HDSB a couple of steps ahead of the province on what the return to school in September might look like.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The official end of the 2019-20 school year has yet to be celebrated. It will end with a deeply felt sigh of relief by most parents and some trepidation as well when discussions arise over how school will operate in September.

Cleaners - schools

The only people in the schools are the caretakers – and they aren’t putting in shifts at this point.

The Ontario government released its safety plan for the resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year on Friday, outlining scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to classrooms in September. The plan also provides choices to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding.

The decision to return to the normal school day routine will continue to be based on medical advice, boards and schools are being asked to plan for alternative scenarios that may need to be implemented in September depending on the province’s COVID-19 situation.

“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids in this province. Parents expect us to take every precaution to keep their children safe when they go back to school in September – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering today,” said Premier Ford. “This plan takes the best medical advice available from our public heath experts to ensure every school board and every school is ready to ensure students continue learning in the safest way possible.”

Ontario’s plan to safely reopen schools will provide options for parents – to send their children in-class or to enter online learning – with health, safety and well-being at its core. Boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios to be implemented in September, depending on the public health situation at the time:

1. Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.

2. Modified school day routine – Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.

3. At home learning – Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their children back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teachers at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.

The government is instructing school boards to be prepared with a plan, should it be required, that includes an adapted delivery model, which could include alternate day or alternate week attendance, staggered bell times and recess, and different transportation arrangements, among a variety of other considerations to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Halton District School Board had a Task Team in place before the Provincial announcement.

The government’s safety plan for schools was created following extensive consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children, education sector partners, front line workers, parents and students. While this plan reflects the best medical and scientific advice and recommendations available, parents who do not feel comfortable having their children physically return to school will have a choice to pursue online remote learning.

Stephen Leece

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce doing a fist bump with a student.

“We are taking every precaution, investing more, and listening to the best medical advice in the country to keep students, staff, and families safe,” said Minister Lecce. “I want to assure parents safety is our guiding principle and the right supports are being put in place to ensure our students are set up for success. I am grateful to Ontario students, education staff, and communities for stepping up during this difficult period.”

“Having careful plans in place to reopen schools in September is of the utmost importance for the mental and developmental health of children and youth, as well as their academic success,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids. “The risk posed by COVID-19 cannot be completely eliminated, however, there are significant steps that can be taken to mitigate risk and protect the health and well-being of students, staff and their families.”

Key elements of the safety plan include:

• guidance for developing health and safety protocols, including the use of personal protective equipment;
• expectations of an in-class school environment;
• professional development training for teachers on the new protocols and directions;
• supports for students with special education needs;
• enhanced mental health and well-being supports;
• proposals on how educators and students can move fluidly between in-class and remote learning;
• guidelines to help schools and boards in their communications with students and parents;
• guidelines for student transportation systems;
• expectations for the delivery of curriculum and assessment across subjects and grades;
• guidance for working with First Nations students, parents and communities;
• regional options for reopening based on the advice of local public health authorities; and
• a checklist to help boards in their reopening planning.

Moreover, the government announced $4 million in net new funding for cleaning, cleaning protocols, and financial support to hire additional custodial staff in September to ensure schools are safe.

Jean Vanier secondary school

These are hallways that haven’t seen students for more than 100 days

School boards have been asked to prepare their own safety plans for the upcoming school year and submit them to the ministry by August 4, 2020. The ministry will be providing all boards with an opportunity to share their draft plans and seek feedback from a formalized table of medical experts that the ministry will be convening.

School boards will also be required to communicate with parents and students prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year, outlining the safety plan, guidance on health and safety measures and protocols, and any other changes that will be implemented when schools open in September.

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Ontario's driver testing services provider, DriveTest, will begin to gradually offer limited driver testing services in a staggered, phased approach across the province

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Monday, June 22, 2020, Ontario’s driver testing services provider, DriveTest, will begin to gradually offer limited driver testing services in a staggered, phased approach across the province. Driver Examination services will be reintroduced in three phases until full services are restored this fall. The gradual approach will ensure that strict protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is part of the government’s efforts to ensure that critical services are in place so people can return to work as Ontario reopens.

Visiting DriveTest Centres

To reduce crowding and support new requirements for physical distancing, health checks and enhanced sanitation, most DriveTest centres will serve customers who want to take a knowledge test, exchange a driver’s licence and apply for or upgrade a commercial driver’s licence based on when they were born.

People with birthdays between January to June will be allowed to visit a centre the first week of reopening and people with birthdays between July to December will have access to DriveTest services the following week:

Driver test dates McKenna

Access to DriveTest services will continue to alternate weekly until full services are restored.

Plan Your Trip to DriveTest Before You Go

Learn more about available driver testing services, how to access DriveTest centres, and which customers are being served each week at DriveTest.ca.

Information will be updated every Monday.

Extended Driver’s Licence Status

The Ontario government has extended the validity of all Ontario driver’s licences to keep people safe and reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario and DriveTest centres to contain the spread of COVID-19. No one will lose their licence due to COVID-19.

Access to the different services available is being phased in.

Phase 1

On Monday, June 22, 2020, all 56 full-time DriveTest Centres will reopen for the following transactions:

G1 knowledge and vision tests

M1 knowledge and vision tests

Driver’s licence exchanges
Out-of-province licences
Out-of-country licences (jurisdictions with reciprocal driver’s licensing)
Out-of-country licences (non-reciprocating jurisdictions)

Commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades
Knowledge tests
Vision tests
Medical report submissions
Criminal Record and Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check or equivalent document submissions
School Bus Driver Improvement Course certificate submissions

New Entrant Education and Evaluation Program (NEEEP)/ Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) Test

Commercial road tests (Class A, B, C, D, E, F and Z) at 28 locations across Ontario:
Barrie, Belleville, Brampton, Brantford, Burlington, Chatham, Clinton, Cornwall, Downsview, Guelph, Hamilton, Hawkesbury, Kitchener, Kingston, Lindsay, London, Newmarket, Oshawa, Orangeville, Orillia, Ottawa Walkley, Peterborough, Sault Ste Marie, St. Catharines, Simcoe, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins

Phase 2

Starting on Tuesday, August 4, the following services will be available:

Road-testing for G2 driver licences

Road-testing for all motorcycle licences

Commercial driver road testing will expand to the remaining 22 DriveTest locations across Ontario that road test commercial drivers.

Part-time Travel Point locations will resume driver examination services as locations become available for the public’s use.

