Safe Return to School 2021-2022

"This is my third year as a Linden parent, second child. Thank you for the professionalism and joy put into reopening the school. I feel so reassured entrusting my child to you, and feel enormous gratitude to you for your positivity." —Henna Agha

Safeguarding Student Wellbeing 

Procedures that have changed significantly from 2020-2021 are highlighted in green.


Linden’s Goals for 2021-2021

  • Prioritize face-to-face connections and hands-on, active learning for all grades.
  • Foster our community, welcome new people, and strengthen social connections.
  • Identify areas of need and begin filling any needed gaps including concerns related to academics, and overall wellbeing.  
  • Empower our students to understand global issues, in ways that are appropriate to their age and stage; empower them to build the skills needed to solve problems, and to learn how to form alliances with those that are making positive change.
  • Ensure we are as safe as possible as we do this work together.

Masking, PPE and Visitors

  • Universal masking for everyone in the building, except when eating which is only done in cohorts.
  • Only essential visitors, staff and students are being welcomed into the building at this time. 
  • Mask breaks will take place outside within cohorts and social distancing as best as possible.

The Linden School Vaccination Policy 

The Linden School requires that all staff and students at school who are eligible for vaccination receive two doses of the medically approved COVID-19 vaccine. These vaccines are proven to be safe and effective against the highly transmissible Delta variant.

As eligible students receive their vaccinations (both first and second doses), families are required to provide proof to the School. If your child is vaccine-eligible, please follow the instructions below to submit proof of vaccination for your child.

  • Email us at [email protected] by Wednesday, September 8 to provide your child’s vaccine status.

  • Subject line: Student’s Name and Grade

  • Include a screenshot or other e-copy of the student’s official COVID-19 vaccination receipt, demonstrating they have received two approved COVID-19 vaccines. Families may also submit a letter from a medical practitioner confirming that the individual has received a vaccine.

For vaccine-eligible students not currently vaccinated, proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 must be provided by October 12, 2021. 

The Linden School will accommodate exemptions on medical or religious grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Supporting documentation for such requests must be provided. If an exemption is approved, the student will be required to undergo twice weekly rapid antigen testing at school. If you have questions or need to request an exemption, please contact Linden’s Principal, Tara Silver, at [email protected].

Thank you to each and every one of you for doing your part to keep our community safe. 


Cohorts

Cohorts are described as students who are in regular contact with each other, and are separated from other groups of students. Cohorts will be maintained whenever possible, especially among under-12 students.

Cohorts are as follows:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 4
  • Grade 5 and 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grades 9-12

School-day Timing, Check-ins, Screening, and Attendance

  • Staggered start/end times and designated entrances will continue, along with outdoor screening each day. You can find the schedule here
  • All families should complete Ontario Covid screening and confirm this on arrival each day. A QR code will be provided for easy access, along with paper copies when needed.
  • Attendance will be taken as students check-in, as well as in their first-period class and for students in grades 7 and up - attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class.

Homeroom:

  • Homeroom activities, such as attendance and important announcements, will happen at the beginning of each first period and not as a separate period, except on the first day and other special occasions.

Course Offerings

  • High school courses will begin in June and end in September (other than half courses). We will not change to a semester or quadmester system.  

Virtual Instruction

  • If students cannot attend in person for Covid-related reasons, they may attend virtually with 24 hours’ notice as programming allows. For some classes, it may not be possible to fully replicate the in-class experience. Virtual learning may not be possible for classes that take place outdoors. 

Extracurriculars

  • All Schools will take place virtually, once per month.
  • Greetings will take place virtually every week.
  • Clubs will be virtual if there are mixed cohorts, and face-to-face for students in the same cohort.

Lunch

  • Students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 will eat in their homeroom class. 
  • Students in Grade 7 and up may leave for lunch; if they eat at Linden, they must do so in their homerooms.

Linden Nation Athletics Program

At this time, we will focus on outdoor sports training, indoor sports training -- complying with Linden's COVID safety guidelines for our gym space -- and intramural sports clubs. Until we receive guidance/support from the Ontario government and our governing sports body, the Small School Athletics Federation, inter-school competition will remain inactive.

Some field trips in cohorts are permitted. More detail will be provided before the outset of any trip.


Movement within our Building

  • Physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Desks will be set up facing in one direction.
  • Students will be coached to avoid contact with students outside of their cohorts, particularly when at lockers.
  • Specials classes like art, music, gym, and CERES will happen in their designated spaces this year.
  • Students are asked to observe one-way hallways and stairwells, according to posted arrows.

Learning Materials

  • Shared Materials: For high-use materials, Linden will provide each student with their own set. For objects that must be shared, these will be sanitized frequently.
  • Take-home boxes will be prepared and organized if necessary.

Cleaning Practices

  • Hand sanitization: Hand sanitizer is available in many locations; students will receive instruction in hand hygiene, and additional hand-washing breaks will be built into the instructional day.
  • Surface cleaning: At the end of each class, high-touch surfaces will be wiped.

Ventilation

  • Windows and classroom doors will stay open.
  • The HVAC system has been upgraded. More frequent maintenance checks and filter changes have been scheduled. Medical grade stand-alone HEPA filtration units will be used in classes. 

Events

  • All community and school-wide events, including Faculty/Family interviews, Curriculum Night, Festival of Lights etc. are planned to be virtual until further notice

Supporting Students

  • As we have always done at Linden, we meet students where they are, and make plans according to their needs. 
  • Our faculty will continue to benefit from ongoing training in trauma-informed pedagogy, dealing with anxiety, and supporting overall wellbeing and health.
  • Full-time Guidance counsellor Sam Layton is available to support the classes and individual students. 
  • Principal Tara Silver will work with Grade 11 and 12 students and their families on post-secondary planning. 

Readiness to pivot to more restrictions

While we hope this won’t be necessary, should further restrictions be imposed, we will be ready!

  • Teachers are planning ahead for virtual units. 
  • We will be ready to assemble and distribute kits with take-home materials on short notice.
  • We have maintained our digital information and instruction systems in readiness for a pivot to virtual learning. 

Please reach out to us if you have questions!