Looking forward to September: August 4 Update
Last Thursday the government revealed the Reopening Plan for schools across the province. Announced was the full reopening of elementary schools, five days a week. For secondary schools, we learned that LDCSB is among a group of ‘designated’ school boards that will open under an ‘adapted return’ model. Under this model, secondary students will be assigned to cohorts of approximately 15 students and will spend 50% of their instructional days learning in school and 50% of their days engaged in remote learning at home. This model will be reviewed by the Ministry regularly to support a future transition into a conventional delivery model when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
We know from last week’s announcement that many questions remain, so we wanted to provide greater clarity as to what parents can expect September to look like in our LDCSB schools.
Based on guidance received from the Ministry of Education, and from provincial and local Public Health Officials, some of the measures that will be taken to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff are available here and will be updated regularly.
The Ministry of Education has released a Guide to reopening Ontario’s schools on their website, which provides some details to support a safe return to school.
Secondary students will be receiving further information regarding the cohort to which they are assigned and the in-school schedule of learning.
The Ministry of Education also announced parents will have the option of full remote learning delivered by LDCSB if they choose not to have their child/children attend in person for this school year. However, the Board will set restrictions on the ability of students to transfer between full remote learning and in-class learning. Such restrictions may include a limited number of dates in the school calendar for the transfer between these forms of learning. If engaged in full remote learning, attendance will be taken and students will be expected to work within a five-hour instructional day each school day.
Further details on this full remote learning option will be shared in another message, along with a survey. The survey will be sent to all our parents requiring that you indicate your intention of sending your child/children to school in person or keeping them home and having them participate in full remote learning. We will need every family to complete this survey so that we can plan accordingly to serve the needs of all our students.
Parents and students should also be aware that the Board, as requested by the Ministry, has been preparing for alternative learning delivery models in the event that due to changing circumstances (within a school or the schools as a whole, within the region, and/or within the province) the Board is required during the upcoming school year to move elementary schools to an adapted delivery model or to move elementary and/or secondary schools entirely to a remote learning model.
We pray that the incidence of COVID-19 continues to improve in the coming weeks and months. It is important that we each remain diligent in doing our part to reduce the spread of this disease.
Please know we are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our students and staff and we truly look forward to welcoming everyone back on September 8.
Full Day Return to School in September
Even though it seems the Summer break just started, September is quickly approaching!
As you may have heard, Ontario’s Minister of Education has announced strategies to ensure schools are healthy and safe this Fall.
What this means for the LDCSB:
Elementary Schools: elementary students will be returning to a ‘normal’ schedule: going to school five days a week, while following the latest recommended health and safety measures (i.e. self-screening, adapted school environments, hand hygiene, and distancing). Masks will be required for school staff and some students (see below).
Secondary Schools: secondary students will be assigned to one of two cohorts. During the week, each cohort will spend some days learning in school and some days learning at home. In addition, the school year will move to a four-semester (quadmester) system. For example, for the Fall semester, students will take Period 1 and 2 classes for the first half of a normal semester (i.e. until mid-November) and Periods 3 and 4 classes for the second half of the semester. Masks will be required for all school staff and students (see below).
At Home Learning: Families will have the option for students to learn at home if they choose. We understand this is a personal choice that individual families will have to make based on their circumstances. Please note that students will be responsible for all required course work and assignments whether in class or at home. We will be sending out a survey shortly through School Messenger regarding in-person attendance to assist in our planning for the Fall.
Masks: Students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school. Students in Kindergarten-Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks in common spaces. Teachers and other school staff will be required to wear medical masks.
Revised Calendar: The draft 2020-21 calendar has been revised, with the November PA Day moving to September 1. Calendars will be published soon on our website and we’ll send another update with the links.
More information to come. Stay tuned and stay safe!
Health Related Resources
Several COVID-19 resources and documents are available on the MLHU website.
Provincial and national COVID-19 case counts and other updates are available from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.
The Government of Canada has a list of COVID-19-affected countries, all of which have an associated coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Travel Health Notice. The list of affected countries and travel health notices will be updated as required as the outbreak evolves.