January 2021: What happens to school?

Our schools will look a little different in January due to a province-wide shutdown. School buildings may be closed, but learning continues at the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

So what does this mean for the Virtual Academy?

  • There is no change to the virtual academy or virtual learning programs.
  • Virtual school starts on Monday, January 4, as scheduled.

What does this mean for students enrolled in elementary in-person classes?

  • Remote learning starts on Monday, January 4, for K-8 students. 
  • Parents will get a note from their school on the morning of January 4 with guidance on using the Hapara Learning Management system and Google Meet video conferencing.
  • Before the regular lunch hour period, parents will receive a link to their child’s classroom Google Meet page. This link will connect students with the classroom teacher on the afternoon of January 4.
  • Educators will connect online with their class every day.
  • Students will follow their regular school timetable. This schedule includes start and end times and recesses. 
  • Parents decide what works for their child regarding the amount of online screen time during the remote learning period. 
  • Students will return to in-person learning on Monday, January 25.

What will Monday, January 4 look like for Secondary Students?

  • Secondary students in cohort A and cohort B will participate in asynchronous learning for their morning course, using the Hapara learning management system they have been using since the fall.
  • On January 4, students in cohort A and cohort B will receive a Google Meet link from their afternoon teacher to connect for synchronous learning.
  • Beginning Tuesday, January 5, both the morning and afternoon classes will be taught synchronously to cohort A and cohort B. 
  • In-person classes and transportation will resume the week of January 25, 2021.

What will Remote Learning look like?

  • Approximately 75% of the instructional day will be synchronous learning for students in Grades 1-8, and 25% will be delivered asynchronously. 
  • Students in Grades 9-12 will receive approximately 80% of their course delivered synchronously and 20% asynchronously. 
  • Our educators will use their professional judgement to provide flexibility to students who cannot fully participate in synchronous learning. 
  • Teachers will continue to provide various learning experiences, not all of which will require online computer-related instruction.  
  • Assessment continues during both in-person and remote learning during the lockdown.

Student Supports

  • Students with special education needs will continue to be supported by their classroom teacher in the online environment. Students that receive resource or educational assistant support in person will receive similar supports in remote learning during the lockdown.
  • On January 4, teachers of special education system classes will contact parents to determine their child’s ability to participate in a remote learning environment. 
  • We will review plans, including in-person learning for system classes at that time. 
  • If it’s decided that your child will participate in in-person learning, we will provide specialized transportation.

Mental Health Resources

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) offers various services to help those struggling with mental health concerns. To learn more about how to talk about mental health, check out have THAT talk.

  • Please visit OPH’s Parenting in Ottawa mental health page for information about child and or youth mental health agencies. If you have a youth in crisis, contact the Youth Services 24/7 Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-260-2360, if outside Ottawa toll-free 1-877-377-7775.
  • Students and families can also contact Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.
  • School Mental Health Ontario also has many great resources for students, parents and families on their website at www.smho-smso.ca.

Looking for Learning Resources?

The Ministry of Education recently announced the launch of two new portals developed by Ontario certified teachers.TVO Learn and TFO IDÉLLO, apprendre à la maisonSecondary students can access TVO’s Independent Learning Centre (ILC) Open House and Portes ouvertes pour les cours TVO ILC in French-language, which provides access to 144 Grade 9 12 courses.

Government Funding for High School Students

A new Government Support Program for secondary student parents has been launched. If your child is between 13 years of age to Grade 12, you are eligible to receive a one-time payment of $200 per eligible student to help offset education expenses. The application instructions will be available on the Support for Learners web page. Secondary school student applications will be open from January 25, 2021, to February 8, 2021.

Student Transportation

  • There will be no student transportation services for either elementary or secondary students from January 4-8, 2021. Once elementary schools resume in-class instruction on January 25, 2021 student transportation services will resume.

Extended Day Programs

  • During the lockdown period, there will be no Extended Day Programs permitted in elementary schools.

Child Care Centres in Schools

  • EarlyON Child and Family Centres will transition to providing virtual activities from January 4-22. In-person activities will resume on January 25.  
  • Emergency child care is available for health care and frontline workers through the City of Ottawa.

Electronic Device Distribution

If your child needs an electronic device, please contact the school on January 4 to make arrangements. The Principal will coordinate the pickup of school-based devices as required during the week of January 4-8.

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