Secondary: During the School Day
The secondary school day may look a bit different this school year, but our mission remains the same: to provide safe, healthy and inclusive learning environments where all students can achieve personal excellence. For an overview of schedules and the school year, click
Here’s what you'll find on this webpage about our modified school day routines:
The school year will be divided into four quadmesters. In each quadmester, students will focus on two courses over approximately 10 weeks.
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:
- Students will attend school on a rotating schedule. On days when they are at school, they will arrive for 150 minutes of in-person learning, and will then return home to continue learning online. If the student is not scheduled to be at school, they will be required to engage in distance learning at home during the school day. Distance learning will include a combination of live, online experiences and follow-up activities that students work on from home.
- Continuous Distance Learning Support provided by Educators at your teen’s school will be available for students while they are at home, during the school day.
- Students will remain in one cohort group to limit interactions with other students, 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., and instructional strategies that situate student identities and 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.
- Monitoring Teachers will continue to support students with Individual Education Plans. Visit the
Special Education section to learn more.
What if my teen 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.
All distributed technology used by students and staff are governed by Peel Board
Assessment, evaluation and reporting
Report Cards and Progress Reports will be provided for all students, including those who are participating through distance learning only.
Assessment, evaluation and reporting activities will focus on the achievement of overall expectations.
There will be no formal final exams during the quadmester model. Culminating activities, such as projects, demonstrations, performance tasks and essays can be used to determine students’ grades or marks. 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.
Currently, graduation requirements will continue as usual. We will update students and families when information regarding OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test) and volunteer hours is provided by the Ministry of Education. In the meantime, students should continue to seek volunteer opportunities wherever possible.
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.
Health and Physical Education
Although gymnasiums will remain open in secondary schools, 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 Physical Education class.
Wearing a mask during Phys. Ed.:
Students participating in moderate or vigorous physical activity will not wear a mask, but must maintain physical distance from other students. Masks are not required when students are outside, but physical distancing must be maintained.
Other health and safety considerations:
- Students will practice proper hand hygiene before and after participating in physical activity and equipment use.
- Weight rooms will be closed until deemed safe by the Ministry of Education.
- 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.
- 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
Regional Learning Choices Programs (RLCPs)
Beginning Quadmester 2 (Nov. 18), secondary students who were previously enrolled in Regional Learning Choice Programs, including International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement, will be able to continue their program in the hybrid learning model, whether students are learning from home or at school, if they choose to do so. Depending on the program, some aspects may need to be adjusted to work in a virtual environment.
Bussing for RLCPs will still be under the guidance of parents and board transportation will not be provided in the quadmester model.
As businesses open, there may be opportunities for Co-operative Education placements; however, the health, safety and well-being of students and Teachers remains our top priority. We will make every effort to offer virtual placements, where possible.
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 high ventilated spaces.
In Technology classes, any community-based services, such as car bookings, haircuts for people outside of the school, etc., are suspended until further notice.
As students will be dismissed before lunchtime, students will not eat lunch at school. All cafeterias will be closed and vending machines will be unavailable.
Schools will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a breakfast or snack program will continue. However, 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.
With the closure of cafeterias and no access to vending machines, students may consider bringing a snack to class. Snacks should be things like granola bars, fruit, etc. and should not require use of a microwave.
Washroom and water fountain protocols
Schools will designate washrooms for specific classrooms to use. Your Teacher will let you know which washrooms will be used by students in your class. To coordinate washroom breaks, schools may use a hall pass system with one student per class permitted at a time.
While on their washroom break, students are reminded to:
- maintain physical distance
- abide by maximum capacity signage for washrooms (they will be reduced by 50% of the washroom’s normal capacity)
- avoid congregating or socializing in washrooms
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.
Meeting with your Guidance Counsellor
Virtual appointments should continue between guidance counsellors and students as much as possible. All in-person appointments with your guidance counsellor need to be scheduled ahead of time. Only students with crisis/urgent needs will be seen without an appointment.
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 only enter the office area if they have a scheduled appointment or when directed by a staff member in the office. 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.
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 upon entry and sign out when they leave.
Last updated: Nov. 23, 2020