Although in-class instruction will differ across grades, classes and Educators, there are some expectations that will be consistent throughout as students return to school:
- Elementary students (Kindergarten to Grade 8) will receive in-person learning five days a week, full-time (300 minutes of instruction per day).
- Students will remain in one cohort group to limit interactions with other students, including lunch and recess. As per Peel Public Health and Ministry direction, students will remain in the same location as much as possible.
- Students will be supported in transitioning back to school, acknowledging the prolonged absence of students from the classroom.
- Our focus will be on overall expectations of the Ontario curriculum
- Learning experiences, instructional strategies and assessment practices will be centered around student identities, lived experiences and unique learning needs.
- While there may be some review of last year’s curriculum, students should expect to learn new material during the 2020-21 school year, and be assessed and evaluated on their learning.
ISSP Teachers will continue to support students with Individual Education Plans. Visit the
Special Education section to learn more.
Students enrolled in distance learning full-time will only participate in remote learning at home. Distance learning will involve a blend of synchronous (live) and non-synchronous learning on a regular basis, provided by a Peel board educator. View the
PDSB Online School section
to learn more.
What if my child doesn’t have access to technology?
To support distance learning during the 2019-20 school closures, the Peel board distributed over 25,000 devices to students who didn’t have access to technology. Returning students were able to keep these devices to use for the 2020-21 school year. SEA technology has already been distributed to students who need it and they will continue to use it for the 2020-21 school year.
The Peel board is in the process of ordering and receiving more devices to donate to students who need them. Please
your school directly if you require a device. Families who are able to purchase devices for their children are encouraged to do so.
Assessment, evaluation and reporting
Report Cards will be provided for all students, including those who are participating through distance learning. This also applies to Progress Reports, the Kindergarten Communication of Learning Initial Observations, and the Kindergarten Communication of Learning.
Assessment, evaluation and reporting activities will focus on the achievement of overall expectations. Culminating activities, such as projects, demonstrations and performance tasks and essays can be used to determine students’ grades or marks in a fair, transparent and equitable manner. With appropriate safety precautions, in-class activities will encourage collaborative work among students.
Assessment practices will be fair, equitable and transparent by focusing on making sure students have multiple ways to demonstrate their learning. We are committed as we move to distance learning to provide learning experiences and assessment practices centred around students and their learning needs.
The PDSB will be reducing class sizes by hiring additional elementary and secondary Teachers, using PDSB reserve funds. As numbers are finalized, they will be shared with staff and families.
Subject and program considerations
Arts and Music
You may notice some changes to the Arts program at your school, particularly during Music class. Schools will use the following considerations to encourage a safe music environment:
- Most overall expectations for the Music strand can be met without the use of instruments in both the elementary and secondary Arts curriculum. When possible, use fewer or no instruments, or restrict the type of instruments in a group setting.
- To reduce shared materials, students will be encouraged not to hold their paper music. Music may be placed on a music stand or displayed on a projector to decrease touchpoints in the classroom.
- When singing, students will be encouraged to physically distance as much as possible in the classroom and to sign forward-facing, rather than in a circle or facing each other. The conductor should maintain as much physical distance as possible from the singers or use a face shield and mask.
In singing games and choreography, there will be no touching and minimal movement to maintain physical distance.
French Immersion (FI)
FI will continue in your child’s school, as it would have in previous years. It will also be offered in the
PDSB Online School
to students already enrolled in FI. However, due to anticipated staffing limitations, programming may need to be provided to combined classes (e.g., grade 2 and 3 students).
Health and Physical Education
The current plan is for elementary gymnasiums to remain open as much as possible. Whenever possible, Health and Physical Education classes will take place outside. Activities that avoid the use of equipment or with a lot of distance and limited equipment (e.g. badminton) will be encouraged.
Change rooms will be closed. Students should come prepared with proper shoes and athletic wear on the day they have Health and Physical Education class.
Wearing a mask during Phys. Ed.
Classes can take place indoors only when physical distancing of at least 2 metres can be consistently maintained and use of shared equipment and/or shared spaces is limited. Masks are required during all indoor physical education classes and only low intensity physical activity is allowed. While outdoors, during low-to-moderate intensity physical activities, masks are required. Only if physical distancing can be maintained at all times, masks can be removed during moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical.
Other health and safety considerations:
- Students will practice proper hand hygiene before and after participating in physical activity and equipment use.
- Shared equipment will be disinfected between each use. Students will not be allowed in equipment rooms.
- Benches and other high-touch items that may be in gyms will be removed or taken out of use. Gym mats will not be used.
- If gyms are used for before- and after-school programs, they will be closed for cleaning during the first and last period of the day.
