Who will determine when it is safe to return to school?
The Ministry of Education, with guidance from public health, provided direction on school opening to all boards on July 30th, 2020.
When will schools be opened for students?
The first day of school is Tuesday, September 8, 2020 for Grade 1 -12. We will be ready to have your child(ren) back for learning.
The first day of school is Monday, September 14, 2020 for Kindergarten.
What model of instruction will GECDSB be following?
On July 30th, 2020 the Ministry of Education confirmed the following models for return to school in September:
Elementary: (Kindergarten to Grade 8) Students will attend school 5 days per week, with one cohort of students for the full day, including recess and lunch. Enhanced health and safety protocols will be in place. Students in GAINS classroom will be attending full time. Student who are in RISE classrooms will be attending RISE half day.
Secondary (Grades 9-12) Adapted model: Students attend school every other day (alternating Wednesdays), in smaller class sizes of approximately 15 students. Schools will operate on a quadmester schedule. Enhanced health and safety protocols will be in place.
*GECDSB is one of the 24 designated boards that will operate secondary schools on an adapted model involving combination of in-class and on-line learning.
What if I do not want to send my child to school during the pandemic?
The Education Act notes that schooling is mandatory for students under 18, so daily attendance (whether face-to-face or remotely) is expected.
The Ministry has noted that the decision to send a child to school for face-to-face instruction is the parent/guardian’s choice. If you chose not to send your child to school then a GECDSB at-home distance learning program will be provided.
What if I change my mind after school begins and want my child to attend face-to-face when I first chose electronic, or vice-versa?
Elementary – Should students want to move between remote (distance) learning and in-person learning, they will be able to do so only in October and February. Parents/Guardians would have to notify the school through an online survey by October 26th for a November 9th change and January 18th for a February 1st change.
Secondary – Should students want to move between remote (distance) learning and in-person learning they will only be able to do so at the end of each quadmester. Students would have to notify their school through an online survey two weeks before the end of the quadmester. The deadline to notify the school would be Quadmester 2 - October 26th, Quadmester 3 - January 18th and Quadmester 4 - April 6th.
*Regardless of the model you choose, changes can only be made on the above dates.
Will my child be able to take the school bus to school?
We are working with Windsor Essex Student Transportation Service (WESTS), the regional transportation consortium, and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) to determine our back to school bussing plans. WESTS will be following public health directives about student health and safety on busses. Physical distancing requirements will result in a significant reduction in the number of students on each bus in September. WESTS will be sharing their safety protocols and scheduling with families shortly.
Students who were eligible for transportation last year are not required to re-register for the bus. You only need to re-apply for transportation if you have changed addresses or changed schools.
If your children are eligible for transportation but will not be riding the bus this year, we would appreciate you filling the opt-out form, which can be found at Bus Kids
by scrolling down to the bus registration section. By completing this form it will assist us with planning physical distancing and a more accurate manifest of who will be riding.
Will temperatures be taken before boarding the bus or at school?
No. Health screening should be taking place at home by parents/guardians.
What are the cleaning protocols for the bus?
- All buses will be equipped with a Health Canada approved disinfectant product, waste disposal bags, disposable cloths
- Drivers’ cockpits will be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning and end of each shift
- High touch surfaces that are accessible to students will be cleaned at the end of the morning runs, prior to the start of school to home trips, and at the end of the shift.
- Those surfaces include, but are not limited to, the inside hand railing, seats and any other parts of the bus that are commonly touched by students
- Bus drivers will keep a record of cleaning protocols
Will choosing remote learning jeopardize access to transportation later in the year?
If students choose to opt back in, WESTS will work to put students on transportation. It may take longer, depending on loads on buses, and students may have to wait until WESTS is able to readjust seat assignments, however it isn’t WESTS intention to deny transportation for eligible students. All efforts will be made to accommodate. Parents are asked to work directly through the school should they change their minds and wish to re-opt back into transportation.
Will Vincent Massey’s moduflex (full year timetable) be available for 2020-21?
On advice from our Ministry and from health officials, contact tracing is a priority. Therefore, Massey’s full year courses will not be viable for 2020-21. All secondary schools will be following a quadmester timetable.
Will my child be able to access child care?
How do I register my child?
If you are new to our board or have moved to another area within Windsor or Essex County, you are able to register your child at www.publicboard.ca
or direct link at GECDSB Registration
Please ensure that you have registered your child by Friday, August 21st to ensure placement in preferred learning model.
How will physical distancing be maintained?
Physical distancing is an effective measure to minimize the risk of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. The following measures are being implemented:
- Cohorting of students to limit the number of contacts;
- Visual cues, signage and floor markings, including directional arrows for traffic flow, where appropriate;
- Educating students about the importance of physical distancing;
- Adaptations to classroom settings and other shared spaces to provide as much space as possible between students and staff;
- Keeping lunchtime in the classroom or outdoors, where possible;
- Staggering measures to minimize traffic in shared spaces such as hallways and washrooms.
