Trustees with the Toronto District School Board are calling on the Government of Ontario to provide additional funding to help the board recover some of the costs associated with remote learning and ensure students have the proper supports they need to transition back to school when it is safe to do so.
During a Special Board meeting this evening to discuss some of the impacts of COVID-19 on the TDSB, Trustees passed a motion that requests funding to help school boards provide additional staffing and resources to support mental health and wellbeing; special education; children with special needs; students transitioning from elementary to secondary school; and those struggling with literacy and numeracy.
The motion also calls for the government to provide funding to replace school board budgets that were used to purchase and deliver devices to support access to online learning platforms, digital resources and to connect with teachers and fellow students. The TDSB has delivered more than 56,000 devices to families since the beginning of the school closure period. With requests for devices still being received, more than 4,000 additional devices are expected to be delivered in the upcoming days. With this significant undertaking in mind, Trustees are asking the government to begin funding technology — devices such as iPads or Chromebooks — at a 1 device to 1 student ratio.
Trustees also passed a motion that calls for the Director of Education to continue gathering feedback from staff, parents/guardians and students on remote learning and how educators can best connect with their students. The motion calls for this information to be provided to educators to improve remote learning opportunities and the way they connect with students.
- No additional funding has been provided to date for COVID-19 related impacts through the Grants for Student Needs or supplemental grants.
“COVID-19 has changed the way we learn, work and live. It’s important that we advocate for the funding and resources needed to support our students and school communities, and to address the challenges school boards are facing due to the on-going health crisis.”
- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB