New Mask Rules, Screening Forms, Elementary Return and Winter Weather

Mandatory Masks for 2nd and 3rd Year Casa Students

The return to school on Monday, Feb. 8, brings with it enhanced COVID-19 safety measures. On Friday, Feb. 5, we received updated safety measures for the Primary, licensed child care campus, from the City of Hamilton. Students in their second and third years of Casa will now be required to wear masks both indoors and outdoors, starting on Monday, Feb. 8. Montessori students in their 2nd and 3rd years are equivalent to school age children in JK and SK. (First year Casa students are the ages 2 – 3.8 years old group mentioned below).

See below for the updated safety measures from the City:

We understand that in some cases these changes go above and beyond the minimum ministry requirements, however based on current COVID-19 case numbers and Public Health advice, we are implementing additional health and safety measures in Hamilton.

1. All school-age children (Kindergarten and above) are required to wear a mask or face covering. This includes both school and community based before and after school programs.
2. There will be an increased focus on masking while outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Given the challenges of maintaining physical distancing with children, we are strongly encouraging masking of children and staff/students at all times while outdoors. If a child requires a “mask break”, they should be encouraged to move to a space that is a minimum of 6 feet away from all other children and staff before removing their mask.
3. Children between the ages of 2 and 3.8 years are encouraged to also wear a mask however this remains at the parent’s discretion. Child care operators should provide communication to all parents and caregivers advising them of this recommendation.
4. Active screening, including a temperature check, is required upon arrival to the child care centre. This applies to both children and staff/students. Parents and caregivers are still encouraged to complete the online screening in advance of arrival, but should also be actively asked the screening questions upon arrival.

Your child’s masks should, with their mouth wide open as if yawning:

  • remain securely in place, covering both nose and chin

  • fit well around their face, with no gaps at the edges

  • be comfortable enough to avoid the need for adjustments while wearing

Please see the “Winter Weather” section below for information on mask use outdoors during the winter.

Return to Lyonsgate’s Logged Screening Forms

In order to meet the screening requirements above, and expected requirements for Elementary, Lyonsgate will return to using our own screening forms starting Monday, Feb. 8. These forms ask the same questions and provide the same guidance as the provincial school and child care screening form, but they also allow us to track and log daily completion of the forms by parents and staff, making drop-off more efficient for you.

Please complete the relevant form (Primary Campus, Elementary Campus, or Staff Screening) each day, after 5:00 a.m., and prior to arrival at Lyonsgate. The forms will be available on the Home page of on Monday morning in place of the current provincial form.

Elementary Return to School

Lyonsgate Elementary students will return to in-person learning on Monday, Feb. 8. Please see the email from your child’s Elementary Montessori guide, sent on Thursday, Feb. 4. That email contains information on:

  • Masks
  • Physical Distancing
  • Return of Materials
  • Submission of Completed Work
  • Return of Continuing Work

We are expecting updated, enhanced safety protocols for the Elementary campus from Hamilton Public Health. We will let you know as soon as we receive word.

Prompt Departures

Updated guidance from the Ministry of Education on the safe re-opening of schools strongly discourages students and their families from congregating before and after school. We ask that you depart for home as soon as you pick up your child from either Lyonsgate campus. Thank you for understanding.

Winter Weather

Overall, we have had a fairly fortunate winter in terms of severe weather conditions. Lots of fun was had in the snow at the Primary campus recently, and colder weather is forecast for next week. A weather widget has been added to, on the Home page so you can view it when you visit the site to complete the required daily screening forms; click on it to view the full Hamilton forecast and please make sure children have appropriate outerwear for each day’s weather conditions.

Reminder: cloth or knit gloves and mittens are not suitable if there is snow on the ground. They become wet and frozen quickly when students play with snow and hands become very cold. Please also send an extra pair of mittens so that they always have a warm and dry pair.

Below is guidance from Public Health Ontario about outdoor mask use during cold weather:

Mask use outdoors

  • Replace masks that become wet or frozen in cold weather.

  • Ensure access to multiple masks throughout the day for students, teachers and school-based staff to replace masks that become wet.

  • Where possible, maintain a physical distance of 2 metres, if someone must remove their mask while outdoors.

  • Do not use neck warmers or scarves in place of masks because they do not form a seal around the nose and mouth and may not be made of the recommended material.

Extreme Weather

  • Inclement Weather (Snow Days): Lyonsgate utilizes the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board inclement weather process, which posts cancellation notices by approximately 6:00 a.m. If HWDSB closes, so does Lyonsgate. If there is a snow day, we will communicate that to you as early as we can in the mornings via email, “Home” page, and Facebook. (For more information from HWDSB, please see “Part IV: Reference and Resources: Ref. E: HWDSB Winter Weather Bus Cancellations and School Closures” in your Lyonsgate Parent Handbook).
  • Extreme Cold: students at Lyonsgate will remain indoors for recess when the City of Hamilton’s cold weather alert conditions are met. Those conditions are a temperature of -15°C or below or a windchill of -20°C or below.

PD Day and Family Day

  • Friday, Feb. 12 is PD day and both Lyonsgate campuses will be closed.
  • Monday, Feb. 15 is the Family Day holiday.

Both campuses are back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Stay safe, stay home, and stay warm (brrrr).

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.