KITCHENER -- The Waterloo Region District School Board has announced it will stagger the start of the school year for elementary students.

The students will alternate attendance between Sept. 8 and Sept. 17. They will all attend class on Sept. 18, according to the board.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend school on alternating days.

Here's a look at the staggered start:

Staggered start

(Supplied: WRDSB)

"We believe that this two week time period to transition gradually back to school will provide students and staff with more focused time for the necessary teaching, learning and practicing of the health and safety protocols, in smaller groups of students," the school board said on its website.

Students with special learning needs in specialized classrooms will go to school every day, along with English Language Learners in the Accelerated, Basic, Literacy Education program.

The school board said the Extended Day program will start on Sept. 16.

Secondary students are already on an adaptive model, meaning they will attend classes every other day. The WRDSB said their start won't be staggered.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board is also staggering the start of the school year.

Here's a breakdown of that plan:

  • Kindergarten – Start days have already been staggered
  • Grades 1 and 2 – First day of school will be Tuesday, Sept. 8
  • Grades 3 and 4 – First day of school will be Wednesday, Sept. 9
  • Grades 5 and 6 – First day of school will be Thursday, Sept. 10
  • Grades 7 and 8 - First day of school will be Friday, Sept. 11

The Catholic school board also said its online classes won't start until Sept. 14 in order to allow time to arrange schedules and timetables.