Back To School This September 2020
It’s that time of year again, when kids are getting excited to go back to school. This year, however, will look different than what we are used to. So what will going back to school September 2020 look like? In this blog we’ll try and go over what we know as of now, please note that things can change and this only reflects the Halton Public School Boards reopening plan.
Halton District School Board
On August 13th the Minister of Education announced changes concerning the reopening of Ontario schools. Halton District School Board staff will be reviewing this new information, and will communicate that information once they know how it will impact current published reopening plans.
With this new information, you should be advised that it may change. The deadline to complete the Intent to Reopen Survey will be extended, with a revised date to be communicated to families.
Reopening Halton District Schools
The reopening schools guide for September 2020 is organized around five areas; Health and Family, Operations, Instruction, Well-Being and Technology. Let’s now go over each of these areas, we’ll identify the subcategories of each one. What that area covers and links for you to read more about them on the Halton District School Boards website.
Health and Facility
- Student Screening and Self-Assessment
- Preventative Measures: Hand Hygiene
- Preventative Measures: Physical Distancing
- Preventative Measures: Respiratory Hygiene
- Non-Medical Masks, Cloth Masks and Face Coverings
- Plans of Care
- Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
- Environmental Conditions and Air Flow
- Drinking Fountains
- Student Cohorts
- Student with Possible Symptoms of COVID -19 BEFORE coming to School
- Student with Possible Symptoms of COVID -19 at School
- Staff Wearing Personal Protective Equipment
- Contact Tracing and Public Health
You can learn more about each of these Health and Facility areas by seeing the Halton District School Board’s website. Next we’ll look at Operations and the effective daily operations of how a school can contribute to a safe reopening.
- Family Responsibilities
- Student Belongings
- School Entry/Exit
- Outdoor Play Structures
- School Hours/Access and Visitors
- Lunch and Snacks
- Student Lates/Appointments
- Food Programs, Fundraising and Vending
- Before and After School Child Care Programs
- School Councils and Council Elections
- Emergency Procedures
There’s a lot to cover in each of these areas and it’s important to be informed and know that things can change. You can learn more about Operations and how you can prepare for back to school on the Halton District School Boards website. The next area that the school board has prepared for is Instruction, “This year we will apply the Ministry of Education direction to create days that maximize face-to-face instruction in the most engaging and student focussed ways possible.”
- Intent to Return
- Students with Special Education Needs
- Elementary Instructional Models – September
- Grade 1 to 8 Program Considerations
- Kindergarten Program Considerations
- Secondary Instructional Model – September
- Secondary Regional Programming, CO-OP, OYAP and SHSM
- Secondary Program Considerations
- EQAO and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
- Learning Management Systems/Instructional Platforms
- “Program Nights”, Welcome and Orientation Parent Events
- Excursions/Day Field Trips
- Inter-School Athletics/Co-curriculars
- Volunteer Hour Requirement for Graduation
The well-being of students and staff are very important during this time. The school board has also covered this area in their reopening plan. “The return to school after many months off will require special time and attention from all staff to redevelop relationships and establish supportive routines for students. Students can expect full support from their teachers, Child and Youth Counsellors, Social Workers and Guidance Counsellors.”
- Well-Being for Students
- Professional Learning and Resources for Staff
- Parent Resources
Finally The Halton District School Board covers the area of Technology. “To fully support students who will continue with Distance Learning we will have plans ready to supply students needing technology and connectivity across our Board.”
- Technology Infrastructure and Tech Support
- Devices for Students
- Provisions for Accessible Formats
- Internet Connectivity for Students
- Online Platforms for Instruction with Students
- Wellness in Remote Learning Environment
- Acceptable use of Technology Agreements for Students and Cyber Security/Privacy
- Technology Support for Students and Families
That covers what we know right now about the Halton District School Boards reopening plan. You can access everything for more details on their website, and you can contact your children’s school as well. We are all in this together and by working together and following the protocols, we can make this back to school time as normal as possible.
Getting Back To School
“Respond. Rethink. Restart. These are the three words that have defined our work the past few months in the Halton District School Board and our actions as we reopen our schools this fall. This past March the COVID-19 pandemic thrust us all into a new societal and educational reality.” – Stuart Millar, Director of Education.
The Halton Catholic School Board has also developed a September 2020 reopening plan, and you can learn more about that in our next blog, where we will cover their plan and what to expect this fall. Look for that blog tomorrow.