Board » School Opening

School Opening

STUDENT CROSS-OVER SURVEY

As required by the Ministry of Education, Wellington Catholic DSB is providing families the option to cross over between online virtual school or in-person models of learning. The Elementary cross-over survey closed on September 25, 2020.  A survey is now being provided for Secondary students wishing to make this change. Students/Families only need to fill in the survey if they wish to switch between learning models at the end of the Quadmester 1.

 

SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT CROSS-OVER SURVEY

Should you wish to have your child(ren) return to in-person learning at your home school from our virtual school, or if you wish to register your child(ren) for the virtual school, please complete this survey between October 9 and October 15th at noon. Please complete the survey for each secondary-aged student for whom you wish to change their current learning model. Students over the age of 18 can complete the survey themselves. 

 

A few notes as you consider changes to your chosen learning model:

  • Quadmester 1 ends on November 13th.  All changes will occur on November 16th, 2020.  
  • The next available opportunity for Secondary students to cross over between virtual and in-person school will be at end of January 2021. Specific dates regarding the survey dates and transition timing will be published on our school board website in future months.  
  • Virtual learning requires students to participate every day online for 300 minutes per day in a combination of live synchronous learning and asynchronous learning tasks. 


The survey is open and can be found here: Secondary School Crossover Survey 

Wellington Catholic DSB - Elementary Cross-Over Survey

As required by the Ministry of Education, Wellington Catholic DSB is providing families the option to cross over between online virtual school or in-person models of learning. A survey is being provided for Elementary and Secondary students wishing to make this change. Families only need to fill in the survey if they wish to switch change how their children are learning this semester.

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Should you wish to have your child(ren) return to in-person learning (at your home school from our virtual school), or if you wish to register your child(ren) for the virtual school, please complete this survey between Sept 16 and Sept 25 at 5 pm. Please complete the survey for each elementary-aged child for whom you wish to change their current learning model. 

 

A few notes as you consider changes to your chosen learning model:

  • Families that indicate a change through this survey will make the transition beginning on October 5, 2020. Specific details about your transition will be shared in future communications.
  • The next available opportunity for elementary students to cross over between virtual and in-person school will be at end of January 2021. Specific dates regarding the survey dates and transition timing will be published on our school board website in future months.  


The survey is open until September 25 at 5:00p.m. and can be found here.

 

 SECONDARY SCHOOL

Should you wish to have your child(ren) return to in-person learning at your home school from our virtual school, or if you wish to register your child(ren) for the virtual school, a survey will be opened between Friday, October 9 and Friday, October 16 at 5 pm.

 

A few notes as you consider changes to your chosen learning model:

  • Changes to the learning model will take place at the start of the second quadmester (November 16, 2020). Specific details about your transition will be shared in future communications with you.
  • The survey will be posted on October 9, 2020. Please look for future updates.
  • The next opportunity for secondary students to cross over between virtual and in-person school will be at the end of January 2021. Specific dates for another survey and transition dates will be published on our school board website.
Return to School Video Reminders
 
 
 
Elementary & Secondary Reopening Models
 
Frequently Asked Questions
A more detailed response about return to school plans can be found in our  FAQ and Return to School Plan. We are continuing to work on providing answers to the many questions received as soon as possible. Questions can be emailed to: generalinquiries@wellingtoncdsb.ca We are unable to respond to each emailed question individually, due to the high volume. Instead, we will theme the questions and provide responses in future editions of the FAQ document. 

 

Return to School Return to School Planning Manual
This is a link to the planning document that will guide our decision making. This document will continue to evolve. This plan has input from all corners of WCDSB (from frontline staff to principals) and has been reviewed by our local public health and follows all provincial guidelines provided to date. We are sharing this document so you have access to the same information that our staff do.

While we have planned for much, we cannot anticipate everything that the fall may bring. As we continue to grow through this experience, you can count on our commitment to open communication. We will be posting regular updates here and on Twitter at @WellingtonCath

 
 

School Opening Updates

Staggered Entry To Start on September 10

The staggered entry for Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) students will now begin on Thursday, September 10, two days later than originally planned. The change will help accommodate additional health and safety measures suggested by public health for all board classrooms.

