UPDATE: A look at how Mississauga schools could function in September
The Peel District School Board (PDSB)—which operates public schools in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon—recently provided students and families with an update on how schools could function come September.
The board says that the Ministry of Education has directed Ontario school boards to prepare three reopening plans, including a full-time return to in-person learning, a hybrid model that combines in-person and distance learning and distance learning for all students if schools are closed.
"We understand it is the government’s preference to see all students back in class full-time, but this has not been finalized. The Ministry has indicated that student attendance for in-person learning will be voluntary and that students who do not attend in person will be engaged in distance learning," the board said in a letter to families.
The PDSB says that by mid-August, families will be asked to pre-register students and indicate their intention of having their child(ren) return to school or participate in distance learning, as well as their transportation (busing) intentions.
The board says this will help it plan bus routes and develop student cohorts.
As for when the board will formally announce its reopening plan, all school boards are expected to present their plans to the Ministry of Education beginning the week of July 27, 2020.
The board says it will make the final details of its reopening plan known once it receives approval from the province.
The board says approved reopening plans will include information on:
- enhanced health and safety measures, including screening and self-assessment, hand hygiene, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, cohorting, physical distancing, sharing of classroom materials and room set-up
- protocols for cleaning high-touch surfaces, student classrooms/portables, washrooms, alternative learning environments, equipment, etc., as well as cleaning between cohort use
- mental health supports and resources
- in-class and distance learning expectations, including subject-specific considerations
- 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
- assessment, evaluation and reporting
- 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
Families can expect to receive details about their child(ren)’s elementary and secondary school schedule(s) by Aug. 28, 2020.
The board says school days may need to be shortened to allow for distance learning for students whose families choose not to send them to school in person, and for teachers to have some prep time.
How much of the day will need to be shortened has not yet been finalized.
What will students’ schedules/timetables look like in a hybrid model?
Elementary (not confirmed)
Students in Special Education classes, excluding those listed in the chart below, will attend school every day. The board says other students would attend in person on alternate days/weeks and participate in distance learning when not physically attending. Students would be placed into a cohort of up to 15 students per class or course, per day.
For example, students in cohort A would attend school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday one week, and Monday and Tuesday the following week, and then repeat this. Students in cohort B would attend school Thursday and Friday one week, and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the following week, and then repeat this.
Secondary (not confirmed)
Students in Special Education classes, excluding those listed in the chart below, will attend school every day. Much like with elementary schools, other students would attend in person on alternate days/weeks and participate in distance learning when not physically attending. Students would be placed into a cohort of up to 15 students per class or course per day.
The board says it's exploring a quadmester model if boards are directed to use the hybrid model. This would see the semester divided in half, with students attending school for two courses at a time. Students would be divided into Course 1 (Cohort A or B) and Course 2 (Cohort C or D).
In the middle of the semester, they would be granted credits for two courses and then start the next two courses.
The board says in this model, students in Cohort A would have Course 1 on Mondays, and Course 2 on Tuesdays, and alternate courses on alternating Wednesdays. Students in Cohort B would have Course 1 on Thursdays and Course 2 on Fridays, and alternate courses on alternating Wednesdays. In this model, students will have Period 1 or 2 once every 4 weeks on Wednesday.
The board says that if it starts the school year with a hybrid model that follows quadmesters, it would continue with quadmesters for the remainder of the semester, even if school resumes full-time.
As far as transportation goes, the board says Student Transportation of Peel Region (STOPR) will assign students to cohorts for each school in order to plan school bus routes safely and efficiently.
Families will not likely receive bus route information until the week before school starts.
Health and safety expectations and cleaning protocols for buses will be shared before schools reopen.
The board says full-day child care programs will continue to operate per current practice.
The board says three professional learning days will be held prior to Labour Day, meaning the school year will begin on Sept. 8.
"Once the Ministry of Education has approved the Peel board’s reopening plans, we will share them with you as soon as possible so that you can begin your planning," the board said.
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