Elementary (Kindergarten to Grade 8): Elementary schools will re-open in September with conventional in-person delivery of teaching and instruction, with enhanced health and safety protocols. Elementary students will attend school five days per week, remaining in one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch. Cohorted classes will stay together as much as possible with one teacher
Secondary (Grade 9 – 12): O’Gorman High School will be re-opening in September with a conventional, in-person, five days per week schedule with enhanced health and safety protocols. The high school will be adopting a timetabling method that emphasizes cohorting of students as much as possible to limit the number of student-to-student contacts.
Families have made the decision to send their child back to school or to enroll their child in a virtual learning program. For those families who have opted into the virtual program, there will be designated times throughout the school year for a child to return to the classroom setting. The same is true for students in a conventional classroom who wish to opt into the virtual program. The transition dates are as follows:
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Monday, November 9, 2020
Monday, February 1, 2021
Monday, March 22, 2021
All requests must be made to the respective School Principals at least one week in advance of these designated dates. This is necessary to ensure that the schools can adequately and properly adjust classroom structures and cohort groupings.
To reduce waste and to maintain safety, students and staff will not dispose of any of their lunch items at school. This means that all wrappers, packages, and uneaten food will return home in student lunch kits each day. This will help to free up time for our custodial staff to focus on cleaning high touch surfaces to promote a safe and healthy school environment.
The Ministry of Education has released an operational guidance document for COVID-19 management in schools. The document provides insight into the strategies that will be implemented for a confirmed COVID-19 case in the school. You can view the full document here: Operational guidance: COVID-19 management in schools. There is excellent information available to help all of us better understand the processes that will be used to support the safe reopening of schools.
Every school will have a designated isolation room that will be used as a safe place for sick or symptomatic students to stay until an adult can pick up the student from school. It is critical that parents/guardians can be reached during the school day and that arrangements can be made in these instances for the child be picked up and brought home. There are specific protocols and expectations for staff and parents/guardians to follow in all such situations.
We understand the news of a return to school may cause some students to experience stress and anxiety as they prepare to transition back to school. Additional resources are available to our students and their families on our board website: https://www.ncdsb.on.ca/mental-health-resources.php
Our school based staff will be reaching out to our families in advance of the first day of school for students. This will be an opportunity for staff to share important information about staggered entry to school, to answer any questions that you may have, and just take a step forward in building important home/school relationships. We will review our plan and strategies every day and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that we are taking every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. We will continue to update our parents and guardians via email, blackboard connect messages and post information to our website and social media platforms.
The entire NCDSB community is excited to welcome our students back to school. We have missed seeing our schools filled with the joy of learning and the deep curiosity that our students bring into our classrooms and playgrounds. These past few months have been challenging for all of us, and we look ahead to the new school year with hope and optimism. We are ready and eager to continue our journey in Catholic Education, as we live out our vision of being faithful and thoughtful learners, working together to transform the world.
Tricia Stefanic Weltz,
Director of Education