COVID-19 protocols and process ‘working well’ – families urged to get flu shot and install tracking app

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

“We have experienced situations related to COVID-19 in our schools and I can confidently say that our process and protocols are working well.” – Catherine McCullough

Dear SMCDSB Families,

I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to families as we continue to navigate what has been a difficult, but also hopeful school start-up. There have been some challenges along the way, but the care, support and patience demonstrated by our students, staff and families has been nothing short of incredible. We have experienced situations related to COVID-19 in our schools and I can confidently say that our process and protocols are working well. We continue to respond, adapt and make improvements to our processes so that we can provide the best possible academic experience for our students in the safest way possible. 
I encourage you to take a look at our first Faith Matters newsletter for this school year. The mosaic of the word hope on the first page of this edition was created during Catholic Education Week last May, when families responded to a request for photos showing how they were spending time together during lockdown. This mosaic is an incredible show of unity and provides us with inspiration as we continue to adjust to our new reality.
Currently there is a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our region, which makes it even more important for everyone to do their part to stop the spread. The decisions we make each and every day make a difference in protecting you as well as all those in your school community. To that end, I would like to remind families of the following:
• Use the province’s Covid-19 School Self Screening Tool every single day before sending your child to school or on the school bus. It’s a quick and useful way to decide whether it’s okay to attend school.
• Install the Covid tracking app on your mobile phone, as another layer of protection. It’s safe, secure, and the more people that use it, the more effective it will be.
• Finally, plan to  get a flu shot as soon as they become available. This year, more than ever, it’s important to protect ourselves, and safeguard the resources of our health care system.
Reinforce physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and mask wearing with your child – these are small things we must all do for the benefit of everyone. 
I would like to thank everyone for their continued support and I do encourage you to read the faith-filled messaging in this month’s edition of Faith Matters.

Yours in Faith,
Catherine McCullough
Interim Director of Education