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Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: July 14, 2021

Have questions about the 2021-2022 school year? Find answers to questions about the following topics:

Please note: These FAQs may continue to change as we are anticipating additional information/updates from the Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health.

Learning Model Registration

How do I select a learning model for my child?
Families will receive a communication from the TCDSB via School Messenger on July 16th with information about learning models. From July 16 to August 6 families can select a learning model for their child(ren) using the unique registration link that will be emailed separately for each child.

The situation with the pandemic keeps changing. What if I want to change my child’s learning model?
Families will receive a confirmation email upon completing registration, which will include a link enabling them to change the selected learning model for their child(ren) any time before the August 6 deadline.

I didn't receive an email about the 2021-2022 learning model registration. What do I do?
The email was sent to the primary parent/guardian email address on file with your child(ren)'s school. If not received in your inbox, please check your spam and junk folders. If applicable, please also check any other email address for parent/guardian. 

If our system does not have any email address for a parent/guardian on file, the email was sent to the student's TCDSB email address. If the student cannot access their email, please use the MyPassword self-service to reset their password themselves. Please visit the MyPassword page for instructions on how to reset your password.​

Health and Safety

Do vaccinated staff and students still need to wear a mask at school?
Yes. At this time, TPH continues to advise that all students are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks/face coverings (with appropriate medical exemptions) indoors on school property, and outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained. If a student can’t wear a mask, they must wear a face shield. If a student can't wear a face mask or a shield for medical reasons, a prevalent medical conditions form must be completed with medical practitioner documentation.

All staff members will be provided with and required to wear personal protective equipment such as medical masks and face shields to safely interact with students and staff.

Will students be required to wear masks outdoors during recess?
At this time, if students cannot maintain a safe distance of at least 2 metres from each other during outdoor recess, they will be instructed to wear masks.

Will rapid tests be made available to TCDSB students and staff?
We continue to work with Toronto Public Health and the Government of Ontario. We anticipate updates regarding the availability of rapid tests will be shared over the summer ahead of September 2021, and will continue to provide families with updates as they become available.

What other health and safety measures can be expected to keep staff and students safe?
  • Portable hand-washing stations have been installed on floors with classrooms that don't have washrooms.
  • A number of touch-less sanitizers have been placed where a portable wash unit cannot be placed.
  • HEPA purifiers have been widely distributed for use in classrooms.
  • Where maintaining physical distancing is challenging, plexiglass and portable shielding for offices, administrative areas and student desks may be installed in schools.

What happens if a student is ill and showing symptoms?
We continue to expect students to complete the TCDSB Screening Passport daily before attending school. Please refer to this decision guide produced by Toronto Public Health.

When a child is ready to return to school (cleared by Toronto Public Health or fully recovered), families are asked to send in a completed attestation form.

What happens when a staff member is diagnosed with COVID?
The Toronto Catholic District School Board continues to follow direction from the Government of Ontario, who has provided a recommended process for school boards to follow in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school. School principals will also follow the School Reporting Protocol for positive cases of COVID-19.

What happens if the whole class or school must be closed?
Toronto Public Health is responsible for declaring an outbreak, which occurs when there are two or more positive cases in a school, within a 14-day period, with at least one infection traced back to the school environment. It is important to note that an outbreak does not, in and of itself, trigger a class/cohort or school to close.

If a whole class must be isolated, or if a full closure of the school is required, affected students and staff will all move to virtual learning for the isolation period using the pre-established Brightspace or Google Classroom. If only one child is isolated, the standard protocol for a student absence would be followed, and the teacher would provide work using the pre-established Brightspace or Google Classroom. Please refer to the Transition to Distance Learning document for details.

Will physical distancing still be required?
The following measures have been taken to facilitate student and staff physical distancing:
  • Classrooms are organized to encourage the maximum space between students. Floors are marked with decals to designate one-way traffic flow and identifying 2 metre distances in key areas.
  • Signage is placed throughout the building to reinforce safety protocols.
  • Where physical distancing is not possible in school offices and public reception areas, alternative methods of separation such as plexiglass barriers may be used.
  • In order to reduce the potential for larger gatherings of students, we will be limiting occupancy levels in common areas such as hallways, stairwells and libraries.
  • Lockers will not be used by students at this time (TBC).

How are physical distancing requirements being adhered to during fire drills?
Please refer to the resources from the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario:

How does the Board monitor students during lunch to ensure safety?

