While the province has been forthright about the fact that kids and teens will most certainly not be returning to classrooms on April 6, some parents and students are still unsure as to whether or not teachers will be formally assigning school work over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although students are free to access the province’s recently-introduced Learn at Home program, those who want to interact with their teachers might be relieved to hear that the Peel District School Board (PDSB) plans to re-start teacher-directed instruction on April 6.
“As you know from previous communication, we are busy developing new ways to deliver curriculum, as well as ways to provide equitable access to learning and support, in anticipation of a Ministry of Education announcement that will extend school closures,” Peter Joshua, director of education with the PDSB, wrote in a letter to families.
“We expect the announcement to be made early this week, but do not know until when the closure will be extended.”
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Joshua says the board–which operates schools in Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon–is currently finalizing A Community of Care: Peel District School Board’s Learning and Support Plan.
The board intends to share the plan with staff, students and families this week.
“We appreciate that we may experience some turbulence upon take-off, but we hope to be able to reach and support every learner in the days ahead,” Joshua wrote.
Joshua says the plan will include information on how the board will deliver instruction to students of all ages, as well as students enrolled in the board’s adult and continuing education programming. It will also highlight supports for ESL students and those with special education needs.
Joshua says the plan will also focus on equity of access to devices and Wi-Fi, mental health and community support, online learning resources and more.
“We are working to ensure that our use of online learning environments will not widen the divide between privileged and underserved students, and that alternate learning strategies will be available,” Joshua wrote.
“In addition, we’re working to ensure equity of access to technology. Your child/teen’s teacher will reach out to you in the next day or so—by email or phone—to determine your family’s technology needs. We appreciate your cooperation in providing this information to us.”
Between now and April 6, students and families can continue to access online resources for independent, self-directed learning on the PDSB website.
More information on the program will be announced shortly.