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Return to School Update

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB

Dear TDSB Families,
 

As the start of the 2021-22 school year approaches, the safe return to classrooms is a priority for everyone. Equally as important is a renewed focus on student learning and on supporting the mental health and well-being of all learners. TDSB-specific plans are underway for school reopening on Thursday, September 9 and we wanted to provide an update with the latest developments. 
TDSB Practices and Protocols
While we continue to work on developing TDSB-specific guidelines, below are the most recent decisions, some of which go beyond Ministry guidelines, in a number of areas. Additional
elementary and secondary information is available on the website.

  • Masks: Use of face masks by all students (JK to Grade 12) is required.
     
  • Lunch: Elementary students will continue to eat in classrooms. Secondary lunch protocols will be determined, based on the total enrolment, school layout and size of space.
     
  • Recess: Elementary students will continue to take breaks within cohorts with physical distancing.
     
  • Assemblies: Virtual assemblies will continue. Assemblies will be allowed outdoors (weather permitting) with distancing between cohorts.
     
  • Music: Vocal music will be allowed indoors with masks and outdoors without masks. Physical distancing will be required and cohorts maintained. Protocols are being developed for the use of musical instruments.
     
  • Transportation: Continue with guidelines established last year, including: masking, assigned seating and cleaning, which follows Ministry guidance. Transportation to be phased-in: Special Education students (excluding gifted) begin September 9 and all other students begin September 15.

The implementation measures used successfully last year such as directional signs, cleaning routines and the use of HEPA filters in every classroom will augment the health and safety protocols outlined above. All health and safety protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate in consultation with Toronto Public Health. Visit the TDSB website for more information about ventilation in TDSB schools and other health and safety measures.
Learning Models
In elementary, there will be in-person classes and dedicated virtual learning classes. Where numbers of virtual learners are low in an individual school, virtual classrooms will be created from a cluster of schools in the Learning Network/Learning Centre. Simultaneous learning (educators teaching lessons for both in-person and virtual students at the same time) may be used as a solution in exceptional circumstances to meet student needs.
In secondary, there will be in-person classes, dedicated virtual learning classes, and classrooms with simultaneous learning (educators teaching lessons for both in-person and virtual students at the same time) to maintain students’ access to programming and connection to school communities.

Ministry of Education Vaccination Policy

The Government of Ontario recently announced that they will introduce a vaccination disclosure policy for all school board employees, including those at the TDSB, for the 2021-22 school year, with rapid antigen testing requirements for staff who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination. We are awaiting final details and will share more information with staff in the upcoming days.

Selection Form for In-Person or Virtual Learning
While we continue to work to determine final numbers for in-person or virtual learning, the majority of students have opted for in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year. For those who selected virtual learning, families will receive more information from their home school prior to September 9.

For any questions, please contact your child’s school when it reopens - elementary (August 30) and secondary (August 23). It is our priority to open schools on September 9 and in order to complete staffing and form classes, requests for a switch between in-person and virtual learning will not be possible.

We look forward to welcoming all students back in-person and virtually next month. In the meantime, we will continue to keep families updated on any new developments.

Thank you.

 

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