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Pandemic Planning

May 12, 2021
Keep Your Distance

WSD Wellness Tips for Remote Learning handout.jpg

WSD Wellness Tips for Remote Learning handout.pdf

WSD Remote Learning Critical Level Red handout.pdf

May 10, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Manitoba Education has announced that all schools in Winnipeg and Brandon are moving to full remote learning as part of the Critical Level Red in the pandemic response system. In Winnipeg School Division, all students will begin temporary remote learning starting this Wednesday, May 12 and will continue through to the end of the month.

Critical Service Workers’ (CSWs) children 

As part of our Critical Level Red planning this past year, children of CSWs were identified so that those children can engage in temporary remote learning at school. Transportation is available for those students in this group who are already eligible for bussing:

  • Students in Nursery to Grade 6 of previously identified CSWs
  • Students in Nursery to Grade 12 with additional exceptional needs who are not able to stay home alone

There will be no in-person learning during the time we are in the Critical Level Red. Students attending school during this period will be learning remotely on their device in a supervised space.

Schools will connect with families by Tuesday, May 11, 2021 with further details specific to your children’s learning over the next three weeks.

This proactive shift to temporary remote learning can cause additional stress, however, we want to assure you that our staff across the division are here to assist. Working together, we can ensure your children’s education continues as smoothly as possible throughout the temporary remote learning period.

Pauline Clarke
Chief Superintendent/CEO
Winnipeg School Division

Play structure equipment for school use only

As of November 12, 2020, play structure equipment is limited to students during normal school hours. During Critical Level (Red), all play equipment on school properties is closed to the public.
We thank our community in advance for helping us keep our children safe during COVID-19 pandemic.

October 22,2020

Additional Restrictions for Schools in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region

The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region will move to the Critical level (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System effective Monday, Nov. 2. Read full provincial backgrounder here. The following measures will be in place for schools:

No change: 

  • Blended learning required for Grades 9 to 12.
  • Voluntary blended learning temporarily available for Kindergarten to Grade 8 ONLY where required to create additional space.
  • Schools are advised to ensure as much physical distancing as possible (two metres). Cohorts or remote/blended learning is required when this is not possible.

The following measures were put in place for schools in regions under the Restricted Level (Orange), effective Oct. 26, 2020 : 

  • Schools are advised to ensure as much physical distancing as possible (two metres). Cohorts or remote/blended learning is required when this is not possible.
  • K-8 students may be offered temporary remote learning for the duration of the Restricted level (orange) to create additional space, where required. 
  • Blended learning (in-class and online) for grades 9 to 12 where distancing cannot be achieved will continue as per status quo. 
  • Schools must ensure two meters of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, and adjust classroom space as necessary; excess furniture must be removed from classrooms to create additional space; other spaces within schools must be repurposed to accommodate more distancing (e.g., multipurpose rooms, empty rooms, shared spaces, common areas, and libraries). 
  • Extracurricular activities are only permitted if all learning and distancing requirements have been met. If these activities continue, established guidelines must be followed and, in the case of sports, participants should maintain distance when not active. 
  • Teachers and staff who move across cohorts of students, including substitute teachers, are required to wear medical masks. Medical-grade disposable masks have been issued to all schools. N95 masks are not required.
  • Indoor choir and the use of wind instruments are not permitted.
  • Masks for students in Grade 4 and up must be worn during physical education classes.
  • All field trips must be postponed or cancelled.
  • All other public health measures are still in effect.

Did you know?

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority offers a free ride service to help people get to COVID-19 testing sites in Winnipeg. 

According to the WRHA, the ride service has been available since April and provides rides for an average of 10 people per day. However, with 15 vehicles available, the ride service has the capacity to get more people to testing sites.   

The vehicles contain a shield that separates the client from the driver. Clients are taken to a one of the city's five drive-thru test sites, where they wait in the vehicle until they get tested. 

A ride can be booked by phoning Health Links. According to the WRHA, the service is limited to people who truly can't get to test sites on their own. Reasons may include not having access to a vehicle, a lack of financial resources, symptoms that prevent one from taking the bus, and lack of access to social supports that can help one get to testing. 

