York Region District School Board confirms to stagger start of school year

TORONTO – The York Region District School Board has informed parents that they are planning 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 familiarize themselves 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 boards to stagger the return to class during the first two weeks of school.

In the letter, Sirisko also said that the ministry has confirmed that it can implement 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 periods of online learning in the afternoon,” he said. said Sirisko.

On days when they are not physically attending 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 provide more time for learning.

“It focuses on student safety and meets the requirement that students stay in cohorts of 15 and direct and indirect student contact is 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. he’s sure to do it, ”Sirisko mentioned.

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

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

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

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

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

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