Plan for Re-Opening Schools

WCDSB SchoolAt Waterloo Catholic we have missed seeing our staff and students in our schools – and we think that you would agree.  We also know however, that all of us feel very strongly that if we are to return to our schools, we have to do so in a very safe and thoughtful manner.  What follows is a high-level introduction to all of the factors we have been considering as we plan for the return of students.  We know that we all want good learning to happen, but we are equally motivated to ensure that all our staff and students are feeling both safe and healthy, in mind, body and spirit.

COVID-19 Advisories

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Operational Guidelines
Important Back-to-School Information
Return to School Videos

We have been working diligently with Waterloo Region Public Health, the Ministry of Education and their connections to the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province, as well as other community and stakeholder colleagues to ensure a plan that is thoughtful and responsive.  As a board we were asked to prepare models for three different scenarios:  learning that continues to be fully remote, an adapted model where physical distancing and cohorting (or bubbling) is observed and a conventional model with enhanced protocols.  While we are opening in a conventional scenario in elementary and an adapted scenario in secondary, but we are ready with very short notice to pivot to one of the other scenarios if necessary and asked to do so.

This webpage provides an overview and framework for our reopening of schools at Waterloo Catholic.  We hope that it provides you with the confidence to return to school knowing that we are making our very best efforts to ensure the health and well-being of all.  This document is just a beginning and more communication and details will continue to be forthcoming as we journey toward September and beyond. There has been a change in the school year calendar, at the request of the Minister, and we have added a third PA Day on September 1st, which will assist staff in being ready for the return of students under our new reality.

We know that just as things have continued to evolve since March 13th when we left our classrooms, things are likely to continue changing and evolving.  We will be nimble and always respond to the latest information from public health and the Ministry.  Our Board website and this web page https://www.wcdsb.ca/plan-for-re-opening-schools/ will be the best place to find all relevant updates.

Our Guiding Principles

The decisions that have informed our plan have been challenging and thus it was necessary to have some key guiding principles by which to make those decisions.  Each of the following lenses have played a significant role in our decision making.  At the top of the list you will find the need to respect health and safety of our staff and students.  We know this is the top priority for all involved and justifiably so.

Health and Safety

To ensure our learning and work environments have been set up to succeed and to minimize risk for all involved.

Student Centered – Learning Continuity / Well-Being

To ensure that opportunity for learning and well-being are optimized, given the departure from our protocols, pedagogy and patterns for relationship, as we knew them before.

Equity

To ensure all of our students will be able to learn in every scenario and to feel supported in that learning journey.

Consultation

To ensure and understand preferences, concerns and desires, we consulted with our stakeholders, for example Administrators, Unions (to the degree possible), Parents, Ministry of Education.

Human Resources

To ensure the best circumstances for staffing to be present and available, in a safe and reliable manner.

Adaptability

To ensure our ability to seamlessly “pivot” between different scenarios, given that we don’t know what the year ahead will bring.

Communication Protocols

School Principals and the Board’s Communication Department will communicate regularly with students and their parents or guardians as we return to school in the fall.  Our board is making the transition to School Messenger as the primary tool for updates, but you can always find relevant updates on our website at this web page https://www.wcdsb.ca/plan-for-re-opening-schools/ and both the WCDSB Communication department, the Director of Education and the schools make use of Twitter to share system messaging.

Our many education partners have been part of the process of creating viable operational solutions. Flexibility and innovation are required to come up with unique solutions as we work together through the pandemic.

Parents considering registering their child can be reassured that we will be flexible in terms of options for the fall.  While it is our sincere hope that all students will feel comfortable in returning, there is an option to access distance learning, if that is a family preference.

There are still unresolved questions from our union and association partners. We will not return to the status quo system, so we will need to work together to find solutions that will serve our students while addressing the existing collective agreements that were not created for pandemic conditions.  Those dialogues continue and will inform our planning.

We know that this pandemic has brought with it complex challenges that will require creative solutions.

Our parent community will have many unique family situations and work commitments that they need to navigate. We have attempted to be as thoughtful as possible in this regard, and have worked with both the public board and transportation consortium to arrive at a solution that had fidelity to our guiding principles and was aligned.  This plan will not be able to meet every individual situation. We will work to find creative solutions designed to help as many families as possible so that they can manage their competing demands of work, school and family needs.  We recognize that returning to school five days a week for all students will address the greatest number of family needs in our community.

