Review the School Re-Opening Parent Guide here:
Back-to-School Frequently Asked Questions
Click a link below to jump to a sub-section of the Back-to-School FAQ:
Yes. Parents/Guardians have the option of keeping their child/children at home to participate in online learning. Families were asked to complete a Back-to-School survey indicating their learning choice – either in-class or online. The Parent Survey is now closed. For more information, please contact your child’s/children’s school directly.
Yes. There are specific dates when these switches can take place in order to ensure a smooth transition for all students. For elementary students, the dates are: October 13, January 4 and March 22. For secondary students, the dates are: October 29, January 19 and April 7.
If your family is new to Grand Erie, or your child will be switching schools within Grand Erie, you are required to register them with their new school. Summer registration closed August 13. Registration will now be completed at your home elementary or secondary school beginning August 27. You must schedule your registration appointment directly with the school. Find school contact information here. Due to COVID-19, registrations received after the August 13 deadline may result in a delayed start to the 2020-21 school year.
Yes. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to make decisions based on the individual needs of each child. Families were asked to complete a Back-to-School survey indicating their learning choice. The Parent Survey is now closed. For more information, please contact your child’s/children’s school directly.
Online learning delivers curriculum for students who wish to learn at home, with teacher supports. Students will be engaged in learning activities online for a significant portion of the day. Synchronous learning (a teacher working live with students) will happen at certain times each day, but not for the full day. There will be times during the school day when students will need to work with some independence online.
Homeschooling is entirely parent-led and does not include teacher support from Grand Erie. Parents who wish to teach their children at home are required to notify the Board of their intention to do so. For more information, see Procedure 107 – Home Schooling.
Home instruction will not be offered at this point in time. If you are choosing to keep your child/children at home in September, they will need to access online learning.
Each student will work with a designated teacher who will provide curriculum and learning supports in the online format. This teacher will be available to assist students’ needs and to answer any questions from parents. If your child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), the Learning Resource Teacher can also support your child and your child’s teacher.
Yes. Parents should bring any technical difficulties to the attention of their child’s teacher, who will work with Grand Erie Information Technology staff to find solutions.
Devices, and internet access, will be available to students. Schools will assess technology needs and arrange for the distribution of devices and internet access.
Families opting for online learning should be aware that this learning option is delivered online, not through mailed correspondence or any other method.
Online learning will be offered five days a week. Students will be enrolled in a virtual Grand Erie School with other elementary students in the board. Teachers will deliver grade-specific online learning that will include a focus on curriculum, assessment and evaluation. The school day will be based on the Balanced Day Timetable, with 300 minutes of specific synchronous (live) and a-synchronous (independent) learning in large or small groups with individual supports. Daily attendance will be taken.
Grand Erie’s Elementary Program team is currently working on updating plans for how Kindergarten will work. Kindergarten students will not be limited to sitting at their desks all day. There will be opportunities for students to interact safely, play and be creative. There will be whole group and small group interaction.
No. All current placements in French Immersion will be honoured this year (2020-21) and into next year (2021-22).
For the start of the 2020-21 school year, there will be no volunteers allowed in the school. Grand Erie will review and monitor this decision as the school year progresses.
As each school is unique, specific details on pick-up and drop-off locations and protocols will be communicated with families by the school principal before September 4. Parents are encouraged to provide leadership for students by practicing physical distancing and only visiting the school when required.
Students will have assigned seating that will be designed to provide as much physical distancing as possible. Classrooms may appear different as furniture will be rearranged and/or removed, if not needed.
Elementary students will not be assigned lockers or cubbies. They will have their personal belongings with them in their classrooms. Students should have all personal belongings labelled before bringing them to school.
Two nutrition breaks will continue in the Balanced Day schedule. Each of the breaks include time for lunch and time outdoors. Outdoor break times will be staggered as much as possible and/or there will be designated play areas. With respect to school Nutrition Programs, grab and go or individually wrapped snacks will be provided.
Elementary students will remain in their classrooms to eat lunch. All students are asked to remain at school for lunch. All special lunch programs/food days will be cancelled until further notice. Students must bring their own water bottle, lunch and snacks. For safety reasons, lunch drop-offs will not be permitted.
In-class learning will occur in quadmesters. Students will attend school, in person, five days per week with 300 minutes of instruction daily. Student will take two courses per quadmester. Students will take one course per day for a full week. They will then alternate weekly between the two courses. There will be one break in the morning, and one in the afternoon as well as an opportunity for lunch. Students are encouraged to remain on school property for the entire school day. Students in each grade will have a designated door for entry and exit. Washroom breaks will be tracked so that only one student per class will use the washroom at a time.
