Transportation

Wherever possible, active transportation (i.e. walking, biking) is a preferred method of travel to and from school. However, those students who are within the bus transportation boundaries and do not opt out of transportation will be required to wear a mask while riding the bus. Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region is building student cohorts and mapping out routes and will provide more information in the coming weeks. Please visit www.stswr.ca for updates on bus times.

If you do not wish to have your child assigned to the bus please fill in the Do Not Ride Form.

Extended Day

Extended Day programs will operate this fall. This includes both WRDSB and third-party operated programs. Parents can now register and enter care schedules online at https://regionofwaterloo.onehsn.com/. Please note that care schedules must be confirmed online by August 31 if you require care for the first day of school. Children in Grades 4-6 will be required to wear a mask. Children in Kindergarten to Grade 12 will be required to wear a mask. Staff will also be exploring alternatives, such as face shields, for students who are unable to wear masks. Staff will work with and approach compliance among younger students with compassion and a focus on education. There will be no disciplinary action for students having difficulty complying.

Parents and caregivers will be required to wear a mask to enter the school when dropping off and picking children up from programs. Hand sanitizer will also be available at entrances for parents to use. Educators will be wearing masks while working in the program and other PPE when appropriate.

Program rates for the 2020-2021 school year are available on the Extended Day Programs website. Families can make changes to their Extended Day schedule online using the Region of Waterloo’s OneList. More information on how to register for programs and make changes to schedules is available on our website.

Community Use of Schools

The Board will be focused on opening and supporting our day time school operations in the Fall. As such, schools will remain closed to community use until at least November 2020. Staff will continue to evaluate the feasibility of opening our schools to community use and provide updates on our website.

Outdoor fields and specialty areas such as artificial turf fields remain available for community use through our Rentals Department or the appropriate Municipal office.

Communication

The Waterloo Region District School Board is committed to providing meaningful communication to all parents/guardians/staff/students/stakeholders as we prepare for the upcoming school year. Important information and updates will be provided through our website, school websites and other school communication methods, and social media channels. We encourage our community to check back often for updates.

Budget

Trustees passed the board’s 2020-2021 school year budget on August 10, 2020.  The details of the budget are contained here in the budget report.

As we prepare for a safe return to school in September, actions taken to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, support our students and staff, and maintain public confidence, represent the single most important challenge facing the board. 

On August 10, 2020, the WRDSB Board of Trustees approved WRDSB 2020-2021 Budget including funding to support the Board’s school reopening plans at a projected cost of $7,126,000.The special project costs are provided in greater detail in the table below.

Cost Category

Item

Timeframe

Amount

Professional Development Professional Development Full Year $250,000
Non-Operating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 3 months 1,270,000
Personal Protective Equipment (Students) Full Year 1,386,000
Special Education PPE 3 months 1,120,000
Transportation – Cleaning and PPE 3 months 590,000
School Operations Facilities – Custodial and Supplies 3 months 900,000
  Barriers, signage Full Year 660,000
  Health, Safety, and Wellness Department Full Year 290,000
Transportation
Early Release Time Secondary 3 Months 660,000
    Total $7,126,000

It should be noted that cost projections based on initial return to school are subject to change and in some cases include projected costs for September, October and November only.  Shortages in the supply chain will pressure both the budget and the ability of staff to maintain our facilities.  We are preparing to have 30 to 60 days of PPE procured prior to the first day of school.  Evolving direction from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Public Health will heavily influence the sustainability of reopening.

As part of the Ministry’s return to school announcement on July 30, additional funding of approximately $309M provincially was also announced. The WRDSB’s share of this is approximately $3.073 M. Details of the funding are still forthcoming but the table below summarizes the broad categories to which the funding applies.

Category

Provincial Allocation

Board Allocation

Mental Health Supports $10M $186,000
Technology $15M 461,000
Cleaning Supplies $4M 124,000
Staffing Support (Custodians) $50M 1,580,000
Health & Safety Training (Occasional/Casual Staff)
$10M 298,000
Special Education Supports
$10M 238,000
Mental Health Supports
$10M 186,000
  TOTAL $3,073,000

*Given the recent Ministry of Education announcements on August 13th and August 14th , please note that a further update regarding the financial implications of these announcements will be provided at the Monday, August 17, 2020 Board Meeting.