Program and Learning

On September 8th, 2020, the OCDSB will welcome students back to school. The Ministry of Education has determined a full return for elementary students and a hybrid/adaptive learning return for secondary students.

  • Elementary students will attend In Person or by Remote Learning.  Elementary students attending In Person will attend school five days per week, with enhanced health and safety protocols in place. 
  • Secondary students will attend in Person or by Remote Learning. Secondary students attending in person will attend school in a hybrid model, attending school 5 days out of 10.  

All school boards have prepared three learning models for the return to school in September:

  • Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols.
  • Modified school day routine based on smaller class sizes, cohorting and alternative day or week delivery.
  • At home learning with ongoing enhanced remote delivery.  

Whether learning in person or remote, we know that learning will look different.  We are confident in the innovation, creativity, expertise and collaboration among our educators both across grades, or departments, within and across schools as we were together in supporting all our students. 

In all modes of learning, educators will continue to focus on gap closing, identifying areas of student learning need followed by targeted interventions to close gaps in learning.  Educators will continue their commitment to equity for all learners, and culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy (CRRP).
Section 1: Overview of Learning

A) Elementary Learning Overview (September 2020):

  • Elementary students (K-8) will be returning 5 days a week (full return model) in a full school day with lunch and recesses. The regular start and end times will be unchanged for students. 
  • All curricular areas will be taught as per Growing Success within a term. 
  • All elementary programs will be offered at elementary (for example, Core French,  French Immersion, specialized classes for students with special education needs and English Language Learners etc.).
  • A number of curricular areas will be modified (including music, science and technology and physical education).
  • Small group learning-targeted intervention will be provided: 
    •  (a) Empower: Students who were part of the Empower program last year and did not complete the full program will have an opportunity to continue their progression in the lessons in the new school year.  Learning Support Services will work to support those individual circumstances where challenges exist (e.g., the student has changed schools). The District continues to collaborate with Sick Kids regarding the option to provide a virtual Empower program. It is important to note that while data confirms many students experience improvements over the course of the program when it is delivered in person, no such data exists in a virtual delivery model.
    •  (b) LLI: Levelled Literacy Intervention will be provided as part of small group or individual targeted intervention.
    • (c) Other personalised gap closing supports will be continued to be provided to students (such as gap closing in mathematics)
  • Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting requirements of Growing Success will apply.
  • The revised math curriculum will be implemented in all elementary classrooms (grades 1-8) in September 2020 and there will be a revised reporting requirement (a single grade for mathematics reflecting the student as a learner of mathematics). Instructional coaches have been working throughout the summer to create supports for all math educators. 
  • Further details to come re. Elementary programming

B) Secondary Learning Overview (September 2020):

  • In School Days – Regular morning bell time followed by two in school instructional periods of roughly 112.5 minutes each (225 minutes in total) with a 10 minute transition in-between, early student dismissal and 75 minutes asynchronous learning available if needed;
  • At Home Days – Approximately 300 minutes of independent/asynchronous learning with morning and afternoon opportunities for check in and remote support. Afternoon remote support period or study hall primarily for the cohort at home on any given day (75 minutes).

The In Person secondary school day will look different. Here is a breakdown of how it works:

  • Quadmester model - students take periods 1 and 3 from September to Mid November and periods 2 and 4 from mid-November to end of January. Students in non-semestered schools will follow an octomester model.
  • A:B:A:B Model - Students attend alternate days by cohort, for example if Cohort A attends Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Cohort B would attend on Tuesday and Thursday or vice versa.
  • Minutes of Instruction – In person school day is 300 minutes with 225 minutes of in-person instructional time plus 75 minutes asynchronous learning.
  • Two courses/day - students have 2 courses/day with instruction/classwork.
  • Cohorts A and B – Each course will be divided into cohorts A and B with approximately 15 students per cohort.
  • At-home learning consists of working independently and connecting with teachers during scheduled opportunities.

Here's a sample schedule. (Please note that this will look different in IB sites. Detailed information about that model will be posted shortly.)

Section 2: All Staff to Maintain Weekly Google Classrooms/ VLE

  • Throughout the school year, particular cohorts, classes/courses, zones, grades etc. may be required to move between the various learning models. 
  • As it may be required throughout the year to move between models with short notice, all teachers will need to maintain a Google Classroom or VLE so that they can move “on a dime” between models in response to public health/MOE etc. direction. 
  • The learning for the week will be posted weekly. This will support an entire class or cohort that needs to move to remote learning, or a single student from the class/course who needs to isolate at home. 
  • All principals/vice-principals will have access to all Google Classrooms/VLEs.  

