Schools open to students on September 14

Posted On Wednesday August 26, 2020

Due to the large number of students participating in Full Remote Learning, Thames Valley is making important updates to its Return to Learn plan – including opening of schools to students one week later on Monday, September 14.

“The additional time will give our staff and students the opportunity to reorganize staff assignments and student timetables, prepare classrooms and become comfortable with the many new routines that will be a part of the normal school day,” said Education Director Mark Fisher.

“Throughout the entire planning process, our emphasis has been on making our school environments as safe as possible for our students and staff,” added Director Fisher.

On August 25, the Board of Trustees passed a motion making it mandatory for all students to wear masks – from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Additional masks will be available at school for children who arrive without a mask, but students in Grades 4 to 12 who do not wear a mask risk being sent home from school unless they have been exempted due to medical reasons.

Parents and guardians have also been given time to request a change to their child’s learning model – Full Remote or In-Person learning – by contacting the child’s school at the latest, by noon Friday, August 28.

Elementary In-Person Staggered Start

A staggered start for elementary students attending in person, means each school will divide their student population into two groups (Group 1 and Group 2).  Groups are created alphabetically by last name to keep families together. Schools will notify parents and guardians by Friday, August 28 when their child will begin classes.

Group 1 will attend school on Monday, September 14 and Tuesday, September 15, while Group 2 will attend on Wednesday, September 16 and Thursday, September 17. All students would attend on Friday, September 18, 2020.

A staggered start will allow time for students to adjust to the enhanced health and safety routines, ensure students have access to technology and can navigate online platforms, initially in smaller groups. 

Secondary Students

At the secondary level, the Board was instructed by the Ministry to change from a model of two classes per day to one class per day – requiring the complete re-timetabling of Thames Valley’s more than 25,000 secondary students.  

The new model will feature a quadmester schedule of two courses over 10 weeks, with students attending Period One for 240 minutes/day during weeks 1,3,5,7,9, with Period Two for 240 minutes/day weeks 2,4,6,8,10.   

Cohort A will attend Monday, Tuesday and alternating Wednesday while Cohort B attends Thursday, Friday and alternating Wednesday. A 60-minute study hall at the end of the day will allow the at-home cohort access to their Period One or Two teacher. Schools will provide cohort assignments to families by early September.

Full Remote Learning

Full Remote Learning begins September 14 for over 12,280 students. Classes will be organized based on grade level/course, assigned teachers and support staff. 

Students will be expected to log onto their online learning platform and participate in daily opportunities for synchronous (live, real time) and asynchronous (independent) learning. ?Attendance will be taken, and students will be assessed and evaluated by their teachers.

Requests for changes to learning models

Requests for changes between learning models may be made by contacting the child’s school by noon Friday, August 28. Additional opportunities will be provided for parents and guardians to change learning models with advanced notification. 

Elementary students will be permitted to change models on November 2, 2020 (with advanced notification by October 16, 2020) and February 8, 2021 (with advanced notification by January 22, 2021). These dates align with the Ontario Elementary Reporting Periods. 

Secondary students will be permitted to change models on February 4, 2021 (with advanced notification by January 15, 2021). These dates were determined to align with the Ontario Secondary Reporting Periods (end of Semester 1). 

Parents and guardians can find more information about Thames Valley’s Return to Learn plans for all students at

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