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Hamilton’s school board asks families to prepare for closures amid on-going pandemic

The province says students with disabilities will be able to remain in the classroom, as others in grades seven to 12 move to online learning next week. Don Mitchell / Global News

Hamilton’s public school board says parents have until Wednesday midnight to weigh in on the possibility of closures amid rising COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

On Friday, the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) sent a survey to the guardians of some 26,000 students to assess their “remote learning preparedness,” in the hopes of not only preparing for the prospect of closures but also of ascertaining the potential needs for children to work comfortably from home.

Read more: Coronavirus: Hamilton reports 67 new COVID-19 cases, death at LTC

A spokesperson for the HWDSB told Global News the move is in response to an initiative from Ontario’s ministry of education to prepare for possible closures during the second wave of the pandemic, and not necessarily due to rising COVID-19 cases in Hamilton.

“The ministry asked all school Boards to create a plan should the need arise to move quickly to remote learning in the event of a classroom, school, or board closure,” said HWDSB spokesperson Shawn McKillop.

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“Part of this plan includes determining which of our elementary in-person students have or do not have an adequate device and Internet service for learning at home.”

Guardians are being asked to submit a short two-question survey to assess their preparedness to have their children learn from home.

McKillop says the closure of the city’s schools is not imminent.

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Hamilton Public Health reported 67 new COVID-19 cases in the city and 364 active cases as of Monday.

School boards in Hamilton have 36 unresolved COVID-19 cases among staff and students in the system.

The HWDSB reported three news cases at two elementary and one secondary to add to its 25 unresolved cases as of Nov. 9.

Three schools on the Mountain — Sir Allan MacNab Secondary, Queensdale Elementary and Ridgemount Elementary — all reported single cases among students on Monday.

The school board says there were no student or staff contacts with the case at Sir Allan MacNab since the student has not been in the building so far this school year.

The cases at Queensdale and Ridgemount did involve students on school property who are now self-isolating for 14 days, as are families and staff members who were identified as close contacts by public health.

Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) — 25 cases

  • Ancaster High School: three cases
  • Bernie Custis Secondary School: two cases
  • Dundas Valley Secondary: one case
  • Eastdale Elementary School: one case
  • Franklin Road Elementary School: one case
  • Helen Detwiler Elementary: one case
  • Highview Elementary: one case
  • James MacDonald Elementary: one case
  • Janet Lee Elementary School: one case
  • Lake Avenue Elementary: one case
  • Orchard Park Secondary: two cases
  • Queensdale Elementary School: one case
  • Ray Lewis Elementary: one case
  • Ridgemount Elementary: two cases
  • Shannen Koostachin Elementary School: two cases
  • Sir Allan MacNab Secondary: one case
  • Tiffany Hills Elementary: one case
  • Winona Elementary: one case
  • Westmount Secondary School: one case

Read more: Ontario reports 1,242 new coronavirus cases, 12 more deaths

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Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) — 11 cases

  • Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary: one case
  • Bishop Tonnos Secondary: one case
  • Cathedral HS: two cases
  • Immaculate Conception Elementary: two cases
  • St. David Catholic Elementary: one case
  • St. Francis Xavier Elementary: one case
  • St. John Henry Newman CSS: one case
  • St. Mary Catholic Secondary: one case
  • St. Thomas More: one case

Hamilton has eight active cases in child-care centres at:

  • Annunciation of Our Lord Before and After School Program: one case
  • Le Garderie Petit Navire – Cumberland Avenue: five cases
  • YMCA SACC – Chedoke: one case
  • YMCA SACC – Norwood Park: one case

Cases in Hamilton-area post-secondary schools

McMaster University has reported 10 on-campus COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The latest case involves two Mohawk College students who take classes at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences facility on McMaster’s campus. The case are not believed to be connected and both students were last at the campus on Nov. 2.

Five people associated with Mohawk College have had the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Only three have actually been connected with the post secondary’s campus.

