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Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Health a​nd Safety Protocols
Updated November 13, 2020 
          What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 at my child’s school?
          What do I do if my child has a symptom of COVID-19?
Updated November 12, 2020
What will happen if​ someone in my child’s class tests positive for COVID-19?
What if someone at the school but not in my child’s class tests positive? On the bus? In before and after care?
What happens if a child or staff member is in contact with someone with COVID-19 outside the school, like a family member?
When will parents be notified if someone in my child’s class/school has COVID-19?
If my child has allergies or a cold, do they have to stay home?
If there is a need for students to self-isolate, can they join an online learning class or course(s)?
Will extra cleaning measures be put in place if someone tests positive for COVID-19?​
Updated August 7, 2020
How are you ensuring the health and safety of students at school?
How will physical distancing be implemented in schools?
How will you ensure health and safety protocols are followed with washroom use in school?
Will students go through screening measures when arriving at schools?
Will students and staff wear masks?
Will there be opportunities for students to take their masks off during the day?
What happens if my child forgets, loses or damages their mask at school?
What measures are in place to ensure schools are properly cleaned and disinfected?
How can families support efforts to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in schools?
What will happen if my child gets sick at school?
Lea​rning Models
Updated October 8, 2020
Can my child switch between online and learning at school at any time in the school year?
Updated October 5​, 2020​
Ca​​n I request my child be exempt from the minimum requirements for online learning?​
Updated August 12, 2020
Will families continue to be connected to their homeschool if they choose the fully online option?
Updated August 12, 2020
What will online learning look like if my child chooses the option to learn fully from home?
Why are class sizes so large, given the health and safety concerns?
Updated August 7, 2020
What plan did YRDSB select for the return to school in 2020?
What will online learning look like?
What will in-class learning look like?
What can I expect in Kindergarten?
Will there be before and after school care available?
Secon​dary School
Updated October 8, 2020
Will students participating in online learning be equally evaluated as in-class students?
Will exa​ms still take place?
Do students still need volunteer hours to graduate, and if so, how can they achieve this?
Updated August 19, 2020
What does in-person ​secondary school look like?
Why did YRDSB choose the adaptive model?
How much time will students be scheduled to attend in school?
What is a study hall?
Can I ask questions during the study hall?
Can I attend study hall on my off-day?​
Will instruction be provided during study hall?
Updated August 12, 2020
What will online learning look like if my child chooses the option to learn fully from home?
Will all courses be offered in the online learning model?
What specialty courses will be offered  in the secondary fully online learning environment?
Updated August 7, 2020
What plan did YRDSB select for the return to school in 2020?
Why did YRDSB choose the adaptive model?
I have heard other boards are using a “quadmester” model for secondary schools, what is the difference between YRDSB’s model and quadmester?
In secondary schools, will siblings be cohorted on the same schedule?
Student S​​upports
Updated August 12, 2020
These new conditions may make my child feel anxious. How are you supporting students transitioning back to school?
How will students with special education needs be supported?
My child has special education needs. How will their learning be supported?
How will you help students catch up academically?
​​Transportatio​n and Busing
Is busing st​ill available?

 

Health and Safety Protocols 

Updated November 13, 2020


What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 at my child’s school? 

If someone in your child’s class, bus, school, or before/aftercare program tests positive for COVID-19, Public Health will intervene. There are many of variables that can influence whether or not your child is at risk of contracting COVID-19. Public Health will assess the situation and depending on your child’s risk you may be asked to watch for symptoms while your child continues to attend school or watch for symptoms while your child stays home for 14 days. For more details, see: If COVID-19 Is Detected In A School, What Does Public Health Do?



What do I do if my child has a symptom of COVID-19?

If a child has new, worsening or unexplained symptoms​ related to COVID-19, keep your child home from school or care. Use the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool​ to determine how long your child should stay home from school and whether or not they require assessment and testing at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre.


Updated November 12, 2020

What will happen if someone in my​​ child’s class tests positive for COVID-19?

Public health are notified of any positive cases and will notify families of an exposure and provide information about next steps, as appropriate based on the nature of exposure and contact.