The staggered entry schedule now starts on Thursday, September 10.

 

Elementary back to school will look like:

  • Tues., Sept 8: No students in schools. Staff preparing for students return
  • Wed., Sept 9: No students in schools. Staff preparing for students return
  • Thurs., Sept. 10 to Fri., Sept 18: JK staggered entry visits
  • Thurs., Sept. 10: Intake Meetings JK & SK, and Grades 1, 2 and 3 only
  • Fri., Sept 11: Intake Meetings JK & SK, and Grades 1, 2 and 3 only
  • Mon., Sept. 14: SK, Combined 3/4, 4, 5 and 6 only
  • Mon., Sept. 14: WCDSB virtual school begins
  • Tues., Sept. 15: SK, Combined 6/7, 7, 8 only
  • Wed., Sept. 16: All SK – grade 8 students in class
    Thurs., Sept. 17: All SK – grade 8 students in class
  • Fri., Sept. 18: All JK – grade 8 students in class

 

Secondary back to school will look like:

  • Tues., Sept 8: No students in schools. Staff preparing for students return
  • Wed., Sept 9: No students in schools. Staff preparing for students return
  • Thurs., Sept. 10: Grade 9 only
  • Fri., Sept. 11: Grade 10 only
  • Mon., Sept. 14: WCDSB virtual school begins
  • Mon., Sept. 14: Grade 11 only
  • Tues., Sept. 15: Grade 12 only
  • Wed., Sept. 16: All grade 9 – 12 students in class


September 9 | Back To School Info For Families
Thank you for your patience and support over the past months as we have been preparing for the start of the school year. We recognize each one of us has had a different COVID experience and, as a result, may have different feelings of excitement and some trepidation. As we return to learning this fall, our priority has been on creating safe, caring, inclusive spaces of learning for all our students. This letter, along with communications from your child’s school, will provide information to help your family have a safe and healthy return to learning.
 
 

August 21 | School Opening Plan & Use of Reserves

 

A recent Ministry of Education announcement allows school boards to access their accumulated surplus in excess of previously approved limits. This means, for this school year only, boards are allowed to incur a deficit no greater than 2 percent of their operating allocation. These funds are to be used to ensure student and staff safety and wellness as we start this very unique year. 

 

At the Board meeting on Thursday, August 20, and following the election of our new Chair, Vikki Dupuis and Vice-Chair Sebastian Dalbo, WCDSB trustees endorsed senior administration’s Return to School Plan. This plan outlines our commitment to welcoming students back into safe, healthy and inclusive schools. Click here to see how we will be using our reserves to help make that happen.

 

Our thanks also to WCDSB families for the patience and support you have shown over the past months. Regardless of the learning option you’ve chosen for your children, the entire WCDSB team is committed to the well-being and safety of all our students and high quality, faith-based, inclusive education.

August 21 | A Back to School Update From Incoming Director Mike Glazier

 

I am pleased to share an update of Wellington Catholic’s Return to School Plan. Focused on student success, we are making smart, practical investments and decisions to ensure the safety of both students and staff.

 

A recent Ministry of Education announcement allows school boards to access their accumulated surplus in excess of previously approved limits. This means, for this school year only, boards are allowed to incur a deficit no greater than 2 percent of their operating allocation. These funds are to be used to ensure student and staff safety and wellness as we start this very unique year.

 

At the Board meeting on Thursday, August 20 WCDSB trustees endorsed senior administration’s Return to School Plan. This plan outlines our commitment to welcoming students back into safe, healthy and inclusive schools. This letter details how we will be using our reserves to help make that happen.

 

Grounded in the knowledge that approximately 90% of our elementary and secondary students will be returning to school in person I want to thank all of our classroom, custodial, and administrative staff for their tireless efforts and flexibility as we adapt daily to new directions from the ministry and public health. 

 

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to school in a few short weeks.

 

 

Mike Glazier

Incoming Director of Education

A safer startup of the school year

The board is showing its commitment to student and staff health and safety by adopting a staggered entry for all grades the first week of school. This will allow students and staff to acclimatize to their classes and become familiar with the increased health and safety procedures the board has put in place for the well-being of our entire community.

