The report said the board supports returning to the regular high school schedule of full-time, in-person classes and two semesters a year.
“Once provincial direction and advice from Ottawa Public Health supports the removal of cohorting, daily attendance and/or a return to the regular semester format, we will look to implement those changes as quickly as possible.”
Virtual schools will continue for both elementary and secondary students next year.
However, far fewer elementary students will attend virtually, the report said.
This year, Ontario parents were allowed the choice of having their children attend school remotely at home. About 20 per cent of families of the 75,000 students at the Ottawa-Carleton District School board chose that option.
However, most students flourish better in class, the report said.
“Attending school in-person is important to learning and well-being, and students are more engaged in their learning when they can interact with their teachers and peers and build supportive relationships.”
Elementary virtual schools next year will be “intended for students for whom online learning better meets their learning needs and for students who need to continue with virtual learning due to underlying medical conditions for themselves or for family members,” the report said.
Virtual school class sizes will be larger in order to keep in-person classes smaller. For instance, kindergarten classes will be at 29 students and primary grades at 23 students, the maximum numbers allowed. Virtual students in grades 4 to 8 can expect classes of between 28 and 35 students next year.
Virtual students will not be given the choice of the middle French immersion or alternative programs.
“Virtual school registration is for the full year,” said the report. “After the start of the year, moves will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis, but are not guaranteed.”
At bricks-and-mortar elementary schools, classes of students next fall will once again remain together as much as possible to limit mixing among students. Specialty teachers will move between classrooms.
The board expects to provide parents with more details by the end of February.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board has already announced that it plans to operate three permanent virtual schools next year for students who learn best online. The schools are intended to be a permanent option and are not a temporary stop for students who want to return to in-person class, said the board.
The deadline for applying is Feb. 25.
This content was originally published here.