What if someone at the school but not in my child’s class tests positive? On the bus? In before and after car​e?

Public health will assess the nature of contact between the student who has tested positive and other students. Families will be notified of a case in the school or on their child’s bus or before and after care program, and next steps will be shared, as appropriate based on the nature of exposure and contact.


What happens if a ​child or staff member is in contact with someone with COVID-19 outside the school, like a family member?

This is part of the screening questions parents/guardians and staff members are required to review each day. If a child or staff member has been in close contact with a confirmed case or has returned from international travel, public health would be in touch with next steps, including 14-day quarantine.

 

When will parents be notified if someone in my child’s class​/school has COVID-19?

Parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible by public health if there is a positive case in their child’s class. This would likely occur the same day that a positive case is identified. If there is a case in the school but not your child’s class, public health will work with the school to notify parents/guardians.​​


If my child has allergies ​or a cold, do they have to stay home?

If your child is sick, they should stay home. On a daily basis, parents/guardians of students under 18, students over 18 and staff members are responsible for reviewing and adhering to the COVID-19 self-assessment instructions provided by York Region Public Health.

If a child has an ongoing chronic condition, such as allergies, with similar symptoms, they would be allowed to come to school. However, if their symptoms change or worsen, they will be asked to stay home, or isolated and parents/guardians contacted.


If there is​ a need for students to self-isolate, can they join an online learning class or course(s)?

If a child is required to self-isolate, their learning would continue to be supported by their in-class teacher.

 

Will extra clea​ning measures be put in place if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Yes. There are clear protocols that have been reviewed by public health. Additional cleaning measures would be in place in the isolation room, the child’s class and any other affected areas.


If there is a need for students to self-isolate, can they join an online learning ​class​ or course(s)?

If a child is required to self-isolate, their learning would continue to be supported by their in-class teacher.

Will extra cleaning measures be put in place if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Yes. There are clear protocols that have been reviewed by public health. Additional cleaning measures would be in place in the isolation room, the child’s class and any other affected areas.

Updated August 7, 2020

How are you ensuring the health and safety of students at school?

We continue to work closely with public health authorities and follow their direction and advice. We are putting a number of health and safety measures in place in our schools to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of our students, staff members and families. This includes:

  • Face coverings (PPE) - Parents/guardians will be expected to provide their child with a personal face covering (non-medical mask) to wear at school to reduce the spread of their own respiratory droplets to protect others. In Grades 4 to 12, students will wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school. In Kindergarten to Grade 3 non-medical or cloth masks are strongly encouraged for students. School staff will also be required to wear masks. 

  • Self-assessment - On a daily basis, parents/guardians of students under 18, students over 18 and staff members are responsible for reviewing and adhering to the COVID-19 self-assessment instructions provided by York Region Public Health. Any student or staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is required to remain home.

  • Hand washing and sanitizing - A hand sanitizing station will be placed in the front lobby of the school and in classrooms. Students and staff members will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer regularly, including when they enter the classroom, before and after lunch and recess, after using the washroom or touching shared objects or common touch spots. 

  • Cleaning and disinfection - Additional cleaning measures will be put in place in schools, including twice-daily cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces, in line with public health guidelines. 

  • Movement around the school - Directional signs and stickers will be installed throughout the schools to minimize close contact between students. 

  • Visitors - Until further notice, visitor(s) are not to enter the school during hours of operation unless identified through a prearranged exception. If you need to attend the school, please contact the principal to make arrangements. Accommodations will be made in emergency situations. Any permitted visitor must comply with safety protocols. 

For additional details on these and other requirements, please review our health and safety measures

How will physical distancing be implemented in schools? 

  • Classrooms will be decluttered and furniture removed or arranged to maximize physical distancing and mobility. 

  • Directional signs and stickers will be installed throughout the schools, including hallways, stairwells and washrooms to minimize close contact between students. 

  • Until further notice, visitor(s) are not to enter the school during hours of operation unless through a prearranged exception.

 

How will you ensure health and safety protocols are followed with washroom use in school? 

