Return to School - FAQ

These frequently asked questions (FAQs) may continue to change as new information/updates become available.

School Year Dates and Times

When will school offices reopen following summer break closures?

Secondary school offices reopen on Monday, August 21, 2023 and elementary school offices reopen on Monday, August 28, 2023. Modified calendar school offices reopened earlier in August.  

What is the start and end date of the 2023-2024 school year?
  • Elementary Regular: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 / Thursday, June 27, 2024
  • Secondary Regular: Tuesday, September 5, 2023 / Wednesday, June 26, 2024
  • Elementary Modified: Tuesday, August 8, 2023 / Thursday, June 27, 2024
  • Secondary Modified: Thursday, August 24, 2023 / Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Where can I find school year calendars?
You can view the approved 2023-24 school year calendars under the What's Happening section of this website. On that page you can find out more about when scheduled breaks, professional activity days and holidays take place. 
What are the school’s hours of operation?
School hours of operation vary by school. Please visit your school’s website, found on the School Directory. Bell times are shown on the top right-hand side of each school’s website.

Start of the School Year - Returning Students

When does the Returning Student Verification form open?
Parents/guardians are required to complete the returning student verification form. For modified elementary students (C.E. Broughton and Winchester Public Schools) the form will be available via the Parent Portal on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

For modified secondary students (Brock HS, Henry Street HS, and Maxwell Heights SS) the form will be available via the Parent Portal on Monday, August 14, 2023.

For regular calendar elementary and secondary students the form will be available via the Parent Portal on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.

What should I do if I encounter issues submitting the Returning Student Verification form?
Contact your child’s school office staff for assistance with the form and/or to request submission of the form information in an alternative format. If you have contacted them and they are unable to assist, please ask the school secretary or Principal to submit an IT help ticket so that the problem can be resolved via the school.
When can I view my elementary student’s homeroom teacher?

Modified elementary students (C.E. Broughton and Winchester Public Schools) homeroom teacher information* will be available via Parent Portal on Friday, August 4, 2023.

Regular calendar elementary students homeroom teacher information* will be available via Parent Portal on Friday, September 1, 2023.

*Homeroom teacher information will only display if you have completed the returning student verification form.

When can I view my secondary student’s timetable?

Modified secondary students (Brock HS, Henry Street HS, and Maxwell Heights SS) timetables* will be available via the Parent Portal on Friday, August 18, 2023.

Regular calendar secondary students timetables* will be available via the Parent Portal on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

*Timetable information will only display if you have completed the returning student verification form.

When will I know if my child will have to change classrooms?

Each spring DDSB staff work to carefully project school enrolment numbers by grade for the upcoming school year. Enrolments then fluctuate in August and early-September as students enter and leave the District. In September, enrolment is confirmed through school attendance over the first 2-3 weeks of school with class reorganizations taking place in late-September. This can result in existing classes having a new teacher assigned, or classes being split up in order to accommodate students in order to meet Ministry of Education mandated class size requirements. For the 2023-24 school year, the reorganization date is Monday, September 25. Families whose child(ren) are impacted by any reorganizations will be informed of class placement or educator changes in advance of September 25.

My child is a DDSB student moving from one DDSB school to another. How can I transfer their student information to the new school?

The best place to start is by speaking with office staff at your children's current school. They can help you navigate the process of transferring schools within the Board. Visit the school directory page on this website for school contact information.

My child attends a DDSB school but we are moving outside of DDSB to another school board. How do I de-enrol them from DDSB?
Reach out to the DDSB school your child most recently attended to confirm de-enrollment. They will be the best persons to assist you. Visit the school directory page on this website for school contact information
I want to take my children out of DDSB and provide home schooling for them. How do I do that?

Parents/guardians can start the process by contacting the Superintendent’s office for the school(s) their children currently attend and informing them of their intent to home school. If you are not sure how to reach your school’s area Superintendent’s office, staff at the school will be able to provide that information to you. The home schooling procedure and associated forms can be found on the DDSB website.

