Catholic school board closes door to outside lunches for high school students due to COVID-19 measures

From the desk of Catherine McCullough, Interim Director of Education, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, in a message to parents and guardians

“”With student safety as our top priority, we have made the decision that all students must remain in their classroom during lunch beginning Tuesday, September 22. – Catherine McCullough

Dear Parents/Guardians,
Over the past two weeks, we have had the opportunity to welcome back our students and staff into our schools, with new health and safety measures in place.
At the secondary level, students have had the choice to eat their lunches inside their classroom, or leave the building. As a result, many students who are going outside for lunch are gathering in close proximity to one another without masks on. This behaviour is concerning and affects the safety of all staff and students when they come back to school after their lunch. 
As you are aware, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the province. With student safety as our top priority, we have made the decision that all students must remain in their classroom during lunch beginning Tuesday, September 22. This health and safety measure will help keep students in their cohort for the duration of the day, and therefore limit unnecessary contact with other students.
Please be advised that schools will not accept notes from parents/guardians who wish to excuse their child from the building for lunch. In keeping with the integrity of the cohort, any student who leaves the building during the assigned lunch period, will not be permitted to return to the school for the remainder of the day. Students who are truant may also be subject to progressive discipline measures.
We will continue to monitor this situation throughout the coming weeks.  
Thank you for your understanding.

Yours in faith,
Catherine McCullough
Interim Director of Education

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