- All schools will develop school specific protocols including identifying entry/exit doors and parent pick up/drop off (Kiss and Ride) protocols.
How will the kindergarten pods be set up?
Schools will create learning areas that promote physical distancing and focus on safety.
Will kindergarten students and parents be able to tour the school prior to the first day as was past practice?
School health and safety plans will be restricting the number of visitors to the school. This will result in a change of practice from previous years.
I typically walk my child into the school yard. Will I still be able to do this?
School health and safety plans will be restricting the number of visitors to the school. This will result in a change of practice from previous years. Your specific school entry plans will be shared prior to the start of school.
What kind of supports are teachers / EAs allowed to give this year (hugs, handholding, high fives?)
Physical distancing measures are a requirement of our health and safety plans. In cases where physical contact is required staff will be wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
Will more detail on Cohort C be provided? Will it be their original home room teacher, a teacher from their school or simply a GECDSB teacher?
Cohort C will be run as a virtual school. GECDSB teachers will be leading the program but may not be associated with your home school. It will not be a teacher who is offering in-person learning at school.
Schools that use multi-student tables instead of desks, will regular desks be provided instead to promote social distancing?
Multi-student desks will not be used for more than one student.
How will children ensure social distancing while not wearing masks during nutrition breaks/recess?
Student messaging about social distancing will be reinforced. Staff supervision of students during this time frame will include a focus on social distancing.
When do you anticipate social events / assemblies being allowed?
Large in-person gatherings are not permitted at this time. Ministry of education/Ministry of Health will provide direction on when this is appropriate to do so
Will supply teachers be cohorted?
Ministry of Education rules on cohorting applies to students. Efforts will be made to limit the number of teachers in contact with cohorts each day.
Fewer children in school – will this result in collapsing classes together instead of keeping class sizes smaller?
Classes will be organized prior to the school year based on number of students attending in each model. Efforts will be made to limit class size.
How will lunch time be handled?
Where possible and appropriate, the timing of recesses, lunches, and bathroom breaks should be staggered to support cohorting.
Personal Protective Equipment
- All staff will be provided with appropriate PPE to safely interact with each other and with other students, such as masks and face shields, removing only when eating.
- Spec Ed – medical grade masks, face shields, gowns and gloves
- Custodians – medical grade masks
- All other board staff – medical grade masks
- Students in grade 4 – 12 inclusive are required to wear a non-medical or cloth mask
- Student in JK – Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a non-medical or cloth mask
- Students who have lost their mask or do not arrive at school with a mask will be provided with one from the school – all schools will have a supply of masks on hand for this purpose
- Training to all staff on how to don and doff PPE in a safe manner
- Isolation kits for all board sites in the event that a staff member, student or essential visitor becomes ill
- Instructions on use
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Disposable gloves
- Disposable medical masks
- Face shields
- Disposable gown
How will school deal with kids who come to schools with Covid symptoms?
If children are sent home for any illness, will they be required to isolate for 14 days?
Will students be allowed to participate in remote learning during a 14 day quarantine?
Teachers will provide work to students who are required to stay home during the quarantine period.
What if a student forgets their mask?
A supply of non-medical masks will be available at schools for those students who require one.
Will students still have lockers in secondary school?
Lockers will not be available for use. Refer to DC
If students received technology from Board, do these need to be returned in September? What if they choose remote learning?
At this time, students who received board technology will be allowed to keep the technology.
The request for technology process will be open shortly for families to access devices from the board.
Will high school children in same family, different grades be in same cohort?
Siblings will be kept in the same cohort, where possible.
Will curriculum and lessons be the same in the classroom and remote learning? If my kids start remotely but return to school in January, will they be behind?
Both programs will follow the Ontario Curriculum expectations in a general sequence covering broad topics.
What will the new gym class look like?
Health and Physical Education (HPE) is an essential component of the curriculum. Logistics may vary between school sites based on a number of factors, including gymnasium size, indoor space availability and outdoor space availability. All schools will assess their site specific layout and make site specific plans to accommodate physical education for all students. Proper hand washing and personal hygiene routines will be incorporated before entering any space for Health and Physical Education classes. There will be a focus on activities that do not use equipment to support the effort for reduced contact and possible contamination of resources.
Is the survey a final decision or is it just to get an idea for planning? When do we need to confirm?
A confirmation will be sent out to families.
Will Secondary calendar be updated to show quadmester exams?
Yes, the calendar will be updated to show the current model of program delivery.
What are consequences / repercussions of not returning the declaration by the deadline?
Confirmation is required for placement of students in preferred learning model.
How do I change my answer on the survey if I misunderstood the question?
A confirmation will be sent out to families. Responses can be adjusted at that time.