How can I transfer my child from our designated home school to a DDSB school outside of our boundary?
All students must be registered at their designated home school. To discuss the options available to you if you are wanting to transfer to an ‘out of area’ (not your designated home school) school, please begin your request with your child’s current school. School level staff will be the best persons to assist you with your child’s education. Please review the Permission to Enrol Procedure (school other than designated home school).

Start of School Year (New Students)

How do I register a new student?

To register a new student in a DDSB school:

  1. Use the school locator to find schools in your area boundaries.
  2. Complete the new student online registration.
  3. Wait for the school to contact you for an appointment (you will need to provide supporting documents at this time).
  4. Go to the meeting with the required supporting documents and complete registration.

For confirmation regarding your child's home school designation, contact our Property and Planning Department via e-mail at: or by phone 905-666-6421 or 1-800-339-6913 ext. 6421.

For more information about this process, visit the DDSB registration page.

How old does my child need to be to register for Kindergarten?

Your child must meet the following age requirements to enter Kindergarten:

  • To register for Junior Kindergarten, your child must be 4 years old by December 31 in the current year.
  • To register for Senior Kindergarten, your child must be 5 years old by December 31 in the current year.
How do I register an international student (non Canadian resident)?

To apply to school as an international student, complete the International Student Application package. If you require assistance with the package contact the International Education Department by phone at 905-666-5500 ext. 5497 or by email at


Where can I find information about child care programs?

Durham District School Board (DDSB) supports the provision of quality child care services in its schools through qualified, licensed child care operators where space is available and the need for service has been identified through community/regional planning processes. Registration and availability of programs is managed by our child care partners. You will need to contact the partner directly to inquire about availability. We offer Child Care programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, as well as before and after school programs for elementary school children.
If you require additional information, please reach out to the DDSB Early Years team, at

How can I view my children’s grades and report cards?

You can view your children’s grades by logging into the Parent Portal and navigating to the “Grades and Attendance” section in the left panel. Grades will display in the Parent Portal on the day report cards are scheduled to be sent home. Parents/guardians will receive electronic copies of their report cards throughout the school year if a valid email address is on file for your student. If you have trouble accessing this information please contact your children’s school office for assistance.

Are there any parent-teacher conferences scheduled during the year?

Parent-teacher conferences are available at select times throughout the school year, typically before report card distribution. Contact your school office for more information. 

How do I register my children for summer school?

You can register for summer school (elementary and secondary) through the Durham Continuing Education website. Information on elementary summer learning programs is shared with schools and families prior to summer break. Only secondary summer learning program information will be available on the DCE website.

How do I register for night school?

How do I register for night school?

More information on night school and how to register can be found on the Night School page of the Durham Continuing Education website.

Where can I find information about adult learning?

Visit the Durham Continuing Education website for program opportunities that best suit your needs such as: Adult Day School, Night School, Credit Recovery, and more.

If I have trouble accessing the Parent Portal, my child’s OEN, Chromebook issues etc. who should I contact for assistance?

School staff are able to help you with the Parent Portal, Google Classroom, and Chromebooks and provide information about: passwords, login information, access codes, equipment, obtaining a Chromebook, power cords, phone number and email updates, name change, absences, address change, OEN's, report cards, etc. Please reach out to the home school secretary for assistance with any of the above issues. Contact information for schools may be found in the school directory on our website. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to read our Parent Portal FAQ for support.

Where can I find my child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN)?
You can find a student’s OEN at the top of any current or old report card. The number remains the same throughout their education until graduation. If you cannot find the OEN at the top of an old report card or you are a parent/guardian of a JK student and do not yet have an OEN for your child, please reach out to the secretary at your school for assistance with this information.
How can I request a copy of my student transcript?
Through the school year, transcript requests are processed through the student's most recently attended school or the secondary school they graduated from. Contact the Guidance Department of the school you last attended to request a transcript. All secondary schools keep student transcripts for 55 years. Contact information for all DDSB schools is available in the school directory.
If the secondary school you last attended is now permanently closed, please visit our website to find out which current DDSB secondary school keeps those records.
Beginning the second week of July through to the end of August, you may request a transcript online.
Where can I find contact information for my child’s school?

