English public school set to start Sept. 3 in Ottawa

Students with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board are set to head back to class on Thursday, Sept. 3, according to a message sent by the board to parents.

Province isn't expected to announce what classes will look like until early next month

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has announced Sept. 3 as the start date for the 2020-21 academic school year for elementary and secondary students, although the province hasn't yet revealed what classes will look like. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Students of Ottawa's largest public school board are set to head back to class Thursday, Sept. 3, according to a message sent to parents.

The academic year will begin after school staff receive "additional training on health and safety protocols" from Aug. 31 until Sept. 2, wrote Camille Williams-Taylor, the director of education with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB).

"School in September is going to look different," Williams-Taylor said. "We are working hard to best support families in learning and well-being."

However, it's not clear how "different," as the province has yet to announce exactly what a return to school will look like in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-June, Education Minister Stephen Lecce told school boards to prepare three separate plans: full-time learning in class, remote learning, or a hybrid model.

Details expected by Aug. 4

The OCDSB voted in early July to send students back to class full-time. Lecce said Thursday he was still finalizing plans with Ontario's chief medical officer and other health officials.

"We are working on plans and expect an announcement from the Ministry of Education by August 4th," Williams-Taylor wrote in the note. "We will share those details as soon as possible."

The Ottawa Catholic School Board previously announced its classes would resume Sept. 3 as well.


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