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Hamilton school boards holding pre-registration for students for September

Parents of special needs students worry about Alberta's back-to-school plan.
Parents of special needs students worry about Alberta's back-to-school plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Days after the Ontario government released its return-to-school plan for September, we are learning that parents will have to register their children for the fall semester.

In a letter to parents, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) says a pre-registration process will be open from Aug. 10-17 for parents and guardians to indicate whether their children will be attending school in September or learning at home.

The HWCDSB says parents whose children are eligible for school transportation will also receive a separate survey next week.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) says parents will be required to register their children through the Parent Portal.

The HWDSB says students will not be allowed to attend school until their parents or guardians sign a form agreeing to conduct daily screenings of their children.

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Read more: Ontario elementary students to return to class full-time, hybrid learning for most high schoolers

Based on the Ministry of Education guidelines, school attendance will be voluntary, based on parent choice.

The HWCDSB says more details on back-to-school provisions will be shared in the coming days and will provide more clarity on screening, physical distancing, hand hygiene, suspected cases of COVID-19 and positive test results, PPE, cleaning and disinfecting of schools.

The more details guidance document will also include information on buses, transportation, lockers, recess and playgrounds, visitors, lunch protocols, teaching and learning (including timetabling and cohorting, synchronous and asynchronous learning), mental health supports, Special Education and other specialized programs, extracurricular activities and field trips.

Click to play video 'School bus drivers in Ontario concerned about new school year' School bus drivers in Ontario concerned about new school year
School bus drivers in Ontario concerned about new school year

Hamilton’s Catholic secondary students will return to school in an adaptive model in September, which will see each class split into two cohorts.

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Cohort 1 will attend school on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternate Fridays, and Cohort 2 will attend on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Fridays.

When not face-to-face in school, students will engage in online remote learning.

Read more: Canadian parents split on whether to send kids back to school amid coronavirus: poll

The board says students will participate in a “quadmester” model in which they study two subjects at a time for 45 days.

The Ministry of Education has mandated that all students in Grades 4-12 will be required to wear non-medical masks.

While masks for students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are not mandatory, parents are being urged to have their children wear masks when at school.

The HWCDSB says teachers will support students to understand hand washing and mask care, among other safety measures.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Should kids under the age of 10 wear masks?' Coronavirus: Should kids under the age of 10 wear masks?
Coronavirus: Should kids under the age of 10 wear masks?