The Duncan Academy COVID 19 Management Plan

Planning the return to school for domestic and International students:

On July 30, 2020, the Ontario Government announced the Guide for Reopening Ontario Schools. This is the guidance The Duncan Academy is using for the reopening of our school for all students, including our international students. The Duncan Academy is committed to provide a safe healthy school environment for students, teachers and staff, and safeguarding the broader communities in which we all live in, as well as consistently high-quality education for every student. The Duncan Academy will work within provincial and local health guidelines and protocols for businesses and other organizations consistent with the Government of Ontario’s plan for reopening the province in stages:

Any costs associated with the implementation of the requirements set out in this document will be covered by The Duncan Academy.


For the up-coming 2020-2021 school year:

Our school will open using an adapted model, with class cohorts of no more than 15 students, attending on alternate days, or alternate schedules that would represent in-person attendance for at least 50% of instructional days.

Students are required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings indoors on school property and on school buses. Students may wear their own mask or face covering, or use a non-medical masks provided by the school.

Staff are required to wear medical masks and, when physical distancing of 2m is difficult, or close contact (less than 2m for more than 15 minutes) with others is expected, eye protection in the form of face shield is also required. Medical masks and other PPE for staff will be provided by the The Duncan Academy.

The remote learning option is available for some students, and will be available for all, should Public Health decide it is necessary to physically close schools.

International students—how to plan your trip to Canada.

The Duncan Academy will ensure pre-arrival requirements are communicated to international students and any co-arriving immediate family members in advance of travel to Canada

Mechanisms are in place to accept quarantining international students and any co-arriving immediate family members.

For details on planning your trip to Canada please visit this website:


Students are strongly encouraged to visit the following two websites for travel to Canada updates and regulations before finalizing travel plans:


Students, parents and guardians must follow the directions provided in the websites above when planning their trip, entering Canada, and during the mandatory 14 day self isolation quarantine period. Students, parents and guardians entering Canada will be collected at the airport and driven directly to their home for a 14 day quarantine. In this period they must all be taken for a COVID 19 test. They and their family members must produce a negative test to be allowed to enter the school.

The Duncan Academy will ensure appropriate individual accommodation options for the 14-day quarantine period are provided consistent with current Orders in Council under the Quarantine Act and guidelines of the Government of Canada, as well as the requirements of the school board/private school’s local and provincial public health authorities.

Domestic students returning from abroad must a produce a negative COVID test result that covers the 14 day period prior to their entry into school.

In keeping with following best practices international students and any co-arriving immediate family members are encouraged by The Duncan Academy to download the Government of Canada’s ArriveCAN application prior to arrival at the border and complete the information required. The school will organize appropriate transportation of international students and any co-arriving immediate family members from their point of entry to Canada to a 14-day quarantine location, consistent with Government of Canada recommendations (e.g. wearing a mask for onward domestic travel; travelling directly to the place of quarantine).The  ArriveCan application should also be used by international students and any co-arriving family members within 48 hours after arrival in Canada, and also for their daily symptom reporting.

Prior to beginning school, students should provide written confirmation to The Duncan Academy that they are symptom free and have a suitable isolation plan ensuring they will not be staying with vulnerable populations or living in a communal or group setting and will have access to the necessities of life.

Quarantine Support

The Duncan Academy will provide support for all quarantined individuals throughout the 14-day period, including, but not limited to:

•             food, medical care, other necessities of life so no that individual will be required to break quarantine at any point;

•             COVID-19 infection control information and training; and

•             regular and robust institutional monitoring of quarantined individuals throughout the 14-day period for COVID-19 symptoms, general well-being, and compliance with quarantine requirements, with emphasis on individual COVID-19 infection control practices.

Post Quarantine Support

The school will support international students and any immediate family members after they complete their 14-day quarantine period. This includes:

•             mental and physical health, anti-racism, and COVID-19 stigma supports; and

•             mitigation of social barriers to support student compliance with individual COVID-19 infection control practices.


Planning the School Year

We appreciate that parents may have questions about the 2020-2021 school year, in particular the Fall semester. The Duncan Academy is working diligently to ensure courses continue to meet our high standards of academic rigour and learner experience. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, The Duncan Academy takes guidance from the Ontario Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health regarding measures that are needed for school opening and programming.

The Duncan Academy values our International students. To assist with your 2020-2021 school year planning, below are two options:

Option 1: Secondary students can choose to take Duncan Academy online courses while staying in their home country. Students can enroll in 2 credit courses, which are 8 weeks in duration. When travel restrictions are lifted, students can travel to Toronto to join their classmates. Details on the available online courses will be posted on our website at a later time.

Option 2: When travel restrictions are lifted, students report to The Duncan Academy as originally planned. Programming may be offered as face to-face classes, or a combination of face-to-face and online or fully online. Details will be released by The Duncan Academy at a later time.

We hope the above options will help families make plans. Please do not hesitate to contact us at:

Specific School Management Protocols for the controlling of the COVID 19 virus.

