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HWDSB Building

Return to School Models (Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education Supports)

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Scenarios for 2020-21 reopening: 

  •  Scenario A – Full Return: Students are in school full day, every day. This is the Ministry’s current preference; however, it is subject to change as circumstances change. 
  • Scenario B – Adaptive Return: Students return with a blended approach to learning with both in-person learning and remote learning. Each cohort will have up to 15 students per class or course, per day. Students learning remotely (either by choice or if it is not their in-person school day) will use the board-standard learning platform (The Hub with MS Teams). Students with high levels of special education needs may attend daily in the adaptive return scenario.
  • Scenario C – Full Remote: Schools are closed, and students are in remote learning. 

Scenario A – Full Return:  

To achieve minimal disruptions to regular school routines, school start and end times will remain the same as will student and teacher timetables/assignments (as best as possible). However, school-based adjustments will be required for transitions throughout the day, such as  

  • entry and exit doors,  
  • nutrition and recess breaks  
  • the use of specialized spaces such as the gymnasium and outdoor areas so as to minimize the gathering of large groups.  

Students will remain in their assigned classrooms for the entire school day, including nutrition breaks unless they are utilizing a specialized space.  

We are developing protocols for the use of shared curriculum resources such as musical instruments and physical education equipment based on the advice of Hamilton Public Health.  

Regular hand-hygiene breaks will be implemented throughout the day. All students will receive age-appropriate instruction and reminders about  

  • proper hand-hygiene 
  • respiratory etiquette  
  • mental health and wellness checks  
  • telling an adult if they are not feeling well  
  • physical distancing including staying to the right when travelling inside the school  
  • masking (if required). 

Scenario B – Adaptive Return:  

Should the public health circumstance necessitate the implementation of an adaptive delivery mode, HWDSB elementary schools will implement an alternative day model while maintaining the day 1 to 5 cycle. Students will attend in-person, based on their cohort designation (A or B) on either Monday/Wednesday and alternate Fridays or Tuesday/Thursday and alternate Fridays. Students requiring high levels of special education supports and services will be provided an opportunity to attend daily. 

Parents will be directed to use the Parent Portal to indicate if they do not want their child to attend school in-person. Should a parent choose not to send their child to school, every effort will be made to maintain the student’s current assigned class/teacher(s).  

Students learning remotely (either by choice or if it is not their in-person school day during the adaptive mode, Scenario B) will use the board-standard learning platform (The Hub with MS Teams).  

Appreciating the uncertainty and challenging decision a parent faces when choosing remote-only learning there will be an opportunity to switch to in-person attendance with five (5) school days’ notice (to allow for any adjustments that may be required to class set-up, transportation and/or other programs). 

Scenario C – Full Remote:  

Remote learning will continue to follow the regular school day routines as much as possible including some structured time for direct teaching. We are undertaking a number of steps to assist staff with the engagement of students that are learning remotely. 

Scenario A – Full Return:  

The enhanced public measures will be implemented across HWDSB secondary schools. This may also include potential changes to lunch locations, staggered travel times between periods, and limits on extra curricular activities as well as special consideration for experiential/co-operative learning, dual credits and alternative education.  

School start and end times will remain the same. Students will continue to receive daily instruction for all of their enrolled courses. We are currently developing protocols for the use of shared curriculum resources in secondary schools including musical instruments, physical education equipment, and technological studies equipment based on the advice of Hamilton Public Health. Students will be prompted through lessons and signage throughout the school about the enhanced public health measures as well as the mental health and wellness supports available. 

Scenario B – Adaptive Return: 

Should the public health circumstance necessitate the implementation of an adaptive delivery mode (Scenario B) HWDSB secondary schools will implement an alternate day rotational model that will include a combination of in-person at school instruction and remote learning. Students will attend in-person, based on their cohort designation (A or B) on either Monday/Wednesday and alternate Fridays or Tuesday/Thursday and alternate Fridays for 145 minutes and then be dismissed (those not attending in-person would continue with remote learning). Following an 80-minute transitional time they will then engage in 3 x 40 minute periods of remote learning (adjusted accordingly for schools that operate on a 5 period day). A rotation would be applied so that students have the opportunity to engage with each of their courses in-person throughout the semester. Students requiring high levels of special education supports and services will be provided an opportunity to attend daily 

Parents will be directed to use the Parent Portal to indicate if they do not want their teen to attend school in-person (similar provisions will be made for students that are 18 years and older). Should a parent choose not to send their teen to school, every effort will be made to maintain the student’s current assigned class/teacher. Students learning remotely (either by choice or if it is not their in-person school day during the adaptive mode, Scenario B) will utilize the board-standard learning platform (The Hub with MS Teams). There will be an opportunity to switch to in-person attendance with five (5) school days notice. 

Scenario C – Full Remote:  

Remote learning will continue to follow the regular school day routines as much as possible including some structured time for direct teaching utilizing the board standardized platforms, The Hub with MS Teams. 

A key component of the plan to support students requiring special education supports and services will be a focus on transitions. Where possible, in-person school visits for students requiring moderate to significant levels of special education support will be scheduled prior to the first day of classes. During this time, students and their families will be guided through the enhanced public health measures and new routines for the conventional (Scenario A) and adaptive (Scenario B) delivery modes. Some routines, such as entry/exit and washroom use may differ for a small group of students if necessary, based on need. Students and families will also be supported through the creation of social stories that can be rehearsed with the student prior to school entry. Signage and process charts will be adapted so as to be accessible to learners who do yet access print while remaining age appropriate. Protocols are being established with service providers (e.g. LHIN) that will require access to schools to support students. 

In keeping with the practice of minimizing student movement and maintaining student cohorts, there will be a shift in some program delivery for both the conventional (Scenario A) and adaptive (Scenario B) modes. Off-site programs such as the Innovation Centre, Centre for Success, EXSL Centres and the Elementary Social Communications Program, will be delivered where Specialized Services staff will meet students in their assigned schools/classrooms. There will also be a shift towards curriculum-based programming for students in self-contained special education classes as educational excursions outside of the school grounds will be restricted until further notice.  

High-intensity support programs such as Empower Reading at the elementary and secondary school levels and AIM at the elementary school level will continue in the conventional (Scenario A), adaptive (Scenario B) and remote (Scenario C) modes. Students that do not attend in-person will receive these supports through remote instruction during the school day in a structured manner where possible. 

Students assigned to self-contained special education classes and those students in a regular class and whose diagnosis or disability requires direct support to access the curriculum and attend school; may require significant assistance and have limited independence and/or have specific requirements including health/medical, safety, self-help and/or social communication, will be provided the opportunity to attend in-person daily during an adaptive (Scenario B) mode.  

All other students receiving special education support will be monitored throughout an adaptive phase (Scenario B) and may be offered an opportunity to attend in-person daily should the need arise. 

In the event that remote learning (Scenario C) is implemented or should a parent/guardian/caregiver elect to have the student learn remotely, daily instruction will occur.  

Updated on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
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