The Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) has laid out back to school plans that reflect changes needed during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
One of the key differences to years at the ALCDSB schools will be staggered entries. All Kindergarten students will have staggered entries into schools, and staggered entries will also be considered by elementary schools. The board says individual schools will be contacting parents for specific dates.
All secondary schools will be returning full-time in-class, but not all ALCDSB secondary students will be starting in-class on Sept. 3.
- Thursday, Sept. 3, will be reserved for in-class study for Grade 9 students, while Grades 10 through 12 students will have alternative programming
- Friday, Sept. 4, will be reserved for in-class study for Grades 9 and 10, while Grades 11 through 12 will have alternative programming
- Tuesday, Sept. 8, students from Grades 9 through 12 will all be in class
The board noted that Grade 7 through 12 schools may require a different schedule — individual schools will send out information closer to the start date.
Quadmestering will be implemented for secondary schools. Students will study two courses at a time over a course of 45 days before switching to two other courses.
Because the province has allowed the options for all parents to choose remote learning rather than in-person classes, the board wanted to note that remote learning will not be the same as in-class learning.
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“Remote learning will be delivered through asynchronous (independent learning with online resources) and some synchronous learning (teacher-led learning by a qualified teacher),” the board wrote.
The province has also allowed parents to request a change from in-class to remote learning at any time during the school year, but ALCDSB said it may not be able to accommodate an immediate transition, and asks for advance notice should a change be required.
The school board will also be implementing more safety measures to help safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory masking for students between Grades 4 and 12; strongly encouraging masking for students Grade 3 and under; asking parents to screen their children before going to school; and asking parents not to bring their children in while they are ill.
Any student who shows signs of illness will be isolated with supervision and PPE before a parent or guardian can pick them up.
In the case of a positive case at any school, the board said public health will take over for contact tracing and outbreak management.
ALCDSB said in order to allow for students to return to school, school buses will be running at near capacity, with added cleaning measures, masking for older students and encouraged masking for younger students.
Although licensed child care centres will be running at near capacity, sports programs will be cancelled, lockers will not be given out at the beginning of the year, and the board is asking students to bring their own technological devices if possible.
In-person masses, school assemblies and other school-wide events will be cancelled until further notice.
Recess will be staggered at different schools depending on the size of classrooms and outdoor spaces. Students and staff will have to adhere to physical distancing, and play structures will be closed until further notice.
For more details about the school board’s back to school plans, visit the board’s website.
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