 

Elementary back to school will look like:

  • Tues., Sept. 8 & Wed., Sept 9: Intake Meetings Year 1 (JK) & new Year 2 (SK) only
  • Tues., Sept. 8 & Wed., Sept 9: Grades 1, 2 and 3 only
  • Thurs., Sept. 10: SK, Combined 3/4, 4, 5 and 6 only
  • Thurs., Sept. 10 to Fri., Sept 18: JK Staggered Entry Visits
  • Fri., Sept. 11: SK, Combined 6/7, 7, 8 only
  • Mon., Sept. 14: All SK – grade 8 students in class
  • Mon., Sept. 21: All JK – grade 8 students in class
  •  

Secondary back to school will look like:

  • Tues., Sept. 8: Grade 9 only
  • Wed., Sept. 9: Grade 10 only
  • Thurs., Sept. 10: Grade 11 and 12 only
  • Fri., Sept. 11: Grade 11 and 12 only
  • Mon., Sept. 14: All grade 9 – 12 students in class

On August 18, Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin Public Health, met with senior leaders from local school boards to continue planning for the safe reopening of schools. In the meeting, Dr. Mercer advocated for the mandating of masks for students from grade 1 and above and strongly recommended them for children in JK and SK.

 

In collaboration with our partners in Public Health, WCDSB will be developing a Masking Protocol for our students to align these recommendations. This means that:

  • Students in grades 1-12 will wear masks while at school.
  • Kindergarten students will be required to wear masks on while on the bus.

 

Elementary School Staffing  

Immediate impact: hiring of additional staff to reduce class size

WCDSB has always maintained kindergarten class sizes well below the required average. We are prioritizing this new investment for our youngest learners to achieve an average class size below 22. This investment includes the addition of classroom teachers, early childhood educators and support for outdoor learning. These funds will also allow the hiring of additional teachers reducing junior and intermediate class size averages to below 23.

 

Secondary School Staffing

Immediate impact: smaller classes and more e-learning options

As a Board, we pride ourselves in our small secondary school experience. Based on final input from our family survey this week, we will be using multiple strategies to ensure the highest level of academic excellence combined with a priority for student safety.

 

WCDSB will be offering additional e-learning options for our Secondary students and hiring additional teachers to reduce class sizes for higher enrolment courses. These strategies combined with the ability to maximize the use of our school buildings will allow our students the space to physically distance. We have made investments in student technology including the addition of 1300 netbooks, 500 ipads and 500 webcams. The broadband modernization project, which includes dedicated internet connections and an increased bandwidth capacity, has been completed for all schools in the Wellington Catholic District School Board.

August 18 | Reopening Survey Updates

Last week we invited families to participate in a Reopening Survey. Parents were asked to choose Online Distance/Remote Learning if they do not wish to send their child to school in the Conventional Model. Parents were asked to complete the survey by last Friday indicating their plan for attending school in September along with their transportation needs. Over 90% of our elementary and secondary families are choosing to send their children back to school in the Conventional Model. 

 

On August 13, we received further instructions from the Ministry on the return to school. In that announcement, information was provided regarding expectations for on-line learning and permission for a staggered entry to school. We have further refined our conventional Secondary School model for grades 9-12 based on these updates. You can read more about those updates in the August 14 post below. 

 

With this new information, parents and school boards now have greater clarity regarding the Ministry's model for Online Remote Learning. We are re-opening our survey to allow parents a final opportunity to submit their responses if they missed the opportunity to do so. As well, any parents who would like to re-select their learning model choice can do so by completing the survey before 9 pm on Thursday, August 20.

 

  • You do NOT need to resubmit if you completed the original survey and are keeping with your initial learning model choice
  • Please REsubmit the survey if you wish to change your initial learning model choice from your first survey submission
  • Please fill in the survey If you did not complete the initial survey
 
You can find the survey here. Thank you for filling it in before 9 pm on Thursday, August 20
 

August 14 | Back to School Updates

New Expectations for Remote Learning include:

  • Students should expect to be on-line 225 minutes of online synchronous (real time) learning for students Grade 1-12; 180 minutes for Kindergarten.
  • Students will be taught by a centrally-assigned teacher with students from across the school board (i.e. the teacher may not be from the student's home school).

