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School division adjusts to change in COVID response level

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The decision by public health officials to place the entire province outside of the Winnipeg metro region in Level Orange under the COVID Response System, means some changes to operations at schools in the Mountain View School Division.
In a letter to parents, MVSD CEO/superintendent Dan Ward outlined some of the changes being made in area schools.
“For schools in Mountain View, we have already put in place infection control measures in preparation for school re-opening in September,” Ward said.
“Changes we are making are intended to enhance the measures already in place. To date, there have been very few instances of students or staff contracting the virus due to coming into contact with a sick individual at a school in Manitoba. The lack of transmission within schools since the start of the school year, we believe, shows that infection control measures (such as social distancing, cohorts and screening) are working.”
School based measures being put in place, Ward said, include:
• Extracurricular activities are only permitted if all learning and distancing requirements have been met. If these activities continue, guidelines must be followed and, in the case of sports, participants should maintain distance when not active.
• Kindergarten to Grade 8 students may be offered a temporary remote learning option for the duration of the Restricted level (Orange). MVSD will assess needs on a school-by-school basis.
• Grades 9 to 12 blended learning (in class and online) will continue or be implemented where social distancing of two metres cannot be achieved.
• Indoor choir and the use of wind instruments will not be permitted.
• All field trips will be postponed or cancelled.
Ward added, as much as possible school are still ensuring two metres of physical distancing and will adjust classroom space as necessary through removal of excess furniture.
“Other spaces within schools will be repurposed to accommodate more distancing including multipurpose rooms, gyms, empty rooms, shared spaces, common areas and libraries,” he said.
“The most important step that we can all take is to follow the guidance of public health including self screening, staying home when sick (even mildly), following coughing and sneezing etiquette, maintaining good hand hygiene and ensuring social distancing.”
Ward said the situation will be monitored closely and anyone with questions is free to call him directly at 204-638-3001.
“It is important to emphasize that these measures are temporary while we are at Level Orange - Restricted,” Ward said.
“We hope that in the coming weeks, the situation will improve and Level Orange - Restricted will be lifted.”