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Principal’s Update – February 16, 2021

February 16, 2021

Dear Fern Hill School Parents,

We are following up with an update on the Ministry of Education’s announcement by the province postponing March Break based on public health advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

As a school, this has been an unprecedented year with many challenges. There have been many changes this year and we have continued to adapt to changing protocols, provincial guidelines and restrictions, and public health measures. We have worked hard to maintain a safe environment for students and staff alike.

The Ministry of Education announced on February 11th that the March Break period in the public schools would be postponed until April 12th.

The Board at Fern Hill School has recently met to discuss the Ministry of Education’s announcement regarding the postponing of March Break until April 12th and the implications for Fern Hill School.

When making a decision about what is best for Fern Hill School and the students and staff, many things were taken into consideration and the recommendations from the Ministry of Education, Ottawa Public Health and the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools were carefully considered.

The Ministry of Education’s decision to postpone March Break was to keep students safe and to limit community transmission of Covid-19. Fern Hill School shares that concern for the staff and students, for their welfare and safety, both within the school community and the community at large.

The Ministry of Education has communicated to private schools the expectation that private schools in Ontario will also postpone March Break plans until April 12 to support our collective fight against COVID-19.

Ottawa Public Health’s recommendation was that private schools follow the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer and follow suit with the public schools and postpone March Break as well.

The head of the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools recommended to all its’ members that they maintain compliance with the Ministry of Education and take direction from public health units.

The Board has reviewed all recommendations and made the decision that the March Break period at Fern Hill School be postponed until April 12th.

It was not an easy decision, and not taken lightly, but was made with the safety of the school community in mind.

The March Break period at Fern Hill School will be postponed until April 12–16. There will be no classes that week. There will also be a change in the end date to the school calendar and we will finish school on Friday, June 11th.

The Board has also approved 5 additional days as mental health/wellness days where there will be no classes scheduled. These dates include March 5, 12, 15, 19 and 26. The addition of the “mental health/wellness” days will provide a time for both the students and staff to recharge during this challenging period.

We appreciate and thank you for your understanding and ongoing support during these challenging and unprecedented times. We will continue to monitor the decisions of public officials and keep you informed of any further changes as required.


Deborah Gutierrez Jennifer Rowberry
Principal Board Chair