Phase 3

Starting on Tuesday, September 8, all DriveTest centres and Travel Point locations will be fully operational, including G road-testing services.

Ontario will work with the service provider and with public health officials to ensure that the above dates are appropriate depending on the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

New Health and Safety Protocols

To protect the safety of Ontarians, DriveTest will also require customers to wear face coverings inside centres and during road tests, sanitize their hands when they enter the building and undergo temperature checks before road tests.

All DriveTest staff will wear personal protective equipment when serving customers. Driver examiners will also be equipped with face shields, sanitizer packages and seat covers when conducting road tests.

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Director of Education admits: 'We made some mistakes': has a Task Team in place to think through what will happen in September.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A week from today school would have closed for the academic year.

We just didn’t have all that much of an academic year.

Parents and students adjusted to the changes – not always easily. There are still grade 12 students who are working with their teachers to get to the point where they can graduate.

The Premier and his Minister of Education promised that every student who put in the effort would graduate – and if that required extra tutoring then extra tutoring would be available.

Now what ?

Does school start again in September?

School will start – just what form it takes is far from clear. The Province has said they will announce their plans for the Boards of Education across the province by the end of the month.

Miller prep at Central

Stuart Miller, Halton District School Board Director of Education speaking to parents at Central High School.

Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board isn’t leaving anything to chance.

He has appointed a Task Team co-chaired by two of his top Superintendents to take a deep look at what educators are up against and what the possible options are.

Terry Blackwell and Scott Podrebarac are co-chairs of the Task Force.

Scott Podrebarac was the Superintendent that oversaw the implementation of the Board decision to close two of Burlington’s seven high school. He didn’t get much in the way of brownie points for that job.

His job was to do what the Board of Trustees determined – it did get a little messy when the decision to close Central High School was rescinded and Bateman high school was closed instead. That decision did not go well with the Bateman parents.

Blackwell

Terry Blackwell

Terry Blackwell was the Superintendent tasked with creating an iStem program for Aldershot High School that turned out to be an amazing success. Miller and his staff were not at all sure that the parents in the Region would take to the idea.

Blackwell and Miller at itsem Nov 2018

Superintendent Terry Blackwell and Director of Education during the night parents showed up to register their children for the iStem program at Aldershot High School.

Registration was much higher than expected and while the first year, made up of grade nine students, wasn’t a full academic year, the students did very well.

The Gazette covered those iStem classes on several occasions – they are an amazing bunch of students.

The plan is for a second iStem program to be opened in Milton.

Scott-P-close-up-400x355

Scott Podrebarac

Scott Podrebarac showed an ability to handle a very tense situation over a long period of time.

Blackwell sounded every stakeholder she could think of as the listened to the community and what they thought a more science based high school program should look like.

Her listening tour was extensive – the most extensive we have seen within any organization during the ten years we have been reporting on Burlington.

These two Superintendents will be looking at possible directions the delivery of an education can take. Will there be more “on-line learning”? Can students adapt to the change and how much of a change is necessary.

One hope that at some point there will be an opportunity for the public to have significant input on a critical public service.

In commenting on what the province meant when the Premier said there would be a plan in place for September, Miller said “We don’t know what it means.”

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller – never to far from a cup of coffee

Everything hinges on the number of new infections that are reported – and that number, according to what the science community tells us, is dependent on people staying far enough apart so that the infection is not transferred person to person.

There are a lot of unknowns – which Miller said creates a huge challenge for staff and a lot of uncertainty for parents.

The school closures resulted in less spending on facility operations but very large sums had to be spent on technology and software so that teachers could communicate with their students and get them through the course load.

Miller said that the Educational Assistants were able to work the telephones and keep in touch with the students – in what we learned was a much needed support role.

Principals-table-768x438

Some of the Halton District School Board principals and vice principals at a PARC meeting. These people had to administer schools that weren’t open and support staff they could not meet with.

Asked what was the biggest challenge he has had to face Miller replied with: Everything was a challenge and we certainly made some mistakes. It wasn’t a day by day situation – in the early phases it was hour by hour.

Internet access turn out to be a big problem, teachers were not sure what the best approach was in many given situations. Students, as well as parents, were concerned that their children were not getting the education they needed and deserved but everyone realized that the classrooms were closed for very good reasons.

Miller realizes that this situation isn’t over nor is he at all sure what direction it is going to go in.

“We have great students and great teachers” said Miller. “I am fortunate to have a senior staff that comes through day after day.

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Halton District School Board grads earn some prestigious scholarships - none came from Burlington schools.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton District School Board is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of numerous students who have received prestigious scholarships for September 2020 that recognize their outstanding achievements and will support their academic studies.

Miller prep at Central

Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller

“We are so proud of the accomplishments of our Halton students,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board points to the “…hard work, dedication and perseverance” that has caught the attention of many post-secondary institutions while inspiring all of us in the Board. We are confident you will enjoy much success in your studies and beyond, as you make a tremendous difference in this world.”

The following Grade 12 students have been awarded significant scholarships at Canadian universities based on their outstanding academic performance, leadership, involvement in extracurricular activities, or commitment to community service:

Yash Mulki, Abbey Park HS: Schulich Leader Scholarship to the University of Waterloo

Anya Sarma, Iroquois Ridge HS: Western University National President’s Scholarship

Rohan Atal, Iroquois Ridge HS: Queen’s University Chancellor’s Scholarship

Nicholas Chronis, Iroquois Ridge HS: Queen’s University Chancellor’s Scholarship

Cole Sweet, White Oaks SS: Schulich Leader Scholarship to Western University

Eric Xu, White Oaks SS: Western University National Scholarship

Madeleine King, Georgetown District HS: University of Toronto National Scholarship

Ahmed Raja, Craig Kielburger SS: Schulich Leaders Scholarship to McMaster University (along with other scholarships from McMaster)

Urmi Sheth, Oakville Trafalgar HS: York University Governors’ Awards of Distinction: Betty-Jean and John M. Bankes Scholarship.

That is a very impressive list. There were no Burlington grade 12 students recognized.

 

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Retail and hospitality sectors asked to make the Promise to follow the rules when they open on Friday.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Last week Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff released the POST Promise.

The promise is a partnering with the private sector, including the Business Council of Canada, on their POST Promise program.

Post promiseThis initiative calls on businesses to commit to five key public health measures – like physical distancing and handwashing – to protect customers and employees.

