Catholic School Board updates return to school information

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has updated its information regarding the first day of school and the upcoming plans to have students back in school next month.

Parents in the Catholic school board had the option to send their children to school or to select the learn-at-home online option. From kindergarten through Grade 12, 24 per cent of students will be learning online instead of going to school. That number may rise as parents have the option to change what they want to do until August 21.

“Our School Board trustees continue to be involved in our Return to School Plans,” said a statement issued by OCSB Director of Education Thomas D’Amico and OCSB Chair Mark Mullan. “In addition to Board Meetings, trustees bring suggestions and input from parents to the senior staff’s attention regarding the operational items contained within the Return to School plan.  Trustees are vital to the Board’s governance and are ultimately responsible for the Board’s overall fiscal decisions.  The Board has already approved the use of 1% of reserves to help address COVID-19 costs. In the fall, Trustees will review staff recommendations for a further withdrawal of 1%. These funds will be used to cover the costs of additional staff to address the largest class size issues across the Board and to support the new elementary virtual program.”

On August 13th, the Ministry of Education released updated guidelines for the Return to School. As a result, the OCSB made revisions to their Return to School Plans. The key revisions include the elementary distance learning program that now consists of an online teacher assigned to each online class. The dedicated teacher will be available for 180 minutes online each day for Kindergarten and 225 minutes online each day for grades 1 to 6. This level of synchronous learning means that those selecting elementary distance learning will no longer be attached to your regular school classroom; however, you will remain registered at your neighbourhood school.

The second significant change to the Return to School Plan is the high school adapted model. The model will still be based on two courses at a time in a quadmester format with cohorts of half classes attending school. The change is that students from each half of the class will attend school for full days, every other day, in the OCSB updated model.

  • If your child is starting Kindergarten, the OCSB will contact you with their start date. Half of the class will first come to school on Thursday, September 3 and the other half will come on Friday, September 4.
  • For Kindergarten Year 2 (SK) Grades 1 to 3, students will first come to school on Tuesday, September 8
  • For Grades 4 to 6, students will first come to school on Wednesday, September 9.
  • Grade 7 students will first come to school on Thursday, September 3.
  • Grade 8 students will first come to school on Tuesday, September 8.
  • Grade 9 to 12 (Cohort A) students will first come to school on Tuesday, September 8.
  • Grade 9 to 12 (Cohort B) students will first come to school on Wednesday, September 9.

“We continue to work closely with Ottawa Public Health to create safer schools for our students and staff,” the OCSB statement read. “Our plan’s changes have been reviewed with Ottawa Public Health for input on ways to continue to mitigate risks.”

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