UGDSB approves 2020-21 school year calendars

Ford: 'School will not be going back on May 4th ... that does not mean [this] year is cancelled'

WELLINGTON COUNTY – While the return of students to class this year may seem unlikely, Premier Doug Ford is not ruling it out, and it appears the local public school board does not anticipate any delays to the start of the 2020-21 year.

On April 14 the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) approved its 2020-21 calendar.

Earlier that day, Ford announced students would not be returning to class as planned next month.

“School will not be going back on May 4th and [education minister Stephen Lecce] will be talking further on this in the next couple of days,” Ford stated during an April 15 press release.

However, the premier stressed, “That does not mean the year is cancelled.”

The province announced on March 12 that all schools would close until April 6 (two additional weeks after the March break). Then, on March 31, Ford extended the unprecedented closure until May 4.

Ontario is offering an online learning portal and “teacher-directed instruction” with hours of weekly work commensurate with grade level.

It is not yet clear if the province has a date in mind for an eventual return to the classroom.

UGDSB sets calendar

During a special board meeting on April 14, UGDSB trustees approved draft 2020-21 school year calendars for elementary and secondary schools.

The proposal includes a school year running from Sept. 8, 2020 to June 25, 2021, with Christmas break scheduled Dec. 19 to Jan. 3, and March break set for March 15 to 19.

The calendars, which officials say were reviewed by teachers, principals, parents and human resources and board staff, will now be submitted to the Ministry of Education for approval.

Both calendars have 194 school days, including seven professional activity days, officials say, and there are 10 instructional days scheduled for secondary exams.

“The Wellington Catholic District School Board will be submitting a similar calendar to the ministry for approval,” states an UGDSB press release.

The draft calendars are posted on the board website under “school year calendars.”