We also know that some of our students with special needs will continue to face challenges and obstacles to learning during a pandemic, given the realities of physical distance requirements.  We will work with each family to try and find a solution that meets their child’s needs while keeping them, and others at the school safe. Our staff and students’ health and safety will be at the center of all our decisions. If, at any point, we are directed to limit attendance to half of the school population at a time, family members will be scheduled to attend school on the same days in an adapted learning model.

Health and Safety

The health and well-being of our staff and students is our top priority. It has been a primary lens for all decisions, including but not limited to programming, busing, site and school operations, and staff and student assignments.

  1. Sites
    1. Signage and physical building markings will be installed prior to school start up. Each school is unique and will need to be individually assessed for needs. Building flow will be a primary consideration. Signage, where appropriate, will take the form of pictures and use languages specific to school communities.
    2. Younger students who cannot read and will be unfamiliar with the site will be provided with training materials prior to attending schools (target families) and when students are in school, further orientation will be provided to all.
    3. Sneeze guards will be installed in the main office and learning commons prior to school start up. Each school will also be provided with portable sneeze guards to be used for assessments, guidance, and other similar close contact situations.
    4. Classrooms will be reviewed, and all unnecessary/optional items will be removed to ensure cleaning routines are manageable.
    5. In adapted or conventional return, administrators may wish to give attention to placing larger classes in larger classroom/school spaces.
    6. Where feasible, elementary schools may implement multiple recess periods to ensure distancing can be respected.
    7. Teaching staff will consider student seating in classrooms where collaborative tables are present to ensure distancing requirements are respected to the best of our ability.
    8. Windows should be opened when and where feasible to allow for fresh air to circulate in classrooms and workspaces.
    9. Hand sanitizer will be provided in high traffic areas such as the main office or where hand washing is not easily accessible. Each classroom or learning space will be stocked with hand sanitizer. Hand washing will be reinforced as the key strategy to utilize to maintain good hygiene.
    10. Custodians will ensure a thorough wipe down of all touch surfaces on a daily basis and high touch areas multiple times a day.
    11. Community Use of Schools (facility rentals) will not be available until further notice.
    12. Play structures are closed until TBD.
    13. Indoor permits under Community Use of Schools will continue to be on hold.
    14. Visitors, including volunteers and parents are discouraged from coming into schools. On rare occasions when they do enter, they will be required to wear a mask.
    15. Lockers will not be available until further notice.
  1. Staff
    1. All staff are required to engage in a daily self-assessment before reporting to work and anyone feeling unwell or identifying a concern based on their self-assessment should not report to work. Absences for this reason should be reported in Smart Find as “sick leave”. Please note that normal reporting requirements continue to apply and medical notes will be required on the fifth (5th) consecutive day of absence.
      At the current time the recommended self-assessment tool is from the Province. If WR Public Health provides a tool – that will be shared with staff and students. COVID-19 School Screening Tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
    2. A protocol for each employee group working in schools will be developed.
    3. All staff within schools will be required to wear masks. Reasonable exceptions will apply.
    4. Staff meetings will take place remotely regardless of the scenario or model under which we are operating, unless there is the opportunity to maintain full and complete physical distancing.
    5. Use of educator and staff work rooms will be largely discouraged, but staff rooms will be reconfigured to allow for physical distancing when they must be accessed. Students will not be permitted in teacher workrooms or staff rooms.
    6. Staff/ employees who may need a medical accommodation in the workplace are to consult with Human Resources. Teachers who are on a medical accommodation, preventing them from regular class instruction may be assigned to daily online instruction and check-ins with students. A form that may be completed and submitted to HR requesting a medical accommodation will be sent under separate cover to all employees by the end of the week of August 4th, 2020.
  1. Students
    1. All students (or guardians on their behalf) will be asked to engage in a daily self-assessment before reporting to work and anyone feeling unwell or identifying a concern based on their self-assessment should not report to work.
    2. All students from grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear masks. Reasonable exceptions will apply. Students in grades kindergarten to 3 will be encouraged to wear masks.
    3. Each elementary student will be provided with a learning kit/bag. This bag will contain basic school supplies (filled by classroom teacher). Contents will be standardized based on grade level. Further, messaging will be provided to families on items that each student should bring with a goal to minimize student sharing.
  1. Transportation
    1. All bus drivers will be provided with PPE by bus operators.
    2. Students in JK to grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear masks on buses. Students in grades 4 to 12 must wear masks on buses.
    3. With a conventional return to school, student numbers on buses will be as per normal.
    4. In the event of the “Adapted Model” being the scenario under implementation, school buses will be confined to 1 student per seat, unless the additional student is a family member. This will lead to 24 students (plus any family members) being the maximum number on a bus.
    5. In the event of the adapted model, cohorts have been developed by STSWR and they are based on geographic location to facilitate optimization of routes.
  1. Basic Hygiene and Cleaning
    1. Medical grade masks will be provided to all staff where distancing cannot be ensured.
    2. PPE will be available for EAs, PSWs, and CYCWs who work with high needs students.
    3. Additional PPE will be available for other staff where intimate contact is required.
    4. Training will be provided for all staff. Specific training will also be provided to staff who need PPE to do their jobs.
    5. In lieu of additional hand washing stations, sanitizer will be provided for school occupants in classrooms, common areas, main office areas, and at the entrance(s) to each site.
  1. Outbreak Protocol
    1. We have received – and are closely following – the Government of Ontario’s outbreak protocols for School Boards and Public Health Units:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Government of Ontario Guidance for School Boards re Managing COVID-19                                                                                              Government of Ontario Guidance for Public Health Units re Managing COVID-19
    2. Each school will know what protocol to follow if a student or staff member presents as being unwell and further, how to respond if there is an “outbreak” where a person is identified as having contracted COVID-19.
    3. There is always the possibility of a return to distance learning if an outbreak forces a school to be closed for a lengthy period of time. In preparation for continuity of learning, all staff will be advised on available board level tools that may be used for distance learning. Three professional development days have been arranged before the start of the school year to provide staff time to prepare for consistent use of Board platforms, including the new Parent portal for communication, the Brightspace D2L and Google classroom Learning Management System, and Microsoft Teams for video conferencing.