Many opportunities are available for educators who have not yet accessed training to support them with setting up a Google Classroom or VLE, including on the BLT Learn at home staff portal link, summer programming and institutes and the upcoming PA Days.

Section 3: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting

In both elementary and secondary, remote learning and learning at school, students will receive ongoing feedback and communication from their teachers/ educators. 

  • Regular reporting periods (Progress report, Term 1 and Term 2 report cards will apply).
  • Parent-teacher interviews will take place virtually or by phone. 
  • Revised elementary report card (Grades 1-8) to reflect the change in reporting in mathematics (one “grade” for mathematics rather than 4 separate grades). Further direction and guidance will be provided to math educators.
  • Focus on overall expectations in the curriculum in subject areas requiring modifications (such as music education, physical education, science and technology etc.). Further direction will be provided to educators).   


  • Further details regarding reporting in relation to a quadmester model will be shared. 
  • Parent-teacher interviews will take place virtually or by phone. 
  • Focus on overall expectations in the curriculum in courses requiring modifications (further direction will be provided to educators).

Section 4: Continuing and Adult Education

  • The International and Indigenous Languages Program will run on Saturdays and will be fully remote for the fall term. 
  • Secondary Night School will be fully remote in semester 1 using synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • Literacy and Numeracy Support Programs (after school) will run in a fully remote format for the fall term.
  • LINC/Adult ESL programming will follow the adaptive/hybrid model for secondary.
  • Adult High School will follow the adaptive/hybrid model for secondary. The Secondary Alternative School sites will follow the adaptive/hybrid model for secondary, with exceptions where class sizes are small enough to accommodate daily attendance of students.

Section 5: Summer Learning Program (Summer 2020)
Summer learning supports are provided for students in Grade 1-12. These programs  intentionally focus on gap closing and enhanced supports including specialised programming for special education.  There has been a significant increase in programming and enrolment in order to support students additionally impacted through school closures. 7000 students were supported through our summer learning program.


Grades 1-5


Summer Learning Programming

As a support for gap closing for our youngest elementary students, we have offered a summer learning program for some of our most vulnerable learners across 18 schools of our highest needs schools.

This year we are supporting 150 students enrolled as compared to 60 students in the summer of 2019. There are a total of 8 classes.

  • Date: July 6-July 24

  • Fully virtual model

  • Synchronous learning

    • 2 hours daily student synchronous learning (10am-12 pm)

      • 1 hour literacy

      • 1 hour numeracy

      • Small and large guided group interventions

      • Personalised to the individual learner

  • The focus of the learning is on literacy and numeracy

    • Pre and post literacy and numeracy assessments

    • Access to students and families to high quality literacy and numeracy online tools and supports for family use.

    • Ongoing assessment and monitoring of student learning and achievement


  • Outreach and check ins with families by educators

    • Multi-Liaison Officer (MLO)(Arabic and Somali) to support communication and parent engagement

  • Numerous educators from the students’ schools (for continuity of learning and relationship building)

  • All students supported with Chromebooks for learning

  • All educators involved received PD and support from central instructional coaches in literacy and numeracy as well as common planning for consistently in instruction, digital tools, assessment and communication in a virtual learning model.

  • Communication of student learning to the fall teachers for students for precision in support in the fall.

Grades 6-8


Grades 6-8: Virtual Summer School

Grade 6 - 8 Virtual Summer School offers support to students in closing gaps in both literacy and numeracy. This year the format is entirely virtual and enrollment is just under 2,000 students. Classes have a maximum of 15 students.

  • Dates: July 2 - 24th, 2020

  • Fully virtual model

  • The focus is on literacy and/or numeracy

    • Pre and post literacy and numeracy assessments

    • Ongoing assessment and monitoring of student learning and achievement

  • Regular outreach and check ins by educators

  • Students requiring technology (Chromebooks and Wifi) were supplied with those materials for the duration of the program.

  • All educators involved received PD and support from central instructional coaches in literacy and numeracy as well as common planning for consistently in instruction, digital tools, assessment and communication in a virtual learning model.

  • Communication of student learning to the fall teachers for students for precision in support in the fall.

  • Programs:

    • Grade 6 - 8 English as a Second Language (ESL) Programme for ELL and ELD students.

    • Grade 6 - 8 Gap Closing programme in literacy and numeracy

    • Grade 9 Preparation Course in English and Mathematics (for current Grade 8 students).

