Back to school plans continue to change

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By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative

Chatham-Kent’s school boards continue to tweak and update their back-to-school plans just weeks before the new academic year is about to begin.

In their latest updates, St. Clair Catholic School Board (SCCSB) and Lambton-Kent District School Board (LKDSB) are adopting a quadmester approach with one class per day. 

In SCCSB’s framework release last week, the board had outlined an octmester (eight terms) model for secondary students  – only one subject a day for 22 days. LKDSB had chosen to do two subjects a day for 44 days. 

The new approach combines aspects of both plans. 

The academic year for both school boards will be divided into the four terms of approximately 44 days. Two subjects will still be taught per term, however, students will take one class per day and alternate between their two subjects each week at both boards.

“Due to the large enrolments at our two secondary schools, and our commitment to the health and safety of students and staff, the quadmester model was developed to reduce student contact by limiting students to a single cohort per week,” said SCC officials in a letter to parents. 

The Catholic board is still finalizing its full plans.

LKDSB alternating start dates, virtual school
Senior Kindergarten to Grade 8 students will have a staggered entry during the first week of school.
LKDSB officials said they made the move “in order to support the transition back to school and assist students with learning school health-and-safety procedures and risk-mitigation strategies.”
Half of the student body will attend school on Sept. 8 and the remaining students will attend school on Sept. 9. On the following day, all students will attend together. 

Parents and guardians will be contacted directly regarding their children’s start dates.
Grade 9 students will have orientation on Sept. 8 and Grade 10-12 will begin Sept. 9.
Junior Kindergarten students have a delayed entry, with their first day of school on Sept. 14.
Students who have chosen to learn from home will be removed from their original schools and enrolled in the Virtual Learn at Home Elementary or Secondary School.
The  virtual schools will have their own dedicated principals and staff support to provide quality programming for students. The year will also operate in quadmesters.

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