I encourage all business owners – whether you have a restaurant, a tech start-up, or a boutique – to join in today at www.postpromise.com.

Together, we can keep people safe and give Canadians the confidence that’s needed to restart our economy.

The POST Promise is a self-declaration that a business is working to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Once completed, a business is provided with the necessary communication and implementation tools to educate employees on the five key steps to workplace safety, which were created to be consistent with what has been recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Businesses who make the promise will be able to use and prominently display the POST Promise logo which is a nationally recognized symbol of a business’ commitment to doing their part to protect their customers’ and employees’ health and safety as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Participating business can also purchase a kit which will include additional communication tools like window decals, posters and tent cards which can be used to further build awareness of their commitment within their place of business.

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HDSB invites parents/guardians and students to provide input on distance learning through survey from June 10-25

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Distance learning – It has been a contentious issue in a lot of Burlington households.

The Halton District School Board is providing families and students with the opportunity to provide input through online surveys on their experiences with distance learning and to comment on the impacts COVID-19 has had on student mental health. The information gathered will help inform how the Board delivers education and mental health supports in the fall.

All HDSB families, and students in Grade 4-12, are invited to provide input online between June 10-25 by completing these anonymous surveys:

Links to the surveys are:

 Student survey:

Parent/guardian survey:

David Boag

David Boag, Associate Director of Education.

As we prepare for the next school year, we continue to monitor information and advice from the Ministry of Education and public health experts,” says David Boag, Associate Director of Education. “We anticipate that schools will not return to ‘normal’ but will instead likely continue to use some aspect of distance learning. The feedback and perspective we receive through the surveys will help guide our planning and direction for reopening schools in the fall, as well as help us prepare to support student mental health needs.”

The anonymous surveys are available on the HDSB website (hdsb.ca) on the Distance Learning a nd Well-Being survey page. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Electronic translated versions are available in these languages: Arabic, Farsi, French, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin – Simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Urdu.

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Will school be the same come September? What does the public want to say about that at this point?

The government of Ontario is currently looking for feedback on what to do with schools in September. The feedback e-mail is: EDU.consultation@ontario.ca (Include your name and the name of your school board/organization, use “Ontario’s Plan to Reopen Schools” in the subject line, attach your submission as a PDF or Word document.)

 

opinionred 100x100By Greg Woodruff

June 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario needs to provide options to parents. They need a mostly traditional school, a COVID-19-adapted school and a virtual school option for the upcoming years. Parents must be able to select the appropriate environment for children.

The primary problem is Ontario’s new Learning Framework presents the overarching priority to “ensure the utmost safety of those returning to school.” Safety must be balanced by social development and educational priorities.

Please imagine for a moment the parents’ goal of utmost safety. Your child requests a playdate with another child. When you call this child’s parent, they say that they can’t condone a playdate, as driving poses a minute risk to the safety of their child. Safety is their utmost priority. Even if you offer to drive your child over, reducing the astronomically small chance of harm to their child, a small risk still exists to others. After all, you can not guarantee a mechanical failure in your own car won’t pose a hazard to yourself or others. The other parent similarly bans unnecessary driving, walking outdoors, biking, playing, swinging, sports or even running. Any protests about the value of these activities are met with a simple reply: You must not care about the safety of your children as much as they do.

This idea — clearly pathological — when presented by a person with a healthy child, now seems to be accepted wisdom when presented by the school administration. While extreme safety may be appropriate in some cases, parents must make that decision. The goal of raising children is not to keep kids safe at all costs; it’s to prepare them for life. Without an assessment of benefit, no activity more than sleeping and eating can be justified. The reverse is also true; All restrictions designed around safety have to be balanced by the harm that limitations do.

screen-time-and-students-banner

He knows what he want to get done and is confident he will be able to do it.

I don’t think we should pretend that instead of encouraging kindergartners to share, now in the name of COVID-19, forbidding them from sharing items won’t hurt them. We are considering telling kids not to play with friends at school because those friends might be diseased. The long-term effects of these ideas on the socialization of children are unknown. Some kids lacking healthy development will likely lack social skills and die from deaths of despair later. I don’t see how you will easily remove these ideas once the threat is “minimal” because the threat to these children is below minimal now. COVID-19 is not a disease seen in children anywhere. We are already below any conceivable threshold of COVID-19 danger to children.

The idea that children can’t normally interact at no harm to themselves because they might later pass the disease on to others is not reasonable. If this is the fear, then interventions need to take place at the point of contact with vulnerable populations. It’s more efficient to place distancing or testing protocols when children visit grandparents then prevent two million school-age children from playing with friends and doing group work in class. We can’t force children to carry a heavy burden for others just because they don’t vote and can’t defend themselves. I realize that some parents or siblings will themselves be immunocompromised and need additional safety measures.

Students at Lincoln Centennial public school. Ontario school boards are struggling to find low-cost options to school additions to accommodate full-day kindergarten. Some options may include bussing kids. Reading are Heyley Ta and Zeynep Coskan-Johnson. Feb 21 2013. Bob TYmczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard/QMI AGENCY

Students getting the play time, exploring and learning in a traditional school setting.

That is why we also need a COVID-19 adapted school. Some families will not be able to accept any risk, and virtual options are needed for them. I am not suggesting COVID-19 is something to be ignored; it just needs to be handled in a more customized way than one school solution meets all families’ needs.

Heath experts and school board staff should not be in a position to place kids in damaging environments. The burden of making tradeoffs falls alone on parents. Thus, I suggest we must let parents decide what situation represents the best fit for the kids they know. I suggest allowing parents to select if they prefer a mostly traditional environment for children, an environment with intrusive COVID-19 interventions or virtual school options. The administration can then select locations for each type of school for the next one or two years. The staff can similarly be asked which setting they prefer. Kids can then be bussed to the location that fits them. This is already done for four different school boards; surely, one more configuration is possible.

Simply relying on “health experts” to draw up school rules is not appropriate. Although they may be disease experts, they are almost certainly not experts in the education and development of children. Without being an expert in children, they cannot evaluate the harm caused by COVID-19 measures correctly. If no harm is recognized now, then there is no incentive for removal later. As time goes on, more children will be exposed and have immunity naturally. We could end up with highly tortured school environments where 99% of children are immune to COVID-19, but where we have no structure to normalize school.

