Find out what we’re doing to improve safety in schools

Find out how we're protecting the health, safety and well-being of students and staff to continue to support a safer in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year.

  1. Health and safety
    measures

    Read the health and safety measures for school and child care.

  2. Ventilation
    improvements

    Learn what we are doing to improve ventilation and filtration at school.

  3. Vaccines for
    students and staff

    Get the facts and book a COVID‑19 vaccine.

  4. Mental health
    support

    Get mental health and wellness support for your child.

  1. Testing for students
  2. Health and safety measures
  3. Ventilation improvements
  4. Vaccines for students and staff

Health and safety measures at schools

All public and private schools are open for full-time in-person learning. Remote learning continues to be an option for families.

Here are the measures that will continue to be in place for remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

  • students and staff should screen for COVID‑19 symptoms before going to school
  • access to masks for students and staff in schools and licensed child care settings
  • school-based vaccination clinics to offer convenient access to COVID‑19 vaccines
  • access to rapid antigen tests for every elementary and secondary student, child in child care and school and child care staff to use, if they are symptomatic or away due to an unplanned absence or dismissal
  • school boards will continue to optimize air quality in schools through improved ventilation and filtration
  • continued elevated cleaning standards at schools
  • school-focused nurses to support school safety and student well-being

Read measures for schools Read measures for child care

Screen before you go

Take the COVID‑19 screening every day before you go to school or child care. We update the screening tool based on public health advice.

Monitor school closures and absenteeism

Get the data about school closures and staff and student absences. Student and staff absences reported may not be related to COVID‑19 (for example, absences due to a medical appointment or a religious holiday).

Monitor child care closures

Get the data about licensed child care closures.


Improving ventilation

As part of our plan to keep students and schools safe for the 2021-2022 school year, school boards have improved ventilation in classrooms. This includes:

  • increasing fresh air intake
  • running ventilation systems longer (for example, two hours or more before and after school) to improve air flow and using the highest grade filters possible (for example, MERV-13)
  • increasing frequency of filter changes throughout the school year
  • using standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in every occupied kindergarten classroom
  • using standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units in all occupied learning spaces without mechanical ventilation, including classrooms, gyms, libraries, lunchrooms, child care spaces, administrative spaces and portables with no or poor mechanical ventilation

School boards will continue to implement ventilation best practices and make upgrades to improve ventilation infrastructure, where required. 

School boards must assess and maintain ventilation systems throughout the year to ensure they are in good working order.

To date, 99% of schools have increased fresh air intake or are using higher-grade filters, running ventilation systems longer and have increased frequency of filter changes. 100% of ventilation systems have been assessed.

We have deployed over 73,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices to schools.  We are providing additional HEPA filter units to school boards for use in mechanically ventilated learning spaces where the systems are not able to use MERV-13 filters.

Check your school board’s website to find out about ventilation improvements, such as the number of HEPA filter units in place.

Other upgrades

We are also building better infrastructure by:

  • supporting remote learning by investing in network and broadband infrastructure
  • installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water
  • supporting renovations to enable better physical distancing

Vaccines

Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to stay protected from COVID‑19. They are an important tool to help to stop the spread of the virus and allow students and families to safely resume activities.

School boards will be working with local public health units to add school-based vaccination clinics for students during instructional hours. Parental consent will be required. Contact your school board for more information.

Parents and caregivers who have questions about COVID‑19 vaccines for children and youth can visit COVID‑19 Vaccine Consult Service to book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids clinician.

Get the facts about vaccines for children and youth.

Learn about booking a COVID‑19 vaccine in Ontario.


Find mental health services

If this is an emergency or you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or emergency department.

There are mental health services for children and youth who are feeling anxious or are experiencing other mental health or addiction challenges. Many services are available online or by phone.

Contact your child’s principal to learn about mental health supports and services at your child’s school.

2 people hugging

Call a free helpline

Call a helpline to speak with a professional counsellor. These helplines are free, anonymous and confidential. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Related