With the health and safety of students and staff as the top priority, the Lambton Kent District School Board's (LKDSB) plan for a safe reopening of schools continues to evolve and the LKDSB has decided to update its reopening plans to further stagger the entry of students for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The Ministry of Education has permitted school boards to allow for a staggered start to the school year. Staggered start means that students will begin a gradual return on different dates, which will allow for more time to learn new school routines in smaller group settings, including health and safety procedures and risk mitigation strategies.
We appreciate staggering start dates for students may present some challenges for families. With student and staff safety at the forefront of our planning and decision-making, we believe the additional time will allow staff to become more familiar with new school health and safety routines and complete training to support a safe and healthy return to school. While there will be many new practices and routines in place this year, the LKDSB remains committed to supporting a positive transition for students, with a continued focus on students' success and well-being.
The staggered entry also allows LKDSB to hire additional staff to lower class sizes in schools and to support the Virtual Learn at Home Elementary and Secondary Schools. Additional time is also required to reorganize staff and student schedules to support both in-class and Learn at Home instruction.
Below is an outline of the updated start dates for elementary and secondary schools. Additional information about the Reopening Our Schools Plan is available on the LKDSB website.
Updated Elementary Start Dates
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will have a staggered entry, with half of the student population attending on Thursday, September 10 for one day and the other half of students attending on Friday, September 11. All Senior Kindergarten to Grade 8 students will attend daily as of Monday, September 14.
Junior Kindergarten students will have a staggered entry, beginning Tuesday, September 15, with half of the students attending for one day. The remaining Junior Kindergarten students will attend on Wednesday, September 16. All Junior Kindergarten students will attend daily beginning Thursday, September 17.
All Elementary Alternative Learning & Lifeskills Program (ALLP) students will attend on Thursday, September 10.
Parents/guardians should prepare to make alternative childcare arrangements for the first two weeks of school based on this schedule.
Updated Secondary Start Dates
Secondary students will also have a staggered entry. Classes for Grade 9 students will begin on Monday, September 14. The first day of classes for students in Grades 10-12 will be on Tuesday, September 15.
All secondary Alternative Learning & Lifeskills Program (ALLP) students will begin on Monday, September 14.
Important note: Schools will be communicating directly with families to provide specific information about their child(ren), as well as instructions for school arrival and health and safety procedures by Friday, September 4. Please note: Schools will ensure elementary students from the same household will be scheduled to attend on the same day.
Learn at Home Start Dates
The first day of school for all Virtual Learn at Home Elementary and Secondary School students is Monday, September 14.
Chris Moore, Principal of the Virtual Learn at Home Elementary School, will be in contact with families prior to the start of the school year. Paul Wiersma, Principal of the Virtual Learn at Home Secondary School, will be in contact with families prior to the start of the school year.
Reopening Our Schools
We appreciate your support and flexibility as we all plan for the return to school for the 2020-2021 school year. The safe reopening of our schools is a shared responsibility between LKDSB staff, local Public Health, family households, students and Chatham-Kent Lambton Administrative School Services (CLASS). By collectively implementing the plan, our schools will be safe for our students and staff.
For more information about the Reopening Our Schools Plan, please visit the LKDSB website.
Additionally, the Minister of Education has issued a letter to parents/guardians regarding the plan for the safe reopening of schools, public health protocols and additional funding for school boards. The letter has been posted on the LKDSB and school websites.
Should you have specific questions about your child, please contact your school.
Director of Education