WINDSOR, ONT. -- With many kids headed back to the classrooms next week, the Greater Essex District School Board has released its elementary calendar for the upcoming school year.

In line with the school board’s COVID-19 safety measures, students will be going back on staggered start dates divided by last name.

Students in Grades 1 to 8 between A and L (Group 1) will head back to school on Thursday, Sept. 10 while those in Group 2 (M to Z) will be in the classroom on Friday, Sept. 11.

With kindergarten students the last to go back, Grades JK to 8 in Group 1 (A to L) will go to school starting Monday, Sept. 14 and those in Group 2 (M to Z) on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Both the Catholic and public large school boards in Windsor-Essex opted for staggered start dates. Officials said breaking the students into smaller groups would help them to learn about their new environment.

Elementary students in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board have been divided into groups based on grade, grades one to three will be at school Thursday, Sept. 10 and Grades 4 to 8 will go the next day.

Kindergartners will be back in the classroom Sept. 14.