- As mentioned in our
Water Fountain Protocols, students should bring their own water bottles.
- We will follow guidelines provided in
PHE Canada’s COVID-19 Pandemic: Return to School Canadian Physical and Health Education Guidelines
International Baccalaureate (IB)
In elementary schools, IB classes will continue to run within the classroom. We are awaiting information from the
International Baccalaureate Organization
on whether the program will be able to operate in a full distance learning environment.
Kindergarten classes will:
- continue to address the four frames as defined in the
Kindergarten Program 2016
- continue the model of two educators in the classroom.
- use designated washrooms and entry/exit doors within the classroom to allow for individualized scheduling for cohorts. For kindergarten classes in non-purpose-built spaces, a separate schedule should be established for entry/exit and washroom procedures.
- follow a schedule for outside play time to ensure that no more than two classes are outside in the kindergarten play area at any one time, with physical distancing established between cohorts.
Regional Learning Choice Programs
Regional Learning Choice Programs will continue to run at school. However, they will not be offered in the PDSB Online School. If a student is already enrolled in a Regional Learning Choice Program, their spot will be held for when they return to in-person learning.
Science & Technology
In Science & Technology classes, equipment is typically shared between students--this will be avoided during the 2020-21 school year. If goggles are used in class, students will be provided with their own set, which will be sanitized after each session. All equipment will be cleaned and disinfected regularly, including glassware, optics equipment, dissection tools, microscopes, plates, electricity kits, shovels/spades, sink taps and gas jets.
All lab areas will be set up as single stations. Bunsen burners will not be used, or only used in highly ventilated spaces.
Lunch and/or nutrition breaks
Each day, elementary students will eat their lunch in their classroom during their designated lunch time. Students are asked to bring their own lunch and will be provided with a designated storage space. As much as possible, lunch supervision will be provided by one adult assigned to a limited number of cohort groups.
Helpful tips to plan for safe lunches and snacks:
- Prepare a lunch that students can open and eat without adult assistance.
- Avoid dropping off lunch during the school day. If necessary, parents/caregivers must phone the school ahead of time and establish a time that they could be met at the entry door by either their child or office personnel. Lunches from third-party services (e.g. Skip the Dishes) will not be accepted.
- Bring a water bottle to school. Water fountains will be available to refill water bottles or cups.
- Students may consider bringing a snack to class. Snacks should be nut-free and be things like granola bars, etc. and should not require use of a microwave.
Recess and outdoor play
Students will participate in recess activities with their classmates. During outdoor activity, physical distancing is not required between students within the same cohort/class, but close contact will be discouraged. Physical distancing will be maintained between different classes/cohorts.
Masks and face coverings are required while outdoors.
Outside play structures will remain closed as they cannot be cleaned between use.
Schools will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a breakfast or snack program will continue. No outside volunteers are allowed to supervise snack programs. In their decision, schools will consider distribution options that maximize physical distancing and limit the contact with the food. Contact your school directly to learn more.
Washroom and water fountain protocols
Each class will be assigned designated washrooms and water fountains to use. As much as possible, classes will travel as a group to use designated washrooms and fountains during their designated washroom break. These breaks will be coordinated to prevent mixing cohorts in washrooms. Your child’s Teacher will regulate the number of students entering the washroom at one time and follow maximum capacity signage. All washroom capacities will be reduced by 50% to allow for adequate physical distancing.
Shared surfaces in washrooms will be frequently cleaned and disinfected. All washrooms will be thoroughly cleaned nightly using hospital-grade disinfectant. Learn more about our
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
As outlined in our hand hygiene practices, students must wash their hands while in the washroom before returning to class.
Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school. Water fountains will be available to refill water bottles or cups.
Visiting the main office
Office visits by students and visitors should only occur if necessary. Barriers and signage will be placed in school offices to support physical distancing and outline protocols. Students will not enter the office area unless directed to do so by a staff member. If required, students may only enter the office one at a time.
While in the office, individuals must maintain physical distancing and follow physical distancing markers/footprints at all times. When this cannot be done, schools will arrange for space outside of the office for individuals to wait.
Picking up your child during the school day
In the event a student needs to be picked up mid-day by their parent/caregiver, they will be directed to a designated waiting area. Parents/caregivers will phone from outside of the school and confirm they are there to meet their child at the front door. They will not enter the office when picking up their child(ren).
Visitors to schools
To limit and track school visitors, only essential visitors will be permitted into the school. As required by Peel Public Health, visitors must sign-in and share their completed, verified self-assessment upon entry, and sign out when they leave.
Last updated: Feb. 12, 2021