Welcome 2021! As we can all attest to, 2020 was exceptionally challenging and we are looking forward with hope and optimism for all 2021 will bring!

This new calendar year starts with some adjustments as students return to learning on January 4th. As a reminder, on December 21, 2020, the Ontario Provincial Government announced that all of Ontario would move into a lockdown, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020 and remain in place until at least January 23, 2021, in a bid to curb climbing COVID-19 case numbers and spare hospitals and their intensive care units from being inundated in January. The Premier has made clear that people should stay home as much as possible and limit trips outside our homes to necessities.

Based on direction from the Ministry of Education, starting January 4th, both our elementary and our secondary students will begin the new year with students learning remotely from home with our schools being closed to students during this time. Please note that there are significant differences in this lockdown compared to the Spring of 2020. At the order of the Minister of Education, schools are closed to students; in some cases, third-party childcare providers, located in our schools, will remain open. Please see below for more information on exceptions related to childcare.

During this lockdown period, the following will apply in the WRDSB:

  • Schools will be closed to students during remote learning periods
    • Elementary school students, previously attending school in-person, are scheduled to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021.
    • Secondary school students, previously attending school in-person, are scheduled to return to in-person learning on January 25, 2021.
    • All Before and After School programming is cancelled.
    • Childcare Centres and Emergency Childcare Centres
      • Child Care Centres will operate in select purpose built sites around the region. Please find here the complete listing of purpose built childcare centres and their operating status during the period of January 4th to 8th, 2021.
      • Emergency Childcare Centres will be operating in several sites throughout the region including Baden PS, Elgin PS, Groh PS, and Silverheights PS. Staff will support and abide by the distancing requirements of the Emergency Childcare Operations.
  • Device Deployment for Elementary School Students
    • Instructions for families are provided in this Communication that was distributed on December 22nd, 2020. Elementary school families have been asked to email their child’s school via the school email address or leave a message on the school’s voicemail system if they require a device. As much as possible device distribution will take place on Monday January 4th.

Please contact your school or your child’s teacher if you have specific questions related to the 2021 start of classes!

Again, wishing you and your family all the best as we welcome the new year ahead.