December 30, 2020
We hope that you are enjoying some much-deserved rest and relaxation during the winter break. As we look forward to the start of the new year, we would like to take this opportunity to share additional information with you related to the reopening of schools in January 2021.
As you know, on Monday, December 21, the Ontario government announced changes to return to school plans for all schools following the break. Further to the information shared on December 21 and 23, we would like to share some additional details. There is an emphasis placed on limiting the spread of COVID-19 by delaying a return to school.
As mentioned previously, for the period of January 4-8, 2021, learning for all students will take place virtually and schools will be closed to students.
As a reminder, for students in our Elementary Virtual School (EVS), teaching and learning will continue as previously planned without changes. Your regular timetable of synchronous and asynchronous learning will be followed beginning January 4, 2021.
Based on current information from the ministry, students attending school in person for face-to-face (F2F) learning will participate in virtual learning January 4-8 and return to in-person learning at schools on January 11, 2021. If your child does not currently have access to a Google Classroom, by the end of the day on January 4, their teacher will communicate how to access a Google Classroom for the remainder of the week.
Where possible, regularly scheduled times are maintained including recess and lunch. Recess and lunch times are not supervised by staff. This provides an opportunity for students to take a break during the day.
Special Education Elementary
All students with special education needs will be supported virtually from January 4-8, 2021. At this time, the provincial government has announced that elementary schools will reopen for in-person learning on January 11, 2021. As such, students with special education needs attending in person can return to in-person learning at that time.
During the last several months, beginning with an online summer program for students with Developmental Disabilities and students with Autism, Principals, Teachers and Educational Assistants have been providing meaningful and engaging online learning opportunities to students with special education needs. Thousands of students with special education needs have been enrolled in our elementary and secondary virtual schools since school began this year and many more are currently waiting for virtual school placement for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year. We are currently accommodating hundreds of students with community class placements in online learning programs and achieving excellent outcomes.
School staff will be mindful of each family’s decision to participate in virtual learning. However, if your child will be absent for any reason, please continue to notify the school as you have previously.
Online Learning Resources
Due to the possibility of a higher than normal number of teacher absences that cannot be filled during the shutdown period, there may be times when students are asked to access asynchronous learning resources. In this event, schools will provide affected elementary families with access to centrally posted resources as needed.
Technology Distribution (Elementary)
For those who require technology devices or internet connectivity, schools will connect with families to set up a January 4th or 5th, 2020, technology pickup. To ensure safety, schools will follow the same drive-through pickup procedures as employed in spring and will provide instructions to families as needed.
Please continue to follow the Board’s Twitter account @YRDSB or visit www.yrdsb.ca for updates.
Thank you for your ongoing support for public education and understanding and cooperation as we all do our best to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.
Louise Sirisko, Director of Education