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Catholic School Board Back To School New Normal

Halton Catholic School – Back To School

Halton Catholic School Board – Return To School Plan

As of August 12th the Halton Catholic School Board came to a decision during it’s special board meeting of the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB). Trustees received and reviewed the proposed HDSB Return to School Plan. Remember that things can change and to make sure that you’re in communication with your child’s school. Stay up to date with all back to school plans on the HCDSB website.

What Happens Next?

On July 30th the Minister of Education released its Guide to reopening schools, and have outlined plans for the return to school. “All elementary schools will re-open in September, 2020, with enhanced health & safety protocols in place. Students (Kindergarten to Grade 8) will return to conventional in-person instruction, 5 days per week school.”

When it comes to Secondary schools, “All HCDSB secondary schools will open in an adapted (hybrid) model with enhanced health and safety protocols in September, 2020. Students (Grade 9-12) will return to school in class cohorts of approximately 15 students, on alternating schedules with at least 50% of in-class instructional days.”

The Delivery Model

It was proposed that initially:

  • Each cohort of up to 15 secondary students would take 1 course at a time
  • Courses would be delivered in a combination of in-class instruction 2-3 days per week, and remote learning
  • Students would earn 1 credit every 23 days (approximately 5 weeks) 

However, based on the new information presented by the trustees a motion to direct staff to change the adapted delivery model to a ‘quadmester approach’: 

  • Students would take 2 courses at a time, and be part of 2 cohorts of up to 15 students per course
  • Courses would be delivered in a combination of in-class instruction 2-3 days per week, and remote learning
  • Students will earn 2 credits in approximately 10 weeks 

Next Steps

Staff are currently working to reconfigure the return to school plan into a quadmester model for secondary schools. A revised delivery model for secondary instruction is to be finalized and shared as soon as it is possible.

Elementary Schools

All elementary Schools will reopen in September 2020. There will be enhanced health and safety protocols in place. Students, kindergarten to grade 8, will return to in-person instruction, 5 days a week. There are multiple strategies in place for both elementary and secondary students, just as there are in the public school system.

Health and Safety Measures

  • Self screening 
  • Adapted school environments 
  • Hand hygiene 
  • Masking 
    • Students in Grade 4 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school. 
    • Medical masks will be provided for teachers and all other school staff. 
    • ​Reasonable exceptions to the requirement will be put in place. 
  • Cohorting 
  • Distancing 
  • Limiting visitors in schools 
  • Pre-registration 

Remote Learning Options

There will be an option for remote learning. “Parents and guardians will make decisions regarding in-person attendance for their children for this school year and will have the option of remote learning if they do not wish to send their child(ren) back to school in September.”

In the next couple of weeks the HCDSB will be sending out an Intent to Return to School survey to all parents and guardians. Parents and guardians will make decisions regarding in-person attendance for their children this school year, they will have the option of remote-learning.

HCDSB Goals For September

This September will look very different than what staff, students and parents have been used to. Some of the goals that the HCDSB have as everyone transitions back to school are:

  • Ensuring protocols are in place so that students and staff are healthy and safe. 
  • Providing an enhanced online/distance learning experience for students who continue to learn from home.  
  • Assessing student learning gaps and developing plans to provide appropriate intervention, where needed. 
  • Maintaining a focus on mental health supports for students and staff returning to school and those who will  continue to learn and work from home.

For More Information

This year is going to be different, we have mentioned that a few times. You need to make sure you stay informed and do what you’re most comfortable doing. Back to school has always been an exciting and nervous time for parents and their children.

“Over the next few weeks, parents and guardians will be receiving additional details about the return to school plan and what it will look like for their child(ren) and family.” Make sure you keep you’re eyes out for any new information. You can find out more by visiting the Guide to reopening Ontario’s Schools to learn more.

Back To School Face mask and sanitizer

September 2020 – Back To School

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
  • Transportation
  • 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.

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Burlington – Stage Three Of Reopening

Stage Three Of Reopening Begins July 24th

This is big news, Burlington is entering into stage three of reopening on July 24th. As we enter into this new normal we want to stay positive and know that we are still working together to make it through this unprecedented time. Let’s look at some of the new bylaws and restrictions in place, and some of the new loosening of rules.

Gathering limits have now increased for both outdoor and indoor gatherings. However, they are still subject to social distancing. Nearly all businesses and public spaces will be able to gradually reopen, with public health and workplace safety measures in place.

Remember to keep in mind that some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed for now, until it’s safe to reopen them. Also, in keeping with the gradual reopening approach, Ontario will continue to monitor key public health indicators and some stage three restrictions.

What Does Stage Three Mean To You

This is another significant step toward fully restoring the economy and the Ontario government wants to make sure that we do this in the safest way. Stage three has more restrictions eased with almost all businesses and public spaces reopen.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other health officials have advised the following high-risk places and activities remain closed for the time being.

  • Amusement parks and water parks
  • Buffet-style food services
  • Clubs and bars,
  • Overnight summer camps
  • Private Karaoke rooms
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact sports
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments
Go Transit

Taking public transit is going to have some adjustments, the major one is that wearing a face covering or non-medical face mask is now required at all times. Metorlinx has expanded it’s safety and cleaning measures and launched a safety kiosk at the Burlington Go Station.

Face Covering Bylaw

We want to make sure that we keep our loved ones safe, and wearing a face mask or face covering is the way to help stop the spread. Burlington City Council approved a bylaw that makes wearing a mask or face covering mandatory in all enclosed public spaces as of July 24th. Halton Region put a similar bylaw in place, it too effect on July 22nd.

The Burlington bylaw will in effect until September 30th 2020, unless it’s extended or revoked by city council. This new bylaw applies to all indoor public spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including:

  • Retail stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Malls and shopping plazas
  • Grocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets (enclosed areas)
  • Restaurants and bars (when permitted to open indoor service)
  • Indoor recreational facilities (unless exempt)
  • Libraries
  • Community centres
  • Community service agencies
  • Personal service settings
  • Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and faith settings
  • Art galleries and museums
  • Banquet halls, convention centres and arenas
  • Real estate facilities such as open houses and presentation centres
  • Common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, etc)
  • Entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Business offices that are open to the public
Back To School

Finally we can talk about what will be happening in the fall. Ontario wants to ensure that all 2 million students in 5,000 publicly funded schools can go back in September. The Ministry of Education released a safety plan and school boards are working hard to prepare their own plans. All plans will be submitted to the Ministry by August 4th. Once approved boards will inform parents.

Joesph Brant Drive-Thru Testing

It should be mentioned that Joesph Brant Hospital has now opened a drive-thru COVID-19 testing. This is in effort to continue to keep the public safe. The clinic is dedicated to testing individuals that are not experiencing any symptoms, but are worried they have been exposed.

The testing is located on the Joesph Brant grounds and will be open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. This service is by appointment only, so make sure you make an appointment before showing up.

Contact Lori VanDinther and Team Today

We have been through a lot as both a local community and a world wide community. If we continue to take the right steps and follow the new bylaw, we know that we will continue to make it through this extraordinary time. Of course the real estate industry has also continued to move forward and we continue to help clients find their dream home.

If you’re looking for more information about market up dates related to COVID-19, Lori will be happy to help answer those questions as well. Or you might be looking to put your property on the market, please contact Lori and her team and they’ll be happy to help.