HDSB Reopening School Plan Backgrounder

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) has released its Reopening schools. It focuses on three areas: Health & Facility, Operations, and Instruction. Highlights include:

  • Health & Facility: A focus on Student screening and Self-assessment will see parents commit to requirements including the completion of a daily self-assessment to be done students leave for school. Parents will also be asked to have a plan to pick up children if they develop symptoms while at school. Hand sanitizer will be placed at school entrances, and in portables without sinks. Physical distancing protocols will be implemented including instruction outside, and the repurposing larger common areas to accommodate spacing between work areas, and desks.
  • Operations: A daily self-assessment tool will be distributed in the form of a poster that takes parents through the symptoms of COVID-19. Students will be required to bring the essential items (backpack, clothing, clothing, sun protection), and take them home at the end of the day. Sharing will be discouraged. Schools will set up drop-off points for parents looking to drop items off. Schools will be closed to visitors, including parents, and more detailed entrance, and exit policies will be up to the discretion of the schools. Meetings with staff will be conducted virtually or by phone. Outdoor play structures will be closed to students, and parents with young families are asked not use them picking up students. Elementary school students are asked to bring their own food and water bottles. None of it may be shared.
  • Instruction: Parents have been asked to fill out an “intent to return” survey by August 23, 2020. School staff will be contacting those who missed the deadline. Elementary students will be in-school five days/ week for in-person instruction. Students in grades 4-8 are being asked to wear non-medical masks. Students in kindergarten to grade 3 are encouraged but not required to wear face coverings. Kindergarten classes will use a play-based model, and teachers are able to take students outside. Secondary students in grades 9-12 will start the year in the Adaptive/ hybrid model with the year divided into quadmesters where students will take two courses over 10 weeks through a mixture of online, and in-person methods. Students will be required to attend in-person class for 180 minutes (three hours)/ day. Distance learning will be offered to all students.

Other Notes:

  • Special Needs: Schools will support those with special needs in order to allow for a longer transition period
  • EQAO will be eliminated this year for students in Grades 3, and six.
  • No new field trips will be approved until further notice. Viability of current field trips will be reviewed, and approved by an Administrative Council.
  • Restart date is now September 14, 2020. Elementary school students may be able to visit in advance of the start-date to become familiar with the health and safety protocols.
  • Masks will be mandatory for students in grades 1-12, and they will be expected to wear them on the first day of school.

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