Return to School

We are pleased to welcome students, families and staff back to another year of learning at the Durham District School Board. You can view the school year calendars for the 2022-23 school year on our website. The information on this webpage is up to date as of August 2022.

Ongoing contact with families will take place throughout the school year to provide further details about specific school-level information and board-wide updates.

Blue banner - The school day

The information posted below will be updated on a regular basis if further guidance and direction is provided by the Ministry.

Elementary Schools 

Elementary students will attend school five days per week. Enhanced health and safety protocols are in place. Our goal is to ensure physical distancing in classrooms as much as possible.

Students will still receive 300 minutes of face-to-face educator instruction, and the full range of the elementary curriculum will be provided. 

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 can choose if they want to wear non-medical or cloth masks at school or while on school buses. Although the masking requirement has been removed in schools, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has indicated it is still encouraged to wear a mask in public settings. Schools will be a mask friendly environment and students, visitors, families, and staff are welcome to continue to wear masks while at school and/or on the bus.

Secondary Schools 

Full-day in-person learning five days per week is in place for secondary students who selected in-person learning for the 2022-23 school year.

Secondary students will follow a regular semester schedule.  Students may choose to wear masks while in school, and enhanced health and safety protocols have been implemented. Secondary cafeterias are open and students will continue to have the opportunity to leave school for lunch.

Learning Preference (In-Person or Virtual Learning)

In March 2022, families were able to select a learning preference through the Parent Portal for the 2022-2023 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. 

 

DDSB at Home banner

Welcome to the DDSB@Home virtual school. 

The programming offered by DDSB@Home is similar to a physical school, and staff are prepared to coordinate with your home school to be supportive of the best interests of your child(ren). 

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 on the New Student Registration form

The information posted below is based on the most current information available. Please visit the Elementary@Home and Secondary@Home websites for additional information, updates and FAQs.

Minimum Requirements for Engaging Students 

Students will receive 300 minutes of learning opportunities, with a combination of both RealTime (synchronous/live) and FlexTime (asynchronous/independent/not live) learning activities. Programming is based on the full Ontario curriculum and includes opportunities for guided instruction, large- and small-group learning, synchronous check-ins, and asynchronous independent work. Teachers will be available to students at all times during the teachers' assigned teaching timetables, as they would be if they were face-to-face in a classroom setting.

 Minimum Requirements for RealTime Learning

The table below outlines the minimum amount of time per day that students, depending on their grade level, must be provided with synchronous learning as part of their scheduled or timetabled learning.  

Grade Level of Students

Daily Minimum RealTime Learning Requirement

Kindergarten

180 minutes

Grades 1 to 8

225 minutes

Grades 9 to 12

The higher of 60 minutes for each 75-minute class period or 225 minutes per day for a full course schedule.

The RealTime learning time requirements outlined in the table above may be divided into shorter periods throughout the school day. For example, a child in Kindergarten may participate in an opening exercise for 10 minutes with their whole class, as well as a combination of whole-group and small-group sessions throughout the school day, and a 10-minute closing exercise with their class at the end of the school day. Educators will use their professional judgement to provide some flexibility to students on an individual basis when students are unable to participate in RealTime learning. 

DDSB@Home Elementary RealTime and FlexTime Learning

DDSB@Home Elementary RealTime and FlexTime Learning

Students with Special Education Needs 

Students with special education needs will continue to be supported through individualized service and program plans. Educators will continue to provide accommodations, modified expectations, and alternative programming to students with special education needs, consulting with parents/caregivers in the development of their IEPs for the 2022-2023 school year. We are working to provide continued access to assistive technology, including Special Equipment Amount (SEA) equipment, where possible, to support students as they participate in remote learning. In situations where access to assistive technology is not feasible, educators are expected to work with students and parents to determine workable solutions on an individual basis.

Technology Supports 

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 campus. A request will be submitted to IT Services who in turn will contact the parent/guardian via email to book an appointment to pick up a device. Please note that a DDSB device is not required as any web-enabled device can be used to access DDSB@Home lessons and resources.

 

Staying healthy and safe - yellow banner

Staying safe and healthy is everyone’s responsibility. Here is a summary of some of the steps we are taking to protect our school community from COVID-19:

Vaccinations

The most important step we can take to ensure the health and safety of all community members is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Children from the age of 6 months are eligible to receive a first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario.  

In partnership with Durham Region Health Department (DRHD), schools will continue to promote any scheduled school-based vaccination clinics open to eligible students, families, and staff.

Below you will find links to additional information where you can learn more about the vaccines to help you make an informed decision for your family.

Daily Checklists
COVID-19 Symptoms - What Families Should Know
Ventilation

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.

Masks
  • Although the masking requirement has been removed in schools, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has indicated it is still encouraged to wear a mask in public settings. Schools will be a mask friendly environment and students, visitors, families, and staff are welcome to continue to wear masks while at school and/or on the bus.  We will continue to have masks available for students who choose to still wear them.
  • Medical masks and eye protection (i.e. face shield) will be provided for all teachers and other staff of school boards.
  • School-based staff who are regularly in close contact with students will be provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Masks in schools - poster
Hand Washing 
  • Every class has a handwashing station or hand sanitizer available to students and teachers.
  • A schedule to regularly clean hands has been incorporated into daily routines (e.g. upon entering the school, before lunch and recess breaks, after using the bathroom, returning from playing outside and after sneezing/coughing).
  • Students are being educated on proper cough and sneeze etiquette and to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. 
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection 
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices will continue to be used by custodial staff. 
  • Frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day throughout the school building. 
  • Schools undergo extra cleaning and disinfection at the end of each school day. 
  • Soft surfaces that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected have been removed from classrooms (e.g. plush/absorbent items, upholstered furnishings).
Self-Assessment 

We ask that all staff, students, and families continue to complete the daily self-screening. The school 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.

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive must self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status and follow the instructions of the self-screener.  

Symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19:

  • Fever and/or chills > 37.8°C

  • Cough 

  • Shortness of breath

  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell

Symptoms Less Commonly Associated with COVID-19:

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion

  • Headache

  • Tiredness/fatigue

  • Sore throat/Difficulty swallowing

  • Muscle aches/joint pain 

  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea

For more information visit the Durham Region Health Department website

School Bus Safety 

Durham Student Transportation Services has procedures in place to ensure the safety of everyone who requires bus transportation. 

  • Students must stay home if they are sick.

  • Enhanced cleaning practices on buses will continue including the high touch point cleaning twice daily.

 For more information on student transportation, please visit the DSTS Webpage.

COVID-19 banner

The implementation of our enhanced health and safety protocols will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

If everyone does their part to stay safe and healthy (both inside schools and in any public setting), the likelihood that someone will contract the COVID-19 virus at school will be low.  

The Ministry of Education has established COVID-19 outbreak protocols (subject to change) that we are supplementing in the event that someone feels sick and/or contracts the virus.

Reporting of COVID-19 Cases in Schools
  • The Ministry of Education is no longer collecting COVID-19 case numbers from school boards. The DDSB will continue to publicly report data on the COVID-19 Advisory page of the DDSB website on the following categories: 
  • Number of Staff/Students Absent with Illness (Self-Reported by Staff/Students) 
  • Number of Positive COVID-19 Tests Disclosed (Rapid or PCR) (Self-Reported by Staff/Students) 
  • School Absenteeism Rates Due to Illness 
  • Schools Closed Due to Operational Needs or by Durham Region Health Department
  • This data will be self-reported by parents/guardians and/or staff through normal absence reporting processes.
If a Student Feels Sick at School

A detailed protocol has been established if students become ill during the school day.  

  • Students or staff who develop COVID-19 symptoms will immediately be separated from others and be asked to arrange a way home. Siblings and household members of a student exhibiting symptoms must follow the instructions for isolation requirements that are outlined in the Ontario School Screening tool.
  • Staff and/or students with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are presumed positive and should follow DRHD isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines.
  • DDSB staff and families should use rapid antigen tests (if available) and self-report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 via SchoolMessenger.
Students and Staff with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Protocol 
  • Visit the COVID Advisory webpage for information and updates on presumed and confirmed cases as well as school absenteeism rates.

Other Resources