Return to School FAQ

Everything you need to know about CHCI’s return to school plan 

We know that school at CHCI will look a lot different this year, but our commitment to our students remains unwavering and we are incredibly excited to welcome our staff and students back to the classrooms this year.  At CHCI, we have undergone significant changes to help support our commitment to health, safety, and wellbeing. Every facet of our system has been examined and re-imagined to prioritize the safety of all those who enter our building and to ensure that Human Rights and Equity is at the forefront of everything we do. 

We want all of our families to know that they are a valued partner in their child’s education and we will be making every effort to stay connected as the year unfolds.

We have tried to compile all the CHCI specific return to school  information we can share at this time in this FAQ doc. This is a living document (therefore subject to change) so we encourage you to reference this document on an ongoing basis as it is subject to change based on evolving COVID-19 information

Important Links for Students & Families 

Returning to School: A Guide for Families

WRDSB FAQ document.

Self Screening Tool

Timetables & Cohorts

Due to the reopening of the student confirmation of attendance form, we have to wait until the results of that survey are shared with us to develop timetables and cohorts. We will share this information as soon as possible. 

CHCI Adaptive/Hybrid Model

In this model for secondary students who choose to attend in person, there would be two cohorts (groups): Cohort A & Cohort B.

Each class will be divided into two cohorts, either A or B, with approximately 15 students per cohort. A combination of face-to-face instruction and distance learning, delivered through asynchronous (independent learning with online resources) will make up the learning experience for our students.

In September, secondary schools will experience a quadmestering format, which involves a four-semester school year, with each semester offering two credits each.  Each quadmester is approximately 9.5 weeks and ensures students are still engaging in the required 110 hours of learning.


Student Arrival & Entrance: 

All WRDSB staff and students are required to complete a daily COVID-19 Self Assessment Screening (Self Screening Tool) before coming into the school building.  If one or more signs or symptoms exist, students should not attend school. Families should contact the Region of Waterloo Public Health Assessment Centre or a Health Care Provider for guidance about return to school. 


CHCI Students will not be permitted to enter the school building until 7:45 am when doors will be unlocked for student entry.  Students should dress appropriately for the weather each day, as there may be varying wait times outside as we work to move students safely into the building to begin the school day. 

  • Upon arrival at the school by bus, foot or vehicle, students will make their way to their designated door and line up in a socially distanced manner as per the markings on the ground outside of each door.  Students are encouraged to wear their mask in line while waiting to enter the building.  
  • Students must be wearing a mask in order to gain entry into the building.  If a student forgets their mask, staff will supply one for them at their designated entrance to the school.
  • Upon entering the building students must sanitize their hands at the sanitation checkpoint following proper sanitation procedure.
  • When a student is masked and has sanitized their hands they must proceed directly to their classroom via the designated route.  Students will wait on markings that are socially distanced outside classrooms until they open at 8am.  
  • Students should practice social distancing as they move through the halls, and congregating and socializing in the hallways is not permitted at this time.  


Student Entry Points: 

**Doors will also be numbered to ensure students know the proper door to enter through.

  1. Students with classes on the FIRST FLOOR will enter through the GYM DOORS (#1), LOWER POOL DOORS (#2) OR THE FRONT DOORS (#3).  Students will follow the traffic floor arrows to their classroom.  You must head directly to the first floor.  The Rear Centre stairwell is the only full DOWN stairwell, the stairwell by the front doors will be a down only from second floor to the first floor.
  2. Students with classes on the SECOND FLOOR will enter through the UPPER POOL DOORS (#4), OR THE FRONT DOORS (#3) or ROUNDABOUT DOORS (#5).  Students will follow the traffic floor arrows and head directly to their classrooms. 
  3. Students with classes on the THIRD FLOOR or FOURTH FLOOR will enter through the FRONT DOORS (#3) OR THE ROUNDABOUT DOORS (#5).  Students will make their way directly up the stairwells directly to the floor of their classrooms.  All Stairwells are UP except REAR CENTRE STAIRWELL.  Please adhere to the signage posted.  


* Your designated entry point may alternate as you follow the schedule of your quadmester courses.  Please be aware of where your classroom is each day, as you will not be able to access other floors from the designated entry points. 


Student Dismissal and Exit:

Upon dismissal, classes will be supervised by their teacher on a staggered schedule and students will exit using the Rear Centre Stairwell.

  1. Students with classes on the FIRST FLOOR will exit through the GYM DOORS (#1), LOWER POOL DOORS (#2) OR REAR CENTRE DOORS (#6).  
  2. Students with classes on the SECOND FLOOR will exit through the UPPER POOL DOORS (#4), OR THE FRONT DOORS (#3) or REAR CENTRE DOORS (#6).  
  3. Students with classes on the THIRD FLOOR or FOURTH FLOOR will exit through the REAR CENTRE DOORS (#6) 
  • Students will follow hallway signage, continuing to social distance as they make their way through the halls, down the stairs and out the door.  


Washroom Access and Flow:

Washroom Distancing: 

  • Washrooms will have posted occupancy 
  • Urinals will be socially distanced
  • Markers will be placed around sink areas to encourage social distancing
  • There will be socially distanced markers on the floors outside of the washrooms for students to wait for capacity to be available. 
  • If a student sees that the washroom is at capacity upon entering, they should exit the washroom and wait on the social distance marker until the washroom is free. 

Use of Washrooms: 

  • Students must use the washrooms that are located on the floor of their classroom..  Access to other floors in the school are prohibited unless escorted by a staff member. 
  • One student per class is permitted to use the washroom at a time. 
  • Students must follow the washroom capacity guidelines in order to maintain physical distancing.
  • Students must wash their hands after using the washroom and returning to class immediately as congregating in washrooms/hallways is strictly prohibited.
  • In order to assist with contact tracing, washroom activity must be tracked by the school through our classroom teacher.

Nutrition Breaks  

Students will eat lunch in their classroom with their cohort in their assigned classrooms to ensure chances of contact and transmission are minimized.  Students should bring food in their own containers and take those containers home with them at the end of the day.  Food, drinks, dishes and cutlery are not to be shared by students.   Students will not have access to microwaves.

Students will perform hand hygiene prior to and after eating.   Students should take home all food waste and containers at the end of each school day.

Vending machines can be utilized but will require students/staff to perform hand hygiene before and after using the machine, students will only be allowed out of the class one at a time. 

Nutrition for Learning will be available as prepackaged snacks for students each day upon entry into the school.  

Water Fountains and Bottle Fillers 

Students are required to bring their own water bottles.  Water fountains will not be available for use; however, no-touch, bottle-filling stations can be used to fill individual water bottles.

Attendance Procedures 

Late Entry: 

  • If a student arrives late between 8:15 – 8:40 am they should proceed to their designated entrance and proceed directly to their classroom.
  • After 8:40 am all entrances and exits will be closed/locked so students arriving after 8:40 am should proceed to the front doors and go directly to class.  Make sure the classroom teacher knows when you arrive to amend the attendance record.

Signing Out: 

Students are encouraged to schedule appointments outside of the school day.  Students who must leave the school during the day, should have their parents call or email the main office ahead of time, and then sign-out with their classroom teacher.


Students who exhibit symptoms of illness while at school will not be permitted to enter or stay in their classroom, and will be moved to a designated isolated waiting area.  Parents, guardians, and/or emergency contacts designated by the family, will be called immediately, and asked to pick up their child as soon as possible.

Visitors to the School

Parents and guardians will not be allowed to enter the building, including to sign-out students for appointments, to talk to a staff member, or to drop off forgotten items.  In extenuating circumstances, if approval to enter the school is granted by an administrator, a face covering must be worn before entering the school and appointment time given.  

