Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Local boards announce staggered start to school year

With the health and safety of students and staff as their top priorities, the Lambton-Kent District School Board and St. Clair Catholic District School Board have updated their plans for the safe reopening of schools to further stagger the entry of students for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

The Ministry of Education has permitted school boards to allow for a staggered start to the school year, both school boards said in a joint press release.

Staggered start means that students will begin a gradual return on different dates, which will allow more time to learn new school routines in smaller group settings, including health and safety procedures and risk mitigation strategies.

The staggered entry of students in elementary and secondary schools will provide staff with additional time to become more familiar with school health and safety routines and complete training to support a safe and healthy return to school.

The staggered entry will also allow LKDSB and SCCDSB to hire additional staff to lower class sizes in schools and support Learn at Home instruction.

Additional time is also required to reorganize staff and student schedules to support both in-class and Learn at Home instruction.

At the elementary level (Senior Kindergarten to Grade 8) the return to school will be phased in using a staggered approach beginning on Thursday, September 10.

Junior Kindergarten students will return to school using a staggered approach beginning on Tuesday, September 15.

All elementary school families will receive a communication from the school to indicate which dates the students will attend.

At the secondary level, Grade 9 students will return to school on Monday, September 14.

Students in Grades 10-12 will begin on Tuesday, September 15.

The first day of school for all students participating in Learn at Home instruction is Monday, September 14.

The chart below summarizes the staggered entry safe return to school plans:

Visit the LKDSB website at for additional information about the LKDSB’s Reopening Our Schools plan.

Visit the St. Clair Catholic District School Board website at for information about the #SeptemberReady Return to School Plan.

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