York Region District School Board Confirms To Stagger Back To School

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TORONTO – The York Region District School Board has informed parents that it plans to stagger the start of the school year. “We are planning a phased entry for elementary and secondary schools to help students learn routines and become familiar with their new learning environments,” YRDSB Director of Education Louise Sirisko said on Wednesday, in a letter to parents.

Details of the plan have not been released, but Sirisko said it will be available soon.

The news comes a day after Education Minister Stephen Lecce authorized school boards to stagger back to school within the first two weeks of school.

In the letter, Sirisko also said that the ministry confirmed it can continue the board’s adaptive learning model for high school students.

In their model, students who have chosen to go to school in person will be in work-study.

“On school days, students will have 150 minutes of classroom learning at the start of the school day in a course, and three 50-minute online learning periods in the afternoon. Said Sirisko.

On days when they are not physically going to school, students will engage in asynchronous and / or synchronous learning in the morning and then engage in live online learning with the whole class in the afternoon .

The principal said the model maximizes safety and the teaching is paced to give more time for learning.

“It emphasizes student safety and meets the requirements that students stay in cohorts of 15 and that direct and indirect student contact be limited to 100.

“It also provides additional learning time during the semester, including classroom learning, compared to other models and allows for a smoother transition to a conventional learning model if public health determines that. it’s safe to do so, ”Sirisko told me.

The board is finalizing staff training on security protocols, including masking.

“We are awaiting the provincial protocol on the epidemic and we will ensure that our local plans maintain these expectations,” said the director.

Sirisko said the board continues to look for ways to reduce class sizes for face-to-face learning in elementary schools to ensure physical distance is respected.

Parents, education unions and school boards have criticized the province for the lack of physical distance in elementary schools.

In response, the ministry allowed school boards to dip into their reserve funds to hire more teachers and to rent spaces to ensure proper physical distancing protocols are followed.

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