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Learning at Home

What is Distance Learning or Learning at Home?

Distance learning (learning at home) is learning that is planned and directed by the classroom teacher. It includes instruction provided by the teacher, online meeting time with the teacher and/or classmates, and independent work done at home by the student as directed by the teacher.

Distance learning may look different for each class, it is not one size fits all. Distance learning is flexible. Much of it can be done at any point in the day. However, any instructional time will take place during the regular school day.

How much time should my child spend on schoolwork?

The Ministry of Education recommends:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3: 5 hours each week; focus on literacy and math
  • Grade 4 to 6: 5 hours each week; focus on literacy, math, science and social studies
  • Grades 7 to 8: 10 hours each week; focus on literacy, math, social studies and science
  • Grades 9 to 12: 3 hours for each course, each week; focus on course content

This teacher-directed learning includes instruction time, online meeting time, and independent work done by the student.

What can I expect from my child’s teacher?

During April, teachers will continue to check in with their students, provide lessons, assign work, answer questions, evaluate learning and provide feedback. They may communicate by email, phone, video calls, Twitter or other social media, depending on the situation.

How will students be marked during the closure?
  • Kindergarten to Grade 8: As a starting point to determine a final mark, teachers will review the student’s results from before March 13, 2020 (last day before school closure). Teachers will also consider student work during the closure before assigning their final grade. All students will receive a final report card.
  • Grades 9 to 12: As a starting point to determine a final mark, teachers will review the student’s results from before March 13, 2020 (last day before school closure). Teachers will also consider student work during the closure, and may adjust the weighting of assigned tasks based on what is in the best interests of students at this time before assigning their final grade. All students will receive a final report card.

Students and families should contact their teachers if they have questions or concerns about assessment and evaluation. We are committed to providing the support that your child needs to succeed.

Will students be evaluated with tests and quizzes? If so, how will these be monitored?

Teachers have experience with many different methods of assessing student learning. It would be difficult to administer tests and quizzes to students at home. We expect most teachers will use other assessment techniques during the school closure.

How will “hands-on” courses such as arts, physical education, and technology be taught?

Teachers will focus on the “non-hands-on” expectations in these courses. They will not be able to assign work that poses safety risks and/or requires supervision. They will also try to minimize activities that require equipment, for example sports equipment, coloured pencils, or a printer.

Will there be mid-term report cards for high school students?

There will be no mid-term (March/April) report cards for students in Grades 9-12. However, students in Grade 12 will receive mid-term marks.

How will high school co-op courses be structured?

Teachers will focus on the components of the co-op curriculum that can be done outside of the actual work placement. These include career exploration, reflections about work experience, and skills for the future.

What will happen with high school exams?

There will be no final exams for high school students this year. The ministry of Education has decided that all remaining PD days and exam days in this school year will be used for instruction. The exams will not take place even if schools reopen before the end of the school year.

Access to technology

How can I get a computer device for my child to do their work?

We will loan Chromebooks to families who have the greatest need for a device. If your family does not have a device for your child to do their schoolwork, please contact your school principal. You can find the principal’s email address on the homepage of your school website.

We will start distributing devices on April 7. The dates and process will be different for each school. Schools will contact families in need to let them know when and how to pick up a device.

How can my child do their schoolwork if we don’t have internet access?

We are working with a supplier for the delivery of 500 hotspots to support those without connectivity. If your child needs connectivity, please contact your school principal. You can find the principal’s email address on the homepage of your school website.

Will students need a printer to do their schoolwork?

No. We have asked teachers to minimize the tools and equipment that are required by students.

Will students who are waiting to receive technology be penalized for the work they have missed?

No. Teachers will take this into consideration.

Student supports

How are students with special education needs being supported?

Our resource teachers and clinical staff are working to find the best solution for each individual situation. Each family requiring special education supports should be in contact with their child’s teacher and the school’s resource teacher to determine ways to meet the student’s needs.

Are supports available for students struggling with their mental health or managing stress?

We continue to have staff (psychologists, social workers) available to support students.

What support is available for high school students who are struggling academically?

Schools will continue to support students to achieve all of their credits, just as they would if the school was open. If a student is currently not passing a course, they will be provided with the opportunity to improve their grades. Student success teachers, guidance counsellors, Achievement Centre teachers and resource teachers will continue to support students during school closure.

English as a Second Language (ESL) & LBS Support

ESL Teachers work together with Classroom Teachers to help support English Language Learners and meet their individual learning needs. If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher who can connect you with the ESL Teacher assigned to your school.

Instructors in the Adult ESL, LINC and Literacy & Basic Skills (LBS) programs are contacting learners and looking at solutions that work for each student. If you have not received a phone call or email from your instructor, please email Continuing.Education@ocsb.ca. Provide your instructor’s name, school location and the class you are registered in. You may also call the school you attend and leave a message. Phone messages are being checked Monday to Friday.