The Return to Learning

As mentioned, we know that staff and students are both excited to return to face to face learning, but also want reassurances that they will be safe and remain healthy.  Administrators will be supported in understanding all the precautions and new processes that will be required to maintain optimal safe conditions in their building.  Administrators in turn will communicate with parents closer to the start of school and teachers will be trained in all new expectations in the week before we welcome students back.

We know that some students will have found this time of the pandemic to be traumatic and/or challenging in terms of their mental well-being.  We have social work support continuing throughout the summer and as we head into the new school year a focus on whole student well being will be a focus.  Resources are widely available to staff and students, provided by School Mental Health Assist and every effort will be made to ensure all staff and students feel supported.  Our board well-being plan is also being updated to reflect this focus.

Equity

At Waterloo Catholic it is extremely important to us that all students feel positioned to learn and to succeed.  Over the course of the summer and into the new year staff are spending time preparing differentiated supports for our students with special needs, as well as our English Language learners that require support.  Efforts have been made last spring, and will continue, to determine any situation where a student is potentially disadvantaged in their ability to access distance learning.  Equity is one of the key guiding principles we have applied in making our decisions for the 2020-2021 school year, and while challenges exist, we are committed to providing the resources and supports to find success for each and a place for all.

Students with Health Conditions

Some students will not be able to take part in the in-person component of returning to school due to their chronic health conditions.  For this group of students, distance learning solutions will continue.

We are recommending that if your child is medically fragile, immune compromised or has chronic or persistent health conditions that you speak with your health care provider(s) to determine what mode of delivery is most appropriate for your child and what, if any, accommodations for your child’s health needs might be required.  Whether your child’s return to school is conventional or adapted, it is important that your child’s health care provider(s) is consulted to ensure your child’s physical health needs are considered as we plan for a return to school during the COVID Pandemic.

Realizing that we all share the common goal for a healthy community, parents/guardians are asked to keep their children at home if they are displaying any signs of illness.  If a staff member or student of a school is identified with COVID-19, then the principal will notify Waterloo Region Public Health and work in full cooperation with them to ensure proper contact tracing.

Basic Models for Return to School

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board (and all school boards) have been asked to prepare 3 different scenarios for return.  They are:   Fully Remote, Adapted – with smaller class sizes and Conventional Return with enhanced protocols.  Below is an overview of how we intend to implement these three models – when and if we are called upon to do so.

Conventional School
Adapted School

Elementary – Conventional

(The scenario under which WCDSB elementary schools will open)

  • Full days; every day
  • Physical distancing will be observed to the extent possible (e.g., students and staff will remain 1 metre apart)
  • Itinerant teachers and prep time teachers will maintain their usual schedule.
  • Recess will require special consideration; if student population warrants, and school yards and supervision allow – staggered recess periods will be utilized.
  • Staff meetings are still remote where social distancing cannot be observed
  • Nutrition for Learning would utilize big box deliveries for distribution; no volunteers would be packaging snacks/food in the school.

