Thank you for submitting your registration form for reopening. If you have not submitted your form, school staff will be reaching out to you to confirm your child’s classroom placement. We are analyzing the choices of families and planning for online and in-person school attendance. As our plans become finalized, we will communicate them to you. We are looking at all ways to reduce class sizes as much as possible for in-person learning in elementary schools and will be maximizing physical distancing in all classrooms. Student and staff safety is our top priority.
This week, we received confirmation from the Ministry of Education that we could proceed with our adaptive learning model for secondary school students. Our model complies with the requirements set out by the Ministry.
The timetables previously shared with families will not change, other than small timing adjustments which have been updated in our Secondary Programs: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment section of the website. Students who have opted to attend school in person can expect to attend school on alternating days. On the days they attend school, students will have 150 minutes of in-class learning at the start of the school day in one course, and three 50-minute periods of online learning in the afternoon. This scheduling model of in-person and online learning time is aligned with most other adaptive school boards in the province. Each afternoon learning period will include live, online (synchronous) learning with their teacher.
The Board is also introducing an optional study hall for students on the days they are attending school in person. The study hall will offer a space in the school where students may attend their online periods to access the school wifi. Students must exercise physical distancing and will be supervised by a member of staff. Students must arrange their own transportation home after leaving the study hall and will be expected to leave school promptly at the end of the school day. The Board will also continue to support students who require access to technology and data by providing equipment.
Student and staff safety remains our top priority. The Board reviewed a number of different adaptive secondary learning models. The four course model chosen minimizes contact between cohorts of students as they will be attending class with only one cohort each day during a rotation. It focuses on student safety and meets the requirements that students remain in cohorts of 15 and that direct and indirect contact of students is limited to 100. It also provides additional learning time over the course of the semester, including in-class learning, compared to some other models and allows for a more smooth transition to a conventional learning model if public health determines it is safe to do so. The four course model maximizes safety and teaching is paced to provide more time for learning and assessment.
In addition, we are finalizing staff training on safety protocols, including masking. We are awaiting the provincial outbreak protocol and will be ensuring that our local plans uphold these expectations. We have developed resources for educators that focus on student well-being and promote discussion and understanding of how the pandemic has affected students and families differently. We recognize that the pandemic has significantly affected all families, students and staff. Our reopening is designed to provide routine, reestablish classrooms as places where caring adults can nurture positive and trusting relationships with your children and have them learn to their greatest potential.
We will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks ahead to keep you well informed. We are planning a staggered entry for elementary and secondary schools to help students learn routines and become familiar with their new learning environments. More information about our plan for a staggered entry will be available soon. We are excited to welcome your child(ren) back to school. We have missed them and I know they are eager to return too, whether that be online or in class. The safety of our students and staff will continue to be at the centre of our decision making, as is our relationship with you.
Louise Sirisko, Director of Education