This communication contains important information related to new health and safety measures and your child’s education. In this email:
- New Screening Guidance
- COVID-19 Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Testing
- Preparing for potential school staff shortages during in-person learning
- GAPPS profile images
- Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) graduation requirement
- Grade 9 Mathematics Assessment Field Test
New Screening Guidance
Earlier today, York Region Public Health released its new screening guide. All students are required to complete the screening guide daily before coming to school. Secondary school students and staff members must provide confirmation of completing the tool prior to entry. The tool for secondary students is available on the Board’s website.
COVID-19 Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Testing
In partnership with York Region Health and Ontario Health, two recurring testing sites have been set up at the unoccupied sites of George Street Public School in Aurora and George Bailey Public School in Maple. Please see this message from York Region Public Health for additional details.
Preparing for potential school staff shortages during in-person learning
We continue to work with York Region Public Health to ensure our schools are safe for students and staff. In doing so, there are occasions, where students and staff members are required to self-isolate. These measures require the board to rely on ensuring adequate student supervision for safety. In previous years, where no occasional teacher or other staff member was available, schools combined classes for short periods of time. During the global pandemic, student contacts must be minimized and classes cannot be combined. As such, we may face specific situations where schools are required to close to in-person learning due to self-isolation requirements, even if COVID-19 case counts do not appear significant. We will continue to take all necessary planning and precautions to keep schools open, but may also need to make difficult decisions to close to ensure safety.
In the event of a school closure to in-person learning, all learning will move to virtual according to provincial requirements for live (synchronous) learning.
GAPPS Profile Images
With the move to online learning, many students have been choosing to add profile images in their Google Applications for Education (GAPPS) accounts. This is the image that appears along with the student’s name in Google Classroom, Google Meet, etc.
It has come to the Board’s attention that some individuals are using inappropriate profile images, including images that are racist and discriminatory. We do not tolerate any form of hate or discrimination. These images cause pain and harm and can make other students and staff members feel unsafe, marginalized, and unwelcome in our learning environments. Appropriate actions are being taken to address this issue when inappropriate profile images have been used.
Through the Board’s ongoing commitment to dismantling racism and creating welcoming and inclusive learning environments, all GAPPS profile images will be temporarily removed on Friday, February 26, 2021. All students’ images will appear as an icon showing the first letter of their name. In the coming weeks, all staff and students will engage in learning in support of our collective responsibility to dismantle hate and racism online. After the learning is completed, your child will regain access to uploading profile images to their YRDSB Google account.
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) graduation requirement
The Ministry of Education has waived the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) graduation requirement for all students graduating during the 2020–2021 school year. This means that a student who is expected to graduate in the 2020-21 school year and has not already successfully completed the literacy test, will not be required to do so in order to graduate. This applies to 2020-21 graduates only.
You may be aware that this school year, the EQAO is field testing a new online assessment for OSSLT. YRDSB will not be participating in this field test during the Spring of 2021. The decision to not participate in the field test was made first and foremost to prioritize the well-being of students and support the continuity of learning in response to COVID-19. The current adaptive model of alternating in-class opportunities does not align with EQAO’s Field Testing recommendations.
Grade 9 Mathematics Assessment Field Test
EQAO is field testing a new online assessment tool in the 2020-21 school year for Grade 9 Academic and Applied mathematics courses. York Region District School Board has decided that students will not participate in the Grade 9 Mathematics Assessment Field Test.
Our current Adaptive rotation model of alternating in-class opportunities does not align with EQAO’s Field Testing recommendation. This decision was made with the well-being of our students in mind.
Staff will continue to support students with an emphasis on student well-being in an inviting and inclusive math learning community.
Thank you for your understanding as we work to support our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school principal.
For more information on what this means for you and your child, please visit www.yrdsb.ca.