Online learning will occur in quadmesters, similar to the model used for students who are attending in-person. Students will be expected to be online five days per week. Students will take two courses per quadmester. Students will take one course per day for a full week. They will then alternate weekly between the two courses. There will be one break in the morning, and one in the afternoon as well as an opportunity for lunch. Students will receive a minimum of 220 minutes of synchronous learning per day for each course they’re enrolled in. Students participating in online learning will be in class groupings with other secondary students throughout Grand Erie, not just students in their home school. Students will require a device and internet in order to participate in online learning. Brightspace will be the primary platform for course content delivery.
Instead of dividing the school year into two semesters, the quadmester model breaks it up into four quadmesters. In this model, students take two classes at a time over the course of four quadmesters rather than eight courses over two semesters. This allows students to obtain the same number of credits, but establishes a schedule that decreases movement throughout the school during COVID-19.
Schools will provide more information about timetables after August 27. Time is required to compile the information from the return to school survey around students’ selections to determine next steps.
No. Secondary school students in Grand Erie will be returning to school in-person five days a week, unless parents opt for online learning. The Ministry of Education has mandated certain school boards across the province – generally those with larger populations – adapt the cohort model for secondary school students. Grand Erie was not one of those school boards.
Physical Education will focus on individual sports or health units and will operate classes outdoors, where possible.
Secondary students will not be assigned lockers. They will have their personal belongings with them in their classrooms. Students should label their personal belongings brought to school.
Grade 9 and 10 students will have lunch in their Period 1 classroom, if possible. Grade 11 and 12 students will have lunch in the cafeteria to meet physical distancing requirements.
Students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear a non-medical mask all day, as mandated by the Ministry of Education. Students in Kindergarten-Grade 3 are encouraged, but not required, to wear a non-medical mask. Grand Erie will utilize opportunities to provide regular breaks for students so they can remove their masks during the day. For example, students will be provided with chances to physically distance by going outside.
Yes, schools will provide a non-medical mask to students who don’t have one.
While non-medical masks are what the Ministry of Education has mandated for students, in cases of medical or other exemptions, a face shield is an acceptable alternative. Families will be required to provide this face shield for their child.
While students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear their non-medical mask all day, schools will provide opportunities for students so they can safely remove their mask, and will build these breaks into the regular school day.
Yes. Teachers and support staff will be wearing masks and other PPE.
Schools will communicate any changes to arrival and departure routines (i.e., using an alternative entrance) directly with families before the start of the 2020-21 school year.
The Ministry of Education has not made any changes to class sizes in Grand Erie for the 2020-21 school year.
Classrooms will be cleared of excess furniture to maximize space for desks, and every effort will be made to arrange seating that allows students to maintain distance from one another.
Yes. Assemblies and activities that bring more than 50 students together will not be taking place at this time.
For the start of the 2020-21 school year, there will be no food served in school cafeterias. Grab and go items will be available through each school’s Nutrition Program. Grand Erie will review and monitor this decision as the school year progresses.
Given current public-health guidelines, athletics/sports will not proceed at this time. Extracurricular activities and clubs may be able to meet, with physical distancing guidelines in place. Schools will provide more information in September as to whether these kinds of activities can move forward.
Students will be assigned seats, and a record of the seating plan kept for contact tracing. Students who live in the same household or who are in the same classroom should be seated together. As physical distancing is difficult to maintain on a bus, the use of non-medical masks for students is strongly encouraged. Students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear masks at all times while riding the bus and transferring between buses. Student Transportation Services Brant Haldimand Norfolk will be sharing more information with families soon.
To minimize the probability of transmission, the use of masks will be required for all students in Grades 4-12 and highly recommended for students in Kindergarten-Grade 3. Hand hygiene practices will be promoted while riding the school bus. The use hand sanitizer before entering the bus is strongly recommended for all students as is physical distancing when moving between buses.
Because physical distancing is difficult to maintain on the school bus, students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus and transferring between buses. It is strongly recommended that students in Kindergarten-Grade 3 also wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus and while transferring.
Buses will be cleaned at least twice per day with an approved disinfectant spray, known to be effective against COVID-19. The disinfecting will be performed by the school bus driver and take place before students board the bus in the morning and afternoon.
School buses will have their high touch surfaces disinfected at minimum of twice daily. High touch areas are defined as: seats sides and tops, hand railings, interior windows and wall section below passenger windows. The disinfectant(s) used are approved by Health Canada and shown to be effective in neutralizing COVID-19.
Yes. Active transportation is strongly encouraged, with physical distancing guidelines observed by students from different households walking or riding together.
Grand Erie will utilize a number of health and safety strategies:
Yes, hand sanitizing stations will be available in all schools, and its use encouraged as students, staff or visitors enter and exit the building.