KEMPTVILLE – Another school board has opted for staggering the start of the 2020-21 school year. The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario released details of its staggered start plan late August 27th. This follows the Upper Canada District School Board’s move to a staggered start, first reported by The Leader August 26th and confirmed by that board on Thursday.
Under the CDSBEO plan, the first day of school for some students will be Tuesday, September 8th. Kindergarten students, Grade 7 students who attend Grade 7-12 secondary schools, and selected special education students in schools will start on that day. Schools will contact parents of special education students with details.
On September 9th, Grade 1-3 students, Grade 8 students who attend Grade 7-12 secondary schools, and all Grade 9 students will begin class. All remaining students will begin school on September 10th including Grade 4-6 students, Grade 7-8 students who attend elementary schools, and Grade 10-12 students.
Remote Distance Learning will begin at the CDSBEO on September 14th.
According to board spokesperson Amber LaBerge, 18 per cent of elementary students and 14 per cent of secondary students have opted for the board’s Remote Distance Learning program and will learn from home.
Students moving from at-school to at-home learning may have an impact on class spacing and teacher assignments at the CDSBEO.
“The Board is in the process of reviewing staffing requirements for schools and for remote learning and will be hiring additional teachers to meet the needs,” LaBerge said. “Any current open teaching positions are posted to the employment section of our website. The Board is following all Ministry of Education guidelines with respect to class sizing, and we are working on the details of our class lists presently.”
She added that final classroom numbers have not been confirmed yet, but there are no changes to Educational Assistant supports provided in the 2020-21 budget at this time.
Addressing parent concerns about communication from the school board and the timing of this change of plans, LaBerge said that like all school boards in the province, they are dealing with this “unprecedented” return to school.
“There are many, many details to be resolved as we implement health and safety protocols within our schools to ensure that our staff and students are safe upon their return to school, and plan for both in-class as well as remote distance learning programs,” she said. “We are releasing information to parents to the best of our abilities, and as soon as we are able. We appreciate the patience of our school community as we work to ensure a safe start up.”