Letter to Families on the Return to Regular Secondary Timetables
Dear secondary school families,
On November 18, the Ministry of Education announced updated guidelines for school reopening. For the winter semester starting in February 2022, school boards can move to regular timetabling models (such as four courses per day) unless not supported by their local medical officer of health.
HWDSB will return to a regular timetable for Semester 2 in February with Public Health support. The shift from the quadmester model is due in part to the high rates of vaccinations amongst youth, and to support more normal school activities. While many have eagerly awaited this announcement, we understand that it brings more change for our schools.
Public Health Measures
Enhanced measures, including student daily screening, cohorting of students, distancing, hand hygiene, and contact tracing, will stay in place. We continue to work with Public Health on any other measures that are necessary to keep students and staff safe.
HWDSB is currently developing protocols in the following areas:
- Movement of students between classes in morning and afternoon
- Locker distribution and management
- Use of cafeterias
HWDSB staff continue to meet with Public Health and food provider services regarding the reopening of cafeterias for students. Any cafeteria use will need to follow the provincial guidelines for re-opening schools, including cohorting of students and distancing between cohorts.
Once these protocols are created, they will be shared with schools and families. Current COVID-19 protocols can be accessed at hwdsb.on.ca/about/covid19/ and any updates will be added to that page.
Supports for Students
We know that for some students, this will be the third timetable they have experienced in 18 months. As well, Grade 9 and 10 students have never experienced a semester model.
Schools will create transition plans and/or activities for any student with an IEP and any other students who would benefit, especially those in junior grades. Parents and students may reach out to school staff for more specific information.
Potential for Return to Quadmesters
There is a chance that we may need to move back to a quadmester model for safety reasons if directed by Public Health. If that happens, we will use an alternate week quadmester to provide flexibility back and forth between the semester/quadmester model. That means two courses one week, then the other two courses the following week, and so on. This situation would only occur if advised by Public Health and more information would follow if needed.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility throughout all the changes that our schools have faced. We hope this return to the four-course model brings us one step closer to stability for students and staff.
Director of Education