Waterloo Region District School Board announces staggered start for elementary classes

With just two weeks before the school year was to begin, Waterloo Region District School Board announced it will have staggered starts for elementary students.

In a statement, the board says “the two-week period will allow students and staff to transition gradually back to school, and allow for more focused time for the teaching, learning and practicing of new health and safety protocols.”

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The new plan will see students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 attend classes on alternate days.

The students will be divided into two cohorts based upon surnames.

Group 1, which includes students whose surnames begin with letters A-L will start on Sept. 8, while students whose name begins with letters M-Z will start on Sept. 9. The kids will attend on alternate days until Sept. 18.

In addition, the board announced that extended day will not begin at schools until Sept. 16.

Global News has reached out to the board to see if it has any suggestions for parents who will be looking for childcare.

Last week, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board also announced a staggered start for the first week of the coming school year.

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A week ago, Education Minister Stephen Lecce told school boards across the province that they would be allowed to stagger the start of school over the first two weeks of the year.

“If there are changes to the staggered reopening, we ask boards to clearly communicate this to their parent community,” Lecce said in the memo to boards.

Previously, the government had told boards that they could stagger the start of school over the first week of the year if they felt it would help improve safety.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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