Contact information for all DDSB schools is available in the online school directory.

What is the protocol for late arrivals or early dismissals?

All student absences including late arrivals and early dismissals are to be reported via SchoolMessenger. Download the SchoolMessenger app or visit the website for more information.


How does communication between parents/guardians and schools take place?
DDSB schools use SchoolMessenger to communicate with parents/guardians. This system allows schools to send messages via email, mobile app notification, and by telephone. Parents/guardians should ensure they have added current contact information to their SchoolMessenger profile and will have an opportunity to confirm contact information is accurate when reviewing/updating the annual verification form in late August. Educators will communicate with parents/guardians through different channels and they will inform you directly.
I do not receive e-mails or newsletters from my child’s school. How can I receive updates about my child(ren)’s education?

In order to receive direct updates about your child(ren)’s education, you must have a valid e-mail registered with us. Please contact your child(ren)’s school to make this request. They will need to verify your identity for legal/privacy reasons.

How can I translate content on the DDSB website or school websites?

The DDSB website can easily be translated into many different languages through Google Translate. You will find the Translate or Select Language feature on every DDSB webpage in the banner at the top of the page next to the magnifying glass icon or search feature.

  1. Go to on a computer or laptop device.
  2. Click on the Translate or Select Language button in the banner at the top of the webpage. Translate appears on the main DDSB website and Select Language appears on school webpages.
  3. Choose your preferred language from the list.
Where can I find translated return to school information?

A prepared package of general information and helpful resources for families is available in the following languages:

How can I stay connected to school board communications?
We encourage you to follow us on Twitter @DDSBSchools, Facebook DurhamDistrictSchoolBoard, and Instagram @DDSBSchools, and visit our website often for information and updates.

Enrollment Growth at Schools

What is a holding school? Why can’t my child learn at the school closest to them and/or why is there not a school in the new development that I have moved into?
Durham Region is currently experiencing a rapid increase in population due to new developments being built. The Durham District School Board (DDSB) has been proactive in making submissions to the Ministry of Education to seek approval for the creation of new schools to meet this pressure, but the timing of school construction does not always align with the speed of residential growth.

What this means is that as new communities are developed and families move into their new home, the school designated for that neighbourhood is often not yet built as the approval, funding, and construction period can be lengthy. In some cases, it could take seven to ten years after the construction of new homes for a new school to open. As a result, several schools are designated as holding schools throughout the District, accommodating new students from areas experiencing new development or growth until a new school can be built in that community.
Why does my child have to learn in a portable?
As communities grow and evolve, schools may experience an increase in student enrollment. Portable classrooms are added to help ease this pressure by providing learning spaces for students. The DDSB’s goal is to provide a conducive learning environment for all students while managing resources effectively as we carefully consider long-term solutions to address enrollment growth such as boundary reviews and/or until we can receive Ministry of Education approval for new schools. When portables are no longer required, they are relocated elsewhere and/or locked on-site.
Why can’t new schools be built sooner?
New schools are funded by the Ministry of Education and DDSB requires their approval to construct a new school. School boards need to confirm to the Ministry that there are enough students enrolled at DDSB to fill a new school prior to requesting funds. All school boards across the Province are competing for the funding available, resulting in not all projects being funded when requested. It could take years to justify and receive a capital allocation for a new school. Once an allocation is received there are Ministry approvals, municipal approvals and construction which can take an additional two to three years.
What is the estimated approval time from the government when a submission for a new school is submitted?
This can vary based upon the Ministry of Education review of all Capital Priorities across the Province. It could take a year or up to six years, based upon DDSB past experiences. If there is space available for students in nearby schools, the new school could potentially not receive funding approval until it is fully utilized.
I have a family member who attends a neighbouring school, can our children not attend that school? 
School boundaries are based upon your address. If the neighbouring school is not your home school and if there is space you can request to attend as out of area, with no transportation provided.

