Thanksgiving Update: New Screening, New Rules, and More…

Hello Lyonsgate Families, and Happy Thanksgiving.

We have a big update for you today with lots of new information about safety, screening, photo day, parent education, and flu shots.

As we head into this long weekend we want to thank you all for your commitment to keeping all of the Lyonsgate students, staff, and all of your and our families safe and healthy. Many of us have been affected by exclusions, testing backlogs, and other disruptions in the first month of school. It is difficult but necessary, especially as case numbers continue to climb.

Ontario saw the highest-yet single day number of new cases today — 939.

Hamilton’s medical officer of health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, noted this week that:

the spread is occurring among people who aren’t following public health guidance. ‘When we go through and talk to cases we do find that’s the case and people who are infected,’ Richardson explained. ‘They’ve not used masks, they’ve not used physical distancing when they should.’

We beg of you all to please follow the heightened restrictions in place throughout Ontario this long weekend. Thanksgiving will be different this year and your plans may have to change. It is only by individual commitment to doing the right things that we can produce the highest degree of safety for everyone.

A number of new restrictions have come into place over the last week or so:

  • Ontario residents are being asked to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner at home with members of their immediate household only.
  • Announced today, Friday, Oct. 9, residents of Ontario are being asked to stay home except for essential trips such as work, school, grocery shopping, etc.
  • Also announced today, travel to other regions of the province is to be restricted to essential purposes only.
  • Social circles/bubbles are currently on hold. Ontario residents are not to continue close contacts with their circle/bubble and are to restrict close contact to members of their immediate household only. From the province: “Due to the recent increase in cases and to ensure continued health and safety, you should limit close contact to people living in your household and maintain 2 metres physical distance from everyone else. If you live alone, you can consider having close contact with one other household.”
  • Please continue to wear a mask when indoors in public places, or anywhere you cannot maintain a physical distance of two (2) metres, including outdoor spaces where physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • Wash your hands regularly and properly, and help children to wash hands properly. Soap and water is still the best hand hygiene.

New Screening Form and Process

Lyonsgate has chosen to begin using the new provincial screening tool for schools and child care centres. You will find the link to the new screening form on the Home page at It has replaced the separate forms for each campus. Both Primary and Elementary students, and staff, will use the same screening form. There are some new procedures that accompany the new form:

  • When you access the screening form click the “Start school screening” button.
  • Next, select that you are taking the screening as a “Parent/guardian on behalf of a student/child.”
  • When you arrive at Lyonsgate with your child you will be asked to verbally confirm that you completed the screening process and passed, allowing your child to attend school that day. (Elementary parents, if your child(ren) walk to school by themselves, please send a confirmation email to before your children arrive).
  • Your confirmation responses will be recorded and made available to Hamilton Public Health Services as needed and/or required.
  • You must complete the screening process every day before your children can attend school; as always, the screening form must be completed after 5:00 a.m. each morning.

The new screening process does not screen for or require exclusion of asymptomatic siblings or other household members. Asymptomatic siblings may continue to attend school and will be monitored for symptoms. Please make safe, responsible decisions to protect the health and safety of the community.

To help you better understand the process if children are symptomatic, Hamilton Public Health has created two decision-making flow charts that explain what to do depending on the circumstances. Click below to view and download the decision-making charts:

* Symptomatic Child at Home Decision Guide

* Symptomatic Child at School or Child Care Decision Guide

Primary Photo Day

Photo day for Casa and Toddler students at the Primary campus will take place on Tuesday, October 20.

Primary Parent Education

Parent Education events for Casa and Toddler students are coming up:

  • Casa: Thursday, October 22, at 5:00 p.m.  Topic: Montessori 101 and Introduction to At Home Learning
  • Toddler: Friday, October 23 (PD Day), at 1:00 p.m.  Topic: Independence

Zoom Invitations will be sent by your child’s Montessori guide.

Elementary Staggered Start and Pick-up Periods

To try and reduce congestion on the sidewalk and maintain appropriate physical distancing at pick-up we have instituted new pick-up periods that will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Please click here to view the periods.

Please arrive only during your pick-up period and remember to exit as soon as possible, after checking out with Jason on the front porch. Each group of students will be dismissed when the previous group has cleared.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we try to create the safest environment for your children and families.

Flu Shots

Today, we received a request from Hamilton Public Health to participate in their flu shot campaign. Please click here to view the letter from Public Health.

From Public Health:

It’s more important than ever to reduce the spread of flu and the 2020-2021 influenza season will present unique challenges given the on-going presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flu season often puts an extra burden on the healthcare system, so it is important that people do what they can to reduce their chances of getting the flu. Hospitals and healthcare facilities could become overwhelmed if they need to treat both flu and COVID-19 patients.

The flu shot is our best defense against the flu. This year we are hoping to provide the flu shot to as many people in our community as possible through a variety of locations and models designed to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.
For more information about flu and flu shots please visit:

Thank you everyone. Have a safe but great Thanksgiving long weekend and we’ll see you on Tuesday, Oct. 13.