This webpage contains useful information to help you prepare for the start of school. We will update the content as we get closer to September.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much uncertainty in our world. The information provided here is based on our current understanding of the situation and will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Crescent Safe COVID-19 Web Portal
Keeping Our Community Safe
We have worked diligently to ensure that our return to school complies with the most effective health and safety measures. Our goal is to not only reopen our campus, but to stay open throughout the pandemic.
We have looked critically at every aspect of the reopening that impacts the health & safety of Crescent students and staff. We re-engineered the school campus, schedule, and staff to allow all boys to learn on-site, full-time, every day.
Given the evolving nature of this public health crisis, our plans must be flexible and will be adjusted as new or updated information and guidelines are issued by public health authorities.
If your child has one or more (new or worsening) symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay at home, self-isolate, and get tested. Call or email the school nurse (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know that your child has COVID-19 symptoms, notify the school attendance office and complete the Crescent Safe app (even if your son is not going to school).
You can contact your family physician, Toronto Public Health (416-338-7600) or Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) for further questions.
Any student/staff who has been out of the country must quarantine/self-isolate at home for 14 days and is not permitted in the school. Read about the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act, here.
If a student has a household member who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, the student must stay home from school until the person who travelled completes the 14-day quarantine. If the individual is exempt from travel quarantine because they perform an essential job (e.g. truck driver, pilot) the student can still attend school.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly advises that individuals and families only travel out of the province if it is essential and that they self-isolate for 14 days when returning to Ontario.
If you plan to keep your son home from school, please advise the Attendance Office and complete the screening tool on the Crescent Safe App daily.
Suspected and Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in the School
If a student/staff member is undergoing COVID-19 testing, the School Nurse should be informed. When a positive test result has been received, both the School Nurse and Headmaster should be immediately informed. The Headmaster and School Nurse will notify Toronto Public Health and Crescent School will follow direction and guidance from TPH.
If a student falls ill at school, he will be sent to the Wellness Centre and screened by our school nurse. If COVID-19 is suspected, the student will stay in an isolation room until pick-up is arranged. The student will be encouraged to take a COVID-19 test or get a note from a healthcare practitioner. If the test is negative or the healthcare practitioner confirms that the student does not have COVID-19 and his symptoms have been improving for more than 24 hours, he may return to school. A doctor cannot rule out COVID-19 if the student has cold or respiratory symptoms without a COVID-19 test. If no test or doctor’s note is obtained, the student must remain off-campus and self-isolate for 10 days.
If the COVID-19 test is positive, the parent must notify the Headmaster (email@example.com) and the school nurse (firstname.lastname@example.org). The nurse will immediately contact Toronto Public Health (TPH). The School will provide a list of anyone in the school who has been in close contact with the student (or staff member) to TPH and await their directives on how to proceed.
School staff and students exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be advised by public health. Anyone identified by TPH as a close contact will be instructed to: - Stay home and self-isolate for 14 days - Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 - Get tested even if they do not have symptoms - Their siblings will also need to stay at home for the full self-isolation period.
If there are no symptoms after 14 days, they can return to school.
The Headmaster must also report any confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the Ministry of Education.
A Toronto Public Health Case and Contact team will be contacting the individual to assist with the isolation period for the family.
The staff or student who is a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case attending Crescent School should inform the Head of School or School Nurse (and in the case of an employee, People and Culture) immediately and stay home. They will be excluded from the school setting for 14 days from the day of last exposure to the person who had COVID-19.
There are no tests for student/staff to do to be cleared to return to work.
An outbreak in the school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school.
The local public health unit (PHU) is responsible for determining if an outbreak exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented. In the event of an outbreak at the school, the public health unit will assist in determining which cohort(s) may be sent home or if a partial or full school closure is required based on the scope of the outbreak.
Pandemic Precautions and Protocols
We have re-engineered the school campus, schedule, and staff resources to allow all boys to safely learn on site, full-time, every day. Additionally, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. This is facilitated through physical distancing, wearing a mask when physical distancing is difficult to maintain, washing hands often, and staying home when ill. Crescent calls these the 4Ws.
Below is a summary of the efforts taken and protocols implemented to keep our community safe.
A significant amount of construction took place during summer 2020 in response to the Ministry of Education’s Safe School Reopening Guidelines.
Rooms have been enlarged, and additional classrooms have been created, to accommodate an average cohort size of 15 students while maintaining physical distancing. Spaces such as the Middle School art and drama rooms have been relocated to keep the three school divisions distinct and minimize student movement across campus.
Harkness tables have been replaced by individual work stations. Classrooms have been decluttered and “soft” furniture placed temporarily in storage to minimize surface contamination. Hand sanitizer stations are liberally positioned by every classroom door and throughout the hallways.
Non-contact faucets and water stations have been added and door configurations modified to minimize high-touch areas. We have improved air circulation and completed air purification to reduce particulate matter, bacteria, and viruses.
