June 11, 2021
Dear Parents/Guardians of secondary students:
As we prepare for a new year, we continue to plan for a safe return to school for all students and staff. In communication to parents on May 18th, 2021 it was indicated that secondary schools in Niagara Catholic were returning to octomesters.
In light of recent messaging from the Ministry, declining COVID-19 case counts, increasing vaccination numbers and the ability of students ages 12-17 to be vaccinated, we are confident that by having students take more than one course per day, student safety will be maintained within schools. A full return to school with increased social contact with peers is in the best interest of students’ mental health following this prolonged disruption for students’ high school experience due to the pandemic.
Schools will begin the 2021-2022 academic year with a quadmester structure. Quadmesters consist of two classes each day for terms that are approximately 45 days long. Exam days will immediately follow the classes, and final report cards will be issued at the conclusion of each term.
In September, all students will return to school full-time with 300 instructional minutes per day. Classes will start at all secondary schools at 8:05 a.m., and end at 2:05 p.m., with regular transportation runs. Lunchtimes will be unique to each school, depending on enrolment and school layout.
With all students returning, we will resume co-curricular activities at the earliest opportunity to safely do so following Ministry of Education and Public Health approval.
Beginning this September, the Niagara Catholic District School Board will offer some asynchronous e-Learning Grade 11 and 12 courses for students. Students interested in taking an e-Learning course may select from a limited menu of courses. Course offerings and additional information available from your school’s Student Services Department. The e-Learning course delivery model allows students to work on courses on their own time and creates flexibility in student schedules.
Remote Learning Requests
Next year, we will no longer operate a virtual secondary school. Students are strongly encouraged to return to the safe environments within our schools to attend in-person. However, students and parents have the option of selecting remote learning. Students who choose remote learning, will be taught by teachers from the home school who will use technology to teach both in-person and virtual learners at the same time.
Due to teacher supervision requirements to ensure student safety for in-person students, some courses will be unavailable for remote learning. As well, students who select the remote learning option will not be permitted to participate in their home school in-person co-curricular activities.
Parents who request that their secondary child learns remotely will need to complete a form by next Friday, June 18th, 2021. The form will be sent out on Sunday evening by Permission Click. This form needs to be completed only if remote learning is being requested. The next opportunity to formally request to change learning models will be at the conclusion of Semester One. Should there be a compelling reason to change between learning models, parents are to contact their child’s principal.
The plans outlined above may change pending Ministry of Education and Public Health direction this summer. We look forward to your child returning to school safely in the fall.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s principal for assistance.
Director of Education