Overall COVID-19 Response Plan and Protocols
Physical Distancing, Capacity Limits and Mask Requirements
Pickering College has protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of its international and domestic students and its staff.
Pickering College will employ measures using the following guiding principles:
- Physical Distancing – Policies and procedures will be put in place to reduce the number of people on campus and keep those that are present at a safe distance from each other.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Pickering College will provide our staff with personal protective equipment (PPE), - medical masks and a reusable face shield. Students will be responsible to provide and care for their own masks.
- Engineering Controls – Barriers (markers to indicate distance, plexiglass barriers) or recommended engineering controls to separate people. Shift staggering including working remotely.
- Administrative Controls – We have established rules and guidelines, such as cleaning and disinfecting protocols, assigned stairwells and washrooms within the school, designated entrance and exits, staggered drop-off and pick-up times all to enhance physical distancing measures, and a mandatory vaccine policy for staff, volunteers, and visitors
Pickering College will update policies, procedures and protocols as the COVID-19 situation evolves in collaboration with staff, the Joint Health and Safety Committee and members of the Emergency Response Team based on assessment of risks and emerging best practices. The school will communicate any updates to students, staff/faculty, parents and custodians as necessary to allow them to continue in as safe a performance as possible for their roles and responsibilities while on campus.
Rigorous hand washing with plain soap and water and good hygiene practices are the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness. Faculty will reinforce these practices amongst students.
- Wash hands often with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If sinks are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (ABHS) containing at least 60% alcohol. Young children must be supervised when alcohol-based hand sanitizer is used.
- Hand sanitizer is available at every entrance to the buildings, in each office and classroom as well as the Dining Hall.
- If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand rub may not be effective in eliminating respiratory viruses. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of the arm, not the hand.
- Dispose of any used tissues in a lined wastebasket and wash hands afterwards.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
For further information, see the following:
How to wash hands with soap and water - WHO
7 Steps of Hand Hygiene – Public Health Ontario Video
Putting on Gloves – Public Health Ontario Video
Taking Off Gloves – Public Health Ontario Video
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The use of masks is an added way to protect others around you, particularly when physical distancing may be a challenge. It is currently mandatory to wear a non-medical mask in enclosed public spaces in York Region. Medical masks and face shields will be provided for faculty and staff and are required to be worn, with reasonable exceptions for medical conditions. Students in Grades JK-12 are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school buildings. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are required to wear face shields when outside. Faculty should ensure that there is enough supervised outdoor time during the day to allow for breaks from mask wearing. Reasonable exceptions will be made as required for medical or sensory conditions.
PPE is required for and will be provided to Health Centre staff and others who will be in close proximity to those with COVID-19 symptoms.
Managing students with complex behaviours, on a health care plan or experiencing a health emergency may require staff to be in close proximity with the student.
No additional personal protective equipment beyond normal universal precautions is required.
- Student drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to ensure physical distancing and support the concept of cohorting.
- Facilities Services Staff will maintain a 24-hour schedule with enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices.
- Buildings will be closed to parents and visitor/contractor access will be limited as much as possible.
- Students and faculty/staff will only be in the buildings at the times approved by their supervisor.
- Anyone entering the buildings after hours MUST sign in and out outside reception.
- The Reading Room will be closed except when it is being used as a classroom/workroom.
- The Fitness Centre will be open to students with supervision and a schedule that only allows members of the same cohort to use the Fitness Room at the same time. Occupancy is limited to 7 people, including the supervisor.
- Family Style lunch will be replaced by in class lunch delivery for Grades JK – 5 and buffet lunch for Grades 6-12 (alternative lunch schedule (by cohort) to limit the number of people in the Dining Hall at any given time).
- There will be no student/faculty access to Rogers House on the weekends.
Visitors in the school will be by appointment and limited to those essential to support learning. All parent meetings, PCA meetings, and volunteer meetings will continue to be virtual
- Parents/students must complete a daily health assessment using the REACH app for the student.
- Parents are asked not to send their child to school if they have any current common-cold, influenza or COVID-19 like symptoms (even if their symptoms are mild), if they have had symptoms in the previous 10 days and have been advised to self-isolate or if there exists any other circumstances that pursuant to government orders or directive requires them to self-isolate (International Travel).
- Parents are asked to report all student absences to the Attendance Administrator ext. 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Day students may remain on campus only for the duration of the school day.
- Parents are to drop their children off at the designated area and leave campus without delay. Parents are asked to remain in their vehicle while they wait for their children after school.
- Boarding staff will not allow boarding student to go to Rogers House until their scheduled start time.
- Students who are in a high-risk demographic due to underlying medical condition or age, should make themselves known to the Health Centre/Teacher/Advisor and we will work together to formulate a personal care plan to address their specific high-risk needs. This may include virtual learning and other accommodations as necessary.
- No day students are permitted in boarding at any time.
- Staff who are in a high-risk demographic due to underlying medical conditions or age, should make themselves known to the Director, Human Resources and work together with Human Resources and their supervisor to formulate a personal care plan to address their specific high-risk needs. This may include working remotely and/or other accommodations as necessary.
