Government of Ontario Announces Three Options for the Return to School in the Fall with Final Decision Expected in August

Today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced the government’s plan for the reopening of schools in the fall.

The plan includes three options: the continuation of learning at home; a return to in-school instruction with enhanced health and safety protocols; and, an adaptive learning model that features a combination of learning at home and in-school instruction with limited class sizes and alternating days and/or weeks.

The adaptive learning model, as outlined by Minister Lecce, provides for a maximum of 15 students per classroom per day. It also requires students to register prior to the start of the school year so that class assignments and timetables can be set in advance. If the adaptive learning model is selected for the start of the 2020-21 school year, the decision will be re-evaluated at the end of September based on direction from the Ontario Medical Officer of Health as well as local health officials.

Over the next month, the Ministry of Education is asking all publicly funded school boards in Ontario to develop operational plans to match the three options announced today. Grand Erie District School Board staff will have operational plans and protocols in place for all three options by the end of July. The Board will share specific details on Grand Erie’s back-to-school plans with students and families in August.

“As we’ve learned over the past few months with COVID-19, there are a lot of unknowns we have to work through together,” said Brenda Blancher, Director of Education. “We appreciate the ongoing patience and understanding of our students and families as our staff works through each of the options for back-to-school in the fall. As always, our priority will be the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

Minister Lecce also noted there will be protocols in place for personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning, and instances where a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the province outlined guidelines for transportation, including the approximate number of students allowed per standard bus (24), plus siblings.

Grand Erie’s school-year calendar for 2020-21 has not yet been approved by the Ministry of Education. Currently, the first day of school is set for Tuesday, September 8.

For the latest news and information, visit: or follow the Board on Twitter (@GEDSB). Students and families can also contact the Board via email ( or by phone (519-756-6301 or Toll Free: 1-888-548-8878).

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 26,000 students in 58 elementary and 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk as well as secondary students from Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Important Updates:

  • June 24: Director of Education Brenda Blancher sent this message to all Grand Erie families asking for feedback via a survey on the three back-to-school options for the fall.
  • June 22: Minister of Education Stephen Lecce shared this message with Ontario parents after the government's announcement last week.
  • June 19: Director of Education Brenda Blancher sent this message to all Grand Erie families to update them on the Province's back-to-school plan for the fall.