  • Reach ahead Grade 9 Credit course for students entering Grade 9

  • Daily Format:

    • 2.5 hours synchronous learning:

      • 45 minutes direct instruction via Google Meet

      • 60 minutes small group or independent practice - Google Meet and Google Classroom

      • 45 minutes large group consolidation via Google Meet

Indigenous and International Languages, Elementary Program

Providing students in Grades 1 - 8 with opportunities to learn a variety of languages during the summer session, the International Languages Program is continuing in a full virtual format, using Google Meet and Google Classroom.

Summer 2020 enrollment is ~1600 students.

Grades 9-12


Secondary Credit Summer School

Grade 9 - 12 Summer School offers credit courses to students through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and/or Google Meet and Google Classroom. This year the format is entirely virtual with expanded course offerings and enrollment of just under 4800 students. Classes have a maximum of 35 students.

  • Programs:

    • Reach Ahead - eLearning courses through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), in collaboration with the Ontario eLearning Consortium

      • Daily Format: Students spend 6 - 8 hours online daily working with teachers and classmates in completing course activities within the course modules.

      • Synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities.

      • Enrollment ~3900 students.

    • *NEW* Indignous Youth Program - NAC20 course open to Indigenous Students in Grades 8 - 10 and students

      • Daily Format: Students work with instructors as well as two Indigenous Student Support Coordinators and an Indigenous Student Graduation Coach using Google Meet and Google Classroom.

      • Virtual visits with Indigenous Elders and virtual field trips

      • Enrollment is ~30 students.

  • Credit Recovery - variety of courses

    • Personalized learning opportunities for students to recover credits that they did not complete successfully during the 2019 - 2020 school year.

    • Credit Recovery teachers schedule students individually to complete assignments demonstrating key understandings from the curriculum.

    • Fully virtual model using Google Classroom and Google Meet.

    • Enrollment is ~400 students

  • *NEW* 55 Hour Course Upgrading - variety of courses

    • Condensed courses for students wishing to improve their final grades in a course they took during the 2019 - 2020 school year.

    • Fully virtual model using Google Classroom and Google Meet.

    • Enrollment is ~225 students.

  • Virtual Co Operative Education program combines virtual learning opportunities and community placements (may include face to face placements for students where appropriate)

    • Predominantly virtual model using Google Classroom and Google Meet.

    • Enrollment is ~250 students

  • School Within a College (SWAC) runs in partnership with Algonquin College to support English Language Learners who are close to graduation.

    • Enrollment is ~30 students from ESL programs

  • Secondary Credit English Second Language Program includes sheltered Civics/Careers, English and Business courses, as well as ESL courses.

    • Enrollment is ~370 students

    • 6 week courses that include daily synchronous and asynchronous learning using the Google Meet and Google Classroom platforms.

N on Credit Adult ESL and LINC Program

The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program offers adult English as a Second Language classes for adult newcomers to Canada.

The summer session is fully online using Google Classroom and Google Meet. Enrollment is ~350 students.

Summer Support for Special Education

Summer Support for Special Education

The District is providing a Summer Transition Program for students with high special education needs. This program is in addition to all the typical transition planning that schools undertake at the start of each school year. Students will have an opportunity to participate in various transition activities both virtually and, if possible, in-person during the two weeks prior to the start of the school year.

Virtual and in-person delivery model over the period of two weeks.

Virtual and in-person delivery models for students in Kindergarten to 21 years of age will focus on establishing relationships with educators, emotion management, and coping with stress.

Where possible, school-based staff will provide various transition activities to assist with the transition back to school for the new school year. Activities will be personalized to the needs of the student and may include social stories, school routines, school schedules, and/or introductions to the educators in the class the student will be attending.

Summer Supports for Mental Health

Summer Supports for Mental Health

Continuity of mental health supports will occur over the summer for students on existing caseloads and those who require support in periods of crisis. This support is provided virtually by regulated health professionals (i.e., psychology and social work staff) employed by the Board. Support and services include: regular check-ins, counselling sessions, parent coaching, crisis management and referral to community mental health services depending on the student’s needs.

