DSBN adjusts schedule for secondary school students

·2 min read

Starting Nov. 30, District School Board of Niagara secondary schools will have a new schedule.

The board is changing the school course schedule from a two-week mini-block model to alternating one-week blocks.

Cheryl Mancuso, principal at Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines, notified parents on Nov. 5 in a letter.

“Period 5 will continue as usual.,” Mancuso wrote.

There will not be a change to the students’ cohorts, number of contacts within a week, number of in-person days, transportation or bell times.

Niagara Region Public Health has reviewed the new schedule and has no concerns about the change, her letter indicated.

Mancuso wrote, “The benefits of having an alternating week schedule includes providing a more balanced learning schedule for students, allows your child to see their subject teachers more frequently, and provides students with a learning experience closer to that of a more normal semester schedule.”

Helen MacGregor, superintendent of curriculum and achievement, secondary, said DSBN’s return-to-school plan is a living document the board will continuously revisit and adjust.

“The change to the course schedule was made to support students with their learning,” she said. “Having alternating weeks for courses rather than the two-week mini blocks gives them more frequent contact with their subject teachers.

“After consultation with parents, the feedback was that the two-week blocks are too long between the times that students interact in-person with their teachers.

“We also heard that parents like to have a lot of notice when there is a change to their student’s schedule,” she said. “Because of that, we’ve announced it four weeks before it will be implemented.”

MacGregor added “although the course schedule is changing, we think parents will appreciate that student cohorts, bell times, number of in-person days, and transportation will all stay the same.”

Sean Vanderklis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter for the Niagara Falls Review, covering education issues across Niagara. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review