September Ready Project Update

Safe Return to School

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As promised, I want to update you on our St. Clair Catholic September Ready safe return to school project.  Our team of professionals, with expertise in emergency management, school programming and school administration, is nearing completion of an extensive risk assessment, as we develop a safe return to school model.  The team has consulted widely with senior administration; school principals and vice principals; staff, through their union and association presidents; our co-terminous school boards; and our Trustees.

Regular and on-going consultation with Lambton and Chatham-Kent public health is key to the planning process.  The Medical Officers of Health will conduct an on-going audit of our plan, as we move forward.  Flexibility will be important.  With the support of public health, our team will anticipate and respond to changes in the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus in our communities.

The team members are working from four main planning tables:

  • Elementary and secondary school operations, which includes health and safety, mental wellness and staff workload; 
  • Logistics, which includes sourcing and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies, and school signage regarding distancing and hygiene; 
  • School programming and planning, which includes environmental scans and risk assessments related to programming and school modelling; and 
  • Finance/administration, which includes cost, procurement and tracking.

Safe transportation of students is also a critical element of the planning process.  The project team will work directly with CLASS, which manages transportation for the Board, to develop a plan for bussing that aligns with the school model and makes safety a priority.  

The team has developed a Project Charter, which is the blueprint for our plan.  The safe return to school model will be finalized in mid-August.  We commit to regular and ongoing communication with you, as we report directly to all stakeholders on the achievement of planning milestones throughout the summer.

You can be confident that our September Ready Project team is working on your behalf – our students, families and staff.  Your health, safety and wellness is the reason we are at work every day.  COVID-19 has resulted in many changes since March.  More changes are ahead as we re-envision classroom learning in the face of a global pandemic.  With the support of the September Ready project team and our many partners, your children will have the best Catholic education experience possible when they return to school in September, in a new model that puts safety first.

Deb Crawford
Director of Education