Student Drop-Off, Pick-Up and Parking

Parents and guardians must remain outside the school (preferably in their vehicles) when they drop-off or pick-up their children, and should not be congregating anywhere on school property.  

Health and Safety Protocols

We know that parents have a lot of questions about the upcoming school year and we also know that schools and classrooms will look different when we return. The health and safety of students and staff is our top priority as we prepare for the upcoming school year. We will have increased health and safety measures that operate in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Public Health requirements.

Mask Use

Mask use or face coverings will be mandatory for all CHCI students.  Students may wear their own, or school-provided, non-medical masks.  It is important that the mask fits properly and covers both the nose and mouth and that all best practices are followed when wearing and removing the mask.  Masks may be removed during nutrition breaks to eat lunch. 

For additional information refer to the Public Health Ontario Resource Non-Medical Face Coverings.  

Signage and Wayfinding

Appropriate signage will be posted throughout our school and hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms and offices.  Our school buses and classrooms will be thoroughly and frequently cleaned. In addition, CHCI will have designated entrances and exits. Hallways and stairwells will be designated for one-way flow and physical distance reminders will be placed throughout the building. Health and safety is at the heart of every element of our return to school planning.

Hand Hygiene

Staff and educators will regularly remind students of the importance of proper hand hygiene and assist students as needed.  Staff will also incorporate frequent hand hygiene into their daily classroom routines. Signs will be posted at all sinks to remind students of proper handwashing techniques. In addition, signs will be placed throughout the school to indicate the nearest hand washing facility. Students MUST wash their hands:

  • when they arrive at school and before they go home;
  • before eating and drinking;
  • after using the washroom;
  • after sneezing or coughing into hands or tissue.
  • after using any common supplies, equipment or devices
  • whenever hands are visibly dirty; 
  • when moving between different learning environments or centres(e.g., outdoor-indoor transitions) 

In addition to hand washing, hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the school.

Physical Distancing

It is important to try and maintain at least 2 metres of distance between yourself and other people.  Many classroom and school procedures have been put in place to support physical distancing of staff and students.  

Students are required to comply with all physical distancing measures that include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of specific entrances and exits (both into and out of the school and classroom).
  • Specified direction of travel through hallways.
  • No use of lockers – students to carry their belongings with them to class.
  • Smaller class sizes (cohorting) and seating plans.
  • Staggered break times.
  • Minimizing the number of students in hallways and washrooms.
  • Virtual meetings whenever possible (e.g. guidance counsellor).

Students are not permitted to congregate in hallways, common spaces, or washrooms. Students should follow physical distancing cues – floor markings and signs – when lining up to use facilities.   


The CHCI HVAC system will be on a schedule with fans running 7am to 6pm,  There will be 100% fresh air being brought into the building and no air will be recirculated through the building.  This means temperatures will more closely reflect outside conditions so students are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. . 

Personal Belongings and Lockers

Lockers will not be available for student use at the start of the school year.  Students will be required to limit the number of items they bring to school. Students should leave valuable items at home. Gym change rooms are not secure areas and no valuable items should be left in change rooms. The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.  

Smoking and Vaping

No smoking or vaping (use of e-cigarettes) in the school building or on school property; it’s the law.  Failure to adhere to this rule will result in a school suspension and may result in a fine issued by the Waterloo Region By-Law Office.  


Student Activities

Student Cards

  • The purchase and issuing of student cards for the 2020-2021 school year will be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions until public health and the WRDSB have provided clearance for student activities, clubs and athletics to resume in person. 

Student Photos

  • Student Photos & Grad Photos for the 2020-2021 school year will be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions until public health and the WRDSB provide clearance for these services to resume. 

Clubs & Extra Curricular Activities

  • At this time in person clubs, committees and extracurricular activities are not permitted to proceed due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Clubs, committees and activities may operate virtually if properly organized and supervised by a CHCI staff member. 
  • Please see the school website for a complete list of clubs and extracurricular activities.


  • The 2019-2020 school year book will be delivered to students who purchased one later this fall.