I hope you have found time during this past week to spend time with your family, and support loved ones, even if not in person. For many, the week may have been filled with contrasting experiences, from a potentially slower pace to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. As the pandemic continues to unfold, we urge you to prioritize your health and self-care, and to look after the health and well-being of your loved ones.
While we may not be able to connect in person, this morning, I filmed a video message for all of our staff members.
We recognize that many of you may have vulnerable loved ones, including those with health issues or the elderly, and these circumstances may present additional stress and anxiety. In addition, you or your friends and family may be feeling some anxiety or the effects of the current economic situation. Below are some resources to support you and your loved ones in this challenging time:
- Our Employee and Family Assistance Program is provided by ComPsych, a third-party company. They are available 24/7 at 855-498-9420 and can provide employees and family members confidential access to counselling, legal guidance, financial guidance, work-life balance support and much more.
- ComPsych has also created a specific COVID-19 Resource Hub.
- York Region has information about COVID-19, including how to protect yourself and your family, on their website: ca/covid19.
- Human Resources Services has compiled a list of several community-based wellness resources for a variety of health and wellness topics and concerns.
- The Working from Home Wellness Guide provides tips on how to practice self-care for working remotely during this closure period.
- The Board website has tips for speaking with your child about COVID-19.
Please take the time to update your email automatic reply message as follows:
Thank you for your email, please note that the Ontario Ministry of Education has issued an order to close all publicly funded schools from March 14 until April 5 to interrupt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, I am working remotely and may take longer to reply to your message. If you have any questions, please visit www.yrdsb.ca or the Board’s twitter account @YRDSB.
I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. If you have questions at any time, please forward them to your Superintendent or Senior Manager, who will bring them forward to the Board’s Emergency Operations Committee. Please continue to check your Board email regularly for further updates, as well as the updated staff FAQ. I also encourage all staff members to follow the guidelines set out by public health, including social distancing and requirements for self-isolating if you are returning from travel.
Thank you for your ongoing efforts and dedication and for the important role you continue to play in supporting our students, families and communities. Please continue to look after yourselves and each other. While it’s important to maintain social distance, it’s also important to stay connected with each other, and I hope everyone will continue to check in with colleagues. Our relationships are what give us strength during these challenging times.
Director of Education
York Region District School Board