DDSB@Home Virtual Schools

Please visit the Elementary@Home and Secondary@Home websites for additional information, updates and FAQs.

Can I switch my child between DDSB@Home virtual school and in-person school?
In January 2023, families were able to select a learning preference through the Parent Portal for the 2023-2024 school year. This decision is for the entire year as once schools are staffed, it is unlikely that changes can be made as we will not be re-staffing and re-organizing schools throughout the year. If you have concerns about your child’s current learning preference, please contact the administration at the school your child is currently attending.
If my child(ren) are new to DDSB (new to Durham Region or starting JK) how can I choose virtual learning for them in the registration process?
Elementary students who are entering Junior Kindergarten or are new to DDSB and secondary students who are new to DDSB can select DDSB@Home Elementary or DDSB@Home Secondary from the drop down menu on the New Student Registration form.
If I live outside the Durham District School Board region, can my child be enrolled in DDSB@Home?
Students must be living in Durham District School Board boundary area full-time in order to remain enrolled in DDSB@Home. Proof of address will be required. Extended travel is not permitted.
Is the use of a webcam or microphone a requirement to participate in DDSB@Home classes?
DDSB@Home students must be prepared to participate using a webcam and/or microphone to interact with staff and peers.
What platform will be used to deliver online learning in DDSB@Home?
Online learning will be delivered through existing platforms including Google Classroom, Google Meet, and D2L Brightspace.
My child requires a Chromebook for learning in DDSB@Home, how can I receive one?
Parents of students enrolled in DDSB@Home in Grade K-6 that do not currently have a DDSB device assigned to them, can request a device by contacting their DDSB@Home school. A request will be submitted to IT Services, who in turn will contact the parent/guardian via email to book an appointment for pick-up. Please note that a DDSB device is not required as any web-enabled device can be used to access DDSB@Home lessons and resources.
For students with limited or no internet access, what assistance will be available to provide sufficient access to online materials and classes?
Where possible, we are providing mobile hotspots to families who require them for their child(ren) to participate in learning through DDSB@Home schools.

Parents/guardians of DDSB@Home students should contact their school who will create a request for a Student Internet Device (Mifi or Phone with hotspot) to be mailed to the home. A maximum of one hot spot will be provided per family.
My child(ren) attend DDSB@Home, do I need to report their absence on the days they are not present in the virtual school?
Yes. Students in DDSB@Home schools will follow the same process for reporting an absence as students learning in-person. Parents/Guardians, please see the Report an Absence page of our website for instructions.

Student Achievement, Curriculum and Extra-Curriculars

What subjects will my child be studying this year? 

All learning is delivered in accordance with the curriculum established by the Ministry of Education. At the elementary level, programs and courses are designed to give young students the best start. The DDSB also provides programs for specific types of early learning. All programs are aimed at student achievement and well-being. Courses teach and enhance critical thinking and ignite the desire to learn and grow, including with the use of technology. At the secondary level, a diverse range of high school courses and programs are offered to meet individual student needs. This includes traditional classes and alternative learning environments such as eLearning, tutoring, and cooperative education where students gain secondary school credits while completing a work placement in the community.

