April 14, 2021
Thank you for your patience and ongoing support as we continue doing our part to ensure the safety of our students, educators, and support staff during this unprecedented time.
As you may be aware, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has made the decision to move elementary and secondary schools to remote learning following the April break. This move has been made in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants, and the massive spike in hospital admissions.
Elementary and secondary school students in Ontario will participate in remote learning commencing Monday, April 19, 2021. The Minister has not yet stated when students will return to school in person.
Our board will have virtual Administrator and staff meetings on the morning of the 19th. Teachers and support staff will reach out to students and families to assess remote learning needs and to post content asynchronously on the 19th and 20th.
By Wednesday, April 21st, teachers, and support staff will deliver remote learning synchronously like they did in January. They will be available online during regular school hours to support your child's learning through the Microsoft TEAMS or D2L/Brightspace platforms. Teachers will use a blend of synchronous and asynchronous strategies to facilitate learning and student engagement.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's learning or require support in getting connected to the online classroom, please contact your child's teacher effective April 19th.
Technology for Remote Learning
Communication was sent prior to the April break asking families and staff to ensure that students brought home what they needed for remote learning in the event of additional public health measures. This said, should your child require a device please contact your school Principal to schedule a time for pick-up at the school.
Supports for Students
ALCDSB has worked to ensure plans are in place to support students with special education needs through the capacity of education workers and board professionals (e.g. behavioural experts, speech language pathologists, and other professionals) to support remote learning.
Elementary and secondary students with special education needs who attend full-time, self-contained classrooms who cannot benefit from remote instruction will be offered the option of face-to-face learning. These families will receive more details directly from educators on Monday, April 19th. Face-to-face instruction for these learners will start later in the week. Remote learning will be offered to those who prefer not to attend face to face.
Please contact your Special Education Resource teacher or classroom teacher to discuss options for your child should they not be able to participate in remote learning due to their individual learning needs. Tri Board Transportation will work with schools and families to facilitate busing for these students.
Please be reminded that students who access services at the school and in the community based on their individual education plan will continue to be connected to those services. Students will continue to have remote access to services through the school social worker, child and youth worker, or local healthcare partners. In addition, mental health resources remain available to students and families, including Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, text CONNECT to 686868, or visit https://kidshelpphone.ca/.
School Mental Health Ontario also has a number of great resources for students, parents and families on their website at www.smho-smso.ca. In addition, child and youth mental health agencies across the province continue to provide services.
Additional Learning Resources
The Ministry of Education recently announced the launch of two new portals, TVO Learn and TFO IDÉLLO, apprendre à la maison, which provide supports for students learning remotely by accessing additional educational resources developed by Ontario certified teachers.
In addition, secondary students can continue to access TVO's Independent Learning Centre (ILC) Open House and Portes ouvertes pour les cours TVO ILC in French-language, which provide access to 144 Grade 9 to 12 courses. These ILC resources are designed to provide flexible learning opportunities to help students keep up with their learning or deepen their understanding of a specific subject in addition to their regular course timetable.
Remote School and Cooperative Education
- Students enrolled with ALCDSB Elementary Remote Learning School will see no change in schedule or programming.
- Co-op students currently placed with essential businesses can continue to attend those placements if they are comfortable doing so.
- Co-op students in non-essential placements will continue learning remotely until it is deemed appropriate to return to their placements.
Schools will continue to provide access to their on-site childcare centres. However, before and after school programs are closed until further notice.
This is a challenging time for our Catholic learning communities, but I remain confident that through our collective efforts and commitment to following public health guidelines we can continue to build faith-filled learning communities where every member is loved, inspired and successful.
Director of Education