With just over a week before students are ready to attend class, the Waterloo Region District School Board has said it is delaying the start of the school year.
The board says this is an effort to give students and staff more time to return to the learning environment both online and in person.
Waterloo Region District School Board Announces Staggered Start for Elementary Classes
Students in the Waterloo region have not been inside a classroom since March, when Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered classrooms closed amid the pandemic of coronavirus was starting to spread across the province.
The board says the last shift will give staff even more time to prepare for the return of students.
“It was a very difficult decision and we realize it can cause inconvenience to some families,” WRDSB spokeswoman Alana Russell told Global News in an email.
“However, as we approach the reopening of schools, we also know that we must prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff and be able to best meet our operational requirements for a safe return. ”
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Last week, the WRDSB chose to spread back to school over two weeks to allow staff to prepare for back to school.
The change announced on Monday will see kindergarten students attending orientation sessions on September 10 and 11.
Students with special needs will also be back in class earlier than the rest of the student body.
Grade 9 students will also be in a Grade 9 orientation on September 9-10.
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The next day, the first cohort of high school students (cohort B) will begin classes while cohort A will finally enter a classroom the following Monday.
In elementary schools, the plan will see K-8 students attend classes every other day starting September 14.
Students will be divided into two cohorts based on last names.
Group 1, which includes students whose last name begins with the letters AL, will start on September 14, while students whose last name begins with the letters MZ will begin on September 15. The children will attend every other day until September 18, when all the children will be in classes together.
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