KAWARTHA LAKES-The Trillium Lakelands District School Board has released its back to school plan for 2021/22.
Officials say all Grade 1 to 12 students will attend every day beginning September 7, 2021. (excluding weekends and holidays)Student learning will be offered five days a week in a school setting or at home with online remote learning.
Families chose between in-person or at-home learning in the spring.
- Enhanced protocols, including cleaning of high touch surfaces, regular hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and, in some circumstances, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be in place.
- All students, Kindergarten to Grade 12, must wear a non-medical face-covering/mask while in the school building and on the school bus.
- Cohorts (groupings of students) will be in place for elementary schools, most often by classes, but also by bus route (where applicable). Classes will move as a cohort to and from their classroom, ensuring as much physical distancing as possible. Students will be expected to line up outside and/or move in hallways ensuring physical distancing from other cohorts and from each other where possible.
- Elementary students will follow a traditional school day (300 minutes), with nutrition breaks, recesses, and a regular school bell schedule. There will not be a rotation of classes in Kindergarten to Grade 8 classes to ensure students remain with one teacher to the greatest extent possible. Learning will take place outdoors whenever possible and while weather permits. Students do not need to wear masks outside during recess, breaks, and lunch time. Students needing a mask break while inside the building will be given a designated space that maintains a minimum 6 ft distance from others.
- In secondary schools, students will follow a quadmester schedule working on two courses at a time for half a day each.
- Study hall or instructional support time will also be scheduled during the school day for independent student work on course materials.
Students with special needs:
- Schools will ensure that plans are in place for a successful transition back to school for students with special needs. Whether the parent/ guardian has selected in-school or at-home remote online learning, programming will be adapted and considered. Individualized programming documented in the student’s individual education plan (IEP) will be supported in all school programming.
- At times, staff will need to be in close contact with students. This is particularly true for staff supporting students with special needs, where the nature of the student’s disability requires IEP programming and accommodations involving close proximity. Where close proximity is necessary, staff will be wearing PPE, which may include a gown, gloves, a face-covering/ mask, and face shield.
- All Senior Kindergarten (SK) students will begin attending school the first day, September 7, where teachers will set routines and structures.
- There will be a staggered entry for all Junior Kindergarten (JK) students, including those returning to or starting school in September 2021. This will take place over a one week period (September 7 to 10) with the first full cohort day being September 13.
- School administration, along with appropriate Kindergarten staff, will stagger the schedule of the Junior Kindergarten students on each of September 8, 9, and 10. All JK and SK students will attend school on September 13.
- Schools will communicate the first week schedule with the families of JK students, before school begins so that parents/guardians can plan accordingly.
- Each day, parents/guardians are to use the Ministry of Health’s Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment tool to assess their child’s health before they go to school.
- Students who are showing any symptoms are to stay at home.
- All secondary students will be required to self-screen each morning, and pass the Ministry of Health’s Ontario COVID-19 self assessment tool prior to attending school.
- All staff and any essential visitors must also complete a self-assessment each day before entering the school building.
At-home remote online learning:
- Classroom teachers will be contacting families before September 7 to share information.
- At-home remote learning will be for a 300-minute learning day, which will include a blend of synchronous and independent learning which comprises a 300-minute learning day.
- Secondary school students will adopt a quadmester schedule, allowing students to concentrate on two credits at a time, with one course in the morning and one course in the afternoon.
- Students are expected to be available and in attendance for all synchronous learning activities.
- Teachers will share a regular timetable of synchronous activities with students and families. The expectation for synchronous learning is 180 minutes per day for Kindergarten students, 225 minutes per day for Grades 1 to 8, and 225 minutes per day for Grades 9 to 12.
- Synchronous learning includes:
- Whole group instruction;
- Live opportunities to interact and discuss materials;
- Recorded lessons with live follow up (which also may be recorded);
- Live small group instruction or support;
- Telephone conversations with one or multiple students and/or parents/guardians when developmentally appropriate;
- Students working independently and in small groups, while engaged in a virtual classroom with the teacher overseeing their learning and available for questions.
As students return to learning in September, you may have concerns about how they are coping with the reopening of schools, or how they are managing the potential stresses and anxiety that may be associated with COVID-19.
- Community agencies and support are available to help, and information may be found on the TLDSB Mental Health and Well-being webpage.
- Other resources such as Wellness Together Canada, ConnexOntario, or School Mental Health Ontario may also help as you respond to your child’s and family needs.
- There are also counselling supports available to students at your child’s school via the student services/attendance counsellor.
- If you are concerned about your child or feel they may need additional mental health support at school, please contact the school principal or vice-principal to discuss a referral.