We have to face the fact that for political reasons, many proposed COVID-19 measures will likely go on for years. COVID-19 interventions do not represent some response to a temporary emergency. In September, COVID-19 will have been present in our community for six months. The best case is then another year or two to a vaccine. Perhaps we will never have a COVID-19 vaccine. Thus, the damage to children is occurring over the years of developmental time and is likely permanent.

Any interventions established as the “new normal” will be demanded by some number of parents forever, even if COVID-19 is eradicated.

As an example, let’s say “no gym” in the name of possible transmission of the disease. If you try to restore gym class later, any parent in the school can now say, “Gym is now a danger to my child. The school board has defined it so.” Even if the risk of flu is low to them, it risks spreading the flu to Grandma, whose immune system is compromised. This is the same logic used to justify interventions now. Once “gym” is defined as a danger now under what construction is, it no longer dangerous? Again, COIVD-19 does not affect children at any significant rate.

Child getting off school bus

Is the day of the happy student charging off the school bus to get to the classroom behind us?

I would put forward that some easy COIVD-19 interventions can be added to schools without damaging the social development of children. Measures like preventing febrile children from attending, washing hands every hour or disinfection of shoes when entering school grounds should be taken. It’s not that COVID-19 transmission should be ignored; it’s that heavy interventions that damage the normal social growth of children should not be globally applied without parental approval.

Ontario needs to support families by providing the school environment best suited to them. Three options need to be provided: traditional school, COVID-19 adapted school and virtual school.

WoodruffGreg Woodruff is an Aldershot resident with children at the elementary school level.  He is an active participant in social issues and has run for public office on more than one occasion

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Resiliency and mental health - subject of an online workshop June 18th

eventspink 100x100By Staff

June 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Resiliency and mental health can determine how well individuals overcome the stresses and uncertainty of any situation.

Mental health

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

They are two very important aspects connected to a pandemic and how we cope with the social isolation and major disruption to the way we live our lives.  Burlington residents are invited to attend an educational online talk from Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

There is no cost but participation is limited to the first 500 participants.

To register, please email getinvolved@burlington.ca by Tuesday, June 16 at 4 p.m. Participants will be emailed the Zoom Meeting link on June 17.

The events in these first few months of 2020 have been an incredible test of our resilience. Our existence has been stripped down to the essentials. We are in a global fight to protect and manage our health. This global crisis will change the world forever, and each of us will inevitably be transformed by the experience. This pandemic will be taught in future history classes!

As with all seasons and events of challenge, how we respond is crucial. In this remote learning event, Dr. Hanley-Dafoe will present her work on resiliency that includes the five core competencies from a global perspective. Dr. Hanley-Dafoe will discuss how to best navigate personal and professional resiliency in times of uncertainty through stress performance, targeted focusing and value alignment.

She will also introduce the Resiliency Trajectory Model to serve as a tool for seeing resiliency in action. The information is researched informed, readily available, and is grounded in wise practices. Her aim is to facilitate knowledge mobilization that is relatable, accessible, sustainable and realistic. The information presented here may not be radical, but it is ultimately practical for the everyday resiliency we all need right now.

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is a psychology and education instructor who specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, leadership, and personal wellness in the workplace. Described as transformational, engaging, and thought-provoking, Robyne’s keynotes provide practical strategies grounded in global research and case studies that help foster resiliency within others and ourselves.

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Upcoming telephone town hall on June 4 will focus on what summer in the city will look like in the current COVID-19 situation

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON
Thursday, June 4, between 6 and 7:30 p.m., the City of Burlington will hold another telephone town hall event to share information and answer resident questions about what summer in the city will look like during the current COVID-19 situation.

The town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who will be joined by a panel of local leaders to help answer residents’ questions.

Telephone town hall logoHow to Participate
Residents who would like to participate in the town hall can do so in the following ways:

1. Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of day on June 3.
Please note: if you registered for either of the two previous town halls (held on March 26 and April 14), you are not required to register your phone number a second time.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-779-7154 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

Once the call begins, a moderator will provide participants with instructions for how to submit their questions to the leadership panel.

Any questions not answered during the call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at burlington.ca/townhall, along with an audio file and full transcript of the call after June 4.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will be connecting directly with the community on what will be the third public telephone town hall since this crisis began. With the volume of ever-changing information people are dealing with on a daily basis, the Mayor wants to create the opportunity to answer questions about current health advice and testing, programs and facilities that are resuming throughout the city, and how we can continue to mitigate the spread of this virus while we adjust to the reopening of many businesses, services and popular activities this summer.

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Burlington residents can call 905-632-3737, ext. 6550 to book an appointment for a test at Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

covid virusBy Staff

May 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Province has it would expand COVID-19 testing across Ontario to include people who are asymptomatic.

Premier Ford also encouraged individuals to attend assessment centres for testing whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they are concerned that they may have been exposed.

The Province remains responsible for testing directives and guidance, processing lab tests and online test results.

Rose parking spot

Designated parking spots for those being tested at Joseph Brant Hospital

In the Region of Halton, the Assessment Centres are operated by and located at our four hospitals.

Burlington residents can call 905-632-3737, ext. 6550 to book an appointment for a test at Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson advised COVID-19 Assessment Centre leaders of the change in direction to test anyone who is:

Symptomatic or

Asymptomatic.

In medicine, a disease is considered asymptomatic if a patient is a carrier for a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms. If you are concerned about exposure to known or potential cases; and/or have risk from exposure in line of duty – essential workers and health care workers.

The purpose of the change, according to Ontario Health, is to support and monitor more actively the essential workers who are at risk, as well as anyone who is worried that they have been exposed or have contracted COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Ontario Health also notes that most transmissions occur in a home-based setting, so expansion to asymptomatic individuals may help us detect any further disease spread and most importantly, help as the economy is reopened.

Assessment Centres are being advised not to turn anyone away. Also, people no longer need to be referred to an assessment centre by Telehealth Ontario, Primary Care, or Public Health.

The Ministry of Health will soon be listing all of the assessment centres on the www.ontario.ca website, with addresses, etc., so the public can find assessment centres easily. It will also be starting a public education campaign very shortly that will encourage essential workers, as well as anyone who is worried that they have COVID-19 (even if they don’t have symptoms) to be tested.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward – has she been tested?

Mayor Marianne Ward supports the changes announced by Premier Ford and the Province to increase testing. “We know increased testing capacity is critical as the provincial government moves to allow more businesses and facilities to open. Testing is especially critical among people who may not yet be experiencing symptoms, as these may take one to two weeks to appear, in which time, individuals may be at risk of infecting others.

