School Year 2021-2022

We’re Ready - September 2021

Everyone wants to get back to a regular school routine. At the OCDSB, we’re ready to welcome students and staff safely back to school in September 2021. 

With safety precautions in place, we believe that student learning and well-being is best supported through in-person learning. We understand that for some families, the return to in-person learning is challenging and the Ottawa-Carleton Virtual (OCV) School is an attractive alternative.  

Our back-to-school resource guide will help families reflect on their child’s learning needs and their experience this year in order to plan for the next year. 

We will be asking all families to confirm your child’s attendance for the entire school year for either in-person learning or virtual learning

Schools will send a form to families on or about March 4th, asking families to complete one form per child. The form must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on March 14, 2021. If parents do not complete the form, we will assume the student will attend school in-person and will assign the student to the home school for in-person learning.

Why Now?

This is the time of year that school districts must make key planning decisions for the upcoming school year. Once we confirm enrolment, we use that information to hire teachers, schedule classes, and finalize course offerings. 

Looking ahead to September, many Canadians will be vaccinated, but COVID-19 health and safety practices are still expected to be in place. With this in mind, we are planning for a majority of students to return to in-person learning with enhanced safety precautions in place. Our goal will be to resume regular operations incrementally and as it is safe to do so, based on provincial direction and public health guidance.

Making Decisions for the Full-Year Helps Minimize Transitions

This past year, families have had to navigate so much change. We want to reduce the amount of change for students and staff in the upcoming school year. Good planning has room for modifications and reduces the chance of school reorganizations. Changing classrooms, grade configurations, teaching assignments, or timetables after school starts can be frustrating and stressful. The more we know about student enrolment now, the better our planning and less likely the need for school reorganizations.

Safety First

Experience shows that schools can operate safely with proper adherence to public health guidelines and safety protocols. 

There is limited evidence of the transmission of COVID-19 in schools. But what we have seen is how important the safe operation of schools and childcare services are to the well-being of students and families, and to the economic fabric of our community. 

We will continue to follow provincial and public health guidelines and work with our students to educate them on the importance of daily self-assessments, social distancing, wearing masks, and hand hygiene. Our staff will continue to have access to personal protective equipment to ensure their safety.

Schools are Great Places for Student Learning

The pandemic has reminded us that schools are good for learning, but also essential for  developing social and emotional skills. In-person learning makes it easier for students to develop relationships with classmates and teachers, to collaborate, problem solve and network. All of these things contribute to student engagement and this leads to success.  

Commitment to Equity

The pandemic has affected some communities more than others. A move back to in-person learning is an important step in our commitment to removing barriers and increasing equity for all students.  

How Schools Will Operate in September

What’s Different?

Our in-person schools and OCV schools will be operating, but we expect more students will return to in-person learning. Once we confirm enrolment, we will know how many OCV campuses will be required and how best to structure them.  We will be working to build strong school communities, and that includes at OCV. 

Considering Virtual Learning

Virtual learning is an excellent choice for students who require an online environment. This may be for medical reasons, family needs, or for some students, learning online may be the preferred learning method. An important factor to consider is that this is a decision for the full school year. There will be limited opportunities for movement between in-person and virtual schools.  

Overview of In-Person and Virtual Learning (Kindergarten to Grade 8)

In-Person Learning

Virtual Learning

All elementary programs will be offered

COVID-19 safety procedures in place - distancing, masks, hand washing, protective equipment for staff

Cohorting of students and emphasis on smaller class sizes where possible,

Staff rotate to classes to reduce student movements

Specialized Program Classes will be offered

Extended Day Programs available

50-50 Bilingual Kindergarten, English, Early French Immersion programs will be offered

Middle French Immersion and Alternative Program will not be offered

Students enrolled in specialized program class students who opt for virtual learning will be integrated in regular virtual classroom

School day parental supervision required

Larger class sizes than in-person

Multi-grade groupings more likely

Students receive 180-225 minutes of online (synchronous) instruction/day

 Back to School Elementary Guide

Overview of In-Person and Virtual Learning (Secondary)

In-Person Learning

Virtual Learning

All secondary programs will be offered

COVID-19 safety procedures in place - distancing, masks, hand washing, protective equipment for staff

Quadmester/octomester model

Students will be cohorted (A-B)

Daily schedule and number of courses per day to be determined

Incremental resumption of regular operations as possible based on health guidance.

Full selection of courses in each grade level,

District programs includingSecondary High Skills Majors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Arts Canterbury not offered virtually.

225 live online minutes (synchronous) instruction/day

Students may be connected with physical schools for some opportunities

Daily schedule and number of courses per day to be determined

 Back to School Secondary Guide

Confirm Attendance for In-Person or Virtual School 

School Attendance Confirmation March 4th - 14th

All parents and guardians are asked to confirm your child’s enrolment for September 2021. Starting March 4th, schools will send parents a form for completion. You will receive one form per child and it will be sent from your child’s home school (for OCV students the form will be sent from the school which you last attended). Please review the form, speak with your child and make a decision about your child’s attendance for September 2021. This is a year-long commitment. 

Please return the form to your school by March 14th, 2021.


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