HDSB Reopening Schools Plan

For the 2020-2021 School Year

Stuart Miller, Director of Education at HDSB Portrait

Stuart Miller
Director of Education

A Message From the Director

Respond. Rethink. Restart. These are the three words that have defined our work the past few months in the Halton District School Board and our actions as we reopen our schools this fall. This past March the COVID-19 pandemic thrust us all into a new societal and educational reality. We pivoted our entire system within weeks to a full distance learning platform. While it was not perfect, I am proud of the work of all of our staff to respond to the challenges and recognize the contributions of our students and families during this time. These past few months have allowed us an opportunity to rethink and plan for a host of return to school scenarios. We have engaged with our staff, parents and students through a variety of feedback mechanisms that examined our system before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and where we should be after the pandemic.

The information provided is a comprehensive plan outlining our full return to safe and productive learning environments for our students and staff. I encourage you to read through this information carefully. This plan draws on international, national, provincial and local expertise across the fields of public health and education. It also draws heavily on the voice of our own staff, students and parents.

I know that you each must decide if sending your child back to school is the right decision for your family. We will have full virtual learning plans for those of you who do not feel comfortable sending your children back. We understand this. This plan is designed to offer you the information you need to make that decision. We believe that information breeds confidence. After reviewing our plan to reopen schools, I hope you conclude, as I have, that our schools will offer a safe, inclusive and engaging learning environment that will inspire your child to new learning and achievement!


Together we respond, rethink and reopen our schools to engage, include and inspire all students.

Guiding Principles | Reopening plans have been developed to:

  • Prioritize Health and Safety of Students and Staff

  • Maximize Student Learning Time

  • Support Student and Staff Well-Being

  • Ensure Equity of Access to Learning, Supports, Technology

  • Provide Continuous Learning and Flexibility

  • Establish Comprehensive Communications

  • Adhere to Fiscal Responsibility


This Reopening Schools Guide is designed to offer you information on all aspects of our reopening of schools. It is organized around 5 core areas that you will see delineated by the icons below. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions tab where you may ask a question should one linger after reading the content. Along with this information you will receive an email with a link to a very important survey where we ask you if you are planning to send your child(ren) back to school this September or if you would prefer that they participate in our full virtual education model. The choice you make will be fixed to the end of Term 1 for Elementary students and to the end of Semester 1 for Secondary students, both of these align to the end of January.

We also understand that our delivery model may change based on local or provincial trends in COVID cases. While this Guide focuses on the starting September models, rest assured we have contingency plans in place should we need to adapt our delivery models.

Building our reopening plan has taken into consideration lessons learned during school closures to create an infrastructure aligned to student, family, and staff needs. We have gathered feedback from parents/guardians and students regarding distance learning, mental health and moving forward. This feedback has been implemented in our planning.

These reports are:

We encourage you to consider the information in each of the areas below, so that you can make the best choice possible for your child(ren) and your family.

How we’re returning to healthy and safe facilities.

Health & Facility

How we’re returning to healthy and safe facilities.

How we’re returning to school routines and processes.


How we’re returning to school routines and processes.

How we’re returning to learning and instruction.


How we’re returning to learning and instruction.

How we’re returning to environments that support well-being.


How we’re returning to environments that support well-being.

How we’re returning with technology support.


How we’re returning with technology support.

FAQs on the reopening schools plan for the 2020-2021 school year.


FAQs on the reopening schools plan for the 2020-2021 school year.