Message from the Director October 7, 2021

Limestone Learning Foundation
Message from the Director October 7, 2021
Posted on 10/07/2021
Image of Director of Education Krishna Burra

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that we are now five weeks into the school year and the long Thanksgiving weekend is upon us. In conversations with staff and students, I have certainly heard that most folks are thankful to be back among re-established routines, classmates and colleagues.

It has been a busy start up and I have several important updates to share. Families with students in Grades 7 to 12 will have learned earlier this week that we are moving forward with phasing in mandatory vaccines for eligible extra-curricular participants including students (age 12 and up), staff, volunteers, and officials. This decision is based on a public health recommendation to support the return of extra-curricular activities in our area while protecting in-person learning as much as possible. After 20 months without extra-curricular activities, it is critical that we do everything we can to avoid further disruptions and maintain a safe learning environment. More details regarding this new protocol are available on the board website.

While Limestone has had 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the school year, 12 of these cases posed no risk to the school communities and no cohorts required isolation. This is a positive statistic demonstrating how well students and are adhering to daily screening and other safety protocols. As has always been the case, the status of our schools is dependent on COVID transmission within the community. Cases in students and staff are usually the result of being a close contact of a community case, often a family member or close friend.

I would like to reassure families that we will continue to meet the needs of students who may be required to self-isolate because of COVID-19, as a positive case or as an identified high-risk contact. Teaching staff will work with students and families to ensure the continuation of learning and that students maintain a connection to the classroom. In most cases, families can expect to pivot to continued learning from home within 24 hours unless significant device allocation is required.

Earlier this week, the government released some updates to its daily COVID-19 screening tool. There were no changes to symptoms but rather a greater emphasis around keeping students at home if they are sick even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. There was also some clarity about who can and cannot attend school after travelling. These updates have been embedded directly within the online screening tool. Thank you for your diligence in helping students follow all health and safety guidelines to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our schools and communities.

I also want to share some updates about other important work happening across our district. The board has released the Student Census 2020 Preliminary Report following last fall’s survey of students. The census is the first step in a long project to help us understand the diverse backgrounds, experiences, strengths, and needs of students within Limestone. Students in Grades 4 to 12 will be notified by email.

Earlier this week, the board also relaunched its incident reporting tool. The board has had an online reporting tool for several years, but it did not include incidents that infringe on human rights such as bullying or discrimination. We also learned there was not a lot of recent awareness of the tool, so we have introduced an education campaign in schools specifically to make it easier for people to feel supported in identifying and reporting incidents. Schools have been provided with easily accessible posters featuring QR codes that link directly to the online tool. The revised tool will also allow us to track and monitor incidents to ensure accountability and transparency. You can learn more about the tool on the board website.

As we head into the Thanksgiving weekend, I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all students and staff for their contributions to a relatively smooth start up in Limestone. We are fortunate to live and work in school communities that constantly demonstrate resiliency and ingenuity in helping students succeed, whether it is in-person or virtually. Thank you for your ongoing support of the important work we do.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education



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