Vaccination required for extra-curriculars

Limestone Learning Foundation
Vaccination required for extra-curriculars
Posted on 10/05/2021
Image of basketball, band, field hockey and football

The Limestone District School Board continues to work 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 plans and protocols to help ensure a safe return to in-person learning and the reintroduction of extra-curricular activities (sports and clubs).

We know that participation in extra-curricular activities is an important part of the school experience for many students. Given the suspension of extracurricular activities for over 18 months, Limestone will implement every strategy within our ability, and as recommended by public health, to keep student-participants, teacher-coaches/leaders and officials safe. It is with this in mind that we have developed detailed return-to-activity guidelines and to get students back, first to intra-mural (school level) training, and then inter-school (between two or more schools) competition. To ensure students remain safe and healthy both inside and outside the classroom, we are taking extra steps to prioritize the health and safety of student athletes and volunteer coaches.

Recently, both KFL&A Public Health and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health both recommended regional school boards consider a vaccination protocol for all eligible participants without a documented medical exemption: “As vaccinations are the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, they are strongly recommended for all those who are eligible. This includes student athletes, staff, volunteers, and spectators.” Therefore, effective immediately, 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 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.

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. Your school will notify participants of requirements for these types of activities.

Beginning October 8, 2021, schools will begin verifying participants’ vaccination status. The board will introduce a phased approach to its extra-curricular vaccination protocol. 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 must be completed the week of October 4, 2021.

• The second dose of vaccination must be 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.

• Participants will 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.

• 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. Families are responsible for obtaining rapid tests which may be purchased at pharmacies. We are attempting to acquire testing kits to support unvaccinated participants, however, at this time, participants requiring testing must purchase tests at their own cost. Testing is not an option after November 19, 2021 without an approved medical exemption or an approved accommodation under the Human Rights Code.

• LDSB will only verify vaccination status and will not store any medical documentation.

In addition to mandatory vaccination, and 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.

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.

Please review these frequently asked questions for more information. Families and students may submit questions or considerations about this mandatory vaccination protocol to communications@limestone.on.ca .

As we reintroduce extra-curriculars in our schools, we will continue to take reasonable steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and maintain a safe environment. We are committed to student and staff safety and will follow all public health directives to protect in-person learning, some of which may change over time. Thank you for your understanding as we proceed with a cautious approach to extra-curricular activities.

Krishna Burra
Director of Education


Frequently Asked Questions

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