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Letter to Families, Preparing for Remote Learning on January 5, 2022

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Letter to Families, Preparing for Remote Learning on January 5, 2022

January 3, 2022

Dear Families,  

The province announced today that all publicly funded and private schools in Ontario will move to remote learning starting January 5 until at least January 17, subject to public health and operational considerations. 

This is an extraordinary time for everyone, and we know that many families are frustrated by this news and its timing. We had hoped that schools would be the ‘first to open and last to close’ but understand that Omicron’s spread requires strong action, and we must do our part to help. 

At HWDSB, our priority is to continue student learning. This is why we are moving quickly to deploy devices that will help ensure that all students can learn remotely. We are grateful for the experienced staff supporting device deployment. 

Elementary and secondary students will participate in remote learning from January 5-17, 2022 in accordance with PPM 164 Requirements for Remote Learning, which provides specific expectations around synchronous learning. 

Elementary   Wednesday, January 5  

  • Morning Schedule: Educators will use a half day for (synchronous) remote learning instruction, connecting with students, revisiting Reimagining Wellness, and establishing routines for remote learning 
  • Afternoon Schedule: Connected learning (asynchronous) activities and educators will connect with families 

Thursday, January 6  

  • Full remote school day: Educators will provide schedules to families for each day and the full school day will be scheduled with breaks  
  • Device pick-up: families who identified the need for a board device will have been contacted regarding pick up 
  • Students without access to a device: Families can access paper packages at the school if they are unable to receive a device 
Elementary Remote Learning Program   Wednesday, January 5

  • Program continues without change.  
  • Educators are asked to connect with all learners, individually, over the week as part of our commitment to positive culture and well-being and our role as caring adults.  
  • Educators are expected to post a schedule for parents and students each day. 
Secondary   Wednesday, January 5 

  • Full instruction starts: Educators will focus on connections with students supported by Reimagining Wellness  
  • Educators will be available to students during their timetables and provide a blend of connected (synchronous) and independent (asynchronous) learning (PPM 164  

Device Deployment  

Families of elementary students who require a device for remote learning can complete the Remote Learning Device Request SurveyThis survey will be open from Monday, January 3 to Tuesday, January 4 at 8 p.m. 

  • Please visit FORMS in the Parent Portal and look for the Remote Learning Device Request Survey. Please complete one per child in your household. 
  • In the event you do not have access to the Parent Portal, you should contact your school’s Office Administrator. 
  • A digital copy of the survey, available in a fillable pdf, can be found by clicking here. This version would require a printer to deliver a hard copy with your child to the school, or saved and attached to an email sent to the school office. See list of elementary school email addresses. 

School administrators will be preparing devices for distribution to families. Distribution will begin on Thursday, January 6, 2022.  

Families of secondary students who do not have access to wireless internet at home should contact their school directly to discuss options. Internet-enabled devices may be made available to qualifying families only.  

Students In Self-Contained Classes 

Based on the announcement from the provincial government earlier today, HWDSB is reviewing educational programming information for students with pervasive education requirements that have been placed in self-contained classes. These students will learn from home beginning on Wednesday. Principals will reach out to parents/guardians on Thursday, January 6, 2022, to discuss each student’s program. Knowing how transmissible the Omicron variant is, we will gauge caregivers’ comfort and need for service.   

Public health measures  

Although we are no longer in schools together in-person, it is still important to follow all public health measures while at home or in our communities. Stay at home if you can, wear a mask if you go out, and practice good hand hygiene. You can learn more about temporary measures that will be in place in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, as of January 5, 2022, at 12:01 a.m. 

Mental health supports 

We know the return to remote learning is not the best way to support student mental health and well-being, but we hope that it will be a temporary measure before we return in person. To help support your child or youth, please remember that HWDSB has many Mental health supports as the pandemic’s challenges continue. 

In closing, please be assured that we will continue to advocate for the return of in-person learning as soon as possible. Remote learning is hard on students, families and staff. We have taken action to make our schools safer, through ventilation work, reduced class sizes, hosting public health vaccination clinics and more. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience in this challenging time. 

Dawn Danko, Chair of the Board 

Manny Figueiredo, Director of Education 

Updated on Tuesday, January 04, 2022.
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