Toronto District School Board
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Elementary School

Instructional Model for In-Person and Virtual Learning: In all elementary schools there will be in-person classes and dedicated virtual learning classes. Where numbers are small in an individual school, virtual classrooms will be created from a cluster of schools in the Learning Network/Learning Centre. Simultaneous learning (educators teaching lessons for both in-person and virtual students at the same time) will not be the model implemented but in exceptional circumstances may be used as a solution to meet student needs.   

Class Size: Classroom caps and system averages for in-person and virtual are being honoured and all classes will be staffed, based on these caps. When selection form results are finalized, approaches to differentiated staffing will be considered. 

Switching: There is one opportunity for students to switch between in-person and virtual learning in February 2022 (timeline to submit requests to be determined). 

Virtual LearningThere will be virtual learning classes with dedicated teachers. Superintendents and Principals will work together to form virtual classes, which may include students from the local school and a cluster of other local schools. Virtual learning classes will be comprised of straight and combined grades and in some cases there is potential for triple combined grade classes (as for in-person learning as well). Virtual learning classes follow the daily schedule of the school to which the virtual learning teacher is assigned (e.g. start and end times). 

Practices and Protocols 

Below are the TDSB-specific guidelines, practices and protocols for a number of areas:

MasksAll students, Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, are required to wear a mask indoors at school. During recess, if they are unable to maintain physical distance from others outdoors, it is advised that they keep their mask on.  If this is not possible, then masks breaks can be taken outside while students are with members of their cohort. 

Daily Screening: The TDSB will require all students and staff to conduct a daily self-assessment and stay home if they have symptoms or other COVID-19 exposure risk factors.

LunchStudents will be allowed to go home for lunch with parental permission. Elementary students will continue to eat in classrooms or other spaces where physical distancing and effective routines can be maintained.

Recess: Elementary students will continue to take breaks within cohorts with physical distancing. Protocols may be updated, based on the status of the pandemic.

Assemblies: Virtual assemblies will continue. Assemblies will be allowed outdoors (weather permitting) with distancing between cohorts.

Extra-curricular ActivitiesExtra-curricular activities may gradually and responsibly return later in the fall. When they begin, elementary students may participate in any number of virtual extra-curricular offerings, a maximum of one indoor extra-curricular activity with appropriate masking and physical distancing and outdoor activities with appropriate physical distancing. This number may increase when it is safe to do so and procedures are well established. There will be a phased approach to Community Use of Schools. 

Music: Vocal music will be allowed indoors with masks and outdoors without masks. Physical distancing will be required and cohorts maintained. A plan has been developed to support the safe and gradual re-entry of wind instruments in elementary and secondary schools. The re-entry plan has been approved by Toronto Public Health (TPH) and includes specific guidance in a number of areas . Schools will share further information with students and families once school-specific plans are established.

Transportation: Continue with guidelines established last year, including: masking, assigned seating and cleaning, which follows Ministry guidance. Transportation to be phased-in: Special Education students (excluding gifted) begin September 9 and all other students begin September 15.

Nutrition Programs and Food Services: Approved nutrition programs and cafeteria services will be permitted and phased in to allow school routines to be established. Nutrition and cafeteria services will follow appropriate food handling procedures and public health guidance. Special event days (e.g. pizza days) will be phased in later in the school year.

School Councils: As there are no evening events in schools at this time, and there is no non-essential visiting during the day, School Council meetings are to be virtual to begin the year with a review of this practice as the year progresses.

French Immersion/Extended French

In-Person Learning

  • Students in French language programs (FI/EF) will be welcomed back with the intent of supporting continued progress in their chosen program. 
  • The Early French Immersion (EFI), Middle French Immersion (MFI) and Extended French (EF) programs will operate as usual during In-Person Learning for students already enrolled in an intensive French language program. 
  • Programming may be provided to classes made up of straight and/or combined grades with the potential of triple combined grade classes, if required.

Virtual Learning

  • Programming (e.g., French Immersion/Extended French) will proceed only if there is sufficient enrollment to offer classes. 
  • Programming may be provided to classes made up of straight and/or combined grades with the potential of triple combined grade classes, if required.
  • If there is sufficient enrollment, the Early French Immersion (EFI), Middle French Immersion (MFI) and Extended French (EF) programming will be offered in a Virtual Learning class by Learning Centre to students already enrolled in these programs.
  • Virtual Learning classes will be assigned to specific schools that already house the specific French program(s) and may include students from the local school and/or a cluster of local school. 
  • If a French Virtual Learning class is not available (i.e. due to insufficient enrollment), a student may be accommodated in In-Person Learning French at the student’s current French school of record. If the student would like to remain in Virtual Learning, they will be placed in an English Virtual Learning class, and given an opportunity to switch to an In-Person French class at the February switch (if space allows).

Special Education

We are committed to inclusion and ensuring students are supported in regular classrooms with appropriate special education services at their home school. We also recognize that some students with unique strengths and areas for growth may require more specialized or intensive support programs.   

In-Person Learning:  Students receiving special education program and/or services in regular classes or students in an Intensive Support Program (ISP) will continue to be supported by classroom teachers, special education teachers, support staff, and itinerant special education staff.

Virtual Learning:  Students in Regular class who require Resource support (e.g., Indirect Support, Resource Assistance, Withdrawal Assistance) and are learning virtually, will access the Resource teacher attached to the school of the virtual teacher. Elementary ISPs (excluding Gifted) will proceed with simultaneous learning for students who have selected virtual learning. Gifted ISPs have been clustered into LC virtual classes; Teachers who will be teaching virtual Gifted ISP will remain attached to their homeschool. Secondary ISPs (including Gifted) will proceed with simultaneous learning for students who have selected virtual learning and remain connected to their homeschool.

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