- Staff are required to wear medical masks and students from JK to Grade 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school buildings. Reasonable exceptions will be made as required for medical or sensory conditions.
Everyone is required to wear face masks when inside any school buildings. Everyone is encouraged to wear face coverings when outside if they cannot be physically distanced from others, not in their household.
- Students will practice physical distancing. They must stay 2m apart (as possible) and avoid touching communal surfaces and each other
- Students will only be allowed into Rogers House at the assigned staggered start time
- Student will enter Rogers House without their parents at their assigned entrance door
- Students must wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the building (there are hand sanitizer stations located inside each door)
- Students may bring with them only the minimal materials that are needed and take them all to the classroom
- Students are not required to wear a tie or blazer – summer dress will apply for the school year (golf shirt)
- Students who arrive late must enter through the main door of Rogers House and sign in with the Attendance Administrator (only one person in the office at a time) and then go directly to their classroom – a Daily Screening using the REACH app must be completed
- Students will be taken to their designated dismissal area by their teachers. When parents arrive to pick up their child(ren), the student will be released by the teacher. Parents are asked to remain in their vehicle while they wait for their child
- Students will report to their teacher if they are not feeling well and will be sent to the Health Centre – it is requested that the teacher ask the student to apply the provided classroom facemask and gloves and call the Health Centre to alert the nurse to the student’s impending arrival
- Grades JK- Grade 5 will have lunch delivered to their classroom and will eat in their classroom
- Grades 6-12 will have assigned lunch period that allow for reduced numbers of people in the Dining Hall at any one time – Food will be served by the Aramark staff utilizing the best practices
- All classes will have assigned washrooms to assist with any contract tracing should it be required. Students are to use designated washrooms except in the event of a washroom emergency.
- Each division will have assigned stairwells. Students are asked to use their assigned stairwell and keep to the right at all times. Exceptions are made in the event of an evacuation, then students and staff should use the nearest stairwell and exit the building in a timely manner.
JS – North Stairwell – Stairwell C
MS – South Stairwell – Stairwell A
SS – Middle Stairwell – Stairwell B
- No day students are permitted to enter boarding at any time
- Faculty should use the stairwell of the division in which they teach. Crossover faculty should use the stairwell of the division in which they primarily teach.
- All students will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school buildings. Reasonable exceptions will be made as required for medical or sensory conditions.
- Boarding students are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in the common areas of the residences.
Non-medical or cloth masks are not required while students are in their rooms alone.
During the day
- Everyone must wash/sanitize their hands before they enter the classroom; this is at the beginning of the day, after recess, after using the restroom, or any other time they enter the room
- Everyone must wash/sanitize their hands when they exit the classroom; this is at the end of the day, before going to recess, before going to the restroom or at any other time they leave the room
- Everyone must wash/sanitize their hands before and after eating
- Everyone must keep their belongings in their personal area in the classroom
- All students (JK – Grade 12) must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while in Rogers House.
- Students will not be required to wear a mask outside but are encouraged to distance between cohorts
At the end of the day
- Students put on their coats and collect all of their belongings
- Students wash/sanitize their hands before walking out of the door
Expectations around the use of materials
- All school materials must stay at school; no home materials are brought to school with the exception of the necessary electronic devices
- Junior School students may not bring personal toys or games to school
- Each student will be required to purchase a “class kit” from the Hilltop Shop
- All tools and manipulatives will be washed by the faculty after each use daily
- Soft toys and plush pillows/cushions/blankets will be removed from classrooms
- iPads, Chromebooks and Laptops will be designated to an individual student and may not be shared. These devices will be wiped down several times each day
- Students must wash/sanitize hands before and after use of school materials
- Students will not have access to the library. Boxes will be placed in the hallway for book return
- Classroom libraries will remain closed
Faculty and Staff
Faculty may only be on campus when they are supporting or teaching students, at the direction of the Assistant Head of School, Academics and Student Programs.
Staff may only be on campus when deemed necessary by their Supervisor. Work from home will continue for Administrative Staff directed by their supervisor.
School access (Rogers House) outside of class hours must be pre-approved by the Division Director/Supervisor/Assistant Head of School, Academics and Student Programs/Assistant Head of School – Finance and Operations. Facility Services must be advised of any access outside of normal operating hours and there may be restrictions on which areas of the school are accessible.
All essential visitors must sign in at Reception, complete a COVID-19 screening tool, and MUST wear a visitor sticker. After Hours sign in book is located just outside of Reception.
Faculty and staff must follow the these protocols:
- Must complete a daily COVID-19 Assessment using the REACH app each day before beginning work.
- Must report their health status to the Health Centre or Human Resources Manager.
- Must not come to work if they have current common-cold, influenza or COVID-19 like symptoms (even if symptoms are mild), if they have had symptoms in the previous 10 days and have been advised by a health professional to self-isolate, or if there exists any other circumstances that pursuant to a government order or directive requires them to self-isolate.
