As you know, the first day of instruction for students was originally planned for Tuesday, September 7, 2021. We have made the decision to implement a gradual return to school for all students learning in-person.
In both our elementary and secondary schools, there will be a greater number of students in our school buildings this coming year. Most students have not been in an in-person school environment since April 2021 and even longer for students who attended school remotely last year.
Gradual Return to School for All Students Learning In-Person
We will be easing into the new school year by welcoming students back to school in smaller groups, on September 7 and 8.
The following schedule will apply for all schools:
|Tuesday, September 7th||All in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school. At secondary, all other students (remote learners AND in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will be learning remotely from home).|
|Wednesday, September 8th||All in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school. At secondary, all other students (remote learners AND in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will be learning remotely from home).|
|Thursday, September 9th||ALL in-person learners (Grades 1 – 8, 9 – 12) will come to school.|
Virtual Elementary School
The above schedule does not apply to students learning remotely. All classes in the Virtual Catholic Elementary School will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
Students in the self-contained Life Skills, Community Living, Essential Skills, and Structured Teaching special education classes will begin in-person instruction on Tuesday, September 7 and attend school daily thereafter.
At the elementary level, students with special education needs who are not in self-contained classes will attend school on the designated alpha day with their peers. Parents of students with special education needs who would benefit from daily attendance, and/or additional time to support their transition back to school, will be asked to contact the School Principal.
A gradual return to school for our students will help to provide a calm environment that will allow everyone to review new and existing health and safety routines at school and practice our entry and dismissal procedures in smaller groups.
Daily Confirmation of COVID-19 Self-Screening
As you know, the Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID-19 self-screening for all students attending school in person. This will be in place for the first two weeks of the school year, unless otherwise directed by the Ministry of Education.
The following are the instructions have been sent in an email to parents:
- Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
- Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher in one of the following formats:
- Email results to classroom teacher;
- Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;
- Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR
- Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, which students will bring back and forth to school each day.
Updates and Additional Information
We will continue to share information and updates with staff directly via email. Updates will also be posted on our website at: www.hcdsb.org/return-to-school/.
Our goals as we transition back to the new school year will be focused on:
- Having protocols in place to ensure students and staff remain healthy and safe.
- Assessing student learning gaps and developing plans to provide appropriate intervention, where needed.
- Re-engaging the school community through the reintroduction of co-curricular activities, school social events and home/school/parish initiatives.
- An ongoing focus on mental health supports for students and staff returning to in-person learning and those who continue to learn from home.
- The continuation of online/distance learning opportunities to supplement in-school instruction.