August 26, 2020

NEW: Gradual return for students and first day of school

​Dear Peel District School Board Families,

With the new school year just around the corner, we know many families are anxious to hear more about their child's return to school. Today, we are sharing important information regarding your child's first day of school, including when this will be and what it will look like.

Student who will be attending school in person

To help us prepare for a safe school year and adjust to new school routines, the first day of school will be different than in previous school years. Rather than all students returning on one day, students will gradually return to school by attending orientation sessions during the weeks of Sept. 8 and 14.

A gradual return to school means that fewer people will be in the school building, so students and staff can focus on learning and adopting new routines and safety practices before all students return. This new return-to-school process is grounded in our guiding principles for the safe and equitable reopening of schools, which can be found at

Elementary – Kindergarten to Grade 8

Elementary students who will be attending school in person will be assigned two orientation days between Sept. 9 and 15, based on the first letter of their last name, and will fully return to school on Sept. 16. Schools will adjust orientation attendance to accommodate for special circumstances (e.g., siblings with different last names).​

Gradual return for elementary students (K-8) in-person le​arners​
​​​ ​ Tuesday, Sept. 8 Wednesday, Sept. 9 Thursday, Sept. 10 Friday, Sept. 11
  No school for elementary students. Schools will be open to staff only for final preparations, including educator assignments and class lists, and health and ​safety routines. Full-day orientation for students with last names between A to G only.Full-day orientation for students with last names between H to O only.Full-day orientation for students with last names between P to Z only.
Mo​nday, Sept. 14 Tue​sday, Sept. 15 Wedne​sday, Sept. 16 Thur​sday, Sept. 17 Frida​y, Sept. 18
Full-day orientation for students with last names between A to K only.Full-day orientation for students with last names between L to Z only. Regular school day begins: Elementary schools will open to all students whose families have indicated that they will attend in person. Regular school day: all students attend. Regular school day: all students attend.

Secondary students in the adaptive learning model (mix of in-person and at-home learning) – Grades 9 to 12

Secondary students who will attend the adaptive learning model will join a morning orientation session at their school between Sept. 8 and 11, with a full return to school routines on Sept. 14. Schools will contact students and families directly by Sept. 1, 2020 with orientation dates and details.

Special Education classes

Special Education classes will follow a different model. Schools will reach out to families of students in Special Education classes to share their return-to-school schedules by Sept. 1, 2020.

Students who will be learning at home only

In our last communication to staff and families, we shared that over 40,000 students have opted for at-home learning only through the board's PDSB Online School. These students will officially begin class on Sept. 14, with orientation opportunities during the week of Sept. 8.

​​Gradual return to school for PDSB Online School Students ​ ​
Tuesday, Sept​​. 8
Wednesday, Sept. 9 and
Thursday Sept. 10
Friday, Sept. 11
No school for students.
PDSB Online School staff will finalize preparations for the new school year, including educator assignments and class lists.
Student orientation.
Students will be provided with orientation materials to adjust to their new school routines, including information about digital citizenship, the use of technology and learning expectations.
Meet your teacher(s).
Your child's assigned teacher(s) will reach out directly to introduce themselves and make connections.
​​Monday, Sept. 14 ​ ​
​Classes begin for all PDSB Online School students. ​ ​​

More information about the PDSB Online School

Over the next two weeks, the board will be staffing the PDSB Online School with Educators, Principals and Vice-Principals, and other supports.

Given the significant number of students learning remotely, we will be dividing the PDSB Online School into multiple online school communities that will remain linked to their physical school communities as much as possible. While your child will not have the same teacher online as they would in person, they will be able to connect with support at the school, such as guidance counsellors, and ESL and In-School Support Program (ISSP) supports.

As we finalize more details about PDSB Online School, we will post information on our website and share information with families directly. A parent/caregiver handbook will be provided to families when students begin school.

Switching learning models

To help us better prepare for this school year, we are strongly encouraging families to remain in the learning model that they have selected, understanding that each family's lived experience and needs are unique. If you would like to switch learning models, please contact your principal directly by Sept. 10, 2020.


For families who are eligible, board-provided transportation routes will begin to run on Sept. 8, 2020. As in previous years, families can access bus routes and information on Student Transportation of Peel Region (STOPR)'s website beginning Aug. 31, 2020. Please log in to the STOPR parent/student portal to obtain your child's transportation information as times may have changed from previous years.

Technology returns and requests

If your child/teen received a board-provided device to use during COVID-19 pandemic school closures in the Spring and will be returning to in-person learning, please contact the school at your earliest convenience to let them know you are able to return it.

If your child/teen requires a board-provided device to support online learning, please contact the school. We encourage families who can afford to purchase a device for their children to do so. This will allow us to concentrate on using our limited devices to supply to families who are unable to afford to purchase technology.

Families can also apply for a one-time grant from the Government of Ontario by Aug. 31, 2020 at the following link:

Stay connected

We remain committed to providing you with updates as soon as new details of our plans are finalized. Please continue to check our website, for updates and answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we plan for a safe, successful school year. 

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