  • Students in Grades 4 to 12 will wear face coverings (non-medical masks) while in school. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear masks while in school. 

  • Students are to maintain physical distance at all times within the washroom, where possible. 

  • Students are to wash their hands when they enter and exit the washroom.

  • Teachers are recommended to create a washroom schedule with clear washroom breaks (one in the morning and one in the afternoon).

  • Cohorts are to travel in groups to use designated washrooms. 

  • For unscheduled visits, 

    • Schools are to post the recommended number of users allowed per washroom based on the number of toilets/urinals in each washroom.

    • It is recommended that the number of students allowed in a washroom not exceed the existing number of toilets/urinals.

    • Students are to assess if the washroom has reached maximum usage as they enter based on posted signage. 

    • If maximum has been reached, students are to wait in hall in designated area

    • Floor decals spaced apart are to be placed outside washrooms for students to wait if the washroom is full.

    • Floor decals spaced apart are to be placed inside washrooms at areas such as sinks/hand washing areas.

  • It is recommended that students immediately leave the washroom as soon as they are finished.

 

Will students go through screening measures when arriving at schools? 

On a daily basis, parents/guardians of students under 18, students over 18 and staff members are responsible to review and adhere to the checklist from York Region Public Health. Any student or staff member experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is required to remain home (the use of a mask is not an acceptable alternative). 

 

Will students and staff wear masks?

Parents/guardians will be expected to provide their child with a personal face covering to wear at school to reduce the spread of their own respiratory droplets to protect others. In Grades 4 to 12, students will wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school. In Kindergarten to Grade 3 non-medical or cloth masks are strongly encouraged for students. If a student does not have a face covering, they will be provided a non-medical mask by the school.

 

All school staff will wear medical grade masks.

 

Will there be opportunities for students to take their masks off during the day?

Outdoor times like recess can be used as opportunities to provide students with breaks from wearing masks within their cohorts.

What happens if my child forgets, loses or damages their mask at school?

The expectation is that parents/guardians will provide masks for their children. If a child comes to school without a mask, the school will work with the family and provide a mask where required.

What measures are in place to ensure schools are properly cleaned and disinfected? 

Cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces will be done twice a day as per Public Health guidelines and Standard Operation Procedure for Cleaning High Touch/High Contamination Areas. Shared equipment will be cleaned before and after use. Examples of shared equipment: IT/chromebooks and carts, physical education equipment, and science apparatus, etc.

 

How can families support efforts to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in schools?

Families can help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 by screening their children daily for any COVID-19 symptoms and keeping them home from school if they are sick or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. Families should also encourage children to follow health and safety measures at school, including following physical distancing, hand washing or sanitizing, and wearing a mask as appropriate. Please also follow school protocols for pick up and drop off any other local health and safety measures in place. 

What will h​appen if my child gets sick at school?

Students and staff must stay home if they: 

  • Have any symptoms of respiratory illness, even if mild and adhere to the checklist from York Region Public Health.

  • Have been told to self-isolate by public health or a medical practitioner.

  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Have recently returned from travel that requires a period of self-isolation. 

Children or staff experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, even if mild, should stay home. The use of a mask is not an acceptable measure to attend school for those who are symptomatic. 


In cases where a student develops symptoms of COVID-19, the school will contact the student’s parent or caregiver to pick up the child immediately and ask them to adhere to the checklist from York Region Public Health. In these cases, students will be isolated in a prearranged sick room until a parent/guardian can pick them up. Staff will be provided with a protocol, based on public health advice, on what to do if a student or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19.​

Updated October 8, 2020

Where can I find my child’s OEN Number?

You can find your child’s OEN number on their report card. If you cannot find the OEN number, you can submit the form without that information. 

I filled out the form but have changed my mind. What can I do? 

You can complete the form again before Friday, August 14 at 5:00 p.m. Your latest response will be used by the board to create classes and timetables. If you change your mind after Friday at 5:00 p.m., we will support changes between face-to-face and online learning when possible, as space and staffing will allows.

Updated October 8​, 2020​

Can my child switch between online and learning at school at any time in the school year?

