Planning for 2021-2022

Planning for 2021-2022
Posted on 03/01/2021

The OCDSB is planning to welcome students and staff back to school in September 2021. We believe that student learning and well-being is best supported through in-person learning. We have heard through your feedback about the importance of schools and the unique benefits of in-person including: 

  • In-person learning supports mental health and well-being; 
  • The capacity to support social engagement for children. 
  • Better meeting the needs of young children, English language learners and vulnerable students.

We also recognize that for some families, the return to in-person learning presents challenges and the Ottawa-Carleton Virtual (OCV) school is an attractive alternative.  

Safety First
We know from experience that with appropriate protocols in place, schools can safely operate with limited evidence of transmission of COVID-19. We plan to continue safety precautions in schools and expect that as vaccine distribution continues, the risk of spread is reduced. Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, we hope to resume regular operations incrementally and as it is safe to do so, continuing to work closely and be guided by the advice from Ottawa Public Health.

In-Person Elementary
In-person learning for K - 8 will be modelled on our current practice. 

  • Students will continue to be cohorted by class, and staff will rotate from class to class as the schedule demands. 
  • There will be a continued focus on reducing the number of educator contacts who are delivering instruction to each homeroom/cohort. 
  • The use of learning management systems (such as Google Classroom) will remain in place for each class in order to support a transition to remote learning should the need arise, or where individual students are required to isolate. 

In-Person Secondary
In-person learning will begin with the current safety measures in place. As we move through the school year, we hope to be able to incrementally resume more regular activities and operations, subject to health guidelines.

  • In September, the school year will be organized into quadmesters except for the International Baccalaureate Program schools which follow octomesters.
  • At this time, we expect that students will continue to be grouped into cohorts, A and B with only one cohort attending each day. The specific daily schedule cannot be confirmed at this time, but we have heard your concerns about one learning block per day.  We hope to start the year and/or move to two classes a day and a lunch break between classes as soon as possible. 
  • Once provincial and health advice supports the removal of cohorting, daily attendance, and/or a return to the regular semester format, we will look to implement those changes as quickly as possible.  

Virtual Learning at OCV in September
The OCDSB will offer virtual elementary and secondary OCV schools for students who wish to learn in this model. With more students returning to in-person classes, we may have fewer elementary OCV campuses and will continue to have one OCV secondary campus.

Elementary OCV
Elementary OCV will offer the 50/50 Kindergarten program, the English Program and the Early French Immersion Program. Middle French Immersion and the Alternative Program will not be available in OCV.  Similar to this year, we expect OCV classes will be larger than in-person classes and will be more likely to include multi-grade classes.  Students in OCV will receive 180 to 225 minutes of synchronous instruction per day.  The OCV elementary school day will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. There will be 90 minutes of scheduled nutrition breaks and recesses supervised by families. 

Secondary OCV 
OCV Secondary will offer a full selection of courses in each grade level and in all three program pathways: locally developed/workplace, applied, college preparation, university preparation.  However, OCV will not include access to system programs, such as Secondary High Skills Majors (SHSM), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Arts Canterbury, which will only be available through in-person schools. At this time, we believe that OCV will continue to be organized in quadmesters in the fall. The specific daily schedule is not yet finalized. There will not be a formal examination period. 

Special Education, Specialized Program Classes and IEPs
Our experience this year has shown that in-person learning is the best format to support students with special education needs, particularly those in specialized program classes. For this reason, in the 2021-2022 school year specialized program classes will return to in-person delivery only.

Students with special education needs in regular classes will continue to be supported with the necessary accommodations/modifications provided in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) in-person or in OCV.

Adult High School and Secondary Alternate Program
Adult High School will continue to provide remote options for learners, as required. Students who attend one of the District’s Secondary Alternate Programs will continue to have the option of registering with OCV or be provided with remote learning options through their program site.

Confirming Student Attendance
To prepare for September 2021, we are asking all parents to confirm your child’s attendance for the entire school year for either 1) in-person learning or 2) virtual learning. 

On the week of March 1st, parents will receive a form from their child’s school. Please complete one form for each one of your children by 11:59 p.m. on March 14, 2021.

Decision Guide for Families
Our back-to-school resource guides - Elementary & Secondary - will help families reflect on their child’s learning needs and their experience this year in order to plan for the next year. This is an important decision and we encourage you to discuss this matter with your child. Remember, this decision will be for the entire school year. It will be difficult to transition students later unless it is a critical situation.

Please watch for the form from your child’s school next week and complete it by 11:59 p.m. on March 14, 2021. If parents do not complete the form, we will assume the student will attend school in-person and will assign the student to the home school for in-person learning.

Thank you for your assistance in helping us prepare. We’re ready to welcome your children to the classroom in September 2021.

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