Kindergarten Students
  • Some children can be assigned to “picnic” spaces for eating lunch and snacks that would be designated around the room.
  • When unmasked they are not at the same table. This could involve personal mats provided by the teacher.
  • If student desks have plexiglass, those spaces will be used to provide additional protection.

Elementary Students
  • Students will remain in their cohorts when they eat their lunch in the classroom.
  • No food utensils or other food related materials are to be shared.
  • Placement of waste in the garbage during lunch is coordinated so that students can dispose of their own waste and maintain proper social distancing.
  • Students will wash their hands both before and after lunch.
  • Elementary students may only leave the school building for lunch with a parent/guardian, following established visitor protocols.

Secondary Students
  • If students are remaining at school for lunch, they should bring their own lunch as there will be no cafeteria service in the school.
  • Students will eat lunch in the room they had their previous class and will clean up their own waste.
  • Students cannot exchange food or other items during this time.
  • Students will wash their hands before and after lunch.
  • Students will be supervised.

How will families know if there are any confirmed cases of COVID in TCDSB schools?
In alignment with the Ministry of Education's guidelines, a COVID-19 Advisory page has been established to identify confirmed and resolved cases of COVID-19 involving a student or staff member in a TCDSB school setting.

How often will schools be cleaned?
Caretaking staff will perform thorough cleaning of general facilities throughout the day and will conduct cleaning of high touch surfaces such as light switches, handrails, door handles, etc. as required. Washrooms will be cleaned frequently; and shared items will be used minimally and disinfected between users.

Curriculum and Programs

Can my child in elementary switch learning models from in-person to virtual or virtual to in-person learning?
Please see July 16, 2021 communication to families regarding registration for 2021-2022 school year learning models. As the letter states, the learning model choice families select for their child(ren) in Summer 2021 will be effective for the entire 2021-2022 school year.

As per the Admissions Policy, families will have the ability to make a transfer request to an in-person or home school, or to St. Anne Catholic Academy, Virtual School of Learning from in-person learning, however transfers will only be fulfilled if there is space. Families whose transfer requests cannot be accommodated immediately will be placed on a waitlist until there is an opportunity to transfer. In instances where there is no availability, a request to transfer may not be possible.

I missed the deadline to register for my child’s learning model, what happens now?
All students will be assumed to be in-person unless indicated otherwise. Non-responses will be considered in-person registrations.

Will elementary students learning remotely in 2021-2022 be part of an in-person or home school?
For those families that register their child(ren) in remote learning in 2021-2022, your child will be a student of St Anne, School of Virtual Learning and will not be part of their current in-person or home school.

Will elementary students learning remotely in 2021-2022 be guaranteed a spot back at their home school in 2022-2023?
We are working with school administration to ensure your child will have a spot for the 2022-23 school year.

Can my child transfer from remote learning to in-person learning this school year?
Under extenuating circumstances, dependent on allocated space at the school, some transfer requests may be accommodated.

Will in-person and virtual learning offer the same amount of instruction time?
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will receive 300 minutes of instruction per day, whether they are registered for in-person or remote learning. For detailed information about what to expect for both learning models please review the July 16, 2021 communication to families.

Will schools continue to offer health and physical education?
Adaptations to some in-person learning program delivery models, for example health and physical education, may be necessary in order to adhere to enhanced safety protocols and Toronto Public Health guidance. Schools will determine the best approach.

Will elementary students have the same teacher for the entire school year?
As part of our annual process, some staffing adjustments for both in-person and remote classrooms may be required in mid-September as we work to address long-term occasional teaching and surplus positions. This is also likely for St. Anne Catholic Academy, School of Virtual Learning classrooms. This process happens every year as enrollment stabilizes by the end of September.

Will specialty programs be offered for both in-person and virtual learning models?
At this time elementary specialty programs such as French Immersion and Extended French will be offered in the in-person learning environment only.

What is happening with community involvement hours for high school students?
For the 2021 – 2022 school year, the community involvement graduation requirement will continue to be 20 hours of community involvement activities. Visit the Community Involvement Hours page for more information.

Will Co-op Placements happen this fall?
Yes, TCDSB is running both in-person and virtual placements for our students. Students can attend in-person placements and OYAP programs once schools reopen.

Will any school trips be taking place this year?
Information regarding field trips and other activities that require group transportation will be shared as we work with our public health partners to develop parameters for 2021-2022 school excursions.

