Burlington Community

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September 2020 – Back To School

Back To School This September 2020

It’s that time of year again, when kids are getting excited to go back to school. This year, however, will look different than what we are used to. So what will going back to school September 2020 look like? In this blog we’ll try and go over what we know as of now, please note that things can change and this only reflects the Halton Public School Boards reopening plan.

Halton District School Board

On August 13th the Minister of Education announced changes concerning the reopening of Ontario schools. Halton District School Board staff will be reviewing this new information, and will communicate that information once they know how it will impact current published reopening plans.

With this new information, you should be advised that it may change. The deadline to complete the Intent to Reopen Survey will be extended, with a revised date to be communicated to families.

Reopening Halton District Schools

The reopening schools guide for September 2020 is organized around five areas; Health and Family, Operations, Instruction, Well-Being and Technology. Let’s now go over each of these areas, we’ll identify the subcategories of each one. What that area covers and links for you to read more about them on the Halton District School Boards website.

Health and Facility

  • Student Screening and Self-Assessment
  • Preventative Measures: Hand Hygiene
  • Preventative Measures: Physical Distancing
  • Preventative Measures: Respiratory Hygiene
  • Non-Medical Masks, Cloth Masks and Face Coverings
  • Plans of Care
  • Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
  • Environmental Conditions and Air Flow
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Student Cohorts
  • Student with Possible Symptoms of COVID -19 BEFORE coming to School
  • Student with Possible Symptoms of COVID -19 at School
  • Staff Wearing Personal Protective Equipment
  • Contact Tracing and Public Health

You can learn more about each of these Health and Facility areas by seeing the Halton District School Board’s website. Next we’ll look at Operations and the effective daily operations of how a school can contribute to a safe reopening.


  • Family Responsibilities
  • Student Belongings
  • School Entry/Exit
  • Outdoor Play Structures
  • School Hours/Access and Visitors
  • Lunch and Snacks
  • Student Lates/Appointments
  • Food Programs, Fundraising and Vending
  • Transportation
  • Before and After School Child Care Programs
  • School Councils and Council Elections
  • Emergency Procedures

There’s a lot to cover in each of these areas and it’s important to be informed and know that things can change. You can learn more about Operations and how you can prepare for back to school on the Halton District School Boards website. The next area that the school board has prepared for is Instruction, “This year we will apply the Ministry of Education direction to create days that maximize face-to-face instruction in the most engaging and student focussed ways possible.”


  • Intent to Return
  • Students with Special Education Needs
  • Elementary Instructional Models – September
  • Grade 1 to 8 Program Considerations
  • Kindergarten Program Considerations
  • Secondary Instructional Model – September
  • Secondary Regional Programming, CO-OP, OYAP and SHSM
  • Secondary Program Considerations
  • EQAO and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
  • Learning Management Systems/Instructional Platforms
  • “Program Nights”, Welcome and Orientation Parent Events
  • Excursions/Day Field Trips
  • Inter-School Athletics/Co-curriculars
  • Volunteer Hour Requirement for Graduation

The well-being of students and staff are very important during this time. The school board has also covered this area in their reopening plan. “The return to school after many months off will require special time and attention from all staff to redevelop relationships and establish supportive routines for students. Students can expect full support from their teachers, Child and Youth Counsellors, Social Workers and Guidance Counsellors.”


  • Well-Being for Students
  • Professional Learning and Resources for Staff
  • Parent Resources

Finally The Halton District School Board covers the area of Technology. “To fully support students who will continue with Distance Learning we will have plans ready to supply students needing technology and connectivity across our Board.”


  • Technology Infrastructure and Tech Support
  • Devices for Students
  • Provisions for Accessible Formats
  • Internet Connectivity for Students
  • Online Platforms for Instruction with Students
  • Wellness in Remote Learning Environment
  • Acceptable use of Technology Agreements for Students and Cyber Security/Privacy
  • Technology Support for Students and Families

That covers what we know right now about the Halton District School Boards reopening plan. You can access everything for more details on their website, and you can contact your children’s school as well. We are all in this together and by working together and following the protocols, we can make this back to school time as normal as possible.

Getting Back To School

Respond. Rethink. Restart. These are the three words that have defined our work the past few months in the Halton District School Board and our actions as we reopen our schools this fall. This past March the COVID-19 pandemic thrust us all into a new societal and educational reality.” – Stuart Millar, Director of Education.

The Halton Catholic School Board has also developed a September 2020 reopening plan, and you can learn more about that in our next blog, where we will cover their plan and what to expect this fall. Look for that blog tomorrow.

September 2020 – Back To School Read More »

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Burlington – Stage Three Of Reopening

Stage Three Of Reopening Begins July 24th

This is big news, Burlington is entering into stage three of reopening on July 24th. As we enter into this new normal we want to stay positive and know that we are still working together to make it through this unprecedented time. Let’s look at some of the new bylaws and restrictions in place, and some of the new loosening of rules.

Gathering limits have now increased for both outdoor and indoor gatherings. However, they are still subject to social distancing. Nearly all businesses and public spaces will be able to gradually reopen, with public health and workplace safety measures in place.

Remember to keep in mind that some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed for now, until it’s safe to reopen them. Also, in keeping with the gradual reopening approach, Ontario will continue to monitor key public health indicators and some stage three restrictions.

