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Learning for All

Students with Special Education Needs

The BHNCDSB recognizes that each student is unique, and needs will differ amongst them. We are committed to following Public Health guidelines to deliver a safe environment, while ensuring individual needs are meeting met. Special Education programs and services will continue to be available to students in an online format through the Brightspace and Teams platforms. 

The Board is also prepared to deploy Special Education Amount equipment for home use should be need to temporarily pivot to online learning. Students who require equipment to access the curriculum while learning remotely will be contacted with specific instructions for pick-up by the Special Education Department. If a SEA device is essential for you to learn over the temporary remote learning period and have not been contacted, please email

Kindergarten Classrooms

  • Play-based learning remains the program philosophy in our kindergarten classrooms.
  • Student items from home should be placed in a designated area in the classroom which allows for physical distancing to access, where possible.
  • It is the expectation that both the classroom teacher and ECE will provide high quality instruction to students in small and large groups considering physical distancing.
  • See Health and Safety section for toys and class material information.

Elementary Learning

  • Elementary schools will return to in-person delivery for 5 days a week, 300 minutes (about 5 hours) of instruction a day with full programming in place (French, STEM, Music, Physical Education etc.).
  • Classes will remain cohorted inside as they did last year and may be placed into smaller groups for supports such as special education or English Language Learning with students from other cohorts.
  • EQAO standardized testing will resume for students in Grades 3 and 6 using a digitized format.

Secondary Learning​

  • Students, learning in person, will have access to all courses (compulsory and electives) to support their postsecondary pathway destinations.
  • Assemblies and liturgies are permitted using masking protocols and physical distancing measures (2 metres). Outside celebrations and celebrations with smaller groupings are strongly encouraged.
  • Music programs are permitted (singing and use of instruments) with physical distancing measures in place. Some classes may take place outdoors (weather permitting).

EQAO and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

  • Students graduating this year (2021-2022) do not have to write the OSSLT (Literacy Test). Students in Grade 10 and 11, in person learning, will be writing the OSSLT in either the fall or the spring.
  • Students in Quad 1 completed the Grade 9 EQAO math assessment that happened in the new digital format. This assessment was paused for Quad 2 students due to our temporary move to remote learning. Grade 9 EQAO assessment will resume for all Grade 9 students enrolled in Grade 9 math for Semester 2.

Technology Classes at Secondary (Cosmetology, Construction, Auto Shop)

  • Utilize Tech Class Protocol Guidelines for Covid.
  • Carefully disinfect and sanitize any equipment used.
  • As much as possible limit students sharing equipment.
  • A variety of delivery options may be considered to meet technological education curriculum expectations.
  • Technological education classroom cohorts must be designed to meet all physical distancing practices as well as health and safety precautions.
  • Refer to Ontario Council for Technology Education’s website for suggestions on teaching technological education in line with current public health recommendations and in virtual environments.

Cooperative Education

  • Co-op placements may be offered virtually, where feasible.
  • In-person community placements can be arranged in alignment with the direction and recommendations of the local health unit, the direction of the school board, and with the safety and curriculum requirements of the Cooperative Education curriculum.
  • Cooperative education is a key component of Specialist High Skills Majors, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and Dual Credit Programs.

Dual Credit and Specialist High Skills Major

  • Dual credit programs/courses will still be offered to the best of our ability
  • Certifications for Specialist High Skills Major can proceed but some may be held virtually.

Physical Education, Sports & Inter-School Sports

See Athletics (During COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions

Will students be able to use libraries and computer labs?

Students will be able to use common spaces using physical distancing and masking.

What will recess look like for my child?

Distancing is still encouraged between cohorts at recess. At this time, masks are not necessary outdoors at recess or for outdoor breaks if students can physically distance 2 metres; however, this is under review. Students can use equipment outside and share materials using proper hand hygiene.

What will the classroom space look like?

Physical distancing will be encouraged with desks facing the front and not in groups.

What will arrival and departure look like at school?

Each school will develop arrival and departure protocols that reduce congregation and allow for physical distancing as much as possible.

Can pizza days and other special lunches happen this year?

Yes. Nutrition and third-party food programs like pizza days or sub days may happen with food companies using safe food handling and safety practices and adhering to our COVID-19 Guidelines.

Can liturgies and assemblies happen?

Yes, gatherings to celebrate together are permitted virtually. Outside celebrations are encouraged as much as possible.

Will after school and Saturday international languages programs for elementary students be available this year?

Yes. International languages for elementary students will be offered this year but will be delivered virtually. More details, program schedule and registration information will be provided in early fall. 

Can students use lockers and change rooms?

Students can use lockers and change rooms limiting congregation, being physically distant when possible, and wearing masks. Students should not congregate at lockers.

Can students enroll in co-operative education learning programs?

For students enrolled in cooperative education courses, in-person community placements can be arranged in alignment with the relevant provincial requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act, the direction and recommendations of the local health unit, the direction of the school board, and with the safety and curriculum requirements of the Cooperative Education curriculum. If in-person placements are not possible, students should be offered virtual placements.