Will field trips be taking place?
Schools have resumed field trips. Please contact your child’s school for further information on field trips that might be available/planned at your child's school this year.
Do schools offer extra-curricular activities?
Extra-curricular activities including school clubs, non-sport activities, intramural and inter-school sports are permitted to take place. Please contact your child’s school for more information.
What is the requirement for secondary students to complete community service/volunteering hours?
Students in Ontario are required to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement prior to graduation. More information about visit our webpage on Community Involvement Hours.
Will secondary students take the OSSLT?
Yes, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) graduation requirement was restored during the last school year. All students in Grade 10 and any student who has not yet met their mandatory literacy graduation requirement will either participate in the OSSLT of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).
Will there be EQAO assessments this year?
Yes, it is anticipated that EQAO assessments will continue to take place for students in Grades 3, 6, and 9. We will share more information when it becomes available. Please visit EQAO for additional information and updates.
What resources or materials should my child bring to school? 
The specific resources and materials your child should bring to school may vary depending on their grade level, the school's policies, and the subjects they are studying. However, common items that students often need include a school bag, notebooks, pens/pencils, erasers, highlighters, ruler, calculator, art supplies (coloured pencils, markers, scissors, glue), and a geometry set. Google Chromebooks are provided to students in Grades 7 - 12 through their school.


How can I change my child(ren)’s password?
Student passwords can be changed or recovered through the self-serve password tool. Instructions can be found on our Digital Learning page. If the self-serve option is not working for you, please contact your teacher for password assistance.
Where can I find information about Chromebook care and usage?
The Student Chromebook Guide provides helpful information about connecting to your home network, service requests, what to do if the device is damaged, and more.
If there is an issue with my child’s Chromebook can I take it to a company outside DDSB for repair?
All DDSB devices are under warranty with our vendor. Any issues with the device should be reported to your teacher or school office so that DDSB staff can repair the device. We thank you for not taking DDSB devices for repair outside of the DDSB as this may void the warranty. Please review these helpful troubleshooting FAQs if you encounter any issues.
How do I return my child’s Chromebook device?
We ask that you please connect with the staff at your child’s school first. They will be able to provide you with the appropriate next steps and drop off location.
Where can I find information about keeping my child safe while online?
We understand that learning is increasingly taking place online. We want to teach our students how to interact with online materials while staying safe. You can find information and resources for families on our Online Safety and Digital Citizenship page.
Can students still access their student accounts after graduation?
Before graduation students will be sent information on how to transfer their files to another space. Students should transfer their files within 7 days of graduating. Our IT department only retains student data for a short period of time after graduation or un-enrolment. It is unlikely that we will be able to recover your student files.

Health, Safety, and Security

How are schools handling health and safety protocols?
Students, families, and staff will be reminded to take preventative measures to protect themselves from all respiratory illnesses to help ensure the health and safety of the school community. This includes staying up to date on vaccinations and flu shots, maintaining good hygiene, staying home when ill, and completing the screening tool when necessary. In school, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices will continue to take place. Schools will also continue to have masks available to students and staff who choose to wear them.
How are schools addressing/improving the air quality within the building and portables?
A big part of health and safety in schools is air quality. Please review our Ventilation Measures page for updated information about air quality projects and investments, as well as school-specific information.
What is the DDSB doing to clean schools?
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices by DDSB custodial staff continue to be in place.
Where can I book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for myself or my children?
You can book a vaccine appointment by visiting or call 1-888-444-5113.
Will students be required to wear a mask in school?
Schools are mask friendly environments. We will continue to have masks available for students and staff who choose to wear them.
Will staff, students, and visitors be screened for illness before entering a school?
We recommend that staff, students, and families continue to complete the daily self-screening. The self-assessment screening tool provides accurate guidance on whether your child should attend school. If your child is sick, please ensure that they stay home to protect everyone at school.
Can my child stay home if they are not feeling well?
Students should stay home if they are not feeling well. The absence code for illnesses has been updated to include well-being.
How do I report my child’s absence and record the reason for their absence?

There are a few methods you can use to report your child’s absence from school.  

  • Calling 1-844-350-2646
  • Online  
  • On your smartphone through the SchoolMessenger app 

Please refer to the Report an Absence page of our website for a list of student absence codes.

Use the self-assessment screening tool for guidance on when students and staff can return to school if they have had symptoms of illness. 

