Board Message to Families - May 5, 2022

Limestone Learning Foundation
Board Message to Families - May 5, 2022
Posted on 05/05/2022

As we enter the remaining weeks of the school year, and as spring feels like it is settling in, we would like to share some important information and updates with families. The last couple of months of the school year can be the busiest and most exciting time of the school year. Many extracurricular activities are currently occurring and preparation for end of year celebrations/graduations are well underway.

Mental Health Week

This week is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week. Schools across Limestone have been recognizing Mental Health Week in a range of activities/events including daily school announcements and challenges for both staff and students focusing on physical self-care, emotional self-care, social self-care, spiritual self-care, and helping a friend. It has been wonderful to see different activities within schools and on social media as schools engage in a range of activities/events in recognizing Mental Health Week and honouring the importance of mental health for all students and staff.

With the ongoing challenges created by the pandemic and the affect it has had on students, staff, and families, it is more important than ever to prioritize everyone’s mental health and well-being. We continue to support and appreciate all efforts made by staff, students, and families to accommodate the ongoing challenges being faced every day, and actively participating in Mental Health Week.

Education Week

The first week of May, on an annual basis also marks Ontario Education Week. It is a time for students, school staff, and families to celebrate excellence in public education and student achievement. This year’s theme is Moving Forward. Limestone has much gratitude, respect, and appreciation for the dedication and hard work of all Limestone staff in serving students, families, and communities.

COVID-19 Update

In an update in early April, we shared concerns regarding student and staff absences, and the need to potentially close or pivot classrooms/schools due to insufficient staffing. The past two to three weeks have been much more manageable in terms of staff absences, and there has been a steady decline in student absences due to COVID-19 related reasons. Staff absences are also trending down, although there does continue to be days that are higher due to a range of reasons including some extracurricular activities that must occur during the school day. In addition, while student/staff absences have been lower in recent weeks at the system level, there are a handful of schools that have more absences relative to other schools. We will continue to closely monitor absences. Student safety is always our top priority, and we continue to work very closely with KFL&A Public Health to monitor COVID-19 activity in schools and in surrounding communities.

Importance of Daily Screening for COVID-19 and Adhering to Public Health Measures

Daily screening for students, staff, and visitors before leaving for school or work continues to be critical and remains in place. Students and staff must screen every day before attending school or work. Access the daily Ontario COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening online here.

Isolation Guidance and Return to School Protocols When Isolation is Required Because of COVID-19 Symptoms

KFL&A Public Health has clear isolation guidance and return to school protocols required for students due to COVID-19 or COVID-19 related symptoms.  People experiencing symptoms must follow the screening expectations.  Staying at home when symptomatic and contagious is critical to reduce spread in schools and in the broader community. 


While there is no longer a masking mandate, masking continues to be strongly encouraged and recommended by public health officials for all students, staff, and visitors while in schools and on school transportation.

When schools cross the threshold of 30% absences due to COVID-19 related reasons, KFL&A Public Health has issued a letter indicating that masking is recommended due to the presence of COVID-19 in the school and community. Masks continue to be available daily for all students, as well as PPE for all staff.

Additional information on masking is available on KFL&A Public Health’s website, including when masking is required.

COVID-19 Related Absence Reporting Dashboard

Limestone recently launched a COVID-19 Related Absence Reporting Dashboard to support our school communities with information about student COVID-19 related absences within our schools. The information presented on the dashboard is provided on a voluntary basis by parents or guardians when reporting their student’s absence from school due to a COVID-19 related reason. Limestone is providing this school level data to provide additional insight into the COVID-19 activity within our school communities.

The Board and school administrators are working to ensure safety, supervision, and in-person learning continues as we near the end of the school year. We appreciate the continued efforts made by staff, students, and families following KFL&A Public Health guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community.

Limestone remains cautiously optimistic about our current status of continuing to support in-person learning across all our schools for the balance of this school year. Following the guidance outlined in this communication are the best ways to ensure schools remain operational for in-person learning and limiting the impact of the pandemic on the wider community.

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