 

Secondary Conventional Model:

  • Students will follow a concentrated course model which has alternating Period 1 course and Period 2 courses over a two week cycle to limit student contacts to two cohorts.
  • The model includes a slightly reduced school day to limit contacts through the day;  however wellness and nutrition breaks are scheduled within the day. 

 

Cross Over Dates:

  • Parents are asked to commit to the model selected and will have an opportunity to cross over from On-line to Conventional or vice-versa in Elementary and Secondary using the following dates:
  • Elementary - Notification to cross-over models on September 25, 2020 with switch on October 5, 2020
  • Secondary - Notification to cross-over models on October 16, 2020 with switch on November 13, 2020

 

Staggered Start to the School Year: 

  • Information is contained in the FAQ regarding the staggered start of students in Elementary and Secondary to promote a safe and healthy start to the school year. 

 

Note: A more detailed response about the return to school can be found in our FAQs and Return to School Plan.

August 13 | Follow up Minister Lecce announcement

 

The Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, and Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced updates on August 13 that will impact the reopening of schools this fall. The announcement outlined that boards may use reserves from their prior year accumulated surplus to support the board’s priorities with respect to return to school plans. In consultation with our Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit, we will make any necessary adaptations to our reopening plan. 

 

The government will also be releasing a Policy Program Memorandum (PPM) outlining the expectations for teacher-led remote learning. The directive is expected to establish minimum expectations for engaging students in their learning, and have a predictable timetable for synchronous, live learning. It will include Ministry-set requirements for the minimum time for synchronous learning by grade, protocols for communicating with parents and students and access to technology. We will share the information in our regularly updated FAQs.

 

The Ministry also committed to working closely with public health and school boards to monitor and report on the health status of school communities as part of the government's COVID-19 outbreak management plan.

 

Our team is reviewing the new information and the impact on school reopening. Watch for an update from us in the days ahead.

 

As always, we appreciate your patience and understanding. We continue to respond to evolving information so that we can ensure a responsive and comprehensive school reopening plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our community.

August 11 | A Letter to our community
This is an open letter and update from Director of Education, Tamara Nugent to all Wellington Catholic families. It has new insights on two of the key themes we are hearing from families as they prepare for September:
 
1) What remote learning will look like? 
2) Will students be allowed to switch between online and in-person learning?
 
You can read a copy of the letter here. 
 
 

August 10 | Our back to school FAQ document

This is a link to our Return to School FAQ. We know that families have a lot of questions as we get ready for school reopening. We will be updating this document often as we connect your important questions with new and changing directions from the Ministry and public health.

August 5 | We need to hear from you! Fill in our survey today!

Survey header

Please take our Return to School survey now

 

The Ministry is providing families with two options for the return to school. Families can select one of the following for students:

  • Conventional learning: students attend school in person full time, five days a week
  • Online learning: students learn full time on-line from home

 

You can read more about these definitions on this page in the post dated August 4.


The Ministry has asked school boards to complete a preregistration process to allow parents to confirm their intentions for the return to school and to ensure accurate data for planning processes.

To help with our attendance planning, we are asking families to complete this short survey by 5 pm on Friday, August 14/20. Please complete the survey for each child you have registered with our board.

We look forward to welcoming you back on September 8, 2020!

August 4 | Definitions of ‘conventional’ and ‘online’ learning

The Ministry is providing families with two options for the return to school. Families can select one of the following for students:

  • - Conventional learning: students attend school in person full time, five days a week
  • - Online learning: students learn full time on-line from home

 

This is what we anticipate these options will look like.

 

Conventional learning: Elementary

These details may change and evolve with additional input from public health or the Ministry of Education.