Are there any health requirements or immunizations that my child needs to meet? 
Vaccines required for school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act are administered by the Durham Region Health Department (DRHD). Every year, the DRHD reviews immunization records of students to ensure they are up to date on required vaccines. If you receive an immunization reminder letter, this indicates that the DRHD is missing vaccine information for your child. For more information, including a list of vaccines needed for school required by the Immunization of School Pupils Act, as well as information regarding immunization exemptions, please visit the Durham Region Health Department.
How are illnesses and injuries handled during school hours? 
Student well-being is the top priority at all DDSB schools. Should your child become ill or injured, staff will assist and parents/guardians will be contacted as quickly as possible. It is important that schools have the most up-to-date information to contact the parent/guardian in the event of an emergency.
Are there any restrictions on foods brought to school due to allergies? 
DDSB schools are considered allergy aware. Where possible, all environments should be free from any trace of allergens. Please be aware of common allergen foods (nuts, etc.) and avoid sending these items in lunches/snacks. Contact your school Principal for more information on the school’s allergy guidelines and potential food restrictions. 
Are there any security measures in place such as visitor check-in procedures? 
School facilities are secured throughout the day, with exterior doors locked. Visitors must use the front door buzzer to enter the school during school hours. 
How are emergency situations handled? 

From time to time schools may experience a situation that requires safety and security protocols to be implemented on the direction of the police or in consultation with emergency services. This happens with varying frequencies with situations such as a hold and secure or a shelter in place taking place more often than a lockdown or evacuation. Descriptions of emergency situations are included below.

Schools will endeavour to inform parents/guardians of these situations as soon as is reasonably possible. It is important to know that the first priority of the school administration is to ensure the safety of students and those in the building before being able to communicate with parents/guardians.

Hold and Secure: Used in response to a threat of danger outside the school. All students and staff remain inside and away from all exterior doors and windows. Classroom routine continues as normal.

Shelter in Place: Used in response to a disaster situation (i.e., environmental hazard) outside the school. Students and staff are instructed to move away from exterior doors and windows and to take cover under desks or in hallways.

Lockdown: Used in response to a threat of danger inside the school. Students and staff gather in a secured area, with doors locked and barricaded, windows covered, and lights turned off. 

Evacuation: Used in response to a disaster situation (i.e., gas leak) inside the school. Students and staff are evacuated from the school until it is deemed safe by emergency response authorities.

Mental Health and Well-Being

Where can I find information and support for mental health and well-being?

Students are encouraged to reach out to someone at their school if they have concerns or questions about their well-being. A guidance counsellor or teacher can support you and direct you to someone who can help if needed. In addition, we offer resources for students and parents/guardians on the Well-Being and Mental Health webpage.

We have a team of professionals available to assist which includes social workers, psychologists, and psychological associates. This team can also provide assistance in connecting you to community mental health services and supports. If you are interested in talking to someone on the DDSB Mental Health Team, please use the Mental Health Support Form to provide us with your contact information and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible. Please Note: This is not a crisis service. If it is an emergency, please call 911.

How can I report a bullying incident at my child’s school?

Your first point of contact when you have a concern with your child’s school, staff, well-being and/or education, would be the administration at the school itself. School level staff will be the best persons to assist and resolve any concerns you may have.

You can also visit the Bullying Prevention and Intervention webpage for information, resources, and to report an incident.

Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Education

How is the DDSB upholding Indigenous rights and commitments to Indigenous peoples?

DDSB recognizes that Indigenous rights are distinct. In the exercise of those rights, Indigenous staff and students shall not be subjected to actions with the aim or effect of depriving these distinct rights. For more information about Indigenous rights, visit the Indigenous Education webpage and view the Indigenous Education Policy and Procedure on Classroom Practices.

Human Rights, Anti-Oppression and Anti-Discrimination

What is the DDSB doing to support human rights, anti-oppression and inclusion in schools and offices?

DDSB is committed to providing services, employment and learning and working environments that centre Indigenous rights, human rights and equity and are welcoming, respectful, safe, inclusive, equitable, accessible, and free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, racism, oppression, and harm. 

