Toronto District School Board
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Secondary School

Instructional Model for In-Person and Virtual LearningThere will be in-person classes, dedicated virtual learning classes, and classrooms with simultaneous learning to maintain access to desired programming and connection to school communities.

Class Size: Classroom caps and system averages are being honoured. All classes will be staffed on the caps. When selection form results are finalized, approaches to differentiated staffing will be considered.

SwitchingThere is one opportunity for students to switch between in-person and virtual learning for Semester 2 in February 2022 (timeline to submit requests to be determined).

Modified Semester

For the 2021-22 school year, all TDSB secondary schools will be following a modified semester. The school year calendar and daily schedule has now been finalized.

In this model, students will take four courses, two each during alternating weeks. They will continue to be cohorted but will now be part of four cohorts (one for each class). Toronto Public Health supports this model as the 48 hour gap between the weekly cohorts will limit any potential spread of COVID-19 as 48 hours is the time between exposure to first symptoms of a number of the variants of concern. Class sizes will return to the regular class sizes (dependent on grade, level and subject) and all learning will either be fully in-person, or fully virtual, depending on the selection you make in August.

The modified semester offers more face-to-face time between students and teachers, encouraging an opportunity to build relationships and support an increased sense of belonging in class. It also offers a slower pace by learning over a longer period of time than the quadmester model.

Adult Day Schools will follow the same schedule as the 2020-21 school year for the first quadmester and will make adjustments accordingly throughout the year. Consideration was also given to schools with secondary Intensive Support Programs (ISP). Secondary congregated sites will continue to offer the semester model. Secondary schools with Developmental Disability (DD) programs will follow a dual-track (a Semester model for students in DD programs and a Modified Semester). Students in all other secondary ISPs which include: Mild Intellectual Disability (MID), Learning Disability (LD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH), Physical Disability (PD) and Gifted, who are typically timetabled into Special Education classes and regular school courses will follow the modified semester model for 2021-22 to ensure ongoing integration. 

Practices and Protocols 

Below are the TDSB-specific guidelines, practices and protocols for a number of areas:

MasksAll students, Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, are required to wear a mask indoors at school. During breaks, if they are unable to maintain physical distance from others outdoors, it is advised that they keep their mask on.  If this is not possible, then masks breaks can be taken outside while students are with members of their cohort. 

Daily Screening: The TDSB will require all students and staff to conduct a daily self-assessment and stay home if they have symptoms or other COVID-19 exposure risk factors.

LunchSecondary lunch protocols will be determined, based on school layout and size of space.

Assemblies: Virtual assemblies will continue. Assemblies will be allowed outdoors (weather permitting) with distancing between cohorts.

Extra-curricular ActivitiesExtra-curricular activities may gradually and responsibly return later in the fall. When they begin, secondary students may participate in a maximum of two indoor in-person activities in the fall, outdoor activities with appropriate physical distancing, and any number virtually. This number may increase when it is safe to do so and procedures are well established. There will be a phased approach to Community Use of Schools. 

Music: Vocal music will be allowed indoors with masks and outdoors without masks. Physical distancing will be required and cohorts maintained. A plan has been developed to support the safe and gradual re-entry of wind instruments in elementary and secondary schools. The re-entry plan has been approved by Toronto Public Health (TPH) and includes specific guidance in a number of areas. Schools will share further information with students and families once school-specific plans are established.

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.

Nutrition Programs and Food Services: Approved nutrition programs and cafeteria services will be permitted and phased in to allow school routines to be established. Nutrition and cafeteria services will follow appropriate food handling procedures and public health guidance. Special event days (e.g. pizza days) will be phased in later in the school year.

School Councils: As there are no evening events in schools at this time, and there is no non-essential visiting during the day, School Council meetings are to be virtual to begin the year with a review of this practice as the year progresses.

Specialized Programs (French Immersion, IB, TOPS, Arts, AP, etc.)

In-Person LearningStudents will be welcomed back into Specialized Programs with the intent of supporting continued progress in their chosen program this school year.

Virtual LearningIf a school has sufficient requests to create viable Virtual Learning classrooms (FI, IB, AP, Alternative, Arts, etc.), they will be able to create a Virtual Class with a dedicated teacher.

SimultaneousIf Virtual Learning classes are not possible, Simultaneous Learning allows students to continue in their program of choice with peers.

Special Education

We are committed to inclusion and ensuring students are supported in regular classrooms with appropriate special education services at their home school. We also recognize that some students with unique strengths and areas for growth may require more specialized or intensive support programs.   

In-Person Learning:  Students receiving special education program and/or services in regular classes or students in an Intensive Support Program (ISP) will continue to be supported by classroom teachers, special education teachers, support staff, and itinerant special education staff.

Virtual Learning:  Students in Regular class who require Resource support (e.g., Indirect Support, Resource Assistance, Withdrawal Assistance) and are learning virtually, will access the Resource teacher attached to the school of the virtual teacher. Secondary ISPs (including Gifted) will proceed with simultaneous learning for students who have selected virtual learning and remain connected to their homeschool.

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