Remote Learning Options for Students
In response to the fast-spreading omicron variant, HWDSB is offering options to both elementary and secondary students for short-term virtual learning and full-time remote learning (elementary) and eLearning (secondary). Learn more about these options in the tabs below.
Transition to Full-Time Remote Learning (until June 2022)
HWDSB is offering an additional transition opportunity to remote learning for elementary students (Kindergarten to Grade 8).
The Remote Learning survey will be available to families between 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 13 and 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 20. This survey can be accessed through the Parent Portal. Families can also call their child/ren’s school to have their choice recorded during regular school hours.
The survey is titled “Elementary Remote Survey” and is listed under the heading ‘Registration’ in the ‘Forms’ section of Parent Portal.
Only families requesting a full transition to remote learning until June 2022 need to complete this survey.
This transition opportunity is different from previous transitions because:
- There is only a choice to select a transition to full remote learning.
- There is no opportunity for students already enrolled in full remote learning to select a return to in-person learning.
- Students would be enrolled in a full remote learning class until the end of the school year in June 2022.
- There will be no opportunity to return to in-person learning except under extraordinary circumstances.
- The potential date for this transition will depend on the total number of students selecting this option and will be communicated at a later date.
- Full remote learning has classes spread out in schools throughout the HWDSB. Students selecting full remote learning will have their registration transferred to the school hosting the remote learning class and will become a full student of this host school for the remainder of the school year.
The potential transition date will depend on the number of potential students selecting a transition to remote learning. The HWDSB will communicate an update regarding the Elementary Remote Transition the week of January 24 to 28.
For details on Remote Learning for Elementary Students at HWDSB, visit the Elementary Remote Learning 2021-22 page or check out the frequently asked questions in our FAQ section.
Short-Term Virtual Learning
Families planning to delay their return to in-person learning will have a short-term virtual learning option. Please note that this option will be delivered separately from full-time remote learning and will be delivered through independent (asynchronous) learning. Parents, caregivers and guardians will be responsible for checking their child/ren’s learning progress.
How it works:
- Families considering this option should contact their child/ren’s principal to let them know they will be participating in short-term virtual learning. Principals will ask families to complete a temporary excusal from school form and students will be marked absent until they return to in-person learning.
- Beginning Monday, January 17, families will be able to access learning packages for their child/ren on the Learn at Home webpage. Learning packages will be updated weekly and posted online by Monday at 9 a.m. Additional programming may be added during the week of January 24.
- Families access the learning package for their child/ren’s age category and can complete the tasks throughout the week. Paper copies of learning packages can be requested from their home schools.
- Children will work through their learning packages independently or with the help of a parent/caregiver. There is no remote instruction or one-on-one support for short-term virtual learning.
- From Week 2 (January 24) a chat function will be available through MS Teams for families.
- Optional engagement opportunities such as virtual excursions or guest speakers will be announced to families on the Learn at Home page.
Short-term Virtual Learning will be available until at least February 18, 2022. Students will return to in-person learning at their home schools in their original classes at the end of the short-term option or at an earlier date of their choosing.
Full-Time Remote vs. Short-Term Virtual
Here are some key differences to consider for families interested in learning at home.
|Full-Time Remote Learning||Short-Term Virtual Learning|
|Students learn in a connected virtual classroom on MS Teams led by a teacher.||Students learn independently (asynchronously) without remote instruction.|
|Students will change their school registration to the host school offering remote learning in their child/ren’s grade.||Students remain registered in their home school and return to their original classes.|
|Students will remain in remote learning for the remainder of the school year. There will be no opportunity for families to transition back to in-person learning until the 2022-23 school year.||Students will return to in-person learning later in the school year.|
|French Immersion programming is available for students.||All programming and materials will be in English only.|
Elementary student progress reports will be distributed to parents in February 2022 as scheduled.
The last day of current quadmester will be on Friday, January 28, with Student Success Days taking place on January 31 and February 1. Students will begin Semester Two on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
The Ministry of Education has permitted school boards to move to a regular timetable for secondary unless otherwise directed by their local public health units. HWDSB will be returning to four courses at the start of Semester Two unless otherwise directed by Hamilton Public Health Services.
Optional Transition to Full-Time eLearning (Semester Two Only)
HWDSB continues to offer eLearning at the secondary level in 2021-22 as an option for parents and students 18 years or older concerned about the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic.
At HWDSB, secondary students learn remotely by selecting a timetable with eLearning courses only. Students who are interested in changing from in-person to eLearning for semester two can do so through their guidance counsellors. A registration in an eLearning course is for the full semester and there is no opportunity to transfer back to in-person learning.
HWDSB is monitoring eLearning course registration and will be adding additional teaching staff to meet enrolment needs. To ensure that courses are available for students desiring an eLearning timetable, please contact your school for a guidance appointment by Wednesday, January 19.
Learn more about eLearning on our Secondary Learning Model 2021-22 page under “Secondary Remote Learning (eLearning)”.
Short-Term Virtual Learning
Short-term virtual learning for secondary students will be provided through the continuity of learning model until the end of Quadmester Two. This will allow students to remain connected to their current teachers and to prevent timetable changes in the final weeks of the current Quadmester.
Families and students considering this option should contact their principal to let them know they will be participating in short-term virtual learning. Principals will ask families to complete a temporary excusal from school form and students will be marked absent until they return to in-person learning.
Secondary students choosing this short-term option will receive the same level of support that a student who would be absent would receive. There is no connected learning with this option. Learn more about Continuity of Learning During an Absence here.
There is no short-term virtual learning option for Semester Two. Students interested in learning remotely are asked to explore eLearning opportunities with their guidance office as soon as possible.
Continuity of Learning
Continuity of Learning during an Absence
This is what students and families can expect upon completion of the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening and when the screening results read: “Do not go to school/child care.”
When the screening tool advises “Do not go to school/child care” it will tell you if your child and household members need to isolate or if they would be able to return earlier based on symptoms.
Decision Guides from Hamilton Public Health Services
To help clarity when a student can return to in person school or child care, Hamilton Public Health Services has produced two important decision guides to help families understand what happens:
Input your absence into SafeArrivals
HWDSB schools use the SafeArrival tool to make it easy for families to report current and upcoming student absences, rather than sending notes or contacting the school.
You can report an absence using a web browser, the School Messenger app, or by phone.
Note that we have added “COVID-19 Related” to the list of reasons for a student absence.
Please complete a SafeArrival entry for each child in your household who has an explained absence.
Learning at home during absence
While isolating, we want your child/ren’s learning to continue, if they feel well enough to do so. Your child’s classroom educator will contact the primary caregiver and support learning if your child will be absent for more than one day.
For mental health and well-being supports, please contact your school or explore the resources at www.hwdsb.on.ca/mentalhealth
Contact your child’s school
As always, please contact your child/ren’s school if you require any assistance.
|For Elementary Families:||Find an Elementary School||Elementary School Emails|
|For Secondary Families:||Find a Secondary School||Secondary School Emails|
Quadmester Two will continue as normal for secondary students, with Grade 9 EQAO math assessments, Student Success Days and final exams continuing as schedule.
We understand the challenges that students are facing during these times, and teachers will take into account student experience while using their professional judgement to determine and finalize grades for Quadmester Two. Please speak to your classroom teacher if you have any questions or concerns.
See below for Frequently Asked Questions on our Remote Learning Options. More information can be found in the Additional Resources links below.
|When will the transition to full-time remote take place?||Transitions will take place in late January or February. The timing of transitions will depend the volume of remote learning requests. Once the survey is closed, staff will review the data, assess the timelines and share more information with families.
As you wait, families can access resources for Short-Term Virtual learning. Students will be temporarily withdrawn and marked as excused from their home school while they wait for their full-time remote learning placements.
|Will my student remain in their current school for remote learning?||This year elementary remote learning will be connected to physical schools as part of a dual-track model. This model allows students to learn remotely while being connected to a physical school. Students become registered at the school hosting the remote classroom which may differ from their home school. The remote teachers will be members of the school staff and the school principal will also be the remote principal. The start and end times for the remote classroom will be based on the school’s bell times.|
|Can my student return to in-person learning later this year?||Families who complete the survey must commit to remaining in remote learning until the end of June 2022. Requests for families with extraordinary circumstances may be considered on a one-off basis. There will be no formal transition opportunity for remote students to switch back to in-person learning.|
|My student is part of a club or team. Can they still participate in extracurricular activities at their current school?||Students will have their registration transferred to the school hosting their remote learning class. As a result, they will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities at their old school. Students have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities at the school hosting the new host school. Access to extracurricular activities will depend on Public Health requirements.|
|What if my student requires a device for remote learning?||HWDSB will provide students with a device if it is required to access remote learning. The request for this device is part of the Parent Portal form.|
|I have more than one student in elementary school. Do I need to register each of them separately for remote learning?||Yes, you do. Please complete an Elementary Remote Survey for each child in the Parent Portal to register them for full-time remote learning.|
|I can’t access the Parent Portal. How can I register my student for remote learning?||Families who cannot access the Parent Portal should contact their school before the end of school on Thursday, January 20 to request the transition to full-time remote learning.|
|I have students in elementary and secondary. Can my secondary student also transition to full-time remote learning?||Secondary students interested in switching to full-time eLearning can do so through their guidance counsellor. Please request an appointment with your guidance office before Wednesday, January 19.|
|When will the transition to eLearning take place?||Transitions will take place at the start of Semester Two on Thursday, February 3, 2022. Secondary students will complete the quadmester in their current classes and have the option for short-term virtual learning if they choose not to attend school in-person.|
|My student is part of a club or team. Can they still participate in extracurricular activities at their current school?||Yes, they can continue in their sports and extra-curricular programming at their home school. Please note that due to current COVID-19 restrictions, some activities may on hold.|
|Can my student return to in-person learning later this year?||There will be no opportunity for secondary students to transition back to in-person learning once their eLearning course selection has been finalized. The choice will be for the duration of Semester Two.|
|I have students in elementary and secondary. Can my elementary student also transition to full-time remote learning?||Elementary students interested in switching to full-time remote learning must complete the Elementary Remote Survey in the Parent Portal by 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 20. If parents are unable to access the Parent Portal they can contact their home school directly.|