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COVID-19 Update to Families #12 – May 25, 2020

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May 25, 2020

Dear families,

Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement as your child learns at home. Our staff are doing incredible work to deliver distance learning during this crisis. We know this is not perfect, but we continue to be responsive to meet the needs of our families and students.

Parents/Guardians Thoughtexchange

We recently engaged parents/guardians through Thoughtexchange to crowdsource your feedback, in real time, on how we can improve distance learning. More than 4,000 parents participated and shared 6,425 thoughts! The results are available online.

We are grateful for your participation. Your feedback will help us improve how we deliver distance learning for students and families as we adjust to this new reality.

Student Thoughtexchange

From May 22 to 29, we are hosting a student Thoughtexchange conversation in which we ask students: What do you like about learning from home and how can we make it better?

Because this requires family consent, we have emailed all families a letter with details about the exchange. Please consider sharing this opportunity with your child. Hearing more about students’ experiences of distance learning during COVID-19 will help us respond and improve.

Summer Learning Programs

HWDSB will be offering learning opportunities throughout the summer for students. Programs are being developed and new opportunities will be announced in June. We are excited to open registration as soon as plans are finalized.

Picking up personal belongings in schools

Families and students can retrieve personal belongings in schools in early June. We will share information with families about safe pick-ups as soon as details are confirmed.

Grade 8 graduations

Like you, we were saddened by the news that in-person Grade 8 graduations are cancelled. Our schools will be honouring this milestone in different ways during the pandemic. Your school will share details about its activities in the weeks ahead.

Health and Physical Education 

In the spring, elementary teachers prepare to cover the Human Development and Sexual Health expectations in the Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Preparation includes informing families, requesting their consent and accepting exemptions. Due to COVID-19 and the administration of the exemption process, teachers will not cover this material in June 2020.

Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Panel Update

Even during a pandemic, our commitment to address bullying has not changed. In just one example, the work of the Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel has continued despite not hosting physical meetings.

At tonight’s Virtual Board Meeting, Trustees will receive the interim report of the Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Panel. This report summarizes themes that emerged from public input in four areas: bullying prevention, intervention, responding and reporting. The panel will provide its final report, with recommendations, in the fall after the cancelled consultations occur. The interim report will be posted after tonight’s meeting on the Safe Schools Review Panel website.

Stay well and be safe,

Alex Johnstone
Chair of the Board

Manny Figueiredo
Director of Education

Updated on Monday, May 25, 2020.
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