Elementary – Adapted

  • Classes are divided into 2 sub-groups or “cohorts” and access face to face learning ½ the time.
  • Physical distancing will be observed in the classroom (e.g., students and staff will remain 2 metre apart)
  • Students observe a 5-7 model of 5 days in school in a row, over a weekend, and then 5 days of learning remotely from home for 7 days – including a weekend.
  • Itinerant (or prep time teachers such as French and music) deliver lessons synchronously, potentially on some of the days when learning remotely.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 A A A B B
Week 2 B B B A A
Week 3 A A A B B
Week 4 B B B A A

Elementary Remote 

St. Isidore students will be assigned to qualified WCDSB educators and will be with other same grade children in a Virtual Learning classroom. During remote learning, students and parents will be provided with a daily schedule or timetable that includes 300 minutes of learning opportunities, with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. In grades 1-8 there will be a minimum of 225 synchronous learning each day. Synchronous learning for Kindergarten students will be 180 minutes each day.

Sample Schedules

Kindergarten

Time
8:30 – 9:30 Opening Community Building and Curriculum – all students
9:30 – 9:45 Break
9:45 – 10:30 JK away from screen (asynchronous learning)/ SK in class
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:30 SK away from screen (asynchronous learning) JK in class
11:30 – 12:15 Lunch
12:15 – 1:00 Curriculum – all students
1:00 – 1:15 Break
1:15 – 1:45 Curriculum/ Community Building/ Wellness
1:45 – 3:00 Asynchronous learning as appropriate

Grades 1-8

Time
8:30 – 9:30 Opening Community Building and Curriculum
9:30 – 9:45 Break
9:45 – 10:30 Curriculum
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:30 Curriculum
11:30 – 12:15 Lunch
12:15 – 1:00 Curriculum
1:00 – 1:15 Break
1:15 – 1:45 Curriculum/ Community Building/ Wellness
1:45 – 3:00 Asynchronous learning

Teachers will be available to students at all times during the teachers’ assigned teaching timetables, as they would be if they were face-to-face in a classroom setting.

Programming must be based on the full Ontario curriculum and include opportunities for synchronous guided instruction, large- and small-group learning, and asynchronous independent work. A framework for Learning Design has been provided to support teachers in planning virtual teaching and learning activities.

Curriculum expectations will be assessed, evaluated and reported on an ongoing basis following Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools with an emphasis on descriptive feedback focused on conversations and observations in addition to the collection of student work submitted electronically or by mail.

Where students with learning exceptionalities are not able to participate fully in the virtual environment, accommodations and modification will be implemented, which may include learning kits and workbooks

Families will also be provided with technical support, which may include being loaned a learning device (I.e. Chromebook) to support students accessing the Learning Management System (D2L or Google Classroom).

Exemption Process for Synchronous (Real time) Learning

St Isidore staff will work with families who are not able to have their child(ren) participate in scheduled synchronous learning times. A process has been developed to allow for student exemption from synchronous learning. Please contact school Administration for more details on applying for this exemption.

Secondary Conventional

  • Model allows for 220 minutes of instruction per day (Our normal regular school day allows for 225 min for each teacher); students will have 82.5 hours of face to face instruction per term and 27.5 hours independent and remote
  • Teachers will have a common prep time in the afternoon; school day ends earlier but safety has been prioritized, limiting number of contacts and transition points in the day.
  • Each child will get a learning kit for all hands’ on activities – as would be the case in adapted
  • Teachers and students will have to be part of daily hygiene and surface cleaning (personal spaces)
  • Staff meetings will be remote
  • Parents and visitors to the school will be discouraged
School Day
Period 1 – Morning
110 minutes face to face
40-minute break with enhanced expectations for safety and distancing
Period 2 – Afternoon
110 minutes face to face

Secondary – Adapted

(The scenario under which WCDSB Secondary Schools will open)

