Return to School

Today, the Government announced a return to school protocol for all publicly funded Ontario schools.

For Thunder Bay Catholic, this announcement provides further clarification and detail on the Minister’s selection of the Conventional (5 Day) Model for return to school on Thursday, September 3rd for students.

Throughout the pandemic, we have diligently been preparing for various return to school models (conventional, adaptive and remote learning). The details announced today will assist us to prepare even further, for the upcoming conventional school year model. The Conventional Model will consist of a normal school week (5 days) with some instructional adaptations and enhanced safety protocols. It has always been our priority to keep our students, staff and families safe. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure health and safety precautions are adhered to, with the assistance of the additional Ministry resources provided.

We will continue to communicate to our TBCDSB family of our reopening plans, with transparency being of utmost importance. We will have more information in the near future as we work with the information provided today.

The Ministry recommends pre-registration, the limitation of visitors within schools/sites and cohorting.

* For those who have completed our Return to School Survey, please know your responses can be amended. Further details regarding today’s announcement are as follows:

Conventional Model

  • Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 will attend school 5 days per week, with one cohort for the full day, including recess and lunch.
  • High Schools will be permitted to open with daily attendance by students with cohorting in place to limit the number of student-to-student contacts. Distancing measures will be in place in all elementary and secondary schools.
  • Parents will make decisions regarding in-person attendance for their children for this school year. They will also have the option of remote learning, delivered by TBCDSB.
  • Our Board will be ready to implement adapted and remote learning models, should they be required.


  • Students in Grades 4 to12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school.
  • Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged but not required to wear masks in common spaces.
  • Medical masks will be provided for teachers and Board Staff.
  • Reasonable exceptions to the requirement will be put in place by our Board.

Special Education

  • Students with special education needs will attend school 5 days per week with the same supports students have been accustomed to.


  • Transportation (busing) will have enhanced health and safety protocols implemented
  • A new school health monitoring system will be established through a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education. TBCDSB and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit will monitor and respond to reports of COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Board Staff will receive training on required processes and procedures on three Professional Development days to begin the school year.
  • The Ministries of Education and Health are working together to provide testing capacity to keep schools safe and treat any affected student or teacher/staff member.

Thank you to everyone for your continued patience, support and understanding during these unprecedented times. Please remember, for those who have completed our Return to School Survey, please know your responses can be amended. More information will be forthcoming.

Please read the Minister's Message to parents, here:

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