We have received notice from the Premier and Minister of Education that the current closure of all Ontario schools will be extended until the end of this school year, as part of the ongoing effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All schools in York Region District School Board will continue to be closed for the rest of the school year.
It is critically important at this time to continue to follow the direction of public health to practise social distancing to flatten the curve of this pandemic virus. Please note that, in accordance with the Provincial Emergency Declaration, school grounds remain closed and inaccessible to the public, which includes playgrounds and school yards.
Items in the Schools
The provincial emergency order requires that schools be closed to students, however we know families will have questions about picking up items left at school. We are working with public health on a safe process for families to pick up these items. As soon as we have information, we will share this with families.
We will continue to support your child’s education through online teacher-led learning, and I thank you for your patience as we have been implementing new ways of teaching and learning on this scale. If you have any questions about your child’s online learning, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher. While our schools may be closed, we remain dedicated to supporting your child’s learning and well-being.
We also continue to prioritize the mental health and well-being of our students and families, and have supports and resources available. Please speak with your child’s teacher, principal or visit our website www.yrdsb.ca/covid19 for more information.
I’m sure you have a lot of questions and concerns about what these closures mean for your child’s education. The Minister of Education continues to reassure Ontarians that school closures will not affect students’ ability to graduate and that Ontario students will not lose this school year. As the Premier mentioned today and we had previously communicated, students will receive an end-of-year report card. More details will follow as we receive them.
Summer Learning Programs
The Premier and Minister of Education also announced enhanced summer learning opportunities. At this time, we don’t have additional information on the implementation of this announcement. We will send more details as soon as we are able.
Graduations and Celebrations
I know many students are also concerned about the postponement or cancellation of graduations and other important milestone events. Due to the extension of the closures, we have made the difficult decision to cancel end-of-year celebrations such as proms and semi-formals. In addition, we are regrettably postponing June graduations with a goal to reschedule for the fall of 2020. More information will be made available as soon as logistics are finalized, including information on how graduates may obtain a copy of their diploma.
On our website www.yrdsb.ca/covid19 you can find information about school closures, answers to many of the questions you may have about school closures as well as resources to support student learning and student and family well-being. You can also follow the Board’s twitter feed @yrdsb for up-to-date information.
I wish you continued health and well-being.
Juanita Nathan, Chair Louise Sirisko, Director of Education