Extensive wayfinding signage has been installed to direct student traffic and minimize congestion in hallways and stairwells.
We contracted a leading cleaning consulting firm to audit our cleaning practices and recommend the optimal infection prevention and control program. This included which procedures and processes to follow and appropriate cleaning products and sanitization misters to purchase. They also conducted cleaning and sanitizing education and training with our Facilities Team. High touch surfaces are cleaned at minimum twice daily. We are continuously monitoring external guidelines to ensure we are current with best practices.
“Cohorting” refers to minimizing the number of students and teachers any individual comes in contact with, and to maintaining consistency within those contacts as much as possible. This is done to limit the potential spread of infection should an individual contract the virus that causes COVID-19.
Crescent will maintain an average cohort of 15 students in a classroom and adopt timetabling that, to the greatest extent possible, limits the number of individuals that a student or teacher engages with during their time at school.
Hand hygiene, which refers to hand-washing or hand-sanitizing, is one of the most effective ways to reduce virus transmission.
Students are encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap and water and/or hand sanitizer. We have increased the number of hand-sanitizing stations to make this option available in every classroom and throughout the hallways. Posters demonstrating proper hand-washing techniques are posted in all bathrooms.
Many people do not know how to wash their hands effectively. These posters from Toronto Public Health demonstrate proper hand hygiene technique.
All students, staff and visitors must complete a self-assessment before arriving on campus. The Crescent Safe screening app is available to download free of charge from the App Store and Google Play. Students learning on campus, and on-campus staff must complete the self-assessment every day prior to arriving on campus, even if the student/staff does not plan to be on campus on a given day.
The only students who are not required to complete the Crescent Safe screening app daily are students who are full-time Remote Learners.
Student masks should be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric (such as cotton or linen), and, if possible, a middle “filter” layer. Cloth masks should be washed daily. Medical-grade masks are also an option.
Students should bring at least two masks with them to school each day. Clean masks should be kept separately from soiled masks and masks should be changed when dirty or wet. Students should bring two Tupperware-like containers or Ziploc-type bags: one to store clean masks and a second to separately store soiled masks.
Teachers organize "mask breaks" at lunchtime and when the boys can be outdoors and/or when physical distancing can be maintained.
School staff who are in close, regular contact with students must wear medical-grade face masks. This includes teaching faculty, support personnel, and facilities crew. The school provides each of these staff members with two medical-grade masks daily.
Masks should be made of at least two layers of tightly-woven fabric, and if possible a middle filter layer.
Students are encouraged to maintain physical distancing at all times. Students enter the school through a designated entranceway and wait in a designated gathering spot according to school division. When possible, students should arrive at school immediately prior to the morning bell to avoid congregating in common spaces.
Directional signage is used in hallways and stairwells to maintain a steady flow of traffic and minimize congestion. Signs enforcing physical distancing are posted throughout the school. Bathrooms are limited to two students at a time.
Classrooms have been reconfigured, and in some cases enlarged, to support the physical distancing of students and teachers.
Crescent School has a long-standing commitment to health and wellbeing. Further, we recognize the importance that positive relationships and positive mental health have on our students’ learning. With Covid-19 and the return to school, we are acutely aware that some students may require additional social-emotional support.
Support for our students will continue to be guided by our social workers and supported by our academic leaders, faculty members, and school nurse. The focus of the work of our school social workers is on self-reflection and the development of emotional intelligence to build healthy relationships and to build resilience.
Emotional wellbeing is on a continuum and when boys find it difficult to cope with the stressors of daily life, our social workers are available to provide counselling, coaching, and advice. They will also work closely with teachers to ensure that boys who are coping with excessive stress, anxiety, depression, or any other conditions are appropriately accommodated in their learning environment.
Social Work services include individual counselling, group sessions guided by Toronto Public Health measures, family support, consultation with outside professionals, and outside referrals if necessary.
Students are encouraged to reach out on their own to our social workers for support. Students may also be referred to our social workers by parents or teachers.
The approach used by our social workers is dependent on the student, the group, and the situation. Our social workers use a strength-based approach, which supports students based on where they are in their own social-emotional journey. The approach aims to help students gain a greater understanding of their own strengths through self-reflection and through the development of skills and strategies for their daily life.
In order to provide students with the support that they require, our social workers will focus on education, access to support, and intervention.
Students are strongly encouraged to walk, cycle, or arrive by private transportation. Carpooling within your class cohort is an option.
If taking TTC, it is recommended to take the least amount of transfers possible, to sanitize hands before and after, wear your mask at all times, and keep a 2-metre distance from others while waiting for the bus and also while on public transit. TTC protocols in place due to COVID-19 can be found here.
To reduce the potential of virus spread in the school, there are no visitors allowed in the school. This includes parents, alumni, new family prospects, etc.
For schedules, daily routines, on campus experience and remote learning details, please refer to the following resource posts in the Green Room. (You must be logged in to the Green Room to access these posts.)