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When is the first day of school in Guelph and Wellington County?

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As the clock counts down to the start of the school year, there are continued concerns about what the classroom will look like and how many students will be in it. Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce toured a school and addressed the worries, saying the province is ready to welcome back students. Miranda Anthistle reports.

When is the first day of school?

It’s a question many parents and students in Guelph and Wellington County are asking due to the staggered entry schedules for the Catholic and public boards.

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The first two weeks of school are all a bit different between those at the elementary and secondary level. That’s not even including students who have opted for remote learning.

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Here is a breakdown of what the first two weeks of the school year will look like in Guelph and Wellington County.

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Elementary schools

The Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board do not have the same model when it comes to staggering students back into the classroom.

Upper Grand has divided students up by the first letter of their last name, while Wellington Catholic is only allowing certain grades into the school at a time.

Wellington Catholic has also announced that it is pushing back the first day of school by two days.

Upper Grand in-person learning starts on Sept. 8

Tuesday, Sept. 8 — developmentally delayed full-day classes only

Wednesday, Sept. 9 — developmentally delayed full-day classes only

Thursday, Sept. 10 — Students with the last name starting with A-L attend for a full day

Friday, Sept. 11 — Students with the last name starting with M-Z attend for a full day

Monday, Sept. 14 — Students with the last name starting with A-L attend for a full day

Tuesday, Sept. 15 — Students with the last name starting with A-L attend for a full day

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Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Students with the last name starting with M-Z attend for a full day

Thursday, Sept. 17 — Students with the last name starting with M-Z attend for a full day

Friday, Sept. 18 — All students from junior kindergarten to Grade 8 attend for a full day

Upper Grand remote learning starts Sept. 14.

The school board said students will be contacted in week one and will be provided with information about the remote classes starting on Monday, Sept. 14.

On Monday, Sept. 14, students with the last name that starts with A-L will attend class via remote learning for a full day.

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On Tuesday, Sept. 15, students with the last name that starts with M-Z will attend class via remote learning for a full day.

All students would then attend remotely starting Wednesday, Sept. 16.

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More information on the staggered entry and remote learning for elementary school students in Upper Grand can be found on its website.

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Wellington Catholic in-person learning starts on Sept. 8

Tuesday, Sept. 8 — No students in schools

Wednesday, Sept. 9 — No students in schools

Thursday, Sept. 10 — Intake meetings for junior and senior kindergarten and Grades 1-3 attend class

Friday, Sept. 11 — Intake meetings for junior and senior kindergarten and Grades 1-3 attend class

Monday, Sept. 14 — Senior kindergarten along with Grades 4-6 (including Grade 3/4 split classes) attend class

Tuesday, Sept. 15 — Senior kindergarten along with Grades 6-8 (including Grade 6/7 split classes) attend class

Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Senior kindergarten to Grade 8 students attend class

Thursday, Sept. 17 — Senior kindergarten to Grade 8 students attend class

Friday, Sept. 18 — Junior kindergarten to Grade 8 students attend class

Wellington Catholic noted that junior kindergarten classes will have staggered visits from Thursday, Sept. 10 to Thursday, Sept. 17. School staff will contact families about their child’s scheduled intake meeting.

Wellington Catholic remote learning starts Sept. 14.

Wellington Catholic said remote learning at its virtual school will begin on Sept. 14. Unlike Upper Grand, it appears all students will start on the same day.

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Read more: Guelph’s Catholic school board pushes back start to school year

More information on the staggered entry and remote learning for elementary school students in Wellington Catholic can be found on its website.

Secondary schools

Wellington Catholic and Upper Grand will both be splitting class schedules for the first semester into 10-week blocks.

Students will alternate between their Period 1 and Period 2 classes each week until the end of the term in November and then alternate between their Period 3 and Period 4 classes to complete the semester.

Read more: Guelph high schools to use ‘quadmester’ timetable in September

Upper Grand will be splitting classes up into cohorts. In the morning one cohort will be in the classroom, while the other will be learning remotely. They would then switch at lunch with one cohort going home to learn and the other coming into the classroom for the afternoon.

This means that a student with a spare would only attend class every other week.

Wellington Catholic said they will not be using the same cohort model, but instead will be using multiple strategies such as hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes and offering additional e-learning options.

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Upper Grand’s secondary school entry schedule

Tuesday, Sept. 8 — School reorganization. No class.

Wednesday, Sept. 9 — School reorganization. No class.

Thursday, Sept. 10 — Grade 9 orientation for Cohort A.

Friday, Sept. 11 — Grade 9 orientation for Cohort B.

Monday, Sept. 14 — Period 1 schedule begins for all students with Cohort A attending class in the morning and Cohort B attending class in the afternoon.

Upper Grand said schools will let students know which cohort they are in.

Additionally, some high schools in the board may not need to divide students into cohorts based on class sizes. Individual schools will communicate their plans to students no later than Sept. 4.

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Students in specialized class placements, such as developmentally delayed classes, will begin school as scheduled on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and attend full days as usual.

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Upper Grand remote learning starts Sept. 14.

All secondary students in Upper Grand will begin remote learning on Monday, Sept. 14.

Just like in-person learning, students in the remote learning school will be using the same weekly class schedule with Periods 1 and 2 in the first term and Periods 3 and 4 in the second term.

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More information on the staggered entry and remote learning for secondary school students in Upper Grand can be found on its website.

Wellington Catholic’s secondary school entry schedule

Tuesday, Sept. 8 — No students in schools

Wednesday, Sept. 9 — No students in schools

Thursday, Sept. 10 — Grade 9 students only attend class

Friday, Sept. 11 — Grade 10 students only attend class

Monday, Sept. 14 — Grade 11 students only attend class

Tuesday, Sept. 15 — Grade 12 students only attend class

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Wednesday, Sept. 16 — All students in Grades 9 to 12 attend class

Wellington Catholic remote learning starts Sept. 14.

Wellington Catholic said remote learning at its virtual school will begin on Sept. 14.

Just like in-person learning, students in the remote learning school will be using the same weekly class schedule with Periods 1 and 2 in the first term and Periods 3 and 4 in the second term.

More information on the staggered entry and remote learning for secondary school students in Wellington Catholic can be found on its website.

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