UPDATE: LYONSGATE TO REMAIN CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 6. A Message from Lyonsgate About Health in Our Community

UPDATE: The Ontario Ministry of Education “has issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly funded schools in Ontario for two weeks following March break, in response to the emergence in Ontario of COVID-19. …Ontario schools have been ordered to remain closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020.” (See full statement here).

Lyonsgate Montessori School will be following this directive and both Lyonsgate campuses will remain closed until Monday, April 6.

As we embark upon our March Break tomorrow, in this time of global COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to share a message with our community. First of all, please know that Lyonsgate is following all recommendations from Hamilton Public Health Services, which includes vigilance on handwashing and regular disinfection. Most of these practices are within the scope of our everyday Sanitary Practices Policy that is mandated by both the provincial and municipal governments. We are also, obviously, maintaining an extra degree of awareness.

This past week, we have had both students and staff absent with cold-like illness, which in a school setting is not in any way unusual. There are children and/or staff members absent with illness every day, whether we are in the midst of a global pandemic or not. It is more unusual to not have a bit of a sore throat and a runny nose, or a nagging cough, when you are in a school setting every day, especially at this time of year. If we all missed work or school every time we had a sniffle our small school community would almost grind to a halt. That said, the current climate is making us all more aware and cautious.

Staff members who would normally come to work because they are feeling a bit under the weather, but who don’t feel so sick that they need to spend the day at home in bed, and families of students who may not be feeling great but who are “well enough to go to school” are both taking time to reconsider and stay home when normally they would not, and we thank you all for taking an informed, cautious approach.

At this time there are no concerns that anyone at Lyonsgate — staff, students, or extended families — has reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.

Getting sick is annoying and frustrating, mostly for the sick person, but also for others we might infect, for parents who have to miss work to care for sick children, for teachers who have to delay or forego planned lessons and activities, for administrators who have to find coverage. Getting sick can cost us time and money, and can alter best laid plans. It’s always a balancing act, but, whether global pandemic or not, we always ask that all members of the Lyonsgate community keep the whole community in mind when deciding whether or not to come to work or to send children to school when feeling sick. The heightened awareness we are feeling and caution we are practicing today serves as a reminder to both look after ourselves and to take care of each other. It takes all of us to commit to keeping our community as healthy as possible, at all times.

Our more-than-sincerest hope is that everyone avoids infection until the pandemic crisis has passed. For those travelling over the March Break, please find and heed the advice of public health units and issued travel warnings both at home and at your travel destinations. Please let us know if you have any concerns about yours and your children’s health upon return, and please know that we want you to make the most cautious choices when deciding whether or not to send children to school.

Access the Hamilton Public Health Service’s COVID-19 web portal here.

Access the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Travel Advice web page here.

Access the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 web portal here.

During the break both Lyonsgate campuses will be undergoing a deep clean. We will also be keeping track of public health communications and will let you all know of any new information or directives that may affect the return to school.

Upon return from March Break we will not hesitate to contact parents whose children exhibit any symptoms of illness at school and we ask for your cooperation and understanding if you receive such a call.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and we hope to see you all back at school, healthy and well, on Tuesday, March 24 Monday, April 6.