New back-to-school education plans for September begin

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced today that some school boards in Ontario will begin the 2020 – 2021 school year using a conventional full return model for both elementary and secondary. Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) is one of those boards.

This means that on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, BWDSB elementary and secondary students can return to school on a full-time basis with enhanced public health protocols in place to maximize safety.

“We are now in the process of presenting to the Ministry of Education our return to school plan developed by our planning team,” says Lori Wilder, Director of Education.Β  “In the coming days, we will share the full details with you once our plan is confirmed.”

A new page has also been created on the board website where the details of our plan and new information will be posted at www.bwdsb.on.ca/Parents/Return_to_School. Updates will also be shared on Bluewater District School Board’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Wilder adds that the Board is planning and preparing, in collaboration with Public Health, to support the health, safety, and well-being of students, staff, and families every step of the way.

The Ministry of Education has emphasized that a conventional full return to school in September is voluntary, and ultimately, based on parent/guardian choice. For parents/guardians who choose not to send their children back to school in September, remote learning will be provided.

“We hope that a conventional full return to school will restore some stability for families who have spent the past several months trying to manage work, childcare, and remote learning responsibilities, among other challenges,” says Wilder.

As directed by the ministry, the BWDSB has also conducted extensive back-up planning should it be required, at any time, to switch to an adapted model of combined in school and remote learning, or fully return to at-home remote learning.

“Should there be a surge in COVID-19 cases in Ontario,” says Wilder,Β  “we must be prepared for these different models of delivery and the flexibility to shift between them.Β  We hope however, that today’s news allows families to start planning accordingly for September. As always, we will continue to keep you informed as we move through this transition.”