Our Board’s reopening plan gives families the option of sending their child to school or engaging in remote online learning. In order to maintain safety, appropriate cohorts, and to support timetabling, staffing and transitions, families may be required to wait for a specific entry point to switch models.

Elementary families were given the opportunity to change models at the end of September. There will be no further opportunity to move between models until the end of Term 1 (February, 2021). 

For secondary school, no further transfers between the different models will occur until the end of Semester 1 (January 29, 2021).  

We appreciate this may be disappointing for some families, however, we’ve based our reopening strategy on a balance of health and safety, as well as teaching and learning benefits.  We are making every effort to ensure that each learning model in which YRDSB students will participate this year will be both safe and engaging. 

Upda​ted October 5​, 2020​

Can I request my child be exempt from the minimum requirements for online learning?

The Ministry allows for exemptions from the minimum requirements for synchronous learning on an individual basis. To support meaningful access to education, alternative learning approaches must be put in place for all exempted students – for example, correspondence, print, or broadcast media instruction that is based on the individual student's needs and circumstances. Additional supports for parents should also be considered. 

Exempted students must be provided with a daily schedule or timetable in accordance with the 300-minute instruction​​​al day. The process to request for exemption from synchronous learning is as follow: 

  • Students over 18 years of age, or parents/guardians of students under the age of 18, or students who are 16 or 17 years of age but have withdrawn from parental control are to request the exemption to the Principal by completing the form for secondary school students or the form for elementary school students.  Information outlined in the request include: ​​Name of the student, age of the student, student number (OEN), home school of the student, school that the student is currently attending, courses where the request applies, proposed learning experiences in place of the synchronous learning, and contact information (phone number of parents or student who made the request).
  • ​Principal will communicate, preferably by phone (with the parents or student who made the request) to confirm and seek additional information regarding: Length (time) of the exemption, possible alternative methods of learning, and follow-up process.

Updated August 12, 2020​

Wil​l families continue to be connected to their homeschool if they choose the fully online option?

Schools will continue to communicate with all families registered in their school through the regular means of communication (e.g., Edsby, School Newsletter/Bulletin, School Council, school website) to help ensure the flow of up-to-date information, as well as to support back to school transitions should they occur at some point during the school year.


Elementary School

Updated August 12, 2020

What will online learning look like if my child chooses the option to learn fully from home? 

In elementary, subject-based learning blocks will be structured using a combination of:

  • live-time synchronous lessons

  • individual and small group work time

  • check-in and consolidation opportunities.  

Students will interact in real-time with the teacher and their peers at various times and work independently at other times throughout the day and week.  A timetable that includes lunch and break times will be provided by the teacher.  

Why are class sizes so large, given the health and safety concerns? 

We have worked to reduce elementary class sizes in face-to-face learning. This includes allocating over $15 million to hire additional teachers and temporary educational assistants to help reduce class sizes. We are aiming to have elementary class sizes of 20 or fewer, where possible, however, this may not be the case in all classrooms.

Will families continue to be connected to their homeschool if they choose the fully online option?

Schools will continue to communicate with all families registered in their school through the regular means of communication (e.g., Edsby, School Newsletter/Bulletin, School Council, school website) to help ensure the flow of up-to-date information, as well as to support back to school transitions should they occur at some point during the school year.

Updated August 7, 2020

What plan did YRDSB select for the return to school in 2020?

At the elementary level, students will be returning to full-time classes on a daily basis, with enhanced Public Health measures in place.  Every student in Grade 4 or above and every staff member must wear a mask.  Students in Grade 3 and under are not required to wear masks, however, it is strongly recommended.  Physical distancing will be a key component of classroom and school planning and procedures. 

What will online learning look like?

 Students will engage in online learning, including real-time live sessions, directed by a teacher in a scheduled manner similar to day school.  Specific remote learning classes will be created and taught by teachers available to the system.  This means that your child may be taught online by teachers who are not connected to your child’s school. 

What will in-class learning look like?

