School Year 2021-2022

First day of school: Thursday, September 9th.  

Elementary school calendar

Secondary school calendar

We are excited to welcome students back to class. Whether you are returning in-person or to virtual school, we’re ready to welcome you back safely. 

We wanted to share some of the health and safety measures that will be in place in OCDSB schools. We follow the Ontario Ministry of Education COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and have tailored our planning based on experience, the current COVID-19 situation in our community, and the guidance of Ottawa Public Health. Our goal is a safe and sustainable return with more regular activities resuming as it is safe to do so.

Enhanced Safety Measures Continue

Based on the success of last year’s safety measures, we will be starting the school year with the following safety measures in place: 

  • Daily screening: All students and staff must do a daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms before school and stay home and get tested if there are symptoms;
  • COVID Wise: Continued emphasis in schools on cohorting, social distancing, hand hygiene, directional signage in schools, enhanced cleaning practices;
  • Masks: Required for all staff and for students in Kindergarten to grade 12.

To ensure safety, some of our regular activities will continue to be modified at the start of the year, including:

  • School assemblies will be held virtually or outdoors (weather permitting with distancing) only.
  • Field trips will be limited to outdoor outings on property or in the neighbourhood allowed. No field trips requiring group transportation.
  • Meetings will be held virtually for staff, school council and meet-the-teacher events.
  • Visitors and Volunteers, both parent and community members will be restricted to essential situations and by appointment only.
  • Extracurricular activities: We intend to start the year with extracurricular activities virtually. We do intend to offer in-person extracurricular activities (such as sports and clubs) once we have successfully reopened schools. See note below for further details. 

Elementary School Days

In-person elementary school days will be very similar to last year:

  • Cohorts: Students remain with one cohort the entire day
  • Lunch: Students to eat in classrooms
  • Recess: Students will take breaks within cohorts
  • Food programs: Breakfast programs will be first to resume; other food programs (ie Pizza Days) will be assessed after reopening
  • The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has developed  a common list of recommended personal use items for students in Kindergarten-grade 3 and grades 4-8.  This list of supplies is strictly voluntary.


With many secondary students vaccinated, there will be some changes this year:

  • Cohorts: Most secondary students will take four courses each semester. These will be divided into two classes per week, which rotates through the semester.
  • For example, Week 1: English in the morning, lunch break, and Science in the afternoon; Week 2: Math in the morning, lunch break, and History in the afternoon
  • Schools in the IB program will be organized on a model with eight courses. Classes will rotate on a four-week cycle instead of the two-week cycle in semestered schools. IB schools will be communicating the schedule directly to their school communities.
  • Lunch: Protocols will be determined according to individual schools based on total school enrolment, school layout and spacing available


Students attending OCV will have a regular school day schedule similar to what was in place last year. Watch for information from the school.

Special education

  • Special education supports and services will be provided with the regular cohorted class.
  • Partially integrated (e.g., LD SIP) and fully self-contained special education classes (e.g., ASD, Gifted, etc.) will be cohorted along with the rest of the class.

Mental health

  • Mental health staff will connect with students they have supported previously and work with school teams to respond to new and emerging needs.
  • Increased staffing for improved mental health support will be available this fall, including secondary itinerant educational assistants, additional social work and psychology staff, and speech language pathology support available to directly support students with communication, executive functioning, and social communication.


The Board of Trustees has mandated that all OCDSB employees are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. At this time, vaccines are not mandatory for students. However, we encourage everyone in our community who is eligible, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. As a reminder, all children who were born in 2009, even those who are not yet 12, can now get the vaccine.

For more information, please visit the OPH Vaccination webpage.

Extracurricular activities

We intend to start the year with extracurricular activities virtually. We do intend to offer in-person extracurricular activities (such as sports and clubs) once we have successfully reopened schools.

We agree sports, clubs and extracurricular activities are a vital part of the school experience for physical and mental health and well-being. It is our intention to get these started as soon as possible this fall, in consultation with local health partners and other area school districts. The safe operation of in-person extracurricular activities requires consideration of cohorting, group transportation and volunteers.

But we want to spend the first few weeks of school helping students and staff settle in and ensure safety precautions are working effectively. We will provide an update on the resumption of extracurriculars in September.

Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality

As part of our COVID-19 response,  the OCDSB has invested millions of dollars in upgrades to ventilation systems. We know how important this information is to families and have developed this ventilation webpage with detailed  information on actions taken across the district. You can find school specific details using the links at the bottom of the page.

Request to Change Learning Mode for the 2021 - 2022 School Year

Requests for change to either in-person learning or Ottawa Carleton Virtual (OCV) school will be considered on a very limited, case-by-case basis, subject to extenuating circumstances, space in the mode of learning, and the unique needs of families and best interests of the students. If your request is approved, your child will remain in the mode of learning for the remainder of the 2021 - 2022 school year, unless there are human rights grounds that necessitate a change.

The school principal, in consultation with the parent/guardian and student, a member of the school's multidisciplinary team (if appropriate) and the superintendent will collaborate on the request to determine if the extenuating circumstance meets one or more grounds protected under the Human Rights Code. When there are extenuating circumstances, and they relate, in whole or in part, to a ground protected from discrimination[1] under Ontario Human Rights Code, the OCDSB will work to find appropriate accommodation for the need, to the point of undue hardship.

Stay up-to-date on the 2021-22 school year
For the most recent information, please continue to check our website, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and ensure your contact information (phone number and email) is up to date at your child’s school.

Extended Day Program
Student Transportation (external site)

Ottawa Public Health

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