OCSB schools will move to remote learning following the April Break

On April 12, the Premier of Ontario announced that all Ontario elementary and secondary schools would move to remote learning after the Spring Break, beginning on Monday, April 19. There was no return date announced for in-person learning as that will depend on the community spread of Coronavirus.

How does this affect OCSB students?

  • There is no change to the virtual academy or virtual learning programs.
  • There will be no regular class in-person learning beginning April 19 at any school in the province, including OCSB schools.

What will Monday, April 19 look like for Elementary Students?

  • There is currently no education staff working in our schools during the Spring Break from Monday, April 12 – Friday, April 16.
  • Staff will return to work on Monday, April 19 and will need some time to transition to remote learning and make arrangements for our system classes.
  • Before the regular lunch hour period, parents will receive a link to their child’s classroom Google Meet page. This link will connect with the classroom teacher on the afternoon of April 19 and every day during the lockdown.
  • During the remote learning period, students will follow their regular school timetable. This schedule includes start and end times and times for lunch recesses. 
  • Parents may decide the appropriate amount of online screen time for their child during the remote learning period. Educators will connect online with their class every day.
  • We do not have a date for the return to in-person classes and transportation. 
  • We will keep you up-to-date as new information becomes available.

What will Monday, April 19 look like for Secondary Students?

  • Secondary students in cohort A and cohort B will participate in asynchronous learning for their morning course on Monday, April 19, using the Hapara learning management system they have been using since the fall.
  • On April 19, students in cohort A and cohort B will receive a Google Meet link from their afternoon teacher to connect for synchronous learning.
  • Beginning Tuesday, April 20, cohort A and cohort B will connect each day with their classroom teacher for remote learning using the teacher-provided Google Meet link for each of their two courses.
  • We do not have a date for in-person classes and transportation to resume. 
  • We will keep you up-to-date as new information becomes available.

What will Remote Learning look like?

  • As per Ministry of Education guidance, approximately 75% of the instructional day will be synchronous learning for Grades 1-8, and 25% will be delivered asynchronously. Students will follow their regular school hours and schedule each day. Students in kindergarten will follow their normal schedule and their teacher will let them know the times they are online.
  • Students in Grades 9-12 will receive approximately 80% of their course delivered synchronously, and 20% delivered asynchronously.
  • Synchronous learning is part of the 300-minute instructional day during which teachers provide instruction and learning activities to students.
  • 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 to students, not all of which will require online computer-related instruction.  
  • Assessment continues during remote learning during the lockdown.

Student Supports

  • Students with special education needs will continue to be supported by their classroom educators in the online environment. Students who receive resource or educational assistant support in person will receive similar supports in remote learning during the lockdown.
  • On April 19, 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 alternate plans, including in-person learning for system classes at that time. The start date for in-person learning for this small group of students will begin on Tuesday, April 20.

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 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.

Student Transportation

  • There will be no student transportation services for either elementary or secondary students as of April 19. We will reinstate when the province determines it is safe to return to in-person learning.
  • If it is determined on April 19 that a student in a system class cannot participate in remote learning, we will arrange specialized transportation to allow for in-person learning.

Extended Day Programs

  • During the lockdown period, there will be no extended day programs permitted in elementary schools.

Child Care Centres in Schools

  • Emergency child care is available for health care and frontline workers through the City of Ottawa.

Electronic Device Distribution

We hope most students already have access to electronic devices. If, however, a student needs a device, their parent/guardian should contact the school on April 19 to make arrangements for a device’s loan. During the Spring Break, schools are closed, and staff are not available for device distribution. The Principal will coordinate the pickup of school-based devices as required during the week of April 19.

Thank you

We know how difficult it was for our staff, students, and families to move to remote learning last January. It was not easy, but we found ways to balance the many competing demands. Together we will do the same thing this April. Once again, we ask for our collective best efforts, patience, understanding and compassion for one another.  

The hopeful news is that more and more people in the city of Ottawa are getting vaccinated each day. Please take care of yourself. You and your family remain in our prayers. Stay safe during this pandemic and during these difficult times.

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