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Remote classroom and online concerns

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Remote classroom and online concerns

Local media outlets have reported a limited number of situations where there has been an online concern in a remote classroom. All situations have been investigated.

We are closer to understanding these breaches did not come from an external source to HWDSB. In some of the examples where there was inappropriate content shared, we extend an apology to students and families impacted as this caused harm.

Families should know this is not a regular experience in remote learning. Throughout the remote experience during the pandemic, HWDSB has a proven track record of supporting students in highly secured online environments.

In the spring 2020, HWDSB endorsed Microsoft Teams (MS Teams), along with The Hub, as our preferred learning platforms. Microsoft Teams is a highly secured platform. Our Information and Instructional Technology team also have direct contact with Microsoft representatives for support.

Educators are aware of enhanced security settings in MS Teams. They have been trained on these settings and we have shared a reminder to staff for additional measure. The term ‘zoom bombed’ that families may have heard is something difficult to do in a Microsoft environment.

We commit to our families that we will always take these online concerns seriously and support to students will always be available. Measures are in place should this happen. A full review or investigation will always be held; however, the details of the investigations will not be disclosed as there is sensitive and private information involved.

Staff are mindful of any potential ‘copy cat’ situations in light of the recent media attention. Principals and educators are equipped with the tools they need to prevent these situations from happening and the resources they need to support them if it should happen.

For more information, please visit our supportive document for parents created by our Privacy team, Virtual Classroom Guidelines for Privacy and Security.

Students are always reminded to use their HWDSB accounts for communication regarding school and to have a private password that they do not share with others.

Parents and caregivers should contact their child’s principal if there are any concerns.

Updated on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.
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