Peel District School Board says parents have 10 days to decide whether or not to send their children back to class
Published August 7, 2020 at 7:58 pm
The Peel District School Board (PDSB)–which operates schools in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon–recently announced that parents and guardians have until Aug. 17, 2020, to confirm their child(ren)’s return to school plans.
That said, parents can make last-minute changes if necessary.
Last week, the Ministry of Education announced reopening plans for schools across Ontario, informing school boards and residents that elementary school students will resume full-time learning in September. Secondary school students in the GTHA will receive a mix of in-person and online instruction.
The province said that parents and guardians can opt for full-time distance learning in the event that they do not want to send their child or children back to class in the fall.
On Aug. 7, the PDSB said it’s collecting information from families regarding their plans to return to school through an Intention to Return to School Form.
The board says an email has been sent directly to every student’s board-provided Gmail account. Families who registered a child for the first time before June 30 will receive a separate email to the email address they provided on the registration form with instructions on how to access their child’s Gmail account.
The board says all parents and guardians must confirm their child’s return-to-school plans by noon on Aug. 17, 2020. They must indicate if their child will return to in-person learning in the school building or if they will participate in distance learning only.
The board says its reopening plans will include enhanced health and safety protocols based on recommendations from public health agencies. The plans will be shared with staff, students and families in mid-August.
The plans will be made available at www.peelschools.org/reopening and will include detailed information on:
- enhanced health and safety measures, including screening and self-assessment, hand hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, cohorting (i.e. grouping students and staff), physical distancing, sharing of classroom materials and room set-up
- protocols for cleaning high-touch surfaces, student classrooms/portables, washrooms, equipment, etc., as well as cleaning between cohort use in secondary
- mental health supports and resources
- in-class and distance learning expectations, including subject-specific considerations
- assessment, evaluation and reporting
- supports for students with Special Education needs and the impact on programming, including the use of sensory equipment, Plans of Care and working with community partners
- arrival/departure, entry/exit and Main Office protocols
- lunch and nutrition breaks
- extracurricular activities and field trips
- mental health supports and resources
- technology supports
- transportation, including loading/unloading protocols, vehicle cleaning and route planning
- full-time, before- and after-school child care
- Adult and Continuing Education, including, but not limited to, impacts on credit/pre-credit programs, Night School, International Languages, alternative programs, Co-Operative Education, Dual Credit and Specialist High Skills Major programs
The board says that students in Kindergarten through to Grade 3 will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks in indoor spaces. Students in Grade 4 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes.
The board also says that all school-based staff will be required to wear masks. Medical masks and eye protection, such as face shields, will be provided for all teachers and other school board staff. School-based staff who are regularly in close contact with students will be provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment.
Exemptions will be made for staff and students with certain medical conditions.
As for whether or not parents can change their minds, the board says the form for elementary students (K-8) will be open from Aug. 7 to 17 and can be edited during that period of time only.
After Aug. 17, the families of elementary students who want to switch learning models must contact the school principal directly.
Secondary students (9-12) may switch learning models up until the end of the first week of school. The form will be open from Aug. 7 to 17 and can be edited during that period of time only. After Aug. 17 and before Sept. 11, 2020, families must speak with the school principal to switch learning models.
After the first week of school, secondary students will remain in the learning model that they selected for the duration of the quadmester.
Parents who wish to opt-out of busing can fill out this form.
The board says that students who opt out of in-person learning will not be able to continue in the Regional Learning Choice Program. However, if the student decides to return to in-person learning at a later point in time, they will be able to join the program again.
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