What Does Stage Three Mean To You

This is another significant step toward fully restoring the economy and the Ontario government wants to make sure that we do this in the safest way. Stage three has more restrictions eased with almost all businesses and public spaces reopen.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other health officials have advised the following high-risk places and activities remain closed for the time being.

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Clubs and bars,
  • Overnight summer camps
  • Private Karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments
Go Transit

Taking public transit is going to have some adjustments, the major one is that wearing a face covering or non-medical face mask is now required at all times. Metorlinx has expanded it’s safety and cleaning measures and launched a safety kiosk at the Burlington Go Station.

Face Covering Bylaw

We want to make sure that we keep our loved ones safe, and wearing a face mask or face covering is the way to help stop the spread. Burlington City Council approved a bylaw that makes wearing a mask or face covering mandatory in all enclosed public spaces as of July 24th. Halton Region put a similar bylaw in place, it too effect on July 22nd.

The Burlington bylaw will in effect until September 30th 2020, unless it’s extended or revoked by city council. This new bylaw applies to all indoor public spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including:

  • Retail stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Malls and shopping plazas
  • Grocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets (enclosed areas)
  • Restaurants and bars (when permitted to open indoor service)
  • Indoor recreational facilities (unless exempt)
  • Libraries
  • Community centres
  • Community service agencies
  • Personal service settings
  • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and faith settings
  • Art galleries and museums
  • Banquet halls, convention centres and arenas
  • Real estate facilities such as open houses and presentation centres
  • Common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, etc)
  • Entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Business offices that are open to the public
Back To School

Finally we can talk about what will be happening in the fall. Ontario wants to ensure that all 2 million students in 5,000 publicly funded schools can go back in September. The Ministry of Education released a safety plan and school boards are working hard to prepare their own plans. All plans will be submitted to the Ministry by August 4th. Once approved boards will inform parents.

Joesph Brant Drive-Thru Testing

It should be mentioned that Joesph Brant Hospital has now opened a drive-thru COVID-19 testing. This is in effort to continue to keep the public safe. The clinic is dedicated to testing individuals that are not experiencing any symptoms, but are worried they have been exposed.

The testing is located on the Joesph Brant grounds and will be open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. This service is by appointment only, so make sure you make an appointment before showing up.

Contact Lori VanDinther and Team Today

We have been through a lot as both a local community and a world wide community. If we continue to take the right steps and follow the new bylaw, we know that we will continue to make it through this extraordinary time. Of course the real estate industry has also continued to move forward and we continue to help clients find their dream home.

If you’re looking for more information about market up dates related to COVID-19, Lori will be happy to help answer those questions as well. Or you might be looking to put your property on the market, please contact Lori and her team and they’ll be happy to help.

Burlington – Stage Three Of Reopening Read More »

Halton Events Upcoming events

Halton Events for February and March 2020

Halton Events To Look Forward To

There are always so many fun and family friendly events and activities happening in Halton. Burlington is part of the Halton region and its a beautiful place to explore. From the shores of Lake Ontario to the incredible views from the Niagara Escarpment. Today I’ll feature 5 different Halton events that you need to check out.

Walking Tour – Downtown Burlington

When: Saturday, February 8th from 10:30am to 11:30am

Where: 414 Locust Street, Burlington

About: Explore downtown Burlington and learn more about the city with Alan Harrington. This event will happen rain or shine so come prepared for various weather conditions. This is a great event if you’re interested in learning more about this beautiful city.

Family Day Winter Fun

When: Sunday, February 16th from 10am to 4pm

Where: Bronte Creek Provincial Park, 1219 Burloak Drive, Oakville

About: Bring the whole family and enjoy some Family Day activities. You’ll explore the children’s farm and Playbarn, meet some animals check out the great demonstrations. It’ll be a fun day and we know your family will love every minute of it.

Museum After Hours – Discover the Myths and Mysteries of The Great Lakes

When: Thursday, February 27th from 6pm to 8pm

Where: Joseph Brant Museum, 1240 North Shore, Burlington

About: Spend the evening learning with access to all the galleries, the special visiting exhibition; Giants, Dragons and Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creature. And enjoy a unique presentation from Swim Drink Fish Canada about the myths and mysteries of our Great Lakes. There will be snacks and refreshments provided at this event.

Maple Syrup Festival

When: March 1st, 7th & 8th, 14th – 22nd and the 28th & 29th

Where: Bronte Creek Provincial Park, 1219 Burloak Drive, Oakville

About: Learn about the history of Maple Syrup at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville. The Provincial Park is located on a heritage farm from the 1900s. Other activities will include; the pancake house, maple syrup candy, fresh maple taffy, guided tours of Maple Lane, gift shop, wagon rides, visit the farm animals, historical tours, family activities and so much more.

Taste of Burlington Prix-Fixe Dining

When: Sunday March 1st from 11:30am to 10pm

Where: Participating restaurants in Burlington

About: This event is happening across Burlington and participating restaurants with lunch being offered at $15, $20 and $25. And dinner being offered at $30, $35 and $40. This is a fun way to try some restaurants you’ve never been to before or to go to an old favourite and try something different.

Contact Lori VanDinther

What’s better than trying out a new restaurant? There are events listed here I know I’ll be trying, it’s nice to keep busy during the winter. Another way to keep busy is to explore some great open houses and check out what’s on the market. I love helping people find their dream home and I know together we can find yours. Contact me today and let’s start the journey.

Halton Events for February and March 2020 Read More »