Third Woodstock school shuttered due to COVID-19
Central Public School in Woodstock, Ont. is seen Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (Jim Knight / CTV News)
LONDON, ONT. -- Central Public School in Woodstock has become the third school in the community to be closed to in-person learning in March.
The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) announced the closure Tuesday evening effective Wednesday morning.
“As a result of widespread exposure to COVID-19, a high number of students and staff at Central Public School are required to quarantine. Due to this significant exposure, Central Public School will be required to close,” read a statement posted to the school’s website.
The school is closed immediately and will not reopen to in-person learning until after the end of Spring Break on April 19, however the reopening date could change if more cases are found.
Classroom teachers will be contacting families with instructions for remote learning.
The exact number of cases associated with the school community has not been released.
Southwestern Public Health says the decision to close the school was made by the board due to 'operational needs' and no outbreak has been declared.
Earlier this month two schools within the London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB) were also temporarily closed due to COVID-19 cases.
The board closed St. Patrick’s Elementary School on March 20 following eight confirmed cases.
St. Michael's Elementary was closed on March 11 after several cases and a variant were reported.
The board has no active cases listed for St. Michael's.
Board asking students to prepare for possible closure
In a letter sent to parents and guardians Wednesday, students are being asked to take home all technology and learning materials needed, as well as personal items.
They say that while they expect students back in the classroom after the Easter long weekend, they want to be prepared for a potential announcement from the Ministry of Education and Ontario Public Health.
"We ask our students to take home their learning devices, learning materials. Personal items such as glasses just in cases because if we have to pivot we often get very little notice," says Director of Education Mark Fisher.
The board calls the move a precautionary measure only, and thanks parents and guardians for their support through the continuing changes to health restrictions.