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What to expect for returning to school in January 2021

Updated January 8, 2021—Yesterday the provincial government announced that in-person learning for elementary students will be delayed for two weeks, until January 25, 2021.

Read more: Province of Ontario news release

Read more: Letter from the Director of Education

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January 2, 2021— Returning to school on January 4, 2021 after the holiday break will be different than previous years. Read on to find out what to expect for learning at the virtual, elementary and secondary schools.

**Please be aware that this information may change if the Ministry of Education provides new details this week. Updates will be posted to this website and social media @HPEschools.**

K-8 and 9-12 virtual schools

Students who attend the virtual schools will have no change, their learning will be the same as before the holidays.

Elementary schools

Elementary schools are closed for in-person teaching and learning during the week of January 4, 2021. As of today, they will re-open, as usual, on January 11, 2021.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR STUDENTS/FAMILIES

  1. Students will learn remotely, meaning online from home for one week, taught by their normal teacher/early childhood educator, through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous approaches (see explanation below).
  2. This learning will take place in a variety of ways, such as through previously assigned work or new work, using the classroom teacher’s regular communication platforms (e.g., Google or D2L), based on students’ age and grade.
  3. The transition to remote learning will take place over two days, Monday, January 4 and Tuesday, January 5, 2021, with online classes scheduled to begin Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
  4. All homeroom teachers will contact families to make a personal connection, explain what to expect and how to access learning throughout the week.
  5. Educators will use their professional judgement in providing flexibility to students on an individual basis when students are unable to participate in synchronous learning.
  6. The school day will follow the regular daily schedule and subjects by block.
  7. Teachers will support students and families who are unable to access virtual learning synchronously and asynchronously.
  8. Daily attendance and a welcome discussion will occur synchronously to start each day.
  9. A reasonable timeframe for synchronous learning in Kindergarten is 100 minutes each day and in Grade 1-8 is 150 minutes each day during the three days of remote learning.
  10. Literacy and math will be be part of daily synchronous instruction.
synchronous and asynchronous learning

Secondary schools

Secondary schools are closed for in-person teaching and learning during the weeks of January 4,  11 and 18, 2021. As of today, they will re-open, as usual, on January 25, 2021.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR STUDENTS/FAMILIES

  1. Students will learn remotely, meaning online from home for three weeks, taught by their normal teachers, through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous approaches (see explanation above).
  2. This learning will take place in a variety of ways, such as through previously assigned work or new work, using the classroom teacher’s regular communication platforms (e.g., Google or D2L), based on students’ age and grade.
  3. Educators will use their professional judgement in providing flexibility to students on an individual basis when students are unable to participate in synchronous learning.
  4. Teachers will contact students to explain what to expect and provide direction for continued learning in Octomester/Block D.
  5. Students may receive up to 75 minutes of asynchronous learning, with teacher support available during that time.
  6. The regular school day schedule will be followed, with breaks and lunch the same as before the holiday break.

Students with special education needs

We remain committed to our focus on ensuring equity of access to learning opportunities for students in self-contained classrooms.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR STUDENTS/FAMILIES

  1. School teams will ensure plans are in place to support students with special education needs
  2. Education workers and school board professionals will be available to support remote learning
  3. Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning based on student needs will be supported on a case-by-case basis
  4. Beginning Monday, January 4, 2021, secondary school administrators and learning support teachers will contact parents/guardians of students in regional programs to discuss options for students who may not be able to participate in remote learning due to the student’s individual learning profile

Mental health supports and services

Students will continue to have remote access to mental health support and services through school-based child and youth workers (elementary) and social workers (secondary), and community partners

  • Child and youth workers, and social workers are available to support students/families, and participate in school team meetings as required
  • Mental health resources:
    • Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 FREE counselling and referral services across the province, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868
    • School Mental Health Ontario has numerous resources for students, parents/guardians online www.smho-smso.ca

Devices and technology to use at home

Chromebooks and/or WI-FI devices may be available for students to use for remote learning. Please contact your child’s school to find out if any devices are available at this time.

Questions about remote learning?

If you have questions about remote learning, please contact your child’s school as they are best to respond. Alternatively, send an email to [email protected] for a response or re-direction to the school. Please include the school name in your email.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. These are new and different times for all of us. Everyone at at HPEDSB is working diligently to support students and families.

Last updated: January 8, 2021 at 1:06 pm
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