September 16, 2020

Update: Reorganization plans for elementary schools

Dear Peel District School Board elementary families: 

It is the beginning of an extraordinary school year, certainly a year like no other.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, we have all done our best to adjust to an evolving COVID-19 world, including the way we teach and learn. We know the decision to enrol your child in online or in-person learning was not an easy one, and involved many factors. To help you make an informed decision, we provided as much time as possible to switch learning models up until Sept. 10.

In the days leading up to this deadline, we saw considerable changes to enrolment. To meet the demand for online learning, our elementary schools will be undergoing a reorganization this week.

Every school year, school boards undergo a reorganization in mid-September so that class sizes meet requirements set by the Ministry of Education. Each school begins ​with a certain number of classes and teachers—these numbers are determined in the Spring based on estimated and current registrations for the following school year. After the first week of school, we check to see whether class enrolment actually reflects these predictions. Then, we make adjustments and reorganize classes to align with the Ministry of Education's requirements.

​In a typical school year, this reorganization process may only affect a few classes in each school. However, as we know, this is not a typical school year. Despite our very best efforts, estimates made in the Spring could not have predicted the impact that COVID-19 has had on our school system. Over the summer, we worked hard to reorganize classes before the start of the school year with more recent enrolment data. This reorganization accounted for families' new option to enrol in the online learning model.​

Given the recent significant shift to online learning, we have determined that another reorganization will be required to meet mandatory Ministry of Education class size regulations and to ensure we have enough teachers for each class. Our priority in this process is to keep in-person classes below Ministry targets to help with physical distancing measures at school.

Schools will inform families directly on how this reorganization will impact their child(ren)'s classes. Changes will be in effect as of Monday, Sept. 21. Depending on your school's enrolment changes, some classes may undergo changes to class sizes to align with Ministry requirements, and/or will be reassigned a different teacher. We continue to be committed to using all of our resources at our disposal to keep physical class sizes as small as possible.

To ease the transition during this reorganization process, school staff will work to minimize the impact that any class changes have on students, always with their health, safety and well-being as the primary focus. We've worked within our schools to minimize changes to cohorts/classes as much as possible, and have consulted with Peel Public Health on our plan.

Thank you again for your ongoing patience and understanding during this transitional time. We look forward to providing students with a rigorous, engaging and culturally responsive learning experience that prepares them for the future in this ever-changing world.

Colleen Russell-Rawlins

Interim Director of Education

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