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Switching Between In-Person Learning and Virtual Learning


Elementary Switching Update – February 19, 2021

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we continue to finalize student switches from in-person learning to virtual learning and from virtual learning to in-person learning. While some students have already begun attending their new class, transitions are still underway and will continue into next week. 

In last week’s switching update (below) , we indicated that all families would hear if their switch request was approved by today - Friday, February 19. However, this incredibly complex and time consuming process is ongoing and will continue into next week.

For those families who have not received approval for their switch request, we know that it is difficult to continue waiting and staff are working as quickly as possible. You will be notified by Friday, February 26 if a space for your child becomes available. If you do not receive confirmation by then, it means that your switch request cannot be completed and your child will continue in their current classroom. 

As we previously communicated, not all requests to switch will be possible. There is a very limited number of spaces available and a number of factors are considered when making decisions. Priority for switching into Virtual School is also given to students who live in neighbourhoods at higher risk for COVID-19.

Feel free to contact your child’s school principal directly with any questions but switching decisions are made at the system level, not by individual Principals. Thank you again for your understanding and patience.  


February 12, 2021 - Elementary Switching Update
February 4, 2021 - Elementary Switching Update


Translated Versions of Letter:


Arabic - Word version

Bengali - Word version

Chinese Simplified  - Word version

Chinese Traditional  - Word version

Dari - Word version

Farsi - Word version

French - Word version

Greek - Word version

Gujarati - Word version

Hindi - Word version

Korean - Word version

Portuguese - Word version

Punjabi - Word version

Russian - Word version

Somali - Word version

Spanish - Word version

Tagalog - Word version

Tamil - Word version

Turkish - Word version

Urdu - Word version

Vietnamese - Word version

January 29, 2021Elementary Switching Update

Elementary Switching - Questions & Answers

*Translations available below

Will all students and families who indicated an interest in switching be accommodated?
While we are committed to meeting as many switch requests as possible, where space is available, we will not be able to complete all requests. Priority will be given to students who live in neighbourhoods which are at higher risk for COVID-19 (based on recent data from Toronto Public Health) and indicated interest in the December 2020 switching survey. For more information, speak to the Principal at your child’s home school.        

How is it determined if space is available for a student to switch to in-person (in-school) learning OR if space is available for a student to switch to virtual (at-home) learning?

Each school Principal will work with the school Superintendent and other nearby schools to accommodate as many requests as possible. A number of factors are taken into consideration when identifying if space is available to complete a switch including: space in a class at the same grade level, size of the class and availability of teachers. While we are committed to completing as many switch requests as possible, it is also important to minimize disruptions to student learning (e.g. rearranging classes, changing teachers, etc.) for those students who are not switching.

Will virtual learning be delivered in the same way for all students switching from in-person (in-school) learning to virtual learning in February?

No. As there are very limited spaces available in the Elementary Virtual School, many schools will establish and implement local solutions to meet virtual learning needs. The delivery of virtual learning will not necessarily look the same across all elementary schools.

Will all schools manage the switch requests in the same way?
All schools are committed to meeting as many switching requests as possible. However, how each school meets these requests will look different, depending on the local circumstances at the school (e.g. number of students requesting a switch, space availability in classes, etc.). For example, a virtual class may be created with a teacher and students from your child’s school only or a class may be formed with a teacher and/or students from nearby schools. For specific information about how students are being accommodated for virtual learning at your child’s school, please speak with the Principal.  

Will my child have a new teacher if they switch from in-person (in-school) learning to virtual learning or from virtual learning to in-person (in-school) learning?  
Yes. It is important for families to understand that switching learning models means that their child will change teachers and change classes.

Changing teachers and classes can be a challenge for some students, especially at this point in the school year. Families should discuss a switch in learning models with their child and speak with their current teacher, if they have any questions. 

If my switch request is not possible in February, will I be placed on a waiting list?

The switching process taking place in February is the final opportunity for the 2020-21 school year. For more information, please speak directly to your child’s home school principal.

When will I know if my request to switch has been approved? 
 All families who indicated interest in switching in the December survey should have been contacted by their child’s school to confirm their request. Families will be informed of the status of their switch request by their home school principal by the end of the day on Friday, February 12. Once the switching process has been initiated, it will take some time for all students to transition into their new class. Information and details specific to your child will be shared directly with you by the Principal. 

When will the switches be implemented?
This is a complex process and there will not be one “switch date.” Student transitions will take place over a period of time during the month of February. Specific timing will depend on when all TDSB schools re-open for in-person learning. 

Why is it not possible to accommodate all switch requests for this February opportunity?

We have consulted with Toronto Public Health regarding the establishment of new cohorts and while it is possible to add new students to an existing cohort at the time of school reopening (as they have been out of school and learning remotely since the Winter Break) we are also committed to minimizing disruptions to learning (e.g. rearranging classes, changing teachers, etc.) for those students who are not switching. Switch requests for students who live in neighbourhoods at a higher risk for COVID-19 (as determined by TPH) will be prioritized.

Translated Questions & Answers:
Arabic - Word version
Bengali - Word version
Chinese Simplified - Word version
Chinese Traditional - Word version
Dari - Word version
Farsi - Word version
French - Word version
Greek - Word version
Gujarati - Word version
Hindi - Word version
Korean - Word version
Portuguese - Word version
Punjabi - Word version
Russian - Word version
Somali - Word version
Spanish - Word version
Tagalog - Word version
Tamil - Word version
Turkish - Word version
Urdu - Word version
Vietnamese - Word version


Switching from In-Person to Virtual Learning
Students who are registered at in-person schools who would like to switch to a virtual model for Quadmester 3 will be accommodated with a virtual option at their current in-person school for the remainder of the school year.

As was the case for Quadmester 2, the school-based virtual learning model at schools will vary from class to class and will depend on factors such as the number of students wishing to learn virtually and the available courses. Students and families will receive additional information directly from their school , including specific directions regarding how to request a switch. 

Switching from Virtual Learning to In-Person Learning
Students who are currently registered in the Virtual Secondary School and would like to return to in-person learning must contact the guidance counsellor at the in-person school by January 11, 2021, to see if a timetable can be created for the specific courses they have requested for Quadmesters 3 and 4. If a timetable can be created, a transfer to the in-person school will be facilitated. Please note that space may be limited, and a transfer may not be possible .

Deadline to Request a Change Date the Change Would Take Effect

Before January 11, 2021 @ 4 p.m.

Quad 3 start - February 8, 2021

Before March 23, 2021 @ 4 p.m.

Quad 4 start - April 23, 2021




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