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May 19, 2020
The Government of Ontario announced today that all publicly-funded schools in Ontario, including those in the Toronto District School Board, will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and that remote learning will continue until the end of June. We know that news of the extended closure may be challenging for some but this decision was made with the safety of students, staff and school communities in mind.
An expanded summer learning plan was also announced by the government. Summer learning programs will take place in July and August and will include new and existing credit and non-credit supports for students including summer school, course upgrading, and targeted programs for vulnerable students, students with special education or mental health needs, and Indigenous students. The Ministry of Education is asking school boards to plan for summer learning to be delivered through remote teaching and learning, however in-person teaching and learning could be possible should emergency measures be eased or lifted during the summer. With today’s announcement, the TDSB can now finalize its summer learning plan and will be sharing that in the near future.
A gradual reopening of child care centres located in TDSB schools is expected to begin when the province transitions to Stage 2 of its Framework for Reopening our Province and will be based on the best advice of public health officials and will include strict safety protocols. As for TDSB Extended Day Program Summer Camps, the Ministry of Education says that, assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, they may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines.
We know that some students and families are eager to collect personal belongings that remain in our schools. Please be assured that plans are underway to determine how this can be done safely. We are working with Toronto Public Health on next steps and will share the plan as soon as it is finalized.
I want thank you again for your input on our recent parent/guardian survey where nearly 40,000 people joined an online conversation to share their thoughts. Expectations of what learning looks like vary greatly, but the common theme we heard was that students enjoy interaction with teachers and peers and the connection and engagement it offers. Just like in the regular classroom, interaction happens in a variety of ways and we continue to work with staff and partners to support student learning, engagement and well-being.
Finally, many of you are no doubt wondering when students will return to school and what it may look like when that happens. The government has said that it will announce a plan at a later date with regard to resuming school in September and that the necessary adaptations will be made to classrooms and the rhythm of the school day to keep everyone safe and healthy.
For more on today’s announcement, please read Minister of Education Stephen Lecce’s letter to parents and guardians.
Director of Education
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