“Enhanced testing is one of the key criteria in any reopening strategy, alongside contact tracing, hospital capacity, and sustained reduction in new infections.”

The number of new infections has not decreased enough for the province to open things up. Unfortunately many don’t seem to understand that the virus is out there hopping from person to person.

A well known Burlington resident active in the running community said on his Facebook page:

“It was good to see the young people of Toronto hanging out and enjoying Bellwood Park this weekend. “People are becoming more relaxed. On my return home this past week my neighbor and his wife met us with a big hug. While up North my neighbor from Toronto his daughter and I worked closely putting his motor on his boat. It is also encouraging to see the small but gradual increases in our local business sector. We need to lengthen our stride and move on to the road of recovery.”

The Premier has some advice: Get tested and take your friends with you

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Bateman High School Closing has to a viral event.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a different school. It had character and was truly diverse

It was a vibrant school.

FIRE Bateman principal at siren

School principal Mark Duley using an older model of a fire siren to get student attention.

The fight to keep it open lasted longer than many people expected but the end has come

Closed for the last quarter of the year Robert Bateman will hold a virtual closing event on June 18th.

The Halton District School Board is organizing a virtual celebration of Robert Bateman High School (2004-2020) on Thursday, June 18, 2020, 7 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca in lieu of an in-person event, given current public health restrictions on large gatherings.

Robert Bateman High School will close its doors at the end of June 2020 after 16 years; with students moving to nearby Nelson High School and the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) students moving to Burlington Central High School.

Closing Bateman was part of the re-alignment of the seven high schools that were reduced to five.

High school students have taken to the streets in the past to make their point; in this situation the Robert BAteman High School made their point.

High school students have taken to the streets in the past to make their point.

The original plan was to close Central high school along with Lester B. Pearson. After vigorous public debate the decision was to close Bateman and Pearson high school.

The closing celebrations will recognize and honour the diversity and talents of current and former students and staff.

Robert Bateman High School students, staff and alumni are encouraged to share their memories of RBHS with a picture or short video sent to the organizing committee via email at RBHScelebrations@hdsb.ca by Tuesday, June 2. These memories will be included in the online school closing celebrations.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Despite vigorous protests the parents were not able to make the board, particularly the trustees make the best choice.

Current students, staff, and alumni who wish to have an artifact or piece of memorabilia from Robert Bateman HS are encouraged to visit the RBHS Memorabilia and Artifact website to see what is available and learn how to request an item. The website will be live on Monday, May 25. Please check back as items will continue to be added.

Further information and event updates will be posted on the Robert Bateman High School website (rbh.hdsb.ca), Facebook Page RBHS Celebrations, Twitter @RBHScelebration and Instagram @RBHScelebrations.

If schools are able to move forward with large in-person gatherings for graduating students this fall, in accordance with public health guidelines, the HDSB plans to incorporate school closing activities into that event.

 

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The announcement that schools will not re-open was no surprise - 3.5 months before the children return to school in September

graphic coping redBy Ashley Worobec

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Ashley Worobec writes regularly on how she and her family are coping.  Ashley Worobec is a sports-based chiropractor living a life of fitness, health, and parenthood in Burlington.

Well, we got the official announcement about the cancellation of the remainder of the school year. While we knew it was coming and it was a foregone conclusion that this announcement would be made, it’s still somewhat shocking to hear it and to see it written in black and white. With so many other closures still ongoing, it’s the obvious choice, and I’m thankful that some of the uncertainty surrounding schooling has now been eliminated.

family

Jersey Day in the Worobec household during the pandemic

In all honesty though, I’m glad they kept delaying the school start date- had I been told back in mid-March that schools were closed for the remainder of the school year, I would’ve had a hard time coping. My strategy has always been one day or one week at a time; I’ve been able to cope much better by focusing on the here and now rather than worrying about the what-ifs of the future. On March 13th, when the first school closures were announced, I would’ve been into panic mode if I’d known that would last into September.

The kid’s school has done a good job of keeping up a sense of community throughout this time, and we’ve participated in all of their spirit days, including the most recent Jersey Day.

This official education announcement won’t change much in regards to what we’re doing with our children though. We will continue to do the assigned tasks/projects that their teachers are giving on the e-learning platform, and at the end of June we’ll wrap up. My kids are in Grade 5 and Grade 2, so at the end of the year we’ll likely have some sort of celebration at home- we usually buy some sort of Summer outdoor toy to kick off Summer break, and I’m anticipating this year will be no different- in the past we’ve done road hockey pucks, sprinklers, and sidewalk chalk, but this year I’ve got my eye on a pogo stick. Any outdoor time is time well spent in my opinion.

My husband is a high school teacher, and his routine won’t change much for the remainder of the year either, although he’s anticipating less of a buy-in from his Grade 12 students now that the year has officially been shut down. Time will tell. He’s in the midst of organizing a virtual Athletic Banquet for his Phys Ed department so that the athletic awards can still be presented, albeit in a different format this year.

This year has been a challenge, no doubt, and it’s far from over. We still haven’t been given a timeline on when my clinic will be allowed to open, so we’re in a holding pattern at this stage. Once I go back to work, that’ll change our family dynamic, as I won’t be around as much, but my husband and kids are looking at another 3.5 months at home.

morning run

The morning run – its Mom who does the heavy lifting

I’ve attached a picture of our morning run, and we do this nearly every day- once I’m back at work, that morning run won’t happen as often, but it’s been something I’ve really treasured, so we will do it on the days that time allows. It’s not about the physical fitness- it’s about the time together, the time outside, the fresh air, and our mental health. Between the morning run, our daily hikes or walks, and backyard workouts, we’ve been coping with a lot of movement and physical fitness.

dog and cat

Determining the territory.

Our pets have brought us great joy during this time as well; our Golden Retriever is 2 years old, and at the very start of this pandemic, on April 2nd, we adopted a cat from a local cat rescue. Rosie has been a great addition to our family, and a wonderful source of distraction too.

I’ve heard that this pandemic has resulted in lots of pet adoptions, and I can see why!

We will get through this, and we will look back on this time and say “remember when.” For now, I am thankful for sunshine and warmer temperatures and the health of my family. One day at a time……

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A fun scavenger hunt - on line

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Freeman Junction sign BESTThe Friends Of Freeman Station are participating in the Toronto Railway Museum’s big online scavenger hunt.