Please visit the Human Rights Policy page where you will find more information on how we will meet this commitment for all students, staff and community members, including:  

In addition, the DDSB’s Equity and Inclusive Education page provides more information on initiatives to support equity and inclusive education, including addressing anti-Black racism.

What policies and procedures are in place to support human rights?  
The DDSB’s Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism Policy and procedures provide direction and guidance on how the DDSB will uphold human rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code, related legislation, and Ministry of Education directives. Please visit the Human Rights Policy page for more information about what the policy and procedures cover, including brief descriptions and summaries.  
What is the DDSB doing to proactively prevent discrimination? 

The Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism Procedure and summary outline proactive actions and requirements to prevent discrimination and discriminatory barriers in DDSB learning and working environments, including classrooms, schools, academic services and corporate departments.

What roles do students, families, and community members play in preventing discrimination?  

Under the Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism Policy and summary, all students, parents/guardians, employees, and community members have responsibilities to treat everyone with dignity and respect, uphold human rights, and prevent discrimination in DDSB learning and working environments.

Expectations for students, families, and community members are also outlined in the Code of Conduct, and Discipline for Students Regulation. For more information please visit the Positive School Climates webpage.

How do I request human rights accommodation? 

If you need human rights accommodation, we want to know so we can address it. Your request will be handled confidentially and with sensitivity. Please visit How do I request an accommodation? and read this summary for more information on raising accommodation requests. Accommodation requests will be addressed using the Human Rights Inclusive Design and Accommodation Procedure.

How do I raise a human rights issue or complaint? 

If you are experiencing discrimination, we want to know so we can address it. The DDSB takes these matters very seriously and handles human rights issues and complaints confidentially and with sensitivity. Please visit How do I raise/report a human rights issue, or file a complaint?, and read this summary and Information Sheet for Students and Families for information on the options available to you. 

Student or family issues or complaints against DDSB employees will be addressed using the Student/Family Human Rights Issue, Incident and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

What are you doing to support human rights for employees?
The DDSB’s Safe and Respectful Workplace and Harassment Prevention Policy and the Complaint Procedure – Human Rights, Safe and Respectful Workplace and Harassment Prevention outline employees’ rights and responsibilities to have working environments that are free from disrespectful conduct, harassment and discrimination.
How is the DDSB upholding accountability for human rights?  
The DDSB’s Human Rights Roles, Responsibilities and Accountability Framework and summary outline the DDSB’s approach to meeting individual and shared organizational roles, responsibilities, and accountability for human rights. Visit the Accountability page for more information.


Where can I find information about accessibility in the DDSB?

We are committed to upholding our responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for digital accessibility, and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). This is also in keeping with our commitments related to inclusive design, the duty to accommodate, and preventing discrimination and ableism under the DDSB’s Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism policy and procedures.

For information about accommodations, alternative format requests, and DDSB accessibility practices please visit the Accessibility webpage.

Inclusive Student Services

Will students with IEPs and students accessing special education programs be able to participate in in-person or online learning 5 days a week?

Special education class teams (students, teachers, educational assistants and other support staff) will remain together in support of student learning, no matter which learning option their family has selected. We understand the need for flexibility for students with significant health vulnerabilities which are related to their educational accommodation needs.

School staff and Inclusive Student Services will collaborate with families to plan programming, accommodations and supports. For more information, please visit the Inclusive Student Services page.

Does the school have resources or programs for students with special needs? 
Inclusive Student Services provides a range of services, supports, programs, and placements for students with special education needs. All programs promote integration and independence. Special education classes are also available and provide a greater intensity of support. For more information, please review the Inclusive Student Services’ 2023-24 Special Education Plan
How are Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) developed and implemented? 
Students with special education needs are supported through individualized service and program plans. Educators provide accommodations, modified expectations, and alternative programming to students with special education needs, consulting with parents/guardians in the development of their child’s IEP.
Are there any accessibility accommodations for students with disabilities? 
Durham District School Board (DDSB) is committed to supporting and meeting the objectives and requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians Disabilities Act (AODA). The DDSB aims to ensure its services are accessible and provide equitable and inclusive environments for all. Should your child require accommodation, including adaptive technology or additional learning support, your child’s teacher can help you to access the appropriate accommodations.