The Duncan Academy has a plan in place to support public health units in outbreak response in its community, including stakeholder communications and assistance with contact tracing, and this plan aligns with local and provincial public health guidelines.



Ministry Regulations regarding daily School Management and COVID 19

The Duncan Academy has a protocol for notifying local and provincial authorities of:

  • Any compliance issues within the 14-day mandatory quarantine period; and

Any cases of COVID-19 infection during the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

The Ministry of Health maintains case definitions for a probable case and a confirmed case. These definitions are maintained on the Ontario Ministry of Health site and are subject to updating. Please refer to the Ministry site for the most current version of these key definitions.


Provincial closure protocols

The local public health unit (PHU) is responsible for determining if an outbreak exists, declaring an outbreak, and providing direction on outbreak control measures to be implemented. The outbreak case definition is listed below. However, even though an outbreak may be declared in the school, the public health unit will assist in determining which cohort(s) may be sent home or if a partial or full school closure is required based on the scope of the outbreak. Please note, there may be variability in scenarios based on local context and epidemiology.


An outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).


The local public health unit will work with the school to determine epidemiological links (e.g., cases in the same class, cases that are part of the same before/after school care cohort, cases that have assigned bus seats in close proximity to each other). The PHU will determine which cohorts are high risk contacts requiring isolation.


Reopening the school

The outbreak does not necessarily need to be over to re-open the school. Cohorts without evidence of transmission can be gradually brought back to school as additional information and test results become available. Consideration will be given to implementing additional preventive measures and active surveillance as part of re-opening.


Outbreak declared over

An outbreak will be declared over by the PHU. This may be based on:


-at least 14 days from the last outbreak associated case (including in a student, staff, essential visitor, or anyone else in the school during the outbreak)

-no further symptomatic individuals with tests pending

Outbreak responsibilities

As part of the outbreak response, there are well understood roles, responsibilities, and processes within the school to deal with the outbreak. The Principal will be the liaison with Public Health.


The Duncan Academy is responsible for:

-reporting a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case associated with the school to the local PHU and to the Ministry of Education through the daily reporting tool where they have become aware of such a case

-reporting absenteeism to the PHU and to EDU through the daily reporting tool, in accordance with provincial and/or local PHU direction


Local PHUs are responsible for:

-determining if an outbreak in a school exists

-managing the outbreak in collaboration with the school and other relevant partners

-determining when the outbreak can be declared over

-role of school administrators


The Principal should:

-implement prevention measures found in guidance from the Ministry of Education (EDU), Ministry of Health (MOH) and their local PHU

-cooperate with the local PHU, and other stakeholders as required

-communicate with early years partners about COVID-19 in schools and boards

-maintain accurate records of staff, students and visitors. Schools should be able to produce information regarding the students and staff members in any and all class cohort(s) (for example: classroom, bus, before and after school programs, extra-curricular activities)

This information should include up-to-date attendance records and contact information for those groups and should be provided to the PHU within 24 hours of request to ensure timely follow-up.

In general the school will not report all instances of ill individuals in the school setting to the PHU as these are frequent occurrences and typically students have non-specific symptoms, however, as required by Section 28 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the school principal is required to report to the medical officer of health if he is of the opinion that a pupil has or may have a communicable disease.

The Principal should connect with the PHU if they have concerns about student(s) related absences or attendance concerns within their school community.

The local PHU may be consulted if there are questions about the management of individuals with symptoms, environmental cleaning, and other measures, as necessary.

The public health unit is responsible for conducting case and contact management activities and measures will be taken to ensure privacy and avoid disclosure of details to the school community that would lead to identification of a COVID-19 laboratory confirmed case.


Communicating with the school community

This plan will be posted for the school community on the school website

The Duncan Academy will support the promotion of reliable, accurate messages about COVID-19, including COVID-19 related stigma ( and anti-racism supports.

The Duncan Academy has a protocol for publicly communicating outbreaks of COVID-19 affecting or implicating international students and any immediate family members including, but not limited to, signage posted at entrances and in public spaces, and through online communication, such as websites and social media.

Parents, students and staff have an understandable interest in knowing when a COVID-19 positive case has been identified in their school. Duncan Academy will create a COVID-19 advisory section on their website. Duncan Academy will post information if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 that involves a student or a staff member in a school setting. Notice of any closures of classes, cohorts or schools will be posted on the COVID-19 advisory sections.

Students or staff members may withdraw from school if a family or household member has a confirmed case of COVID-19 but information will not be posted in these instances.

In the interests of privacy, information provided to school communities will not identify the student or staff member that has received a positive COVID-19 test.

If public health advises that a class, cohort or a school should be closed for a period of time, parents, students and staff will be notified immediately.


Management of ill individuals during school hours

This section applies to students, staff or other members or visitors to the school community, who become ill during the school day and on school premises.


Students will be made aware, in age-appropriate and non-stigmatizing language, how to identify symptoms of COVID-19 and should be instructed to speak to a staff member immediately if they feel ill.