In elementary schools, the Ministry of Education has indicated that elementary students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend school five days per week for the full day of learning in one cohort. School schedules, including start and end times, will remain the same.  Students will remain in their classes as one cohort (or group).  Specialized teachers (e.g., French, The Arts) will still be joining classrooms to provide the full breadth of programming for students.  Recess and lunch will be staggered to adhere to cohort guidelines.

What can I expect in Kindergarten? 

  • Kindergarten students will attend school five days per week, with 300 minutes of instruction per day, remaining in one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch. 

  • Kindergarten classrooms will be decluttered and furniture arranged to minimize contact, but still allow for supervision. 

  • Learning will continue across the Four Frames for Learning (Belonging and Contributing, Problem-solving and Innovating, Demonstrating Literacy and Math Behaviours and Self-regulation and Well-Being) within a play-based model that adheres to current health and safety measures.

  • While at school, each student will have an assigned spot to keep their belongings. Activities requiring sharing of toys/manipulatives will be minimized. There will be increased opportunities for play in smaller groups, and materials will be sanitized after the play is done. 

  • Families and students will adhere to health and safety measures, including hand washing and sanitizing, pick-up and drop-off processes, screening, and regular cleaning and disinfecting.  

  • Snack and lunch times will have set times scheduled throughout the day. During snack and lunch, students will eat in designated spots that maintain physical distancing. 

  • Kindergarten students are not required to wear face coverings, however it is recommended. 

Will there be before and after school care available?

Before and after care can operate in schools. Please confirm with your child care provider. Where possible, child care programs will create grade-based cohorts.  Where school size prohibits grade-based cohorts, BA programs may need to combine grades.

Secondary School

Updated October 8, 2020​

Will students participating in online learning be equally evaluated​ as in-class ​students?

Educators will continue to follow provincial policy and Board policy for assessment and evaluation, both in class and for online learning. Teachers will use a mixture of assessment throughout the year.

 

Will exams still ta​ke place?

Exams will not take place in Semester 1 for secondary school students.

Do students still n​eed volunteer hours to graduate, and if so, how can they achieve this?

The Ministry of Education has indicated that students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year must complete a minimum of 20 hours of community involvement, instead of 40. Students may wish to consider virtual volunteering, such as connecting with seniors, organizing virtual fundraising events, and facilitating discussions with newcomer youth.  

Volunteer opportunities, such as connecting young people to be technology mentors to seniors, can be found through agencies such as Spark Ontario.

In addition, the ministry is providing increased flexibility in how all secondary students can earn hours in 2020-21, as follows:

  1. At the principal’s discretion, schools may waive the restrictions that do not allow students to earn hours during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day, or duties normally performed in the home (e.g., walking a younger child to and from school, helping younger siblings with school work).

  2. Students aged 14 years and older can count up to a maximum of 10 hours from paid employment towards their earned hours at the discretion of the principal. Students counting paid employment towards their graduation requirement will be required to complete a reflection exercise indicating how their work contributed to the service for others.  


Updated August 1​​9, 2020​

What does in-person secondary school look like? 


Students will attend in-person on alternating days for 150 minutes in the morning, then move to three periods of 50 minutes each taught remotely in a synchronous (live)  and asynchronous environment. Students who require access to wifi, may attend the scheduled study hall in the afternoon to conduct their online courses. 

On the days that students are not attending in-person, they will attend a 150 minute period of online learning in the morning and three periods of 50 minutes of synchronous and asynchronous online learning in the afternoon. 

Why did YRDSB choose the adaptive model?

York Region opened in September using an adaptive model to support student learning, as directed by the Ministry of Education. Over the course of a full semester, this adaptive model provides additional learning time, including in-class learning, compared to some other adaptive models that were reviewed. Additionally, in considering health and safety, this model also minimizes contact between cohorts of students as they will attend class with only one cohort each day during a rotation. 


How much time will students be scheduled to attend in school? 

The class timetable remains as previously communicated - students will attend in-person class on alternate days for 150 minutes and three 50 minute periods of online learning. Students who require access to wifi, may attend the scheduled study hall in the afternoon to conduct their online courses. In the adaptive model, online learning will consist mostly of synchronous (live) learning with the teacher leading the class. 