Railway museums across the country have submitted clues for you to find online.

Virtually explore museums from across the country and discover the treasures in their collections.

For the inquisitive student this could be both fun, interesting and part of perhaps a geography or history class.

The list of clues will be released by The Toronto Railway Museum @TORailwayMuseum on May 24, National Scavenger Hunt Day get tuned in!

Check this link for more information.

on line scavenger

 

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The weather last week put the kibosh on any plans that I had to see friends - heading into week 10

graphic coping redBy Nicki St George

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette put together a team of parents who are at home taking care of their children while the province goes through school closures and the shut down of everything other than essential services.

Ashley Worobec and Nicki St. George write regularly on how they are coping. We invite parents to take part in this initiative by adding comments to each Coping with COVID19 & the kids article.

Ashley Worobec is a sports-based chiropractor living a life of fitness, health, and parenthood in Burlington.  Nicki St George is a teacher, a recovering cancer patient and a mother working on an MBA

WEEK 9-

This week has been a blur.

Dan was busy working on a deadline for the 9-week project that has been occupying his days and nights and I was back in full-swing at work with a flurry of emails and zoom meetings to attend. The children were often left to their own devices (literally and figuratively).  I now have the musical stylings of Molly and Daisy from something called Toy Heroes permanently stuck in my head. My penance for neglecting Beatrix.

Leo Bea sitting in chairs

Screen time – determining which level is the challenge.

Of course, while I am feeling overwhelmed by feelings of guilt over this, the children see completely oblivious and are happy to have fewer restrictions placed on their device time. My mantra this week has told me that this is all temporary, but I still worry about the longer-term effects of too much screen time and how that will stunt the creativity of my children.

I now separate screen time into the following categories: educational, games, and family TV time. This last category is the cause of some heated debates in our family. Nailed It seems to be the only acceptable compromise. Leo, a fellow night owl, sneaks out of his room every night after bedtime and begs me to watch Community with him – how can I say no? It seems the children are most amenable to compromises when they are breaking their bedtime curfew.

Leo’s bedroom is a library. There are stacks of books everywhere and he has read every one of them. So at night I am faced with the choice of allowing him to use EPIC (an online database with a huge selection of books that he likes), i.e. more screen time, or do I allow him to sneak out and watch TV with me? I know there is a third option, but he is good company and I love laughing with him. Sometimes he goes into Bea’s room and plays dolls with her. She likes playing with him the best.

I still managed to get out for my morning walks every day this week, and we ate dinner together every night as a family, so I am still going to consider this past week a win. I did burn an entire batch of homemade granola, a sign that I was slightly off my mom-game, but my homemade chicken soup and scones will make up for that (I hope). I ordered hand-sewn masks for the family by a local Burlington mother who has been laid off. The idea of leaving my house with the kids while we are all donning face masks fills me with both hope and dread.

Bea and Leo outdoors

When it is just Nicki and the kids – no such thing as social distancing.

I have felt frustrated all week by the lack of clarity around social distancing rules. In other provinces and countries, the citizens are given direction about how to expand their ‘bubbles’ or at least they are aware of when they might be able to start this process. Of my friends, some are being very careful and have not seen their boyfriends in 9 weeks and others are being a lot less careful.

I have reconciled that outdoor visits while maintaining a 2-meter distance is okay; however, the weather this week put the kibosh on any plans that I had to see friends in this way.

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The evidence always tells the story; it can be enhanced by anecdotal information.

News 100 redBy Joe Gaetan

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joe Gaetan is a regular Gazette reader who more often than not gets it right. He can be, has been, a trenchant critic. He is Italian.

“First, I would like to say that this will be the last issue of my reporting on the Covid19 pandemic. Secondly, I recently read an article entitled, “Seniors with Covid19 show unusual symptoms Doctors Say”. The premise of the article is that some seniors experience unusual symptoms, please read it and share as you see fit, https://khn.org/news/seniors-with-covid-19-show-unusual-symptoms-doctors-say/

“ When I first started doing this I did so because I wanted to see how Canada was doing compared to Italy. As time marched on I became interested in what was occurring in South Korea (for obvious reasons) and the USA (because they are our neighbor). And now it is time to move on and I am getting sick and tired of hearing phrases such as “during these difficult times” blah blah.

“This chart shows the average number of new cases per day for the months of March, and April and for May to the 15th. The U.S.A. is currently running at an average of 25,951 new cases per day while S Korea is seeing about 17 new cases per day. Canada is now seeing 1,419 new cases per day on average while Italy is at 1,228. We have a way to go.

Canada - Italy numbers 1

Cases per day, by month, comparing Canada and Italy.

“This series of charts and my favorite are the % Daily Change in Cases that tell us if we are winning or losing the battle against Covid19. Canada is within striking distance, but we need to be below 1%.

Canada daily changes 2

Canada’s curve – needs to be brought down to less than 1%

“S Korea is the benchmark for this. As you can see S.K was running at a rate of 1.85% back in March. The rest is history and their average % daily change rate for May is .16% down from an average of.32% for April. Canada per the above chart is at an average daily % change rate of 1.65%, so I suspect we may be 45 to 50 days away from where SK is today % wise but with way more cases.

 

Penny Hersh, a strong face mask advocate, said in a comment: “My concern has been that once things started opening up that residents would not do what they should to protect themselves and others.

“Yesterday, there was a huge lineup for ice cream at La Creme de la Creme on John Street. The lineup outside of the shop snaked all around the street and around the corner. No physical distancing was taking place and no one was wearing a facial mask.

“Friday evening, about 5 or 6 cars of residents( about 15 people) came together in the parking lot across from Emma’s and stood in the parking lot some drinking and all socializing once again no physical distancing or masks.”

The message is getting out to family’s – it doesn’t seem to be getting out to the younger people who seem to think they are immune to the virus.  The data does say that this cohort is infected less than other cohorts – but they are being infected.  No one has come up with a way to get this message across.

Youth on Beachway - balls

They are sometimes oblivious to the obvious.

South Korea daily changes

South Korea’s curve – this is where we need to get to.

Joseph GaetanJoseph A. Gaetan has a BGS degree in applied studies, earned through studies at The University of Waterloo and Athabasca University. He also earned a Province of Ontario Engineering Technology Certificate through Fanshawe College, and for 8 years worked at earning a trade becoming a Journeyman Machinist. He also studied French at the Centre Linguistique du Collège de Jonquière and Italian at Mohawk College. In addition, he has taken online courses through the EDx platform taking courses from Harvard, The University of Queensland, Wellesley and Delft Wageningen, he is currently working at learning 6 languages through Duolingo. His work career includes being a Machinist, a CNC programmer, a business owner, a consultant and the Director of Organizational Development for a Fortune 100 company. All of this thanks to life-long learning.

