School resumes on Monday for tens of thousands of students in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, but students will not be returning to the classroom after the holiday break.

As part of the Ontario government's lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, elementary and secondary students will not return to school in person on Jan. 4 as planned.

In-person classes are scheduled to resume Monday, Jan. 11 for elementary students, and the week of Jan. 25 for secondary students.

Some families have kept their children in virtual learning since September. Alicia Young said she anticipated provincewide virtual learning might come back.

"That’s one of the reasons why I put her in the virtual school, because I thought there might be a lot of interruptions," she told CTV News Ottawa on Sunday. 

Her daughter Julianna says she understands.

"I know that if you’re in class with your friends, there's a higher risk of you getting COVID, so I want to be safe."

However, for other parents, the delay in getting kids back to the classroom is not easy to deal with.

"We both work, my wife and I, so it's difficult," says Mohamed Sabry. "We tried it back in March. Obviously, March was a big learning curve because everyone was trying it for the first time, even the teachers. So, we’re hoping this time it might be a bit smoother. But I’m hoping it doesn’t stay that long."

Some parents will be missing out on work while their kids learn from home.

"It affects us financially," Jon Bowes says. "My girlfriend has to take time off work to take care of the kids and that loses money for the income for the family. Just overall it sucks."

CTV News Ottawa has a look at the plans for school boards in Ottawa and eastern Ontario for back to school on Monday, Jan. 4.

Ottawa Carleton District School Board

Elementary schools:

  • The focus on Monday, Jan. 4 will be supporting the transition to remote learning: teachers will share instructions to access the Google Classroom or Virtual Learning Environment, verify email addresses, ensure the homeroom/class timetable for students is posted to the Google Classroom/VLE
  • Parents can expect an email from their child's teacher on or before Jan. 4

For each day of the remote period, learning will be scheduled based on the Ministry of Education requirements for learning using both synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning.

Secondary schools:

  • Students, parents and guardians can expect an email from the school on or before Jan. 4 with more detailed information about the schedule

The daily schedule will be modified for the period of the closure to allow:

  • Both cohorts (A and B) to learn together 
  • Both courses to be taught each day, and
  • Students will have two 112.5 minute blocks of instruction daily.

Ottawa Carleton District School Board administration buildings remain closed to the public.

Ottawa Catholic School Board

The board says there is no change to the virtual academy or virtual learning programs.

Elementary schools

  • Parents will receive a note from the school on Jan. 4 with guidance on using the Hapara Learning Management system and Google Meet video conferencing
  • Before the regular lunch period, parents will receive a link to their child's classroom Google Meet page
  • Educators will connect online with their classes every day
  • Students will follow their regular school timetable. The schedule includes start and end times and recesses

The Ottawa Catholic School Board says approximately 75 per cent of the instructional day will be synchronous learning for students in Grades 1 to 8.

Secondary schools

  • On Jan. 4, secondary students in cohort A and cohort B will participate in asynchronous learning for their morning course, using the Hapara learning management system they have been using since the fall
  • On Jan. 4, students in cohort A and cohort B will receive a Google Meet link from their afternoon teacher to connect for synchronous learning
  • Beginning Tuesday, Jan 5, both the morning and afternoon classes will be taught synchronously to cohort A and B

The Ottawa Catholic School Board says students in Grades 9 to 12 will receive approximately 80 per cent of their course delivered synchronously.

Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est/Conseil des école catholiques Centre-Est

Teaching will take place in virtual mode from Jan. 4 to 8 for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8.

Students in Grades 9 to 12 will participate in virtual learning between Jan. 4 and 22.

Upper Canada District School Board

School-based staff will be meeting virtually on Jan 4 and work to transition to remote learning. The board says children can expect to hear from your teacher regarding remote learning plans in the afternoon on Monday, Jan 4.

  • Elementary students will participate in remote learning from Jan. 4-8, with in-class instruction resuming on Jan. 11.
  • Secondary students will participate in remote learning from Jan. 4-22, with in-class instruction resuming on Jan. 25.

Schools will provide more information about schedules, classes, attendance and loaner devices to support students.

The Upper Canada District School Board says because it's remote readiness plan was already in place, it will implement remote learning using either Microsoft Teams to DSL platforms.

Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario

No information on the school board's website

Renfrew County District School Board

There will be no change in learning for students enrolled in Remote Synchronous Learning before the holiday break.

Elementary schools

  • Your child's teacher will send a Google Meet invite to their class scheduled at or near the school's start time. Check your child's district email.
  • By the end of the first day, teachers will share their schedule with the students and parents/guardians, outlining the start time and the length of synchronous learning sessions

Secondary schools

  • Teachers will send a Google Meet invite to their class scheduled at or near the course start time (one in the morning, one in the afternoon)
  • Requirements for Remote Learning states that secondary students are to receive 120 minutes of synchronous instruction per course, however we will consider a gradual increase to synchronous minutes

Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

  • Watch for communication from your child’s Catholic school to find out what learning will look like during the week of January 4-8
  • If your child will require technology, please contact your school principal and a safe pick-up can take place on January 4 or 5