What is a study hall? 

A study hall is optional for students (e.g., those that require additional internet access) and will consist of a school providing students with a space where they can attend their online periods at the school. Students must exercise physical distancing and will be supervised by a member of staff. Students must arrange their own transportation home after leaving the study hall. 

Can I ask questions during the study hall?

Questions regarding the curriculum being delivered should be directed to the teacher leading the course online. 

Can I attend study hall on my off-day?

Study hall is reserved for students who are attending in person on that day. 

Will instruction be provided during study hall?

Face-to-face instruction will not be offered during this time, nor access to a student’s subject specific teacher. Study hall will provide students with a designated space in the school and school wifi to access their online learning. During synchronous learning, students will be supported by virtual instruction by their online teachers.  Study hall will be supervised.


 

Updated August 12, 2020

What will online learning look like if my child chooses the option to learn fully from home? 

In secondary, students will be provided with their timetable and within each course block, learning will be structured using a combination of live-time synchronous lessons, individual and small group work time, check-in and consolidation opportunities.  Students will interact in real-time with the teacher and their peers at various times and work independently at other times throughout the period and the week.

Will all courses be offered in the online learning model? 

 We will do our best to offer students the courses they selected in their timetables, however, we cannot guarantee that all courses will be offered at this time. Specific remote learning classes will be created and taught by teachers who are available to the system. This means that your child may be taught online by teachers who are not connected to your child’s school.

What specialty courses will be offered  in the secondary fully online learning environment?

The York Region District School Board endeavoured to provide as many specialty courses as possible (e.g., FI, IB, AP, Arts) in a fully online environment, however, given the changing context and focus on maintaining health and safety protocols we cannot provide a guarantee at this time that all specialty courses will be offered in a fully online model.  

  • We will be providing French Immersion in both elementary and secondary online learning, as well as in-class. 

  • We are trying to continue offering programs that are YRDSB based online, such as the Arts programs. If their provision is not possible this year, this will not negatively affect their attendance in the program the following 2021-22 school year. 

  • The IB Programme is operated by an external organization. Regrettably, we are unable to offer the IB Programme for Grades 11 and 12 in the virtual school for the 2020-21 school year. Students were given the option to return to their home school in the adaptive model. Students who choose to withdraw from IB and remain in the Secondary Virtual School, will not be able to return to the IB Programme at a later date. 

  • SHSM and Co-op are not specialty programs and will continue, both face-to-face and online, with the necessary modifications to comply with Health and Safety guidelines.

Updated August 7, 2020

What plan did YRDSB select for the return to school in 2020?

Secondary schools in York Region will open in September using an adaptive model to support student learning, as directed by the Ministry of Education. In this adapted model, students will continue with their scheduled classes through a modified school schedule that includes both synchronous (real time) and asynchronous learning during the school day. When cohorts attend in the morning, they will participate in face-to-face learning for at least 145 minutes before leaving for home for further learning online. YRDSB and Ministry of Education staff  met to review our adaptive model and it was confirmed that it met the requirements of the ministry.  

Why did YRDSB choose the adaptive model?

York Region will open in September using an adaptive model to support student learning, as directed by the Ministry of Education. Over the course of a full semester, this adaptive model provides additional learning time, including in-class learning, compared to some other adaptive models that were reviewed. Additionally, in considering health and safety, this model also minimizes contact between cohorts of students as they will attend class with only one cohort each day during a rotation. 

 

I have heard other boards are using a “quadmester” model for secondary schools, what is the difference between YRDSB’s model and quadmester?

In boards designated by the Ministry of Education, in person education in secondary schools is limited to groups of 15 students. To achieve this, boards may offer in-person class on alternating days for 50 per cent of the day. The time spent in class is similar across boards, regardless of which process is chosen. The YRDSB model is reflective of our schools’ needs, and also minimizes the contacts between cohorts of students as they will be attending class with only one cohort each day during rotation. 

In secondary schools, will siblings be cohorted on the same schedule?

We plan to cohort siblings on the same schedule whenever possible. 