Summer transition activities are planned for students with significant mental health needs and who may benefit from a range of transition activities in the two weeks prior to school commencing in September. Activities may include introductions to the support team at school, strategies to assist with feelings of stress/worry and anxiety related to returning to school, and/or developing strategies to deal with anticipated challenges associated with returning to school,

Staff will also be focusing on developing several modules to support educators in establishing the conditions for an inclusive, safe, welcoming environment as well as modules for students and parents/families to support the return to




Elementary Literacy and Numeracy Program will provide support for after school programming in the areas of literacy and numeracy. For the fall term, all Elementary Literacy and Numeracy programs will run in the fully virtual model, with regularly scheduled synchronous learning to support students in closing gaps in their literacy and/or numeracy skills. Further information, including registration instructions, will come in early September 2020.

Secondary Night School - Credit Courses will run in the fully virtual format for Semester 1. This means twice weekly synchronous learning as well as group and individual course work. Students may enroll in one night school course per semester. Secondary students interested in enrolling in Night School should speak with their guidance counselor in early September 2020.

International and Indigenous Languages Programs will run in a fully virtual format, using Google Meet and Google Classroom, for Semester/Term 1.

Further information, including registration instructions, will come in early September 2020.

Mental Health Supports All staff will have a role in promoting and supporting student mental health by creating a welcoming, safe and inclusive learning environment. By re-connecting with students and building relationships, staff will be able to identify students who may need additional mental health support.

Psychology and Social Work staff will provide consultative support as well as direct clinical intervention and crisis response based on student needs.

Grad Coaches Grad Coaches for Indigenous Students image

-Build positive relationships with Indigenous students by identifying barriers and solutions to student learning, engagement, and well-being;

-Facilitate access and referrals to community and school resources to provide integrated support for student achievement and well-being;

-Build/ maintain profiles for each individual student,utilizing the secondary school's educational software resource throughout the year to track and monitor student achievement and well-being;

-Act as an advocate and a role model for students in pathways planning related to graduation and post-secondary destinations;

-Connect students with their cultural identity, organizes and facilitates student leadership development;

-Facilitate student engagement in order to create trusting relationships between Indigenous students and their secondary school community; and

-Establish a safety plan during breaks in regular programming (i.e. long

Weekends, extended breaks, etc.) for at-risk students.

The Coach should carry out the following activities as it relates to staff, the Student Success/Core Team,Circle of Caring Adults,and families/communities:

-Engage with parents,guardians, families and communities to build trust, relationships and facilitate communication and dialogue;

-is the first point of contact for families and communities, including the Chief, Council, Education Authorities, as well as governing structures of Métis and Inuit peoples;

-Work with teachers, school staff, families, and communities, using existing school structures, to advocate for the needs of each learner;

-As part of undertaking a needs assessment to identify barriers to student success, the Coach engages with parents/guardians, families and communities through ongoing visits and conversations;

-Communicate in real-time with the Student Success/Core Team for timely interventions to remove barriers to student well-being, engagement and learning;

-Develops collective knowledge of educators, provides cultural competency supports as needed, and advocates with Indigenous cultural knowledge to help transform school culture.

G rad Coaches for Black Students

-engage Black students by affirming the identities and cultures of Black students through Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy;

-act as a mentor and an advisor to the students and play an essential role as an advocate for each learner with teachers, other school staff and families;

-work with a range of stakeholders, including school staff, parents/guardians/ families, and community members, to support the learning of Black students;

-work with the Core Team and school staff to create a long-term vision/plan for identified at-risk Black students;

-establish a safety plan during breaks in regular programming (i.e. long weekends, extended breaks, etc.) for participating students;

-build/maintain information on each individual student, utilizing the secondary school’s educational software resource throughout the year to track and monitor academic achievement and well-being (i.e., suspension/expulsion, credit accumulation, attendance); and,

-create space for students to voice their experiences to enable the district school board and secondary school establish trusting relationships and responsive services.


Innovation & Adolescent Learning

Student Success created and piloted an “Authentic Student Learning Experience Framework” with secondary schools across the district from March until June. The framework helps schools to re-engage students who were not having success by connecting their interests and outside-of-school learning with curricular connections to help them to continue to attain credits through a personalized approach; it is very much in line with other work being done by IAL. Early results show great success in re-engaging students and this work will continue into the fall.

IAL also currently has 50 summer contracts with district staff - both school and system level - to develop online, engaging learning materials that will be available for use by all teachers via the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) this fall. Ex. 14 staff members from schools, PAL and B&LT are creating a continuum of tools which can be used to support the new coding strand in the Math curriculum.

IAL is also partnering with PAL to issue another round of contracts which will be used to help support students whose parents elect to keep them at home (Cohort C). Innovation & Adolescent Learning

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