Trustees with the Kenora Catholic District School Board say they're ready to respond and close classes or schools within 24 hours, just in case they need to close a classroom or school. Director of education Derek Haime talked about their new pivot plan during Tuesday's virtual board meeting.

"The minister of education has said he wants boards to make a 24-hour transition, if we have to move from face-to-face to solely at-home learning. We've already had a few classrooms, a few weeks ago, who had to switch to at-home learning. I commend the particular teachers, the EA's (education assistants), the ECE's (early childhood educators), vice-principals, principals involved, because they did make a very quick switch," he said, during Tuesday night's virtual meeting.

At the beginning of the month, the health unit advised the board about possible contacts at both St. Thomas Aquinas and Ecole Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys. Students at Valleyview were also involved in the surge of cases in the Kenora area. Fortunately, after more than 400 tests within a week's time, health experts were optimistic the spread had been contained.

However, moving forward, trustee Frank Bastone says he's also concerned about how parents will be able to manage their work and parenting responsibilities, if classes or schools are closed again on short notice.

"I hate to think of what might precipitate the need for a 24-hour turn-around, but with parents still working I'm not sure parents or families would be able to make a 24-hour turn-around, so how's that addressed," he asked, during Tuesday's board meeting.

The director, chair, vice-chair, and Kenora-based trustees all met in-person in the boardroom at the Catholic Education Centre. However, the meeting is provided virtually to limit the number of people in the boardroom, so that physical distancing can be maintained and those interested can still attend the meeting. 

For more information:
One case of COVID-19 reported in the Kenora region

Kenora clear of active COVID-19 cases

Northwestern Health Unit - COVID-19 cases

Virtual board meeting link: