Update to St. Thomas Aquinas CSS 2020-2021 learning model

Aug. 27, 2020

The Board has communicated in the past week that all secondary schools at Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board will be returning to school full-time in a quadmester model.

We are pleased to announce that the Ministry of Education has granted St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School (STACSS) in Lindsay an exemption allowing the school to run its regular, four-period semester.

The Ministry is allowing small high schools like STACSS to resume regular daily programming because the school’s small student population allows us to meet the Ministry’s enhanced health and safety measures and maintain appropriate cohorts.

STACSS currently has a student enrollment of 260. As such, a plan has been developed that allows STACSS students to attend full time every day with attendance in all four classes and still meet the Ministry’s criteria of keeping secondary cohorts to a maximum of 100.

Each grade in the school will be a cohort and assigned its own section of the building. Cohort mixing between the grades will be limited. One implication of this change is that students who have chosen Virtual Learning will only be able to transition back into the school at the beginning of Semester 2 in February. School staff will be in contact with these families to verify their choice. 

Staggered Entry Dates for the start of school

STACSS will start the school year with the following staggered entry plan:

  • Gr. 9s  on Thursday, Sept. 10
  • Gr. 10s on Friday, Sept. 11
  • Gr. 11s & 12s on Monday, Sept.  14 
  • All staff and students – Tuesday, Sept. 15 and following

This staggered entry will give our administrators and educators more time to prepare the school for enhanced safety measures, our educators much needed time to organize their classrooms and it will allow students to re-enter the classroom gradually to get adjusted to the new school routines. 

We are also pleased to announce that STACSS has been chosen as the host of the Board’s new Virtual School, delivering online learning for approximately 1,200 elementary students and 600 secondary students and welcoming 70 Virtual School staff members. The Virtual School will have no impact on the physical facility (students and staff will connect to the Virtual School from their homes across the Board’s jurisdiction).

STACSS already has a proven track record of delivering a successful e-learning program and we look forward to principal Jonathan DiIanni’s leadership as STACSS provides ongoing remote education to about 1,800 PVNC students.