Back to school: getting to class

Start date staggered by surname with public board, by grade with Catholic board

The start of the school year will be staggered for students in Simcoe and Muskoka. Depending on the board you’re with, it could depend on your last name or on the grade.

Simcoe County District School Board

Among Simcoe County District School Board elementary schools, there will be a phased approach to the first day of school. Students with surnames that start with A to G will begin on Tuesday, September 8. Those with surnames beginning with H to O will attend on Wednesday, with their remaining classmates joining them by Thursday.

Junior Kindergarten students will begin on Thursday, September 10. Those students in county class programs such as social skills, developmental skills, life skills, and autism spectrum disorder will begin on Tuesday, September 8.

A phased approach will also be taken at the high school level. Grade 9 students will start Tuesday, Grade 10 on Wednesday, and the rest by Thursday.

Students who are participating in the remote learning program will be contacted by their teacher in the first two weeks of school and classes will begin on Monday, September 21.

Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

The first day of school for Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board will begin on Thursday, September 10 starting with children in kindergarten to Grade 3, and those going into Grade 9 for the first time.

Friday, September 11 marks the first day of school for students in grades 4 to 6 as well as those in Grade 10. The following Monday (September 14) will be the first day of school for kids heading into Grades 7, 8, 11 and 12, as well as those in select remote learning classes.

Students who are participating in the remote learning program will be contacted by their teacher the week of September 14; classes will begin on Monday, September 21.

Families of youngsters heading into Junior Kindergarten should be contacted directly to arrange a start date.

“That was very purposeful,” said interim Education Director Catherine McCullough. “We want our little ones to get more accustomed to the routine.”

Learning the ropes

The first day for each student will be a learning curve as kids get briefed on new exits, new protocols, new ways of coming into the school and exiting the school.

It is expected alternating schedules will limit the number of students in a cohort and reduce the number of students coming into contact with each other per week.

All students opting for in-person learning will be expected to attend full time. They will learn with classroom cohorts that will not be permitted to mix or combine with other classes. Outdoor learning will be encouraged, there will be no assemblies or other large gatherings, and common areas such as libraries will be closed.

Students will eat lunch in their classrooms. Elementary school recesses will be timetabled to limit interaction between classes.

With both school boards, parents are encouraged to drop off their children and depart; crowds near schools are discouraged.