  • Students are carrying 2 courses at any given time and in each day they have the opportunity for learning in at least one course through the synchronous lesson or both courses, if it is also their day for face to face instruction. (Term model)
  • Classes are divided into 2 sub-groups or “cohorts” and access face to face learning ½ the time.
  • Synchronous learning is when students are connected to their teachers remotely (in real time) for their instruction.  In most cases the students will connect from their home.
  • Physical distancing will be observed in the classroom (e.g., students and staff will remain 2 metre apart)
  • Students observe a 5-7 model of 5 days in school in a row, over a weekend, and then 5 days of learning remotely from home for 7 days – including a weekend.
  • For the 5 days where a cohort is learning at home and the other cohort is face to face in the morning, students will be engaged in 150 minutes of asynchronous independent learning each day.
  • Eld/ community living and active students/high needs students-can come every day… (5 of the 5 days)

Overview of who is attending face to face, week by week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 A A A B B
Week 2 B B B A A
Week 3 A A A B B
Week 4 B B B A A

Overview of the day in Adapted model:

  • The morning class alternates between Period 1 and Period 2, as does the afternoon. In order to preserve the cohort, the same class and cohort will experience face to face for 5 days in a row.  It will take 10 days for both cohorts to complete a rotation of the period and then it will switch the other class.  Please see the 4 Week model below for a better understanding.
  • The morning class is 150 minutes face to face; the afternoon class is 75 minutes synchronous, followed by 75 minutes of asynchronous learning time used for small group work or individualized support and student work.
  • For the 5 days where a cohort is learning at home and the other cohort is face to face in the morning, students will be engaged in 150 minutes of asynchronous independent learning each day.

WEEK 1

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Period 1
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

WEEK 2

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Period 1
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

WEEK 3

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Period 2
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

WEEK 4

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Period 2
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 2
Cohort B
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Period 1
Cohort A
F2Face
150 min
Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Travel Time

Allow 115 min

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 1

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Period 2

Full Cohort
75 min Synch

75 min
Asynchronous

Secondary – Remote

St. Isidore students will be assigned to a qualified WCDSB teacher and will be taking 2 courses for 10 weeks in our quadmester model (4 times/ year).

During virtual learning, students and parents will be provided with a daily schedule or timetable that includes 300 minutes of learning opportunities, with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. To reflect the Adapted model in our Secondary schools, students will work on a week 1 week 2 schedule.

Sample Schedule

Week 1 Week 2
Morning Subject A 150 min Synchronous Subject B 150 Min Synchronous
Afternoon Subject B

75 min Synchronous plus 75 min Asynchronous learning

Subject A 75 min Synchronous plus 75 min Asynchronous learning

Teachers will always be available to students during the teachers’ assigned teaching timetables, as they would be if they were face-to-face in a classroom setting.

Programming will be based on the full Ontario curriculum and include opportunities for synchronous guided instruction, large- and small-group learning, and asynchronous independent work.

Curriculum expectations will be assessed, evaluated and reported on an ongoing basis following Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools with an emphasis on conversations and observations in addition to the collection of student work submitted electronically or by mail.

Where students with learning exceptionalities are not able to participate fully in the virtual environment, accommodations and modification will be implemented, which may include learning kits and workbooks.

Families will also be provided with technical support, which may include being loaned a learning device (I.e. Chromebook) to support students accessing the Learning Management System (D2L or Google Classroom).

Exemption Process for Synchronous (Real time) Learning

St Isidore staff will work with families who are not able to have their child(ren) participate in scheduled synchronous learning times. A process has been developed to allow for student exemption from synchronous learning. Please contact school Administration for more details on applying for this exemption.

Special Education

Meeting the needs of all our learners remains a priority. Included within this group are our students on an IEP and with special education needs. Further, our students with high special education needs have been given careful consideration with respect to full time attendance in an adapted model. We respect the decision of the parent whether or not they wish their child to attend full time.  We recognize that strengths and needs of all our students with Individual Education Plans is instrumental in ensuring their success.

Equity of access and ability to engage in meaningful learning has been a key consideration.  The following are steps that have been considered to ensure we are meeting the needs of all our learners:

  • All students will have the option to learn regardless of the model and can attend face to face if that is the selected model
  • In secondary in the adaptive return, all students in the community living program and the active program  will attend school everyday. Students with SIP designation will also attend everyday.
  • Kits are being created to support remote learning
  • Summer writing project to supplement paper and pen tasks are being created for the new school year
  • Summer transition program will be delivered in late August (Ministry funded)
  • All collaborative team meetings will continue remotely in the 2020-21 school year
  • Teachers will be encouraged to revise IEP according to the delivery mode and in consideration of student learning needs
  • Psych, SLP and Social Workers will continue assessments and individual support with students using an online platform
  • PPE will be provided for any staff working in close contact

Extended Day

Extended day programs will mirror what is happening in terms of the delivery of core classroom programming.  Below are the considerations under a Conventional or Adapted return.  In the event of a decision to move to fully remote learning, Extended Day programs will close.

