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Remote Learning Model

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This page relates to the Ministry-directed period of remote learning, not the Elementary Remote Learning Program.

Remote Learning Updates (spring period): Apr. 16, 2021, Apr. 12, 2021

Remote Learning Updates (winter period): Jan. 12, 2021, Jan. 7, 2021, Dec. 29, 2020, Dec. 21, 2020

Please also see our COVID-19 page.

At times during the pandemic, HWDSB has had to move to remote learning for most students. Effective remote learning is a blend of being on-screen and having students work independently or in groups to complete tasks or assignments, with the educator checking in, being available and  assessing student work. Remote learning does not change the school day or school schedules, but it does require connecting in different ways to continue learning.

Remote Learning Following Spring Break

Ontario announced that schools across the province will move to remote learning following spring break. Here is what the week of April 19, 2021 will look like at HWDSB:

Monday, April 19 All Students

  • Transition day #1
  • All schools are closed and no instruction will take place.
  • Educators will be contacting families to ensure students can login to the platforms for remote learning.
  • Schools will contact families to schedule device pick up times*
Tuesday, April 20 Elementary Remote Students and Secondary Students:  

  • Remote instruction as per the regular schedule

Elementary In-Person Students:

  • Transition day #2
  • Educators will help families with access to remote learning platforms as needed
  • Students can access learning activities on the HUB
  • Families can pick up devices as scheduled*
Wednesday, April 21  All Students Learning Remotely

  • Full instructional day

Please see our April 16, 2021 update for more information about this remote learning period.

Specialized Services

Even during remote learning periods, student learning will continue with in-person instruction and transportation services for students with pervasive special education needs or those engaged in treatment programs, as per the Ministry of Education direction. Respecting public health advice, we are striving to minimize the number of people accessing schools to support self-contained special education classes. Principals are finalizing staffing, safety and supervision details for these classes.

We continue to make provisions to support a small number of students with pervasive needs in regular classrooms, as per Ministry direction. These students have severe physical, medical, communication, social/emotional, and cognitive challenges that require multiple professionals to help them learn.

Need for Technology

HWDSB staff have worked towards a solution to support equitable access to learning at home for all students. Many, but not all, students have a device and internet access at home. We have loaned thousands of devices to families so that all students can participate in distance learning. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all staff supporting this successful implementation. Devices loaned to students for remote learning must be returned when the student returns to school.

If a parent indicated they needed a device through the form shared in Parent Portal at the end of November and did not receive one, or if they need one and did not complete the form, they are to notify their child’s school (School Email Address Directory). The principal will notify our Remote Readiness Project Team through an internal process. There is a wait list as we have deployed all available devices. We continue to be active in gathering devices that are unused and wait for shipments of new devices that we have purchased.

Kindergarten Families

Kindergarten continues to not be included in our device deployment plan due to limited technology available. Educators will continue to email Kindergarten families without access to remote learning due to technological challenges.

Virtual Classroom Guidelines for Privacy and Security

The privacy of our staff and students is always a consideration in physical and virtual settings. As we engage in virtual learning and use various platforms such as the Hub and MS Teams, we have created a Virtual Classroom Guidelines for Privacy and Security Fact Sheet.

Students and their families are required to follow these guidelines when participating in learning that is being done in “live” real time with an educator as well as during times when the student can do the activity or access the material/resource on their own.

Educators will monitor classroom activities to ensure these align with our expectations for privacy and information security and address any concerns directly with students and their parent/guardian, as appropriate. A student’s failure to respect these guidelines may result in a suspension of online classroom privileges. Should you have questions, please contact your child’s school.

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting

The Ministry of Education has provided direction for the assessment, evaluation and reporting of student learning during school closures. HWDSB shares the Ministry’s expectation that students will do their best to complete all work assigned as learning resumes. As always, students and families should connect with their teachers if they have questions about assessment and evaluation.

HWDSB’s commitment is to do what is in the best interest of each student as we attempt to balance the integrity of learning and marks for secondary credits, with the wellness of our students and staff. If you have any questions related to assessment, evaluation and reporting, please contact your child’s school.

Support your child

  • Maintaining consistent communication with child’s educator(s)
  • Ensuring your child participates in some exercise throughout the day
  • Ensuring students have a quiet, safe space to work
  • Taking interest in what they are learning
  • Answering questions your child may have
  • Contacting your child’s educator if your child is having difficulty with the content
  • Contacting your child’s educator if you have concerns about your child
  • Asking the educator questions if you don’t understand what students are learning
  • Making sure students have a quiet, safe space to work
  • Taking interest in what they are learning
  • Answering any questions your child may have
  • Contacting your child’s educator if your child is having difficulty with the content
  • Contacting your child’s educator if you have concerns about your child
  • Asking the educator questions if you don’t understand what students are learning
  • Making sure students have a quiet, safe space to work
  • Taking an interest in what they are learning
  • Answering any questions your child may have
  • Contacting your child’s educator if your child is having difficulty with the content
  • Contacting your child’s educator if you have concerns about your child
  • Asking the educator questions if you don’t understand what students are learning

HWDSB’s Specialized Services team has prepared additional learning supports, named Learning4Success, which are tailored for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder or a Developmental Disability who are on an alternative program. These materials are for family use and may be used to supplement instruction provided by the classroom teacher. There are examples of learning tasks that can be done at home. Tasks can be adjusted to accommodate learners ages and interests, with the understanding that they may not be a perfect fit for each learner.

The Specialized Services team has developed a website for deaf and hard of hearing students. The website hosts information for students, families and educators. Topics include services available at HWDSB and in the community, sign language, hearing equipment and Auditory Processing Disorder. We have posted a parent guide for deaf and hard of hearing students. The guide answers some commonly asked questions and recommends resources to support your child’s auditory learning at home. If you have any questions, please connect with your child’s classroom teacher or school learning resource teacher.​

Updated on Friday, April 16, 2021.
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