AHES COVID-19 Information
AHES students will return to class in September for the 2020-21 school year with enhanced health and safety measures.
- December 07, 2020: Updated Guidance from Peel Health
- August 18th, 2020: AHES Publishes Back to School Plan and Learning Model Selection
- August 13th, 2020: AHES Releases Survey Results and Next Steps
- August 13th, 2020: Ministry of Education updates Back to School Plan
- August 4th, 2020: AHES Sends out Back to School Survey
- July 30th, 2020: Ontario Announces Back to School Plan
Updated Guidance from Peel Health
Peel Health have advised specifically, that all children with at least one symptom of COVID-19, even mild symptoms, must stay home, self-isolate and are recommended to get tested. Household members, including siblings, also must self-isolate while the symptomatic child is awaiting test results. This will catch COVID-19 infections even sooner and help keep schools and child care open for all children.
So what does this mean for AHES Students?
As a result of Peel’s updated guidance, we will have to send home any students that show any symptoms, along with their siblings. We appreciate our parent body’s cooperation in picking up their children as quickly as possible from school.
Children with any symptoms (see attached poster) are encouraged to book a Doctor’s appointment and get tested for COVID-19.
What happens after the Doctor’s appointment/test?
According to Peel Health, all people in your home must stay home from work, school and child care until:
Child’s test results return and are negative, or
Health care provider has identified another reason for your child’s symptoms, or
14 days have passed since the last exposure to the child who was not tested
When students are ready to come back to school:
Please feel out the Return to School Form and return it to the school (either printed or emailed to the office) when your child is ready to go back to school.
Learning Models and Registration Status
For the first half of the 2020-2021 Academic Year (from September to February), AHES will offer two different learning models for Grade 1 – 8 students and parents to choose the option they are most comfortable with. Either a fully online 5 day a week model, or a 5 day a week onsite model.
Parents are required to choose their preferred model of instruction by August 20th, 2020 and should be prepared to stay with that model until at least February of 2021. There may be an option between September and February to change models, but at this point in time that cannot be guaranteed.
If parents are uncomfortable with sending their children to school and are not able to accommodate or are not satisfied with the prospect of online learning, they may opt to put their Registration on Hold until January 2021. A Registration Hold means that the students’ spot at the school will be preserved but they will not be actively enrolled in the school until the start of the second semester, nor will they be issued a report card in the first semester. If a parent decides to withdraw their child while their registration is on hold, or anytime thereafter, they will not be issued a refund.
Casa Students have the option to attend school onsite full time, 5 days a week, or attend a hybrid session where there would be a smaller student-teacher ratio, but they would only be able to attend three days one week and two days the following week. Spots in the hybrid program will be limited to space and teacher availability and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Casa students will also have the option to choose a Registration Hold.
Based on the Parent Survey Data, AHES is reasonably confident that it can offer the Learning Models outlined here, however, if the actual responses vary widely from those expectations, AHES may not be able to provide all options to all grades. In those specific cases, AHES will reach out to the specifically affected individuals to discuss alternative options.
Onsite learning for the 2020-2021 Academic Year will cover all the subjects of instruction as in previous years, however there will be a number of adjustments made to create the safest learning environment possible. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cohorting: In school cohorts or ‘bubbles’ will be created on a grade by grade basis. AHES will take every precaution reasonably possible to ensure that students remain within, and are not actively interacting with other in school cohorts. This will be achieved by:
- Creating Multiple Recess and Lunch Periods so that students remain within their cohort for recess and lunch
- Eliminating class rotations (students will stay in their classrooms for all subjects)
- Eliminating locker assignments (students will keep their belongings with them in the classroom
- Multiple Salah times and/or salah in class as space and time permits
- In class assemblies
- In addition to creating in school cohorts, students will also receive their own supplies (instead of sharing in groups) and will sit independently.
- For more information on other modified school logistics, please see Safety Measures and School Logistics
Students who choose the Virtual Learning Model will experience a similar experience to last year with live teaching and some time spent asynchronously. All major subjects (except Gym) will be taught, but will be taught in a way that best serves the subject, the medium of instruction and the age of the students. Students should not expect online instruction to mirror the length or schedule of the onsite day.
Students learning virtually will receive their required textbooks, workbooks and supplies from the school before the start of their session. Parents may still be required to print some materials and worksheets at home from time to time during the course of the Virtual Semester.
Students enrolled in Virtual Learning will be eligible for a 10% fee concession for the duration that they are online.