Why am I not receiving email updates?
Parents are encouraged to ensure that their home school has their most up to date phone and email contact information on file. Please log on to School Messenger to confirm that you wish to receive information from our local school as well as the Board.

Will sports and extra-curricular activities return in September?
We recognize how important extra-curricular activities such as sports, teams, and clubs are for students’ mental health, well-being and social skills. We continue to work with the provincial government and TPH and advocate for the importance of all such activities. We look forward to returning to full extra-curricular activities as soon as public health measures allow.

Secondary Schools Modified Semester

All students and staff in secondary schools should have received both vaccinations by the time school starts, why can’t we go back to a “normal” semester model?
The Ministry of Education continues to limit the number of courses a student can carry during the day to two courses per day. Those two courses allow for students to be cohorted which can assist with contact tracing and limits the number of students who must isolate if a positive case is confirmed. School boards cannot return to a semester model in which students carry multiple courses at a time until this Ministry requirement to only carry two courses at a time is amended or removed.

What is the difference between a quadmester and a modified semester?
In a quadmester, students take two courses at a time for a condensed, 10-week period, four times per year. At the end of the academic year, students will have had the opportunity to complete 8 courses, but in four 4 distinct quadmesters.

In a modified semester, students carry two courses per day for one week, then two different courses per day the next week, alternating over the course of a regular semester. Students are carrying 4 courses for the semester, but only take 2 courses per week. This allows for the continued cohorting of students for contract tracing and potential isolation purposes.

If students are in a modified semester carrying 4 courses per semester, why can’t we go to a normal semester?
As long as the Ministry requires students to carry no more than 2 courses per day, with a 48-hour window between the mixing of cohorts, students are limited to 2 classes per day a week at a time. A modified semester is as close as a school board can get to a normal semester, while still adhering to the current Ministry requirements.

Special Education, IEPs, and Gifted Programs

Will students with Individual Education Plans be supported in remote learning?
Yes. Students with special education needs that opt for remote learning will continue to be supported according to their Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Will all special education programs be offered for students registered in remote learning?
No. At this time elementary special education and intervention programs such as Intensive Support Program (ISP) classes, and Kindergarten Language Program (KLP), Program to Assist Social Thinking (PAST) and EmpowerTM Reading will be offered in the in-person learning environment only.

Will one-day-a-week Withdrawal Gifted Programs be offered in-person?
No. One-day-a-week withdrawal Gifted programs will only be offered remotely. Students learning in-person and students learning remotely may participate in the Gifted program from home on their assigned day of the week. All students will continue to be supported according to their Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Will Congregated Gifted Programs be offered in-person and remotely?
Congregated Gifted Programs will only be offered in-person.

St. Anne Catholic Academy, School of Virtual Learning

Please visit the St. Anne Catholic Academy website for more information.

Access to Technology

My child/student is participating in remote learning. What device does the Board recommend they use?
For families with the means to purchase their own devices for student learning, the TCDSB has summarized some technical guidance and recommendations, as well as options from some vendors. View the Personal Devices for Students for more information including important features to look for when purchasing a device. Don't forget all TCDSB students have free access to Microsoft Office 365 applications. Visit the TCDSB Digital Store for more information.

Does the Board provide access to remote learning devices - such as laptops or tablets – and the internet during remote learning?
The TCDSB is committed to ensuring that students across the Board receive a consistent approach to remote learning in times of extended interruption to conventional in-person learning, such as when public health emergencies, pandemics, natural disasters, or other unplanned events force the closure of classrooms or schools. For families that do not have the means to provide a device or the Internet for student learning, the TCDSB has a limited number of Chromebooks and iPads with Internet connectivity to loan to students for access to remote learning. Please contact for your school principal to submit your request.

Students that currently have a loaner TCDSB Chromebook or iPad with Internet connectivity are permitted to hold onto the device until September 2021 and until more information is available.

Who do I contact if my child/student is having technical issues with remote learning or a TCDSB device?
Families and students are encouraged to start with their classroom teacher. If the classroom teacher is unable to assist, the issue should be brought to the attention of the school principal and/or TCDSB IT Service Desk on your behalf. You may also contact the TCDSB IT Service Desk directly by visiting the TCDSB Service Desk website, or calling 416-222-8282 ext. 4357.

How do I reset my password?
Students/families can contact their teacher to reset their password or students can use the MyPassword self-service to reset their password themselves. Please visit the MyPassword page for instructions on how to reset your password.