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Cases in Halton-area schools and daycares

Halton public schools reported 36 unresolved cases as of Nov. 9 with seven schools reporting two or more cases.

Halton District School Board (HDSB) —  12 cases

Burlington — two cases

  • Aldershot High School: one case
  • Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary: one case

Milton —  six cases

  • Chris Hadfield Public School: one case
  • Milton District High School: one case
  • P.L. Robertson Public School: two cases
  • Robert Baldwin Public School: one case
  • Sam Sherratt Public: one case

Oakville — four cases

  • Joshua Creek Public: one case
  • Pilgrim Wood Public School: one case
  • T. A. Blakelock High School: one case
  • White Oaks Secondary School: one case

Read more: City ‘worried’ about rising outbreaks, COVID-19 cases in Hamilton

Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) — 22 cases

Burlington — eight cases

  • Assumption Catholic Secondary: two cases
  • Notre Dame Catholic Secondary: two cases
  • St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Elementary: one case
  • St. Paul Catholic Elementary: three cases

Milton — two cases

  • Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary: one case
  • St. Benedict Catholic Elementary: one case

Oakville — 12 cases

  • Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary: two cases
  • St. Dominic Catholic Elementary: three cases
  • St. Gregory the Great Catholic Elementary: five cases
  • St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary: one case
  • St. Matthew Catholic Elementary: one case

Halton has four active cases in child-care centres at:

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  • Learning Blocks Montessori (Milton): one case
  • Today’s Family Before and After School Age Program – JW Boich (Burlington): one case
  • YMCA SACC – Falgarwood (Oakville): one case
  • YMCA – River Oaks Junior (Oakville): one case

Read more: Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine may be 90% effective, early data suggests

Cases in Niagara-area schools and daycares

Niagara public schools are reporting only three total cases among the two school boards in the region. There are no outbreaks in the region and no cases in St. Catharines or Niagara Falls.

District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) —  no cases

St. Catharines — four cases

  • E.I. McCulley Public School: one case
  • Governor Simcoe Secondary School: one case
  • Lincoln Centennial: one case
  • Westdale: one case

Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) —  three cases

Port Colborne — one case

  • Lakeshore Catholic High: one case

Niagara Falls — three cases

  • St. Mary Catholic Elementary School: two cases
  • Saint Michael Catholic High School: one case

St. Catharines — one case

  • Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary School: one case

Welland — one case

  • Notre Dame College: one case
  • St. Andrew Catholic Elementary: one case

Niagara region has two active cases in child-care centres at:

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  • Branscombe Early Learning and Family Centre: two cases

Read more: Peel Region only one in coronavirus red zone as Ontario switches to colour-coded system

Cases in Niagara-area post-secondary schools

Brock University has had nine coronavirus cases, with the last reported cases on Nov. 6 involving five students living in two self-contained townhome households on campus.

Niagara College has reported five COVID-19 cases during the 2020-21 school year. The latest was reported on Sunday with a student on the Welland campus who was last in the building on Oct. 24.

Cases in Brant and Haldimand County schools and daycares

The Grand Erie District School Board reported another positive COVID-19 case on Monday involving a student at a Brantford elementary school. Officials with Ryerson Heights Elementary say that person is at home self-isolating with family members. Public health says other close contacts have not yet been identified. The school says the student had been on location in recent times.

The region is dealing with nine total cases among the two school boards.

Grand Erie District School Board — six cases

  • Dunnville Secondary (Dunnville): one case
  • Hagersville Secondary (Hagersville): one case
  • River Heights Elementary (Caledonia): one case
  • Ryerson Heights Elementary (Brantford): one case

Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board — three cases

  • Assumption College (Brantford): three cases
  • St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary (Brantford): one case
  • St. Stephen’s Catholic Elementary (Cayuga): one case

Both Haldimand and Norfolk Counties have no active cases in child care centres.

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