OTTAWA -- Secondary students with Ottawa's public school board will be going to class on alternating days for two classes a day this fall, while students enrolled in remote learning will be in a Zoom-style class for 225 minutes a day.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has unveiled its updated Return to School Plan for September.  The OCDSB has announced changes to the "Secondary In Person Model" and the Remote Learning for all elementary and secondary school students.

"We do have some longer blocks of time for secondary school students to be in school. While it's every other day, so it's not coming to school every day," said Camille Williams-Taylor, OCDSB Director of Education.

Williams-Taylor tells CTV News Ottawa the other major change is the staggered start to the school year for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. 

"We do have our elementary school students will be experiencing, like our secondary school students, a staggered or rolling start to school. While it is we will start school on the third of September, we will be welcoming students to school in groups over two weeks."

Here is a look at the changes.

Elementary In Person

There are no changes to the "Elementary In Person" plan. Students will attend school five days a week, and remain in one classroom with the same group of students all day, including lunch and recess.

Here is a look at the sample daily schedule for in-person elementary school students.


Secondary In Person

The OCDSB has unveiled changes to its "Secondary In Person Model" for September. Students will attend school on alternating days and will have two periods of in-person instruction, plus independent learning.

The school year will be divided into four quadmesters, with students taking two courses at a time for approximately 45 days. The board says each course will be divided into two cohorts and the students in cohort A and B will attend on alternating days - i.e. A, B, A, B, 

The school day dismissal time will be earlier than usual.

The original plan would have seen OCDSB secondary school students attend classes two days one week and three days the next week, for one class each day. Students would then have returned home for the second class of the day.

The OCDSB released a sample schedule for secondary school in-class.  Students would attend school for two, 112.5 minute classes a day, with a 10 minute break in between classes. 

According to the plan, students would do "self-directed online learning at home" when not in school.



Remote Learning – Kindergarten to Grade 12

The OCDSB says students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 will attend a "virtual school" with other students in the same grade and program from across the district. There is a prescribed number of instructional minutes for live teacher and teacher-recorded lessons.

Students registered in the virtual school are not connected to their home school for daily learning.

The Ministry of Education has said students in Grades 1 to 12 must spend 225 minutes a day in synchronous learning with a live teacher. Williams-Taylor says the schedule will be set up so students aren't spending 225 minutes in a row in an online class. 

Remote learning will take place through Brightspace or Google Classroom systems.

"The students will be able to see their student, the teacher able to see their students and students will be able to engage each other as well," said Williams-Taylor.

"So that's one of the key features of the video remote learning structure."

Here is a look at the sample daily schedule for online learning this fall with the OCDSB.


Staggered entry for In Person learning

The OCDBS says to help ensure a safe transition, the return to school will be staggered over two weeks, starting September 3.

The board will prioritize its youngest learners in elementary and secondary schools.

Specific details on timing will be announced the final week of August.

Online or remote learning

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board is giving families who have not yet submitted their decision on in-class or online learning until Aug. 21 at 12 p.m. to decide.

In cases where no decision is submitted, students will be scheduled for in-person attendance.

According to statistics provided by the board, 73 per cent of elementary school students and 78 per cent of secondary school students have enrolled in in-person learning for September.

If parents want to change their original decision for in-class or online learning, they must complete the form by 12 p.m. on Aug. 21.