O'Connell Drive Elementary

Update on School Reopening

From the HRCE:



January 13, 2022

We look forward to welcoming all students back to in-person learning on Monday, January 17, 2022.

We know that being in school is the best place for our student’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being and development. We are also relying on the advice and expertise of Public Health and the pediatric leaders at the IWK Health Centre who are recommending a return to in-person learning.

You can learn more in this letter from Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia.

We recognize returning to school next week is concerning for many families. The intent of this message is to outline how we will protect one another during this current wave of the pandemic.

What’s changing?

1. All schools will operate under enhanced public health measures for the time being. This means restrictions on the typical activities that take place during the school day. For a complete list of enhanced measures, click here.

Here is an overview:

  • Schools will limit mixing of different classes/groups in all areas of the school, including the cafeteria and hallways;
  • Large gatherings such assemblies and dances will be postponed;
  • There will be limits on sports and music activities; and
  • Non-essential visitors will not be allowed into our schools

2. All students and staff will receive a new 3-ply reusable cloth mask. Students will receive these masks on Monday upon return to school.

3. A number of schools in our region rely on passive or “natural” air ventilation systems. For these schools, a HEPA filtration system has been ordered for each classroom.

These filters are also being placed in some common spaces and confined areas where students gather but are not able to practice social distancing. The systems have been delivered and will be operating on Monday.

4. Public Health has provided a fact sheet: Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 – School guidance: COVID cases – what happens? I encourage families to review this information as the response to COVID-19 exposures in school settings is changing.

What’s staying the same?

While we are introducing some new measures, the following core public health measures remain in place:

  • Get vaccinated if eligible;
  • Stay home if unwell;
  • Wear a properly-fitted 3-ply mask; and
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands regularly.

We sincerely appreciate the hard work of everyone – students, teachers, staff, administrators and you, our families. Thank you for continuing to follow public health guidelines in school, at home and in community.

Our shared health remains our shared responsibility.