Student Supports​

Updated August 12, 2020

How will students with special education needs be supported?

We recognize that all our students are unique and will have different needs when we return to schools and classrooms. Students with special education needs will have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that reflect the learning model.  Individual Education Plans are written plans describing the special education program and services required by a particular student, based on a thorough assessment of the student's strengths and needs that affect the student's ability to learn and demonstrate learning. Regardless of the model selected, teachers will be supported to write Individual Education Plans that reflect the individual learning circumstances of each student this fall. Families will have an opportunity for input so that identified students have clear goals outlined for their learning. 

Students with high levels of special education needs, working on significantly modified and alternative curriculum, may require daily attendance and instruction. In such situations, they will be invited to attend school in-person each day in elementary and secondary school, unless they opt for the full online model. Students with special education needs who choose to continue online learning from home will be supported by a teacher and/or SERT. Learning will be provided through an online platform such as Google Classroom with synchronous and asynchronous learning and check-ins from their teacher/SERT/support staff (e.g., EA). Support of the Student Services team will be engaged to ensure programming is accessible and reflects students’ Individual Education Plans. Every effort will be made to provide students learning online with the special education programming and supports they require.

Students in Secondary Community Classes (Autism (non-credit), Developmental Disability, Multiple Exceptionality) will attend full days, with dismissal at the end of Block 4. All students in the following Specialized programs (Credit-Bearing Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intensive Mild Intellectual Disability, Learning Strategies, Language Learning Disability, PEAK, Locally Developed, ELD) will follow the Adaptive Model timetable but attend every day, not alternate days, when their Block 1 class is a designated specialty class with a class size of 16 or less, taught by a specific teacher. For example, if Learning Strategies is the 150 minute Block 1 class in a particular Rotation, then a student registered in Learning Strategies can attend every day Monday-Friday for the entire rotation, not every other day. When that same student moves into a Rotation where the 150 minute Block 1 class is a larger, non specialty class, e.g., Geography, the student will attend alternate days as per the standard adapted timetable. ​

Elementary Student Support Centres will operate with cohorted instructional periods. Students (by class or divisional cohorts) will enter the Student Support Centre for a portion of the Literacy and/or Mathematics block. The Special Education Resource Teacher will design the instructional program, develop the Individual Education Plan and generate the report card. At times, students will need to return to their homeroom class with work from the Student Support Centre. Special Education Resource Teachers may also provide direct support to students in homeroom classes. Individual Schools will exercise flexibility in how students are withdrawn to the Student Support Centre with some schools withdrawing students for a shorter time each day, or for longer periods on different days. Student Support Centre timetables will be created to align with health and safety requirements regarding indirect and direct student contacts. 

Learn more about special education services and supports

Will Grade 3 Gifted Screening occur and will my child be able to participate if we select fully online learning? 

YRDSB is planning to proceed with universal Grade 3 gifted screening (both Stage 1 and 2) in the 2020-2021 school year. The screening will occur consistent with previous years barring unforeseen circumstances.  Students who have selected fully online learning will be invited to participate in person in the screening process and all students identified as meeting criteria on Stage 1 will be invited to participate in Stage 2 screening irrespective of whether they are learning online or in the classroom. 

Updated August 7, 2020

How will you help students catch up academically? 

We recognize that the pandemic affected families in different ways and that some students were not able to regularly access online learning. Our caring and professional teaching staff will be prepared to support your child’s learning, well-being and academic achievement. 

These new conditions may make my child feel anxious. How are you supporting students transitioning back to school?

Our caring and professional school staff will be prepared to welcome your child and help them transition back to school. In addition, our mental health team is working to put resources and supports in place to promote mentally healthy transitions back to school for students. This will include: 

  • school-based resources for school staff 

  • the continuation of phone and web-based services from board psychologists and social workers for students when they need it. 

  • virtual mental health groups for students to provide additional supports in a group setting

Transportation and Busing​

Is busing still available? 

Yes. See the Student Transportation FAQ for more information. If your child is eligible for transportation service you may opt out of service for this school year by completing an online form which will be sent directly to you in early August.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​