Q&A: Elementary Program


What will the elementary school schedule look like?

Students will find that the elementary schedule looks very similar to what they are used to. From Grades 1 to 8, students will have teaching blocks in all subject areas including Religion, French, the Arts, Science and technology and Health and Phys ed.  Time will be provided for nutrition breaks and outside activities.  Learning activities will include adherence to the public health guidelines such as physical distancing, not sharing materials, and using outdoor spaces for activities.

The Kindergarten program will continue to be play and inquiry based. Kindergarten educators will use small groupings, outdoor spaces, individual materials to provide as rich a learning experience for children as possible. There may be some modifications to the schedules in order to meet the cohorting guidelines of no more than 50 contacts.  Principals  will provide more information about the school day set up prior to the first day of school. 

What if my child is behind because of not fully attending school last spring?

The first priority for all school staff will be to establish a safe and welcoming environment for students. We recognize that there were many different levels of engagement with distance learning when schools were closed on March 13th 2020.  Educators will make every effort to assess how student learning has been impacted, identify and address any gaps that may exist. 

What is happening with Grade 3 and 6 EQAO assessments?

There will be no Grade 3 or 6 EQAO assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.

Will there be field trips?

At this time no field trips will be scheduled.

Will schools be running sports and extracurricular activities?

The first priority for September is to ensure a safe return to in class instruction.  Once we are confident that we are able to meet the safety, learning and well being needs of our students within the classroom, then the introduction of extracurricular activities will be revisited if physical distancing is possible and equipment and spaces are cleaned and disinfected between each use.

Will there be before and after school care at my school?

SMCDSB administration is working in collaboration with child care operators, the Health Unit, the Ministry of Education and the County of Simcoe to re-open before and after care programs that adhere to Ministry policies and guidelines.  Based on the guidelines, the Ministry of Education has provided direction that all before and after school programs may operate with pre-COVID-19 outbreak declaration ratios and maximum group size requirements beginning in September 2020.

Similar to the requirements for schools, all staff and providers are required to wear medical masks and eye protection (e.g. face shield) while inside the before and after school programs, including hallways. School-aged children in grade 4 and higher are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors. The wearing of non-medical or cloth masks indoors is encouraged for younger school aged children, particularly in common spaces (see information about the use of non-medical or cloth masks on the provincial COVID-19 website or the Public Health Ontario fact sheet on nonmedical masks). Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their school-aged child(ren) with a non-medical or cloth mask(s)). The use of masks is not required outdoors for adults or children if physical distancing of a least 2-metres can be maintained between individuals.   Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected after the core day program ends and the before and after school program begins. 

Child care operators will be reaching out to families who had previously been registered to determine requirements for the 2020/21 school year.  Families not previously registered can contact the operator at their school, listed on the SMCDSB website.  Operators are committed to serving all children and as spaces become available child care operators will be in contact with families.  Operators will also be sharing their policies and procedures regarding health and safety protocols to COVID-19.  

Child care operators and school staff will be in communication throughout the school year to ensure a seamless transition throughout the day and coordinate logistics on a school by school basis.  If you have any questions please contact your child care operator directly.

Can my child come home for lunch?

To keep with our health and safety practices, all elementary and secondary students will be required to eat lunch in their classroom with their designated cohort.