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Return to School Information

UCDSB Return to School Guide 

Have questions? See our FAQ section.

Return to School Guide

The Upper Canada District School Board is looking forward to welcoming students and staff safely back to school in September. 

The school district, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and with our local Medical Officers of Health, will be reopening schools in September using a staggered start beginning on September 11, having all students in class by September 15.

Here is how the staggered entry will work: 

  • For Kindergarten to Grade 8:  Students with surnames A-G will start on September 11 and continue, surnames H-P will start on September 14 and continue, surnames Q-Z will start on September 15 and continue. This will have all our students in class by September 15.

  • For Grade 9-12: Students in Grade 9 will start on September 11 and continue, students in Grade 10 will start on September 14 and continue, students in Grade 11 and Grade 12 will start on September 15 and continue. This will have all our secondary students in class by September 15.  

UCDSB September 2020

We ask that you review the information in the Return to School Guide (available in the sections below or in the printable PDF) and the information in our FAQ section so that you have a better understanding of what school will look like this year and routines/practices that will be put in place. 

Here is an overview of the return to school for UCDSB students:  

  •  Elementary schools will be open full days for in-person learning, five days a week, with enhanced safety measures.

  • Secondary schools will be open for in-person learning, five days a week, with enhanced safety measures. 

  • Students in Grades 9-12 will follow a quadmester model. Students will have two courses for the first nine weeks of the year then take an additional two courses in the next nine weeks, completing four courses by the end of January. See the 2020-21 School Year Calendar Quadmester.

  • Remote learning is available for all students. Students will be able to choose from remote synchronous (digital learning, in real-time, from home), remote asynchronous: digital (Digital learning, not in real time, from home) and remote asynchronous: non-digital (Learning is completely offline, at home, using print materials). More information on Remote Learning can be found in Section 5

  •  Parents and staff will follow established public health protocols for screening. Parents need to use the Parent Screening Tool, provided by public health, for daily health screening before sending children to school.

UCDSB Return to School Guide:


Section 3: Preparing Our Schools
In this section, you will find information on: 

  • 3.School Start Up  

  • 3.2 Admission for Students to Transfer from Distance Learning to Local Schools After September 2020  

  • 3.3 Preparing our School Sites – General Site Preparation Measures

  • 3.4 Water fountains 

  • 3. Custodial support in schools 

  • 3.6 Physical spaces within classrooms 

  • 3.7 Health Screening 

  • 3.8 Outbreak Protocol  

  • 3. Contact Tracing – Students 

  • 3.10 Parents, Volunteers and Visitors Within Our Schools 

  • 3.1 Meetings  

  • 3.1 Wellness Room 

  • 3.1 Transportation 


In this section, you will find information on: 

  • 4.1 Elementary Class Organization  

  • 4.2 Secondary Class Organization 

  • 4.3 Arrival and Dismissal 

  • 4.4 Health and Safety practices – Hand Hygiene  

  • 4.5 Health and Safety practices - Wearing of Masks or Face Coverings  

  • 4.6 Personal belongings and Storage 

  • 4.Learning materials 

  • 4.8 Recess 

  • 4.9 Lunch 

  • 4.10 Washrooms 

  • 4.11 Classroom doors 

  • 4.12 Use of outdoor space 

  • 4.13 Communication to Parents/Guardians 

  • 4.14 Learning Commons


In this section, you will find information on:   

  • 5.1 Mental health and well-being 

  • 5.2 Transition to a new grade 

  • 5.3 Remote Learning for the 2020-2021 School Year  

  • 5.4 Assessment and Evaluation 

  • 5.5 Secondary School Students Assessment and Evaluation 

  • 5.6 Provincial EQAO Assessments 

  • 5.7 Music 

  • 5.8 Physical Education, Science, The Arts, and Technology-Based Courses 

  • 5.9 Sports (Intramurals and Interscholastic Athletics)


In this section, you will find information on: 

  • 6.1 Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Programs 

  • 6.2 OYAP and Dual Credit programs 

  • 6.3 Co-operative Education 

  • 6.4 Community Involvement / Community Service Hours 

  • 6.Literacy Requirement for Graduation


In this section, you will find information on:  

  • 7.1 Supporting Students with Special Education Needs 

  • 7.2 Supporting Students with Mental Health Needs 

  • 7.3 Transition to school


In this section, you will find information on:  

  • 10.1 Health and Safety: A Shared Responsibility  

  • 10.2 Staff meetings, staff rooms, and gatherings 

  • 10.3 Shared resources and materials


In this section, you will find information on: 

  • 11.1 Fire and Lockdown Drills 

  • 11.2 Field trips 

  • 11.3 Community use of schools 

  • 11.4 Assemblies 

  • 11.5 Electronic payments 

  • 11.6 Play Structures 

  • 11.7 Student Nutrition Programs


Background Info: Direction to School Boards for Draft Reopening Plans
On June 19, 2020 the
Ministry of Education released guidelines for schools to use to create a reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. These guidelines identified a series of directions to protect the health and safety of students and staff related to the reopening of schools such as:
  • outlining the modification of school routines;
  • health and safety protocols;
  • student transportation guidelines, and;
  • the expectation for the availability of remote learning should some parents choose not to send their child back to school in adapted scenarios.

Among the more noteworthy aspects of the ministry guidelines was how school districts must be prepared to respond to three scenarios for the delivery of learning, which is dependent upon prevailing public health conditions. The scenarios are a follows:

  • Scenario 1: a regular school day routine with enhanced public health protocols;
  • Scenario 2: an “adapted” or modified school day routine based on smaller class sizes, cohorting and alternative day or week delivery, and;
  • Scenario 3: Distance Learning / at-home learning with ongoing enhanced remote 

It is the preference of the Upper Canada District School Board to prepare for a full return of all students to regular classes five days per week, should it be deemed safe to do so the local Chief Medical Officers of Health.

General Overview of Each Scenario

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