October 21st, 2020
As we near the end of October, and with leaves already falling from trees, our minds turn to the festivities and celebrations of the season. Public Health recommendations are an important consideration especially this year, as schools, students and their families contemplate specific activities within classrooms, schools and the community.
Putting Health and Safety First
The health and safety of our school communities is one of our most essential focuses for our students, staff and families – this year is no different, but the circumstances certainly are. We have spent the past number of weeks establishing routines in schools and classrooms in an effort to keep everyone safe and through this vigilance, our students and staff have enjoyed a remarkable return to school.
Potential disruptions to these routines and safety practices are risks that our school communities cannot afford to take. Costumes and shared food, customs often associated with Halloween, are incompatible with the guidance we have provided to our schools and received from Public Health.
We are committed to the promise we have made to families to provide a safe learning environment for all students. Upholding this promise means that families and students are encouraged to not send their children with non-essential learning materials. As such, we are asking that children are not sent to school with costumes or shared food items.
WRDSB students, families and community members who wish to, are invited to celebrate Halloween outside of school, following the guidance provided by the Province of Ontario.
Equity and Inclusion Considerations
If you do choose to take part outside of school, it’s important to ensure your costume and celebrations are respectful of other cultures and identities. If something is representative of a person’s culture or religious beliefs, then it should not be worn as another person’s costume.
Waterloo Region is a diverse community, and in the spirit of inclusion, it’s key to recognize that not all families celebrate Halloween. It’s a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to talk with their children about the importance of respecting those individuals who do not participate in these activities.
We thank all of our students and families for helping to ensure our schools and classrooms remain safe places to learn.