Extended Day under a Conventional Return:

Extended Day Programs will be fully open with additional cleaning protocols.

Registration schedules will be opened by early August to allow time for families to confirm their schedules to ensure that WCDSB has the time to staff the program.

The 2 weeks’ notice period for all changes will be removed until August 31, 2020 to allow for families to create their scheduling care needs. Beginning September 1, 2020, the 2 weeks’ notice period will be enforced.

Sharing of materials will be minimized and kept separate from those used by the day school classes.

Parents will be required to wear a mask when entering the school building to drop off and pick up students at extended day classroom.  Parents will sign in and out for tracing purposes and hand sanitizer will be available at sign in area.

Extended Day under an Adapted Return:

Extended Day Program registration will be available to families for the days students attend school. This would require families to know their child’s school schedule before confirming care needs in the registration schedule. Example, school attendance is confirmed mid-August families must confirm their care schedule needs by August 31 for 1st day of school start.

Attendance at Extended Day classes will be part-time, with 15 students per class, and consideration will be given to keeping siblings and daytime cohorts together.

It will be recommended that the Before School Programs go outdoors 30min-1hr before the school day begins to allow time for cleaning the classroom. This will ensure classrooms are ready for the daytime cohort. For inclement weather days students can use the gym 30min-1hr before school day begins for physical activity.

It is recommended that After School Programs start outdoors at dismissal bell and remain outdoors for 30min-1hr to allow for cleaning of classrooms that will be used to deliver after school programs. This will ensure classrooms are ready for the After-School Program cohort. For inclement weather days students can use the library & gym for 30min-1hr after school then break out into the after-school classrooms.

Nightly cleaning will occur by custodian in spaces used after school.

Materials for each group of 15 will be provided for use. Labelled and stored in the classroom. The sharing of materials will be minimized and kept separate from those used by the day school classes.

Snacks will be provided in individual servings.  We will ensure proper hand-washing before and after.  Educators will sanitize food surfaces with Vert 2 Go.

Parents will be required to wear a mask when entering the school building to drop off and pick up students at extended day classroom.  Parents will sign in and out for tracing purposes and hand sanitizer will be available at sign in area.

Transportation

In all eventualities, families will be surveyed as to whether they have used bussing in the past and if they intend to continue doing so for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Transportation will continue to be available to those that qualify.  The eligibility rules have not changed.
  • The government has indicated that all occupants of school vehicles will need to wear masks.  The government has also indicated that they will be supplying reusable masks to all of our students for this purpose, and to stay safe while at school.  Please note that for students in grades JK to 3, enforcement will not take place.  It is understood that very young students will be challenged to wear a mask for an extended period of time, and to wear a mask correctly.  Best efforts please, for the safety of all.  Masks will be distributed in late August.
  • Our Board will be opening elementary schools under the ‘Conventional’ model.  This means that our school buses will be loaded as normal with up to 72 students per bus.  Seating plans will be developed and will be shared with families in advance of school start up.
  • Secondary schools will open under the ‘Adapated’ model.  For transportation purposes, this means that school buses will be loaded at a rate of one student per seat.  The exception to this is siblings.  All siblings will need to share a single seat.
  • Bus schedules will be available in the last week of August.
  • Every family will be contacted shortly to gain confirmation that students will be taking Board-provided transportation, or if they wish to opt out.
  • Aside from the planned personal contact noted above, families have the option to opt out of transportation at the following link:
  • Staff at the Board and at STSWR are working hard to ensure that your children will be transported to school in a safe manner.  Please be patient with your driver and schedules in the fall.  It will not be perfect, but after two weeks of school, most issues should be addressed.
  • Urgent questions can be sent to T1@wcdsb.ca

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated March 12, 2021

We know that many staff, parents, and students will continue to have questions regarding the ongoing operation of Waterloo Region’s Catholic schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Included below are some of the more frequent questions we have heard. We will continue to supplement this resource over time.

  1. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19
  2. HEALTH & SAFETY IN WCDSB SCHOOLS AND ADMINISTRATIVE FACILITIES
  3. CURRICULUM, LEARNING & SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
  4. OTHER QUESTIONS
  1. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19

Q: What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory infection first identified in 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of virus