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Greater Essex County District School Board
Building Tomorrow Together Every Learner, Every Day
Frequently Asked Question

Below is a list of frequently asked questions we have received since the return to in-person learning was announced. As always, families are encouraged to reach out to their local school if they have any additional questions or concerns.

Can you explain what the return to in-person learning at elementary schools will look like next week?

As directed by the Ministry of Education we will be reopening schools for in-person learning on February 8th.  The most recent requests for change will not take effect until February 16th because of the time required to implement these new assignments.

When we provide parents/guardians the opportunity to change their child's model of learning it requires a re-staffing of the entire system.

The process to staff schools includes: changing class lists; updating student and teacher timetables and schedules; and moving teachers to their new assignments. It requires three weeks to complete this work.

This means that students who were previously enrolled in in-person learning but switched to virtual learning by the Jan 26th deadline are to attend in-person from February 8th-11th and will switch to virtual starting on February 16th.

As always, if students will not be in attendance, we ask that parents notify the school.

Am I able to change my learning model now?

Requests for change are no longer being accepted. The deadline for requests was January 26th, 2021 and system reorganization has occurred.  

What are the mask requirements for students returning to in-person learning?

In accordance with the Ministry of Education's direction, all students in grades 1–12 are to wear cloth or non-medical masks while in class, in the hallways of the school, and when outdoors if physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained, e.g. recess and walking to and from school.

It is strongly recommended that students in junior and senior kindergarten wear cloth or non-medical face masks when attending school.

All students are required to wear cloth or non-medical masks while on the school bus.

Why are masks not mandated for students in kindergarten?

We are following direction from the Ministry of Education whereby all students in grades 1-12 are mandated to wear masks. Masks are mandated for junior and senior kindergarten when riding on the school bus and are strongly encouraged to wear masks while in school.

Do I have to wear my mask when I'm outside at school?

There are enhanced health and safety measures in place. All students using board-provided transportation must wear masks on buses and students should not congregate at bus stops or on school grounds within 2 metres of each other.

At school, students in Grades 1-8 will be required to wear their masks at all times. When outside, masks will also be necessary unless 2 metres of physical distancing can be maintained.

As well we strongly recommend that individuals picking up or dropping off students at school observe the same safe physical distancing guidelines.

Who needs to submit COVID-19 self-assessments and how do we do it?

All employees and all secondary students must complete and submit the online GECDSB COVID-19 self-assessment before attending school or work. More details can be found here:

1.       Visit

2.       Sign in using your employee ID or a student number and password

3.       Complete the self assessment and submit your results

4.       The tool will indicate whether you should or should not attend school/work

5.       Student results will be forwarded to teachers as part of daily attendance procedures.

Note: The only data stored and accessible to the administrator/supervisor is either "Go to School" or "Do not go to School"; the individual question results are not stored.

Do we have to complete and submit the screening every day?

Yes. If you are entering a school or administrative building the COVID-19 self-assessment must be submitted each morning.  

Secondary cohorts who are learning virtually for the entire day do not need to submit the self-assessment that day.

Can you provide more information on moving to 150-minutes of virtual learning in the afternoon for secondary students?

The most up-to-date secondary schedule can be found here:

Moving to 150 minutes (from 75 minutes) in the virtual afternoon classes provides students with over 6 hours of increased learning time with their teacher each week.  The number of times students are able to see their teachers in the mornings in-person remains unchanged.

Will my child have bussing and transportation available to them when they return to in-person learning?

For secondary students, board-provided transportation and Transit Windsor will coordinate with the updated schedule that can be found here:  

Any student who attended in-person learning and received student transportation prior to the break will continue to be set up for student transportation. 

Any student that was not previously utilizing student transportation or was not previously attending in-person learning prior to the break should contact their school to request transportation.  

Transportation requests received prior to Wednesday afternoons will be set up for the following Monday.  All other transportation requests will be in place a week from the following Monday.

Your child's bussing information is available when you sign in on

Is Friday, February 12th a PA day?

Yes, Friday, February 12th is a PA day for both elementary and secondary schools.