The Duncan Academy will maintain a personal protective equipment (PPE) kit specifically for managing students or others who become ill during school hours.

If an individual, including students, staff, contractors, visitors, parents, guardians, becomes ill while at school, including before and after school care affiliated with the school, Duncan Academy will follow the recommended procedures that propose:

-anyone providing care to the ill individual should maintain as much physical distance as possible

-the staff person caring for the individual should wear a surgical/procedural mask and eye protection

-if tolerated, the ill individual should also wear a surgical/procedural mask

-hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette should be practiced while the ill individual is waiting to be picked up

-cleaning of the isolation room area and other areas of the school where the ill individual was should be conducted as soon as reasonably possible after the ill individual leaves

-advise the ill individual and/or their parent or guardian to have the ill individual seek medical advice, including the recommendation of testing for COVID-19 as appropriate or as advised by their medical provider. Ensure direction is aligned with screening and return to school direction

-initiate communication protocols and plans to update and inform necessary stakeholders within the school community while maintaining confidentiality of the ill individual

-regular school functions can continue unless directed otherwise by the local public health unit

-A list of students and staff in the school who were in contact with/in the same cohort as the ill individual should be prepared. Those who are identified as potential close contacts should remain cohorted. The local PHU will provide any further direction on testing and isolation of these contacts, if necessary. In most instances testing and isolation would only be recommended for contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.


Scenario: A student becomes ill during the school day

The following actions also apply to an individual, including students, staff, contractors, visitors, parents or guardians, who becomes ill while at school, including before and after school care affiliated with the school.


Recommended action by teacher

The teacher should:

-be aware of symptom descriptions and alert the principal if a student is ill

-continue to monitor students and themselves for symptoms

Recommended action by Principal

The Principal should:

-coordinate immediate student pick-up and designate an area to isolate the student until parent/guardian arrival

-advise student and any staff attending to them to use provided PPE kit

-advise student to remain at home and continue with remote learning, if they are well enough to do so

-if required, advise entire staff of the concern while protecting confidentiality and responding with sensitivity in the circumstances

-ensure/coordinate environmental cleaning and/or disinfection of the space and items used by the individual(s)

-monitor school population for possible new/additional illnesses

-report in the daily attendance tracking tool as necessary


Recommended action by parent and student

The parent and student should:

-follow guidance of a health care provider

-follow guidance under return to school section

if a student is tested for COVID-19, follow the guidance of health care provider and related direction for isolation and returning to school. If there are other siblings or members of the household that attend school or childcare centres, advice of the health care provider should be followed on returning to school/child care centres

Management of individuals exposed to COVID-19 outside of the school

This section applies to individuals closely related to a school community, such as bus drivers, parents or members of a student’s or staff member’s household, who test positive for COVID-19 outside of the school.

They should:

- Make necessary arrangements in place to support continuity of education for students who require isolation.

Situations will arise where students, staff, or teachers may be exposed to COVID-19 outside of the school environment (for example, to family members that don’t attend the school, social contacts outside of school).


Household members and others who live with the individual who has tested positive should isolate for 14 days.

Commitment to follow the protocols in the plan

The Duncan Academy will meet the requirements set out in this table for as long as it appears on the federal list of designated institutions.






The following letter has been mailed to all parents of students at The Duncan Academy



Letter to Parents



Dear Parent/Guardian:


With the 2020-21 school year underway, I would like to tell you about the actions we are taking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our school. This letter also includes information about what you can do to protect yourself and your family.


The most common symptoms of COVID-19 (PDF) include:


•             Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)

•             New or worsening cough

•             Shortness of breath (dyspnea)


Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:


•             Sore throat

•             Difficulty swallowing

•             New olfactory or taste disorder(s)

•             Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain

•             Runny nose, or nasal congestion (in absence of underlying reasons for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.)


You must screen your child for symptoms every day before they come to school. You can use the Ministry of Health’s Ministry of Health’s Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool for this purpose. If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they are ill, they should not attend school. You should report your child’s absence from school by contacting us at: [Insert details on reporting student absence].

Students who become ill during the day will be isolated and must be picked up from school as soon as possible. Symptomatic students will not be able to use student transportation.

Please consult the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 reference document for symptoms (PDF) for other clinical features of COVID-19 and when atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in children.

If you’re worried your child or any member of your household has been exposed to COVID-19 or has symptoms, you use Ministry of Health’s Ontario COVID-19 self- assessment tool. You will get a recommendation on what to do next.

We are working with our local Public Health Unit to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school and will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our school, multiple measures have been implemented, for example, enhanced cleaning and reducing the number of contacts among individuals in the school, including students, staff, and others.


The Ontario Ministry of Health advises everyone to take an active role in protecting themselves from COVID-19. Here are a few things that you and your family can do:


•             wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

•             sneeze and cough into your sleeve

•             avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

•             avoid contact with people who are sick

•             stay home and isolate if you or anyone in your household is sick


For more information on COVID-19 please visit


If you have any questions about what our school is doing, please let me know.





Stephen Harris