Preparing for a safe return to school

Based on the current COVID-19 situation, the Ministry of Education announced that all Ontario schools will reopen to students on Sept. 9, 2021, for the 2021-22 school year with enhanced health and safety protocols.

In the Peel District School Board:

  • Elementary students will attend school five days per week, remaining in one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch. Cohorted classes will stay together as much as possible while learning and moving through the school. Students are encouraged to maintain physical distancing and stay within their cohorts while outside.
  • Secondary students will be engaged in a Community Learning Model, which allows students who are online to learn alongside their peers who are attending class in-person. From September 2021 to January 2022, secondary schools will follow a Modified Semester Model, where students will take a total of four courses over 20 weeks (one semester). They will alternate by taking two courses one week, then two other courses the next week. For more information about cohorts, schedules, start times, and attendance, please contact your teen's school directly.

New opportunity to switch learning models

Due to the changing health landscape across the region, we understand that some families need to make different arrangements for the new school year in September. In recognition of this, PDSB is offering families the opportunity to change their learning model choice. The opportunity to switch models will be available to students in elementary and secondary schools, in both Regular and Balanced Calendar schools.

Elementary school families (grades K-8) will be able to request a switch of models from September 1 to 8, 2021 using an online form that will be sent to you next week. The switch will become effective on September 27, 2021. For families attending Balanced Calendar Schools, if you select the online learning option, your student(s) will be placed in a Regular Calendar School online class. The switch will become effective on September 27, 2021.

Secondary school families (grades 9 -12) who want to change their learning model can email or call their school office from August 30 to September 2, 2021, to indicate their new choice. The switch will become effective on September 9, 2021.

We understand that some families need to make different arrangements for the start of the school year; we will share details about the process to switch models early next week.

Screening before attending school

A safe school is always more important than a perfect attendance record. Under the direction of Peel Public Health, all elementary students must complete their screening at home before attending school. Students will receive a personalized package that includes a paper copy of the Public Health Screening Tool to the Peel Public Health Screening Poster, and the COVID-19 screening passport. Packages including all necessary documents will be provided by the school.

All secondary students, including school staff and visitors, are required to conduct daily on-site confirmation of self-screening before entering the school every day.

Enhanced Health and Safety Measures

Screening and When to Stay at Home

A safe school is always more important than a perfect attendance record. Families must use this checklist to perform a daily screening of their children before arriving at the bus stop and school. If your child is experiencing any symptoms, please keep them home and seek medical attention as required. If students show COVID-19 symptoms while at school, they will move to a designated isolation room to wait to be picked up to go home.

Wear a Mask and/or Face Covering

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 are required to wear masks inside the school, including in hallways and during classes, and on the bus. Masks are also required outdoors while on school property.

  • It may be helpful to pack an extra mask for your child each day.
  • Masks can be stored in a dry, clean paper bag or container during lunch and break times. Store clean masks separately from dirty masks.
  • Learn how to choose, wear and clean or dispose of a mask.

Practice Hand Hygiene

Hand sanitizer will be available at school entry and in every classroom. Students and staff will be directed to sanitize hands when they enter the school building and classroom, before and after eating, after using the washroom, and at other times throughout the day. All classes will have scheduled washroom and hand-washing breaks.

Keep a Safe Distance From Others

New school routines will be in place to encourage as much distance between students and other classes as possible. This includes one-direction hallways, cohorting, revised drop-off/pick-up routines, closed shared spaces (such as libraries, auditoriums, cafeterias, and change rooms), seating assignments, coordination of class movement throughout the school and more. To limit contact with others, students will remain in their classroom for all subjects, with the exception of Health and Physical Education.

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Routines

New enhanced health and safety measures have been added to all aspects of school routines, based on guidance from public health agencies and the Ministry of Education. Custodial staff will be using hospital-grade disinfectants for daily cleaning and disinfecting throughout the school, including high-touch surfaces. Spaces shared by different cohorts will be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.

Special Education

Students in Special Education classes will attend school every day. Individual Education Plans will continue to be supported for students. For additional information, please contact your child's school. 

Child care routines

Before- and after-school programs will continue to operate with new health and safety protocols. Contact your providers for more information.

Full-day child care programs will continue to operate with new health and safety protocols. Contact the child care provider directly for more information.

School Exposure, Dismissal, and Testing

If there’s a person with COVID-19 at your child's school, Peel Public Health will work with the school to take the appropriate steps to keep everyone safe. The Peel District School Board will follow Peel Public Health's response guidance. For more information about the dismissal process and testing protocol, visit Peel Public Health.

Mental Health and community supports

During these challenging times, the Peel board has mental health and well-being supports and resources available for students and families, as well as a comprehensive list of community supports available for mental health, food, financial, and shelter needs.

Stay up-to-date

Ministry of Education Mandatory Vaccination Policy

On August 17, the Government of Ontario announced that they will introduce a vaccination disclosure policy for all publicly-funded school board employees, and staff for the 2021-22 school year, with rapid antigen testing requirements for staff who are not immunized against COVID-19. We will share more information as we receive more details.

Peel Public Health Webinar

We Invite our PDSB families and community to join a Peel Public Health (PPH) information webinar on September 2, 2021, from 7:00-7:45 pm where PPH officials will share information on covid related topics such as vaccinations and masking. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. For information on how to access the webinar, please visit this website.

This letter from Peel Public Health (PPH) outlines important actions you can take to protect your children and family on return to school.


August 27, 2021 - Letter to families about school reopening plans for the 2021-22 school year.