have the resources to adhere to public health and Ministry requirements regarding screening, contact tracing, and capacity limits.

How can you mandate vaccines for extra-curriculars but not for students or staff attending in-person school?

The Immunization of Pupils’ Act governs the vaccinations of children and youth in Ontario schools. The Chief Medical Officer of Health did recently indicate the province is reviewing mandatory vaccines required in Ontario schools, and is considering COVID-19 vaccination. Extra-curriculars are voluntary, and the board is making this decision based on a recommendation from public health as a risk-based approach to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmissions during these activities. Staff in school boards are subject to a mandatory vaccination attestation protocol. Staff are required to provide proof of full vaccination, an approved medical or Human Rights Code reason for not being vaccinated, or submit to rapid testing.

What else are you doing to protect participants in extra-curricular activities?

In addition to mandatory vaccination and a limitation on spectators, the board has worked closely with its partners at KFL&A Public Health (KFLAPH), the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association (KASSAA), the Limestone Elementary Schools’ Athletic Association (LESAA) and the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) to develop detailed return-to-activity guidelines for the reintroduction of extra-curriculars. All student participants and coaches must continue to adhere to all return-to-activity guidelines including daily screening, contact tracing, masking where required, and physical distancing where possible. It is important to note that these guidelines may change at any time and without notice depending on local circumstances and data.

Where can I submit my questions or considerations?

Families and students may submit questions or considerations about this protocol to communications@limestone.on.ca

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.