Safety Measures and School Logistics
In order to ensure a safe return to school AHES will be undertaking the following measures:
- Creation of In-School Cohorts: As described above students will be a part of a ‘Grade based bubble’ and will have little to no interaction with other students from other ‘bubbles’
- Staggered Recess and Lunch Times: In order to maintain outdoor recess, schedules will be staggered to ensure only one grade is in one part of the playground at once.
- Minimized Hallway Traffic: With students no longer going to lockers or between classes, hallway traffic will be strictly limited and directional.
- Water bottle Filing stations: will be available instead of water fountains
- Independent Seating: Students will be seated independently to the greatest extent possible.
- Independent Materials: Students will be given independent materials to use as much as possible, instead of sharing them with their classmates.
- Limited Interaction with Subject Teachers: While subject instruction is still very important, subject teachers will be in class for a limited time and in a way conducive to social distancing guidelines.
- Protocol to isolate, monitor student symptoms: Students will be monitored very carefully, and any student presenting with any flu-like symptoms will be isolated immediately and must be taken home.
- Non-invasive temperature checks: Student temperature checks will be non-invasive moving forwards.
- Masks and Face Shields: Staff and Students in Grade 4 and up will be required to wear a facemask and/or face shield whenever social distancing is not possible, students in lower grades will be encouraged to do the same.
In addition to the points above, AHES will be considering:
- Staggered Start: A specific Back to school schedule and and school calendar is expected soon, however, AHES anticipates calling back returning onsite students a few grades at a time over the first two weeks to ensure a smooth return to school and as a means of ensuring all protocols are sufficiently in place.
- Longer Dismissal Window: School may also end slightly earlier in order to accommodate two dismissal windows to ensure that fewer students are in the hallway at once.
- Increased Custodial Staff: With increased custodial staff and longer hours, the school and high touch surfaces specifically will be sanitized frequently.
How will Qur’an and Arabic teachers manage going from class to class everyday without the risk of spreading to multiple groups?
We are working to arrange schedules to ensure that Subject Teachers visit the least rooms possible, but also that in anyone room they are able to abide by social distancing guidelines to not mix with students of that cohort
A lot of the kids are suffering from anxiety, we would suggest having mental health workshops in addition to counsellors who are readily available for counselling?
We will be working with teachers and mental health professionals to address this element of COVID-19 and to ensure that students are comfortable and understand the reality around them, instead of being in a constant state of fear and paranoia.
WIll uniforms be required this year?
Yes, all onsite students will be required to be in full uniform.
Will there be a discount for online education?
Despite the need to hire additional staff for online education, additional custodial staff onsite, PPE for staff in addition to implementing other protocols and procuring all necessary resources to run the school safely and effectively, we will be able to offer a 10% reduction in tuition for those choosing to study online. If parents are not satisfied with any of the options presented, they are welcome to put their Registration on Hold until the situation is more clear.
What symptoms would require that a student stay home from school?
Parents are asked to perform daily screening of their children before arriving at school (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/). If the self-assessment directs them to stay at home and monitor their health or to get tested for COVID-19, they must not come to school.
- If your child is sick (has fever or flu like symptoms), please keep your at child home.
- If your child develops sickness during the school day, he/she will be asked to be picked up. He/she will not be allowed to join the school unless we get a doctors note that mentions your child is good to attend the school.
- Your child should be symptom free for at least 24 hours before they can come to school.
What happens if a student or staff member develops COVID-19?
The entire cohort would be required to self isolate for 14 days and classes would run online during that period.
If my child gets sick can they attend virtual class instead of going to school or will they be absent?
This will depend on the grade of the child, in many cases the Virtual Cohort will be covering curriculum independently of the onsite cohort so a cut-over may not be possible.
What if my child has COVID-19 like symptoms at school?
What happens if the province closes schools completely again?
All classes would resume online immediately.
Where can I get more information about testing my child for Covid-19?
Will there be an After-School Program?
Until further notice, AHES will not be able to offer an After-School Program to protect the integrity of our in-school cohorts.
Can I register my child somewhere else while he/she has been put on registration hold at AHES?
We intended to offer the “Registration Hold” as a means of supporting families who may not be able to avail either of the Learning Models we were able to provide for September. We should be able to maintain spots, whether or not a student registers at another school in the interim. As promised, spots will be held until the beginning of the second semester in January/February, however if students chose not to return at that point, they may forfeit their deposit and spot.
Will my child get the books and materials if he/she is on the registration hold?
Students who have opted to put their registration on hold, will be able to receive certain materials from the school upon request. These materials will include, student workbooks but will not include textbooks and other class resources. These resources will be available for the parents upon request.