The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) will be offering both in-person and remote learning as part of the 2021-2022 academic year, but remote learning is on track to be phased out for winter.
The board previously drafted three possible scenarios for the return to school in the fall, and opted for the option that provided a hybrid in learning for part of the year, based on the current direction from the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Under this scenario, cohorting and emergency remote learning options will be required from September until January 2022.
From February onward, cohorting will no longer be required and schools will return to pre-pandemic operations with some public health measures in place.
Given the current direction from the @ONeducation, the #UCDSB will plan for Scenario 3 for Sept. 2021. Meaning: Sept. 2021 – Jan. 2022 will have quadmesters at the secondary level & single cohorts at the elementary level. pic.twitter.com/WychORVaBF— ucdsb (@UCDSB) March 25, 2021
The board is optimistic schools can return to a more pre-pandemic routine starting in February, which would include the return of semesters and a five-period days, along with the expansion of cohorting.
According to Director of Education Stephen Sliwa, roughly 80 per cent of parents have opted for in-person learning for the fall.
"[Parents] were looking for confirmation that in-person learning would be safe," Sliwa says in an interview with CityNews. "By and large, including the evidence from public health, schools remain very appropriate places for children to be present."
He feels there is less risk within schools than in the greater public domain. The director of education also believes students thrive while in a group setting, whether its digital or in-person, which causes the board to avoid more asynchronous learning options.
More information on the UCDSB's return plans for September can be found here.