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Conservation Halton issues a flood warning - rain on a long weekend day. Phhtt!

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Well – there goes the weekend.

CH Rivers and streamsConservation Halton advises that the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry’s Surface Water Monitoring Centre is forecasting an incoming low-pressure system that will bring up to 40 mm of rain over our jurisdiction beginning Sunday afternoon with a chance of thunderstorms leading to an additional 10 to 25 mm locally. An additional 10 to 30 mm is possible on Monday before the system moves out of our jurisdiction.

Soil conditions within the watershed are saturated from recent rainfall meaning that much of the forecasted rain on Sunday and Monday will runoff into our rivers and streams. The combination of increased flows and water levels and slippery and unstable banks will create hazardous conditions close to any rivers, streams, or other water bodies.

Widespread flooding is not anticipated. Our reservoirs are still in range of our seasonal holding levels and have storage capacity available. However, fast flowing water and flooding of low-lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should be on alert.

Creek flooding - Halton

High water in the creeks and streams

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream flow and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary. This Flood Outlook Statement will be in effect through Thursday May 21, 2019.

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Fascinating graphic presentation on the paths to virus took to get to Canada

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Covid19 virus has had a devastating impact on the health of people around the word; it has brought the economy of the world to its knees and has spurred scientist from around the world into different ways of tracking the virus, determining how it moves while others spend millions of hours in labs trying to create a vaccine that will inoculate us from its spread.

virus cbc presentation

The graphics that explain the way the virus works are very good.

There are others who have found new innovate ways to tell what has happen and teach something about how this virus works.
CBC recently produced a short piece on the trail the virus too.

You scroll through the presentation and trace the paths the virus took as it mutated several times.  Fascinating.

CLICK and take a look.

 

 

 

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Changes to the physical distancing bylaw - it's about your dog.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Dog walker - 2 dogs

Walking a dog? Keep them on a leash

They forgot about the woof woofs.

The debate on social distancing was all about people and how far apart we had to stay away from each other.

It took a while – but we got the hang of it.

Apparently we didn’t fully understand that is was not just us – it included man’s best friend. The bylaw enforcement officers saw the problem – it got on to the Emergency Coordination Group, led by the city manager.

That got it onto a Standing committee agenda.

The lead up to the rather minor change is interesting.

It’s wordy and complicated but that is what the Rule of Law is all about. A city council can’t just do what they want – they have to justify it as well

Council ALL 2018

Council – learning that the rule of law determines what they do.

Whereas on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared a worldwide pandemic regarding the Novel Coronavirus 19 (“COVID-19 Pandemic”); and

Whereas on March 17, 2020, the Province of Ontario declared an emergency relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic under the provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.9 (“Emergency Management Act”); and

Whereas section 4 of the Emergency Management Act provides that the head of council of a municipality may declare that an emergency exists in the municipality or in any part thereof and may take such action and make such orders as they consider necessary and are not contrary to law to implement the emergency plan of the municipality and to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the emergency area; and

Whereas on March 21, 2020 an emergency was declared by the Mayor of the City of Burlington, under the provisions of the Emergency Management Act, relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic; and

Whereas the Provincial Government’s modelling and forecast projects that the State of Emergency will last months and will result in a severe and long-term challenge to the health care system; and

Whereas the Council of the City of Burlington considers the protection of health and safety of the public to be a paramount concern, and has suspended the operations of all City facilities, other than those deemed essential for the welfare of the citizens of the City of Burlington, during the COVID-19 emergency; and

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

She ordered that when you walk outside you keep six feet away from everyone else. Dr. Meghani, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Halton

Whereas the Medical Officer of Health recommended physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other individuals who are not members of the same household; and

Whereas The Corporation of the City of Burlington considers it necessary to enact a regulation to support the intent and purpose of the Provincial Orders made under the Emergency Management Act in order to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Burlington, by prohibiting certain activities and regulating physical distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency; and

Whereas sections 8, 9 and 11 of the Municipal Act, 2001 authorize the City of Burlington to pass by-laws necessary and desirable for municipal purposes, and in particular, paragraphs 5, 6, and 8 of subsection 11(2) authorize by-laws respecting public assets of the municipality, the economic, social and environmental well-being of City, the health, safety and well-being of persons, the protection of persons and property; and

Whereas section 425 of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that any person who contravenes any by-law of the municipality is guilty of an offence; and

Whereas on April 6, 2020, Council of The Corporation of the City of Burlington passed By-Law 17-2020, being a By-law to Promote and Regulate Physical Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic State of Emergency;

Whereas an amendment to By-law 17-2020 is required to regulate the physical distancing of animals on Public Property;

Now therefore the Council of the Corporation of the City of Burlington hereby enacts as follows:

Runners two dogs we know what this is about

The dogs know what social distancing is.

1. By-law 17-2020 Part 1: Definitions 1 is amended by adding the following definitions:

“Animal” means any member of the animal kingdom other than a human;

“Leash” means a line or for leading or restraining an animal, including a dog, while the animal is being transported from place to place outside of a cage;

“Owns” includes possess, or have control over, or keeps or have care or custody of;

2. By-law 17-2020 is amended by adding the following new Section 7 immediately following Section 6, with all subsequent sections renumbered accordingly:

dogs-off-leash-opening

On a leash – before the COVId19 period dogs were allowed to run all over the place. Not now.

7. (1) While on public property, every person who owns an animal shall keep the animal on a leash not exceeding 2 metres in length at all times.

(2) While on public property, every person who owns an animal shall ensure that the animal does not come within 2 metres of any other person or animal that does not reside with them in a single household.

3. Subject to the amendments made in this by-law, in all other respects, By-law 17- 2020 is hereby confirmed unchanged.

4. This by-law comes into force on the date of its passing.

City council will be expected to pass this byplay on the 25th day of May, 2020.

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Milton to become a municipality that will have an International Baccalaureate programme

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

IB logoAll four municipalities in the Region will now have high schools that will offer the International Baccalaureate Programme.

