August 21 Update

Good afternoon everyone.

Hope all of you are well.

Just a quick update today after last night’s Board meeting.

With regard to the use of masks/face coverings, Trustees approved a motion to require ALL students and staff wear masks/face coverings. This brings the board in line with the overall City of Toronto requirements which require anyone over the age of 2 to wear a mask/face covering in indoor public spaces — with exemptions for medical reasons.  We have outdoor learning built into every classes timetable and will ensure there are breaks outdoors so that they’re not wearing them for multiple hours straight.

Given the amount of time that will be needed to prepare for the return to school, the decision has been made to move the first day of school (for elementary, secondary and virtual school) to Tuesday, September 15 at which point we will stagger the entry of grades over a few days.  We will share our plan in the coming days when we receive official confirmation of dates.

We also received more specific direction on classes sizes.  For us, JK/SK classes would be capped at 26, Grade 1 to 3 classes will be capped at 20, while Grade 4 to 8 classes will be capped at 27.  These are the maximum number of students to be in a class and not necessarily what our classes will look like when we get our official registration numbers.

The board gathered a lot of good information from the pre-registration phone surveys that were conducted, however with the significant changes and additional information, it was felt that parents/guardians should have the opportunity to make their intentions known based on the latest information. That is why, next week, the TDSB will be asking parents to register their child to attend school in September or keep them at home and attend remote learning in virtual school. It’s very important that parents state their intentions.

The way we finalize our classes is dependent on knowing exactly who is coming back and who is doing remote learning.  Kimm and I have heard from a number of you and have those names and plans recorded.  It is also important to know that if you choose return to school, you must do so.  Any child that is absent for 15 consecutive days, must be demitted from the school’s roster.  We thank you in advance for helping us coordinate this vital component.  This not only determines what are class organization looks like, but also how many students are in each class.

Thanks as always for your cooperation and please enjoy the weekend.

John and Kimm