Q&A: Secondary Program


What will the secondary school schedule look like? What courses will be available?

Our high school students will attend five days a week with 300 minutes of class time per day. At the secondary level, a student cohort, i.e., number of other students they come into contact with throughout the course of the day should not exceed 100. 

In order to maintain this student cohort, secondary schools we will be using a quadmester school timetable. This timetable will have one period per day, but with full student attendance. 

In a “quadmester” system students will have two periods for ¼ of the year. For example: 

Quad #1:
Period 1&2 from September 10 until November 9
Quad #2: Period 3&4 from November 12 until January 28
Quad #3: Period 5&6 from February 3 until April 16
Quad #4: Period 7&8 from April 21 to June 23

Typical Day for In-Class Learners


  • High school students will attend five days a week, with 300 minutes of class time per day. 

  • In order to limit the number of direct contacts for students and staff each day, only one course will be taken each day, for one week at a time. 

  • Each course will be delivered in class, all day, for one week and then students will switch to their alternate course the following week. Students will follow a two-week cycle - e.g., In quad #1, students will remain in period 1 for the entire day for one week, and then switch to period 2 for the entire day the second week.

  • These courses and weeks will alternate back and forth throughout “quad one”.

  • All students will participate in two 15 minute breaks and have a lunch period at the end of the day.

  • Students may leave the building for lunch or stay inside their classroom to eat.

  • Until further notice, for the health and safety of students and staff, there will be no locker assignments, food service in cafeterias, field trips or co-curricular activities for students.

  • The in-class school schedule will be aligned with the bussing schedules as closely as possible.


The in-class school schedule will be aligned with the bussing schedules as closely as possible.


When will high school students take their exams and culminating course tasks?

Exams and course culminating tasks will occur at the end of each “quadmester.”

What about lunches and bathroom breaks? Will the cafeterias be open?

The timing of lunches, and bathroom breaks will be staggered to support cohorting. Reasonable exceptions will be made for students who need to use the bathroom in an emergency.

At this time, school cafeterias remain closed. During their instructional block, students will have two 15 minute breaks, with their lunch period at the end of the day. Students may choose to eat in their classroom or leave the building for lunch. Bussing times will remain the same, and so students can return to the school after their lunch to take their bus home.

Will my child be able to use their locker?

In order to reduce student contact in hallways, the use of lockers will be prohibited.

Will my child be able to take music classes?

For the time being, music class will not include singing, wind instruments or brass instruments. Most overall expectations for music can be met without the use of instruments. A variety of delivery options may be considered to meet the music curriculum's overall expectations, which could include fully distanced learning, in-person teaching and instruction with lower-risk creative performance opportunities (e.g., in-school instruction in larger spaces, restricting the type of instruments in a group setting) or in-person teaching and instruction with no live performance.

How will my child participate in Health and Physical Education courses?

Physical education classes will be taken outside whenever possible. Gymnasiums will only be used where physical distancing measures can be followed. Capacity in change rooms will be limited as much as possible. The focus will be on promoting activities that support physical distancing while also limiting the use of shared equipment. Shared equipment should be disinfected regularly and students should be encouraged to practice proper hand hygiene before and after participating in physical activity and equipment use.

Will there be any school assemblies?

School assemblies or other large gatherings (e.g., concerts or dances) will not be occurring, at this time. Virtual will be offered instead of in person gatherings.

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 co-operative education continue?

Yes. We will continue with cooperative learning programs during the school year.

Will SWAC, SHSM and OYAP continue?

Yes. All regional programs such as School Within a College (SWAC), Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program will continue.

Will students still be expected to complete community service hours in order to graduate?

Yes. There will be opportunities to achieve virtual community service hours.