I hope you and your family continue to be well. As we enter the final month of the school year, I want to provide an important update in a number of different areas:
- Retrieval of Personal Belongings
- Parent/Guardian Online Survey Results
- Synchronous/Real Time Learning
- Report Cards
- Summer School
Retrieval of Personal Belongings
We know that a number of students and parents/guardians are eager to collect personal belongings from schools prior to the end of the school year. The TDSB has now finalized a comprehensive protocol — developed in consultation with the Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health — and guidelines that will allow for the retrieval of personal belongings beginning the week of June 8, 2020. It is not mandatory to come to the school to pick up belongings and students or parents/guardians should only visit the school if absolutely necessary. Anything that is not collected will be bagged, labelled and stored until schools reopen. In the coming days, you should hear directly from your Principal with additional details, including the schedule for your school for picking up and returning items.
Parent/Guardian Online Survey Results
Thank you to all parents/ guardians who took part in our recent online survey. We asked about your experiences with learning at home this past month — what has worked well, what have been the greatest challenges, and what are your suggestions. 38,599 parents participated in this ThoughtExchange, generating 46,924 thoughts. Moving forward, this information will be used to improve our remote learning practices and to plan for the next school year. Parents’ voices are critical in helping us strategize both centrally and locally. This summary identifies some of the key ideas shared by you.
Synchronous/Real Time Learning
Earlier this month, Ontario’s Minister of Education directed educators to incorporate more synchronous learning — “real time” learning by one or more students with their teacher via online platforms or through the phone. Using the TDSB’s already established guidelines, as well as direct feedback received from parents, educators and administrators via multiple online surveys, we are now implementing Refined Expectations for Remote Learning. For the remainder of this school year, and as we transition into September, teachers and Designated Early Childhood Educators will begin to connect with students and families in a variety of ways. We have stated in the revised expectations that there should be a minimum of two interactions per week, if this was not already being done. We know that not all students can engage in learning at a specific time so educators are encouraged to find a variety of ways to connect with their students, have students connect with each other, and to celebrate student learning in the last few weeks of school.
We recognize that we are now into the final weeks of the school year and know this document cannot be fully implemented overnight. However, we must begin to move towards this model of best practices, knowing the learning taking place between now and the end of June will help to inform plans for September.
With schools being closed, the distribution of report cards will look a little different this year. Since it is not possible to distribute hard copies in school, report cards will be electronically distributed via email. For families with no email address on file, a hard copy will be mailed to your address.
- Kindergarten Communication of Learning and Grades 1 to 8 report cards: will be sent home electronically between June 22 and 26, 2020
- Grades 9 to 12 report cards: will be sent home electronically between June 24 and July 3, 2020
As we indicated in our last communication, the TDSB will be offering an expanded summer learning program this year. The Ministry of Education is asking school boards to plan for summer learning to be delivered remotely, however, in some cases, in-person teaching and learning could be possible should emergency measures be eased or lifted during the summer.
Elementary Summer School: Our elementary summer school program focus is to close the achievement and well-being gap and to continue student engagement into July. French programs will also be available for students currently in a French Immersion or Extended French Program.
International Languages Elementary/African Heritage: The International Languages Elementary/African Heritage Program offers language classes to students Kindergarten to Grade 8.
Credit Courses for e-Summer High School (online): Ontario high school students can earn credits online this summer. Reach ahead or catch up on high school credits. There are dozens of courses available in July and August.
Hybrid Remote Summer Credit Program: The program includes courses in all subject areas from Grades 9 to 12, with a focus on compulsory courses. This summer, a variety of upgrading courses are also available to students who completed a course this year who wish to upgrade their passing mark in a 55 hour upgrading course.
Remote Credit Recovery: This program allows current TDSB high school students to “recover” the credit in a course in which they were unsuccessful within the last two school years. It is a NEW summer program and will be delivered only online.
For more information on TDSB Summer School, including how to register, dates available and course details, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/summer.
Many of the challenges and successes we have experienced over recent weeks are a first for everyone — parents/guardians, students and staff alike — so I want end this letter with my sincere thanks for your continued patience and support. As this very unique school year winds down, we will continue to keep you updated with any other details about the upcoming weeks. Until then, should you have any questions, please speak with your child(ren)’s teacher or Principal.