Health Links is 24-hour, seven days a week telephone information service. Call 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257.

September 25, 2020

The Chief Provincial Public Health Officer announced that the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region will be moved to the Orange/Restricted level under the Province’s Pandemic Response System effective Monday, September 28, 2020. Health orders under this new level are being applied in a focused manner and do not currently change any of the measures related to schools or child care centres. This means that schools remain in the Yellow (Caution) level and will re-open for students on Monday as under the same protocols that have been place since the start of the school year. Guidance on masks in schools and on school buses remains the same. This is being closely monitored. 

The Department of Education is working with school divisions and education partners to ensure that as the risk level across regions of the province changes, schools are able to adapt. This may mean remote learning when the risk level increases whether at the classroom, school, or regional level. Schools have been planning for scenarios that include moving to remote learning after the lessons learned in the spring, and as the risk level increases, the system will look at ensuring there are alternatives for students and families for continued learning options during times where the risk levels are higher.

Manitoba Education Welcoming Students Back

More information can be found for Parents and Guardians in Manitoba at


Return to near normal daily in-school classes with health measures

Learning in the new school year

Students will return to school daily for Nursery to Grade 8 and a minimum of two days per cycle for high school, starting September 8 (week of September 14 for Nursery and Kindergarten).
There are health measures that everyone has to follow to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and help stay safe. While your school will develop a plan to meet the government’s health recommendations, everyone will have a role to play.


Screen for symptoms every morning

Check every morning to see if your child has any of these symptoms.
If yes, they must stay at home:

  • Fever, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, sore throat, chills, painful swallowing
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion, feeling unwell/fatigued, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, unexplained loss of appetite
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell, muscle/joint aches, headache, Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Students, parents or family members must not enter school if they:

  • Feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have anyone in the household who has been in close contact in the last 14 days with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Have traveled outside of Canada in the last 14 days
  • Had close contact with someone who has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days and who is ill

Keep a safe distance

Keep 2 metres between you and others when possible:

  • During drop-off and pick-up
  • During interactions with a teacher, school staff or other parents and students
  • Pick up students promptly if they show symptoms at school

You will be asked to pick up your child from school immediately if they show symptoms. Please ensure the school has your most up-to-date contact information so they may reach you if your child needs to be picked up.

Taking your child to school

If your child normally takes the bus, consider taking them directly to school if your personal situation allows for it. This would help with physical distancing on the bus for students who do not have other options besides taking the bus.


Talk to your child about some of the new health measures to help them prepare for the first day of school:

  • Sanitize hands before entering school and classrooms
  • Keep a distance between others and follow marks in hallways
  • Do not share food or personal items
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Tell staff if feeling sick at school
  • Lunch and recess time may change to allow for more physical distancing
  • Students may be asked to stay in their own cohort to decrease contact with others
  • Students who take the bus will have to sit in the same seat every day
  • Students in Grade 4 and higher must wear non-medical masks on school busses


A cohort is a group of students who remain together. The size of the cohort will depend on the physical space of the classroom.
The risk of COVID-19 is reduced by limiting exposure to others. Staying in a cohort also makes contact tracing easier and faster if there is a suspected case of COVID-19.

Your child may feel nervous about what school will be like. While there will be changes, the key school experience will be the same as before—they will learn in class with their teacher and see friends.


Schools will follow detailed health guidelines to prepare for the return of students. For example:
More cleaning and disinfection of high touch areas and shared equipment
Allow for physical distancing when possible, which may include:

  • Stagger pick-up and drop-off times
  • One-way or marked hallways and designated entrance and exit doors
  • Leave space between desks and tables
  • Stagger start and end-times for classes and lunchtime to avoid crowded hallways
  • Limiting bathroom occupancy

When physical distancing is not possible, extra emphasis will be on hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning.
Students, where possible, will be cohorted by class.
Non-medical masks are mandated by Manitoba Public Health for all staff, for students Grade 4 and up, and are encouraged for students in all grades.

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