  • Elementary schools will reopen with conventional in-person delivery of teaching and instruction, with enhanced health and safety protocols, province-wide.
  • Elementary school students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 will attend school five days per week, with 5 hours of instruction per day, remaining in one cohort (group) for the full day, including recess and lunch.
  • Cohorted classes will stay together and with one teacher, where possible. Students can expect to see changes in the timing of recesses, lunches, and bathroom breaks as they are staggered to support cohorting.
  • Specialized teachers, like French teachers, will still be able to go into classrooms to provide the full breadth of programming for students. Students will also be able to leave their classrooms to receive additional supports but direct and indirect contacts in schools for students should be limited to approximately 50.
  • School boards will provide the full range of elementary curriculum in this model.
  • Students in grades 4-8 will wear masks/face coverings while indoors at school.  Students in kindergarten to grade 3 will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks/face coverings in indoor spaces. Reasonable exceptions on the requirement to wear masks will apply. Outdoor activity time will be scheduled throughout the day and can be used as an opportunity to provide students a break from wearing masks. 
 
 

Elementary On-line Learning

These details may change and evolve with additional input from public health or the Ministry of Education.

  • For students who are engaged in remote learning, attendance will be taken according to the school's daily protocol.
  • Students will be provided with a daily schedule of subjects/courses according to a 5-hour instructional day
  • Subject matter will be taught through a combination of models which include synchronous and asynchronous learning
  • Students will be registered at their home school.
  • Students will be assigned to virtual classrooms which may include students from different schools across the school district. Staff assigned to classes may not be from the student’s home school.
  • Note: If a student chooses to return to in-person learning during the year, considerable advance notice will be needed to accommodate a safe return to school.

 

 

Conventional Learning Secondary 

These details may change and evolve with additional input from public health or the Ministry of Education.

  • Secondary school students (grades 9 to 12) will attend school every day.
  • Courses will be organized in a quadmester with students taking two courses until the end of the first term (early November) and another two courses for the second term (at the end of January).
  • The day will be broken into two periods with appropriate breaks. Students will receive 300 minutes of instruction per day during the regular school day. 
  • Each course is considered a cohort. Students will have a maximum of two cohorts to limit direct and indirect contacts for secondary students (less than 100 students)
  • Enhanced health and safety protocols will be in place and students will be required to wear non-medical masks/face coverings while indoors.   
  • Students in Grades 9 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical masks/face coverings indoors on school property, including in hallways and classrooms.  
 

 

Secondary On-line Learning

These details may change and evolve with additional input from public health or the Ministry of Education.

  • Students registered for on-line learning will be enrolled in online courses. This will be organized through an e-learning course, an alternative education on-line course or another option where appropriate (e.g. Independent Learning Course). 
  • Students will be responsible for connecting with their teacher every day in both live, synchronous (real time learning with teachers) learning sessions and asynchronous (working independently on tasks). 
  • Students can expect a 300 minute (5 hour) day for on-line learning
  • Note: Students wishing to return to in-person attendance will need to wait until courses are complete at the end of the term (e.g. early November, late January)

 

July 31 | The Official Ministry Reopening Plan

The Ministry of Education has just announced their instructions for boards in support of school reopening on September 8, 2020. Our entire team is working hard to ensure that all Wellington Catholic DSB schools are safe, healthy and inclusive places of welcome for our students and staff.

 

The instructions from the Ministry (which you can read here) provide further direction on what needs to happen next. Our team will be working on detailed rollout plans throughout August. Today, we know this:

 

  • The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 8, 2020
  • Elementary and secondary students will be attending 5 days a week, receiving 5 hours of instruction plus regular nutrition breaks
  • Masks will be supplied for all staff in schools
  • Students in grades 4 – 12 will be mandated to wear cloth masks
  • Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks

 

Enhanced health and safety protocols will be in place in each school. All school boards have been provided guidelines from the Ministry that outline the specific protocols we are expected to follow to ensure student and staff safety.

 

The Ministry also announced that a new school health monitoring system will be established through a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education, school boards and local public health to monitor and respond to reports of COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Next week we will be asking our families to confirm their child’s attendance at school and their transportation needs. 

We know this September is going to very different for everyone. We remain focused on plans that will ensure safe, healthy and inclusive learning environments for all students and staff. As a Catholic community of faith, we are called to accompany one another with patience and grace as we navigate the time ahead. After all, #WeBelongTogether.