- Enter through their assigned entrance door (if applicable) and practice effective hand hygiene that includes sanitizing hands upon entering and exiting the building as well as at regular intervals throughout the day.
Contractors and Visitors
- Pre-Approval by the Head of School, Assistant Heads of School, Facilities Manager or a member of the Management Team is required for access to the school by contractors, paraprofessionals and visitors.
- All visitors/contractors must sign in at Reception and wear a Visitor badge.
- All visitors/contractors must complete the Self-Screening using the paper screening tool at the front door.
- Everyone must sanitize their hands upon entering and exiting a building.
- Everyone must practice physical distancing.
- All workers, visitors and contractors must attempt to maintain Physical Distancing by remaining a minimum of 2 meters apart.
- Employees will be instructed to ensure that they maintain physical distancing in any shared workspace or common areas by a minimum of 2 meters. Should employees not be able to consistently maintain a minimum of 2 meters apart, the Canadian Public Health Agency recommends that masks be worn.
- Employees will be provided with medical grade masks to wear while at work. These can be picked up from the Director of Boarding and Health Services office or Health Centre.
- Employees will have the option of wearing a Face Shield provided by the School. Video Assembling the COVID Shield - Instructions – How to Care for your Shield
- Signage and physical markers will be used to promote physical distancing.
- Stairwells are designated for divisions. Students are advised to stay to the right.
- Hallways will include signage to stay to the right.
- In offices spaces where a separation of less than 2 meters cannot be maintained between workers and guests, the School has installed plexiglass screening and other strategy measures to ensure 2 meter physical distancing.
- Administrative support staff will be encouraged to work from home, where possible.
Protocols for Parents
- Parents will arrive at the designated drop off location at the assigned staggered start and dismissal time – it will be very important to keep to these times to encourage physical distancing
- Complete the Daily Screening questions for their child(ren) using the REACH app prior to arrival each and every morning
- Parents drop off their child(ren) outside of the building and depart immediately – PC Staff are on duty to receive the child(ren)
- Parents are asked to allow their child(ren) to make the last part of the journey into the school independently
- Parents will pick up their child(ren) at the designated locations
- Parents/Custodians may only enter the building if absolutely necessary and must check in to Reception or the Duty Office
- If parents have to come into the school, they must wear a mask/face covering.
- Parents/Custodians are asked to wait in their car for their child(ren) when picking up at the end of the day
Protocols for Enhanced Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
In alignment with the Ontario Public Health recommendations, Pickering College is making measures to help prevent community spread of COVID-19, which includes undertaking enhanced cleaning and
disinfection procedures. We have developed enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures for the school and the residences to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enhanced Cleaning for Prevention
Increased high touch point cleaning
a. In addition to the routine cleaning, surfaces that have frequent contact with hands will be cleaned and disinfected twice per day and when visibly dirty e.g. doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, counters, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keypads.
Purchase of an electrostatic sprayers
a. We are on the list to get an electrostatic sprayer when there is one available.
a. Facilities and Housekeeping staff will be provided with additional training that includes touch point surface cleaning, cleaning for health, proper PPE and correct use of disinfectant products.4. Use of approved products
a. The product chosen must be approved for sale in Canada and appear on the list of hard-surface disinfectants that will work against coronavirus.
The chosen product is:
Product Name: Benefect Botanical Decon 30
Foreign Identifier (if applicable): EPA 84683-3-747771
Canadian Reference Product Name: Benefect Botanical Decon 30
Canadian Reference Product Identifier (if applicable): DIN 02415046
Date Added: 2020-04-15
Drug Identification Number (DIN): 00638862
Product Name: Air X 15 Disinfectant Cleaner
Company: Larose & Fils Ltee
Active Ingredients: Benzalkonium Chloride; Alkyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride
Product Form: Solution
b. All chemicals will be premixed or mixed using the supplier chemical dilution system to ensure accurate dilution.
c. Where possible ready to use chemicals will be used
Practice good hand hygiene
a. Practice good hand hygiene after cleaning. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
a. If the need is required, outside contractors would be scheduled at off peak times as best as possible.
b. All visitors to campus must complete the Permission Click Screening prior to entering campus.
c. Outside contractors must always wear a Visitors badge and must comply with the Pickering College COVID-19 safety plan around hand hygiene.
Protocols for Daily Symptom Screening
As per the Ontario Ministry of Health all students and staff and required to have a Daily COVID-19 Screening done prior to the start of each school day. We use the REACH Boarding App to do the screening of all students and staff. Students and staff are guided through the government questions and provided with instructions based on the absence or presence of symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The screening is assessed each day by both the Health Centre and Attendance Administrator. Anyone who answers yes to any of the symptoms is contacted by the Health Centre for further assessment and provided with instructions.
Protocols for Infection Prevention and Control.
Ongoing communication with the community is important in the fight against COVID-19. Pickering College has been communicating regularly through biweekly newsletters, targeted communication, PC Connects and the website that contains the complete safety plan for parents/custodians and students.