KITCHENER -- The Waterloo Region District School Board announced Monday night that they are making a change to their “staggered start” schedule for September.


The previous plan had students returning to the classroom in two separate cohorts. Group A was supposed to start on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, while Group B would return on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.

The new plan shows no classes on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, with teachers using those days for preparation. Junior kindergarten is now set to start on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.

For all other students, the first week of school has been pushed back to the week of Sept. 14.


Students learning through distance education will also be starting school on Sept. 14.

However the school board says staff members will be reaching out to both in-class and distance education students the week before to “build relationships, establish routines and schedules, ensure technology is in place, and provide distance learning orientation.”



Secondary school students who opted for the in-person/hybrid approach have also been broken up into two cohorts. Group B will now begin school on Sept. 11, while Group A will begin on Sept. 17.

The only exception will be Grade 9 students who will have their orientation days split between Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.

While there will be no classes on Sept. 8, teachers will be using that day to prepare for the semester.


The first day of school for distance learning students will now be Sept. 11.

Just like at the elementary level, the school board says teachers will be reaching out to distance education students on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10 to make sure they are prepared for the new school year.



At Monday night’s meeting, the Waterloo Region District School Board released its preliminary attendance findings for September.

They say 78% or elementary students and 87% of secondary students will be attending classes in-person.

This latest report indicates that more than 8,900 elementary students will be participating in distance education. The school board says they’ve broken that down into five programs: junior and senior kindergarten, primary, junior, intermediate, and French Immersion (ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 8).

They say all French Immersion students will be in same program to “maximize the use of our Distance Learning French Teachers” and the amount of instructional time and the subjects being taught will be communicated to parents the week of Sept. 8.

The report also says that close to 3,000 secondary students have opted for distance education.

The school board says all requests to move students from distance education to in-person, or from in-person to distance education, will be considered every few months.

For elementary students, the requests will be assessed on Nov. 10 and Feb. 3.

For secondary students, those requests can be made between each quadmester in November, February and April.

*All images were taken from the Waterloo Region District School Board's Twitter account.