How We’re Returning to School Routines and Processes

The effective daily operations of a school can contribute to a safe reopening. The processes and policies below will all be implemented to continue as many of the normal operations of a school day while implementing effective operational controls that can stop the spread of the COVID-19. All schools in the HDSB will have a school-based implementation team to support these processes and to ensure all staff and parents are kept informed of these operational details on a school by school basis.

Family Responsibilities

  • Parents/guardians (and students 18+) must complete the Government of Ontario's online COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child prior to attending school each day.

  • Secondary students (Grade 9-12) learning in-person must show their daily “pass” on the Ontario School Screening Tool during morning attendance

  • Keep your child at home if they are sick; perform a daily self-assessment for each child

  • Keep all children home if anyone in the household has symptoms of Covid-19 and follow public health direction

  • Where possible, schedule appointments prior to or after instructional day

  • Prevent the Spread by following preventative measures outside of school (e.g., physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene)

Student Belongings

  • Student personal belongings brought to school will go home at the end of the day; students will not be assigned lockers

  • Students may not share items or bring items that are non essential (e.g., play/sport equipment)

  • Essential daily items only (e.g., backpack, clothing, sun protection, water bottles, food)

  • For parents needing to drop off essential items, schools will communicate a drop off location and process. Parents are not to enter the building.

School Entry/Exit

  • Schools will be closed to visitors; parents may not enter the building

  • Adults accompanying students on property must also wear a mask.

  • Schools will provide further guidance on student entry/exit in their welcome messaging (e.g., designated entrance for your child)

  • Sanitizing stations have been placed at each designated entrance for use by students and essential visitors on entry and exit

Outdoor Play Structures

  • Outdoor play structures are closed to student use, as it will not be possible to clean this equipment daily or between outdoor breaks

  • Families are asked to not use these structures when coming to school and/or leaving school at the end of the day

School Hours/Access and Visitors

  • Schools will be closed to visitors

  • To the extent possible, meetings with school staff and others should occur over the phone or virtually

  • Where face to face meetings are scheduled by appointment, screening will be required and medical masks must be worn (these will be available at the school)

  • Volunteer programs in schools are paused

Lunch and Snacks

  • Elementary students should bring food every day - all waste will go home with students

  • Water bottles, food and utensils may not be shared

  • Elementary students who go home for lunch will follow school processes; no other students may leave for lunch

  • Students should bring a refillable water bottle

Student Lates/Appointments

  • If a student must leave school before dismissal, the parent is to contact the school (Attendance line or school phone) to register the appointment

  • For late arrivals, parents should notify the school via SchoolMessenger, phone or come to the school with your child(ren).

  • Parents will not be able to enter the school; staff will greet late students/bring students to a “safe zone” or other identified area outside the school for any appointment

Food Programs, Fundraising and Vending

  • Food programs for students who are experiencing food insecurity will continue, following HDSB and Public Health protocols (e.g., “Grab & Go”)

  • All surfaces, bins and containers for food distribution will be disinfected prior to and after use

  • Food programs/fundraising (e.g., pizza, subs) and cafeteria services are paused

  • Commercial food deliveries are not permitted

  • Vending machines will not be accessible


All Courtesy Seating requests are on hold for all bus routes

  • The use of non-medical masks/face coverings for students in Grades 1 to 12 will be required on school vehicles. Students in Kindergarten will be encouraged but not required to wear masks on student transportation.

  • Consider walking/wheeling to school instead of driving

  • Promote social distancing by parking down the street to avoid parking congestion

  • For students who qualify for transportation, respond to the opt-in/out option on the Intent to Return survey to support planning for limited seats

  • Bus protocols will be shared with families via www.haltonbus.ca

  • Students who are feel ill should not ride the bus

Before and After School Child Care Programs

  • These programs will operate in all our elementary schools at the discretion of the Child Care operator

  • Before and After school cohorts will be matched to school cohorts where possible

  • All cleaning will meet or exceed our school-based standards as defined by the Ministry of Education’s Guidelines for Child Care Operators

  • Registration and fee information is available by contacting the designated Child Care provider for each school; contact information is available at Before and After School Care Information

School Councils and Council Elections

  • Given the restrictions in meeting in person, schools will continue to engage School Councils through virtual meeting (i.e., Google Meet)

  • The election of members of School Councils shall be held in the first 30 days of the school year

  • The election of parents/guardians must be by secret ballot. A Google Form will be set up for electronic anonymous (e.g., does not collect email address) voting in real time

Emergency Procedures

  • Schools will develop processes to adhere to social distancing and cohorts in practicing the following:

    • Fire Drills

    • Hold and Secure

    • Lockdown

    • School Evacuation

    • Bomb Threat

How we’re returning to healthy and safe facilities.

Health & Facility

How we’re returning to school routines and processes.


How we’re returning to learning and instruction.


How we’re returning to environments that support well-being.


How we’re returning with technology support.