Optional Attendance for September 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB


Please note: The information about Optional Attendance in this communication is relevant only to those families and students who are applying to attend a school other than their home school for September 2021. It is not related to your child’s learning for the current school year.

Dear Parents/Guardians,

On January 8, all TDSB parents/guardians received an email with information about Optional Attendance applications for September 2021. Today’s communication provides clarification on how to apply for Optional Attendance under the constraints of our current provincial State of Emergency circumstances. Our adjustments to this process will ensure that all students/families who wish to apply to another school or program for the 2021-2022 school year, are able to do so.

Special Education Placements

The Optional Attendance Process is not the process used for school/program recommendations and placements for students receiving special education support and programming (i.e. programs to support: learning disability (LD), developmental disability (DD), autism, gifted, mild intellectual disability (MID), and multiple exceptionalities (ME) identifications). Offers of school and program placements will be made in conjunction with the IPRC Annual Review Process.

English Language Learners (ELL) – English as a Second Language (ESL), English Literacy Development (ELD) Placements

The Optional Attendance Process is not the process used for school/program recommendations and placements for ELL students receiving ESL or ELD support. Offers of placements will be made in conjunction with the Newcomer Centre assessments.

Home Schools and Optional Attendance Schools

Typically, students attend their home school – which is determined by their residential address – and no application is required. Some students, however, may choose to apply to attend a school other than their home school for programming reasons. This is known as Optional Attendance. Acceptance for Optional Attendance is subject to space availability and specific program criteria for specialized/alternative programs. Often a lottery system determines acceptance if there are more applicants than spaces. Once accepted on Optional Attendance, the new school is considered the student’s “home school.” Note: Many schools are closed to Optional Attendance due to enrolment constraints. Please view list of secondary schools closed to optional attendance here.

If you wish to apply to a school under Optional Attendance for September 2021:

  1. Complete the Elementary Optional Attendance Form or Secondary Optional Attendance Form . Please sign if you have a printer. If you are unable to print, you can submit without signing.
  2. Email your completed form to your current school principal (any format – PDF, photo, screen grab).
  3. Your current school principal will approve your application and ensure your Optional Attendance application is sent and received by the school your child is applying to.
  4. Students currently enrolled at either the Secondary Virtual School or Elementary Virtual School who wish to apply to a school or program under Optional Attendance must send their forms to their home school (bricks and mortar school) for approval. Reminder: this is for attendance at a school for September 2021.
  5. Your current school principal must receive your application to both approve it, and to ensure our policies are being followed.
  6. If you completed and submitted an Optional Attendance form, prior to or during school closures, you do not need to resubmit.

If you have any questions related to the Optional Attendance process, please reach out to your current home school principal.