International Baccalaureate (IB) is a worldwide, nonprofit education program founded to give all students the opportunity to receive an education fit for a globalizing world. There are four IB education programs, all of which are intended to develop students’ intellectual, emotional, personal and social skills.

The Halton District School Board announced that Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton has received notice that it is now an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. The IB Diploma is a comprehensive two-year programme that students can take in their last two years of secondary school. The Programme is set to begin for Grade 11 students for the 2020-2021 school year.

Through the programme students take courses that prepare them for university. These courses are content rich and focus on the development of skills that are necessary for post-secondary success. Students will complete an independent research essay and undertake a project that involves community service.

For the past two years, the school has offered an Advanced Learning Programme (ALP) for Grade 9 and 10 students to prepare them for the rigorous two-year IB Diploma Programme in Grade 11 and 12. The IB programme has a focus on developing intercultural awareness. Students will explore the world around them through inquiry, critical thinking and open-mindedness. They will seek to understand different points of view and understand that people with different opinions can also be right.

Keilberg HS Milton

Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton

“We are thrilled about our school’s authorization as an IB World School,” says Jacquie Pece, Principal of Craig Kielburger Secondary School. “The Diploma Programme will provide Milton students with increased learning opportunities that will prepare them well for the challenges of university.”

“We are excited to meet the students’ interests in pursuing the IB Diploma Programme,” says Jacqueline Newton, Superintendent of Milton schools at the HDSB. “The Milton community including Trustees Heather Gerritts and Donna Danielli, school and Board staff continue to be supportive of implementing this program at CKSS.”

Craig Kielburger SS joins a global community of schools committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people who will be ready to negotiate their futures successfully and make contributions resulting in a more harmonious and peaceful world.
In the Halton District School Board, the following schools are also authorized IB World Schools offering the Diploma Programme: Burlington Central High School in Burlington, Georgetown District High School in Halton Hills, and White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville.

 

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Real warm weather didn't make the appearance hoped for - but there was a great surprise at the end of the week.

The Gazette has put together a team of parents who are at home taking care of their children while the province goes through school closures and the shut down of everything other than essential services.

Ashley Worobec and Nicki St. George will write regularly on how they are coping. We invite parents to take part in this initiative by adding comments to each Coping with COVID19 & the kids article.

graphic coping blueBy Nicki St George

May 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

WEEK 7 –

drawing - family

What you don’t see in this drawing – is what appears at the bottom this piece

MONDAY, April 27th

It is my brother’s birthday today and the 5-year anniversary of the day my family arrived in Canada from New Zealand. My husband posts a memory on his Facebook page saying ‘no regrets’ in reference to our decision to move here. I concur; however, lately I have been rather envious of my friends and family in NZ with their low COVID rates and inspirational leader, Jacinda Adern. But mostly I am envious of the fact that their lockdown rules are being relaxed and they are now heading out to the beaches.

TUESDAY, April 28th
The day unfolds as usual. School work in the morning, bake something in the afternoon. I’ve created a list of ‘must dos’ for Beatrix and use screen time as a carrot. My hope is that I won’t have to ask her to get dressed 15 times (at least) every morning or chase her around the house with a hairbrush. But I do not have the discipline for reward charts and she seems to derive no satisfaction from folding down the little ‘to do’ tabs that I had carefully crafted. Still, I think she is getting the message and her behaviour is better this week.

WEDNESDAY, April 29th
As my return to work is approaching, I decide that we need to buy a Chromebook for the children to share. This involves spending a few hours trying to decide between the various models and features. Finally, I find the one and it is at BestBuy in Milton. Dan seems to think that driving to Milton for curbside pickup will be some kind of hardship for me, but I’m actually quite excited at the prospect of a whole hour in the car by myself! And it is glorious…until I get a frantic phone call from Dan because zoom has crashed my computer and Bea was about to start her virtual dance class…

sUN ROOM COMPUTER

Chromebook worse for these two – Mom likes it as well.

THURSDAY, April 30th
The Chromebook is awesome. It has all the Apps that the kids are familiar with from school and they enjoy taking turns picking songs from Go Noodle and can navigate the device better than I can. The iPad just doesn’t cut it when it comes to google drive. I am starting to feel better about being able to multi-task while homeschooling and working from home.

trampoline

Trampoline – constant use

Our trampoline, which got taken out of the garage and set up last weekend, has been in constant use. Except for today because it is too cold outside. The kids need some kind of brain break, so we all find something to balance on our heads while we play follow the leader.

Later we play hide and seek. I sometimes wonder if all the grandmas of the world are just shaking their heads at mums like me and my friends.

What do we really have to complain about? They would have spent every day entertaining their kids and loving it. My friend sends me a viral video about how we need to re-examine our lifestyles and what caused us to get into this whole mess in the first place. I couldn’t agree more.

FRIDAY, May 1st
Today is officially my first day back to work. I feel like a fish out of water. When I left work at the end of November for my surgery and cancer treatment classes were in session and nobody had heard of the coronavirus. Now, it is like I am starting a new job. There is post-pandemic jargon to familiarize myself with and a slew of new technologies to get my head around, not to mention the whole zoom meeting culture and etiquette. Camera on or off? Can I just ‘leave meeting’ discretely? My computer, sensing my trepidation, crashes and that signals the end of my workday (at 11:00 am).

The curry

Dan scours the Bulk Food Warehouse for Kashmiri curry powder and cardamom seeds.

SATURDAY, May 2nd
We are not given the warm, sunny day that the weather network had promised. Dan spends the day distributing soil and grass seed to our front lawn. I believe this is called ‘over-seeding’. The children have been asking for butter chicken for dinner. Dan and I both like to cook and we make our curries from scratch. So, while Dan scours the Bulk Food Warehouse for Kashmiri curry powder and cardamom seeds, I study Jamie Oliver and Maunika’s FoodTube tutorial. And, well, it’s not an exaggeration to say that I haven’t stopped thinking about that curry ever since.

baby rabbits

Two baby bunnies in there – more to this story for sure

SUNDAY, May 3rd
Finally! It’s here. The first day above 20 degrees that we have seen in about 6 months (and it is just the one day because the week ahead is back to single digits again). Leo complains that it is too hot (eyeroll). I get a sunburn. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on the back deck.

For the last few weeks, I have been watching a rabbit make a burrow in the planter box which sits on my deck and normally holds my herb garden. Today we find her sitting atop the planter box and upon closer inspection, we notice that she is feeding two little baby bunnies. It’s a nice way to end the week.

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