January 8, 2021
As you may be aware, public health measures mandating a temporary shift to remote learning for Ontario students were extended by the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health yesterday afternoon.
In response to increasing community transmission, in-person learning will be deferred to Monday, January 25, 2021 in Southern Ontario, which aligns with the planned return of in-person learning for secondary school students in these regions. To reiterate, All ALCDSB students will continue to learn remotely until end of day Friday, January 22, 2021. Students enrolled with ALCDSB Elementary Remote Learning School will see no change in schedule or programming.
The Ministry of Education has announced that Targeted testing done among students and staff in December 2020 confirmed that schools are not a significant source of transmission. However, with students having been at home for several weeks over the holidays, the positivity rate among school-aged children across the province has increased sharply. While the regions within our board have been doing comparatively well in their case numbers, and are still able to contact trace, we are pleased to see the government erring on the side of caution for the health of our students and staff.
These time-limited measures are being taken to help ensure that we stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
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.
Financial support is available for families during this temporary remote learning period through the Support for Learners program. Starting on January 11, 2021, an expanded Support for Learners program is providing:
Supports for Students
ALCDSB has worked to ensure plans are in place to support students with special education needs through the capacity of Special Education Resource Teachers, Educational Assistants, and board professionals to support remote learning.
Most students with special education needs will continue learning remotely during this period. While schools are closed, an exception will be made for elementary and secondary school students enrolled in specialized classrooms. In-person learning will be available for students in Life Skills Developmental Centres. Please contact your school principal for further information.
Please be reminded that students who access services at the school as per the individual education plan will continue to be connected to those services.
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, or text CONNECT to 686868.
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.
Schools will continue to provide access to their on-site childcare centres. Ontario is also expanding eligibility for the Ministry of Education's targeted emergency child care program for a broader number of frontline health and safety workers. Further updates regarding childcare centres will be provided as we receive more information.
Thank you for your exemplary partnership with our Catholic learning Communities. We will continue doing our best to work with each family to meet the needs of their children during this mandate.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13