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COVID-19 Update to Families #22 – August 28, 2020

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COVID-19 Update to Families #22 – August 28, 2020

August 28, 2020

Dear families,

We are issuing an important message about HWDSB’s School Reopening plan because our revised staggered entry schedule has just received approval from the Ministry of Education. We are contacting you tonight because we recognize the how important it is to communicate immediately to families in order that you have time to prepare and make plans.

Our priority is the health and safety of students and staff in the reopening process. We are pleased to share our staggered entry plan this week, which provides a schedule to welcome students over the first two weeks of school to enhance health and safety preparedness.

A staggered entry schedule will better prepare staff to support student health, well-being and achievement as staff implement new health and safety measures. Students will be able to ease into their new health and safety routines. In addition, families will be supported through effective communication during this time prior to our full reopening.

Revised Staggered Entry Schedule

Staff have considered many factors that required a revision to our staggered entry although the full reopening date for all students remains the same.

  • School Outbreak Management Protocol: Received on August 26, the provincial outbreak protocol is being reviewed by HWDSB and Hamilton Public Health against the 70-plus new procedures established to support our enhanced public health measures.
  • Personal Protective Equipment: While our large shipment of personal protective equipment has arrived, staff are working long days and over the next two weekends to sort, unpack, and deliver to schools.
  • Pre-registration and Readiness: Results from the pre-registration requires additional administration to organize students into either in-person or remote learning. Office staff will be confirming parents and guardians who have yet to complete the Student Screening Declaration Form (Attestation) before their child attends school. Approximately 20 per cent of families have indicated Remote Learning School.
  • Staffing and Re-organization: New teacher assignments, new remote school, and adding additional staff from reserves are being confirmed through Human Resources.
  • Orientation and Transition: Junior Kindergarten, Grade 9 students and students receiving supports from Special Education or those who experience mental health or anxiety challenges require more time for orientation and transition.
  • Physical Environments: Staff inspections will need to take place to ensure readiness with signage, hand sanitizers, distancing, ventilation systems, and plexiglass installation.

Revised Elementary Staggered Entry

Revised Secondary Staggered Entry


Verification of Elementary Pre-Registration Choice:

The deadline has passed for elementary pre-registration, which is how we asked families if they preferred in-person or remote learning for their child. Thank you to the thousands of families who told us their preference. Some families are concerned about whether their choice was received and will be honoured. Please note:

  • Unless you have chosen otherwise, we assume that each student will be attending school in person. If you did not register a choice, your child will be registered for in-person learning.
  • If you chose in-person learning, you will be contacted with your child’s class placement before the start of school.
  • If you chose remote learning, you will be contacted by the Remote Learning School before the start of school.
  • If you registered using the Parent Portal, you can see completed forms in the Parent Portal to verify your selection. Your choice will be honoured.
  • If you registered using the online Microsoft Form (alternative method), you should have received a Thank You message after submitting. Your choice will be honoured.

Please contact your child’s school if you wish to discuss your child’s specific needs.


When students attend in person, they will receive approximately 150 minutes of learning, on alternate days, based on their cohort. For cohorts on their off day from school, they will use these 150 minutes to complete assigned work that they learned the day before, when they were in school using the remote learning tools (MS TEAMS/The HUB).

All students (both cohorts), will participate in 150 minutes of remote learning each day. They will receive 40 minutes of direct instruction for each of their three courses each day with their entire class. Students will also be expected to engage in 10 minutes of independent study per course on each day.

Board Meeting

There will be a Special Board Meeting on Monday, August 31, 2020. Trustees will receive the School Reopening Update #4. The Board agenda will be posted on Monday. Tune in at 6:15 p.m. for the Board Meeting streamed live on HWDSBtv.

Stay well and be safe,

Alex Johnstone
Chair of the Board

Manny Figueiredo
Director of Education

Updated on Monday, August 31, 2020.
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