 

I hope you enjoy a fun and safe long weekend,

 

 

-       Tamara

June 30 | Joint Media Release with Upper Grand DSB

Today the Ministry of Education shared their back to school plans with families and boards. With our colleagues from the Upper Grand DSB we have put out a joint media release with a summary of what we know today. Read that here and stay tuned for more details soon. 

July 15 | The School Calendar is Ready! 

 

Since the last day of school in June, the team at Wellington Catholic have been working hard to prepare for school opening in the fall. We have 11 working groups made up of leaders from across the board including principals, educators, secretaries, custodians, support staff and board administrators. These groups are having conversations about topics including: health and safety, mental health and well-being, student learning, scheduling, transportation, technology and special education. This group work will ensure that WCDSB has plans and protocols in place this fall to let our students and staff learn in safe, healthy and inclusive communities.

 

As of July 15, we do not know what the fall will look like. Here is what we do know:

 

  • The Ministry of Education is committed to giving boards direction for school opening by August 4. Once we have that clarity, our working committees will finalize our operational plans.
  • The first day of the new school year will be Tuesday September 8. You can download a copy of our finalized 2021/22 school calendar here. We won’t know until August 4 if students will be learning in the classroom, at home or a combination of both.
  • Following the Ministry announcement about the model in which schools will reopen, we will be sending a survey to all our families to confirm fall attendance and transportation needs. This information will be very important as we finalize our plans based on the ministry’s direction.
  • The uncertainly of what will be happening in the fall is hard for everyone. While we can’t take that uncertainty away, we are going to keep communicating what we know as soon as we know it.

 

Everyone at the board misses our students and are eager to get back to teaching and learning together.

June 29 | Year-End Thanks
 

Happy canada dayAs we get ready to celebrate living in a beautiful and democratic country, a few thoughts from a busy week at Wellington Catholic.

 

Let me start with congratulations to Michael Glazier on his appointment to Director of Education starting September 1/2020. Mike comes with a passion for Catholic Education, comprehensive experience and leadership in Kindergarten to Grade 12, and a strong understanding of the WCDSB community and culture. Mike’s dedication and heart of service to others are inspiring. I wish Mike and our amazing team of staff enduring success!

 

Updates from the Ministry

This week, the Ministry announced a new Math curriculum and accompanying report card changes for September 2020. Our Program Department staff will be working hard over the summer to ensure we can implement the changes as smoothly as possible.

 

The ministry also shared that EQAO Grade 3 and 6 will be cancelled in the 2020/2021 school year.

 

School Opening Plans

Families, staff and students are very eager to hear what school is going to look like this September. On June 20th all school boards in Ontario were asked by the Ministry of Education to prepare three separate work plans, each exploring a different return to school option:

  • Conventional: Students return to class with a normal routine and enhanced health and safety protocols
  • Adaptive:  Students return to class with a modified school day routine based on smaller class sizes, cohorting/groupings of students and alternative day or week delivery
  • At Home Learning:  Students continue with enhanced distance learning
 

You can read about the specific instructions from Ministry here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/approach-reopening-schools-2020-2021-school-year

 

As plans for school opening are developed, we are endeavouring to ensure alignment where possible with Upper Grand. The WCDSB working groups will start work the week of July 6 to further articulate our plans, based on the most current information we have from the Ministry and Public Health. We will continue to provide you with regular updates. We anticipate that by mid-August the Ministry will confirm which plan we are to use to re-open our schools. Regardless of the final instructions from the Ministry, we are committed to creating learning spaces that are safe, healthy, faith-filled and support student success and well-being.

 

- Tamara

 
 
June 26 | Thought Exchange Update

Thought Exchange

We launched a Thought Exchange in June to discover different perspectives and inform our decisions as plans are made for school opening. Thank you for the insightful feedback. You can explore the results of this exchange here.

 

The majority of responses were focused on plans to keep students and staff safe including:

  • Health and Safety; school cleanliness, physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment, prevention and containment of COVID-19
  • Teaching and learning, including special education resources and supports
  • Supporting mental health and well-being
 
The board will keep this feedback front and centre as we begin to build plans for school opening in the fall.