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Full semesters return to Thunder Bay high schools

Local school boards say move will restore 'a state of balance' for students.
High school students
(Stock photo)

THUNDER BAY — City high school students will resume learning with a regular timetabling model next week.

Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board made the announcement Tuesday, saying this will bring back "a state of balance" for students.

As of Monday, both boards will revert to a timetable model of four courses per day at the secondary level.

Under provincial guidelines related to COVID-19, high schools currently are able to schedule students into only two courses a day.

The rule was introduced last year to make it easier to maintain separate cohorts and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

This required students to alternate classes that are almost three hours long.

Last week, the province announced that regular semesters could be restored partly because of high vaccination rates among youth.

The government said normal scheduling could resume by February 2022, or sooner with approval from medical officers of health in consideration of local epidemiology.

The two Thunder Bay boards indicated that Dr. Janet De Mille has determined that current conditions in this area support a safe transition to conventional timetabling in advance of February 2022.

Pino Tassone, Director of Education for the Catholic board, said "the additional time within the same classroom has been challenging for all, and the sense of normalcy is welcomed."

Lakehead Public Schools Director of Education Ian MacRae said the board is happy to be able to once again provide students with a semester system, which he said is advantageous for both students and staff.

MacRae added that the board continues to consult with TBDHU to ensure the safety of school communities from the perspective of COVID-19.

Further information will be provided to students and parents via their school email, social media pages and websites.

 

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