Student Transportation

Is bus transportation available for my child? 
For Kindergarten to Grade 8 students, bus transportation is available for those students residing more than 1.6 kilometres from their designated school. For students in Grades 9 to 12, bus transportation is available for those students residing more than 3.2 kilometres from their designated school. You can find out more about student transportation on the Durham Student Transportation Service (DSTS) website.
What are the bus routes and pick-up/drop-off times? 
Bus route numbers including pick-up and drop-off times are available on the Durham Student Transportation Services website and will be available in the Parent Portal beginning on the evening of August 23, 2023. Please note that as students continue to register, there may be further changes to bus routes and pick up times.
How is student behaviour on the bus monitored and managed? 
The bus is considered an extension of the classroom and the school principal is responsible for following up with student behaviour issues. Contact the school if you have concerns regarding student behaviour on the bus. 
How do I find out if my child’s bus is delayed or cancelled?
Parents/Guardians can subscribe to the Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS) mailing list to receive automated notifications of bus cancellations and delays. For more information please visit the DSTS website.
Why are more bus routes cancelled or delayed at the start of the school year?

At the start of the school year for most school boards in Ontario, there are typically increased bus delays or cancellations based on staffing and start-up challenges. DSTS and their contracted transportation providers work diligently to recruit new school bus drivers on a regular basis and manage unforeseen issues that arise with bus routes. The cancellation of school bus routes is a last resort. DSTS is committed to continuing their efforts to mitigate these province-wide challenges.

What happens if my child’s bus is cancelled due to inclement weather?

In the event that transportation services are cancelled due to inclement weather, both elementary and secondary schools located within the affected cancellation zone(s) will remain open.

In very rare situations, if a decision is made to close schools:

  • Elementary schools located in the affected zone(s) would be closed.
  • Secondary schools located in the affected zone(s) would switch to a virtual learning day for all students.

How will I be notified if transportation services are cancelled and/or schools are closed? 

  • Families will be notified as soon as possible (no later than 7:00 a.m.) through a posting on the DDSB website, social media and where possible, through local radio stations and media outlets.

What zone am I in? You can review the inclement weather zone maps by visiting the DSTS website.

Community Use of Schools and Material Distribution

Will I be able to book school space through a Community Use of Schools Permit?
Community use of schools has resumed in many schools, subject to availability. For inquiries, please visit the Community Use of Schools webpage
How can I request to distribute materials to DDSB offices and schools?

Durham District School Board policy does not permit solicitation or advertising of products, businesses or corporations in our schools or on Board property. If you wish to distribute materials in our schools or on our property, you can make a request.

You must make your request at least two weeks before the date you wish to advertise your information. Only approved materials will be sent electronically to your selected community schools.

To submit a request, complete the Materials to Schools application questionnaire and information requested. The Operations Officer will evaluate your request and respond within five business days of receipt of your request.

Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Engagement

Are there opportunities for parents to volunteer or participate in school activities? 

Durham District School Board recognizes the importance of partnership with parents/guardians in creating positive learning environments and ensuring student achievement and well-being. A number of opportunities are available for parents/guardians to play a role in their school community, including the School Community Council (SCC), an advisory body that makes recommendations to the Principal to help further student achievement and well-being and to support ongoing parent engagement. To join your school’s SCC as a voting member, contact the school Principal. All members are elected within the first 30 days of each new school year. SCC meetings are held at least four times each year.

Additionally, parents can take part in the Parent Involvement Committee (PIC), with potential vacancies available each September. Appointed PIC members serve a two-year term and support, encourage, and enhance parent engagement at the Board level. The PIC provides the Board with information and advice to help engage parents. While SCC’s are school-based, the PIC is a District-wide committee that links parents with the Board’s Director of Education and Trustees.