Support for our International Students
Our International Education Lead has been reaching out to International Students and personally checking in with them twice a week. The Lead is making herself available at any time of day; if you have any questions or concerns regarding International Students, you may contact Jenny Perla Leon by WeChat, WhatsApp, email, or phone.

Graduating students

My child is in Grade 12. Will they graduate this year?
Students who are on track to graduate in June 2020 will be supported to ensure this happens. Teachers will assign learning tasks, projects and activities to ensure learning and evaluation will continue to take place.
How will mid-term marks for post-secondary admissions be determined?

As a starting point to determine mid-term marks, teachers will use the student’s results from before March 13, 2020 (last day before school closure). They may also provide opportunities for students to submit a missed and/or additional assignment, and incorporate those results in the mid-term mark.

When will marks be submitted to Colleges and Universities?

Universities in Ontario: Marks for graduating students will be submitted by school boards to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) between April 23 and May 1. 

Colleges in Ontario: The Ministry of Education is still in discussion with the college sector. We expect an update by April 10 regarding when marks must be to the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS). Information will be posted here when it becomes available.

Universities outside of Ontario: If a student has included their OUAC number with their application, then the following out-of-province universities will receive mid-term marks between April 23 and May 1.

  • Acadia University
  • Bishop’s University
  • The University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • Concordia University
  • Dalhousie University
  • McGill University
  • Saint Mary’s University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • The University of Victoria

Students applying to other universities outside of Ontario may be required to send a Student Status Sheet with midterm marks at the end of April, and a final transcript indicating final marks at the end of June. Students should check their student application portal and/or contact the Registrar’s Office or Admissions Office of the school for updated information.

Colleges outside of Ontario: Students applying to colleges outside of Ontario may be required to send a Student Status Sheet with midterm marks at the end of April, and a final transcript indicating final marks at the end of June. Students should check their student application portal and/or contact the Registrar’s Office or Admissions Office of the school for updated information.

Universities outside of Canada: Students applying to universities in the United States or any other country should contact the university directly to see if there have been any changes to the admissions process

How can students get reference letters for scholarship applications?

Teachers are available for students for more than just instruction. Students wanting a reference letter should reach out to their teacher with their request.

Is there a change to the process and deadlines for applying for a graduation award (bursary)?

We are working with each school’s award committee, and looking at each award to determine the deadline and how the awards will be granted. Grade 12 students will receive information from their school regarding any changes.

What if graduating students have not completed their community service hours?

Students graduating in June 2020, do not have to complete the required 40 hours of community service. Community service hours that have been completed will be recorded on the report cards of graduating students.

Do graduating students still need to pass the OSSLT?

Students who are graduating in the 2019-20 school year will not need to have passed the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who are not graduating this year will be able to write the OSSLT next year.

What is the status of Grade 12 proms and graduation ceremonies?

All proms have been cancelled. We will be rescheduling all graduation ceremonies to the fall, provided that it is safe to gather at that time.

Repayment of fees

How will repayment for child care and extended day programs (EDP) be handled?

EDP
No fees will be withdrawn on April 15. Refunds for the following days of closure will be deposited directly into parent accounts on April 15:

  • March 5 (if your child was registered for Thursdays)
  • March 16-20 (if your child was registered for March Break)
  • March 23-31 (for the days your child was registered)

If schools and EDP programs reopen on May 4 as is currently planned, fees withdrawn on May 15 will cover registration from May 4-29.

Ottawa Catholic Child Care Corporation

Fees will not be withdrawn on April 15. If the child care centres reopen on May 4, fees withdrawn on May 15 will cover registration from May 4-29.

If you have questions about your child care fee repayment, please email early.learning@ocsb.ca.

Will we be reimbursed for lunch and snack program costs that were prepaid?

Yes, however School Cash Online (SCO), which is the primary tool used to collect funds for lunch and snack orders, was not designed to issue so many refunds at once. There is currently a backlog that will take time to clear. 

Each school is unique and may be considering a number of options depending on how their lunch / snack programs were processed and how many days are being missed. School councils are currently reviewing their school’s specific situation with their principal. Principals should be sending out an update soon to let parents know how and when refunds will be processed at their school.

Families should contact their school if the need is urgent.

Access to schools

How do students retrieve essential items?

We are waiting for approval from Ottawa Public Health on our submitted protocol for retrieving personal items from schools. We expect students and/or parents will be able to access schools sometime in June to retrieve their personal items. Your principal will contact you once our controlled access protocol is ready to implement.

Can we use the playgrounds and school yards?

Please do not allow your child to play on school play structures. Refraining from using play structures will keep your family safe and help stop the spread of the virus. You may also want to note the City of Ottawa has closed all sports fields, playgrounds and parks (including skateparks) for the same reason.

Registration and transferring schools

Is it too late to register my child for Kindergarten?

No! You can start the registration process today using our online registration form. When schools reopen, the school will contact you to set up an appointment and complete the registration. Specific questions regarding registration can be directed to admissions@ocsb.ca.

How to register

  1. Find your school
  2. Submit online registration form and collect documents
  3. Wait for your school to schedule an appointment once schools reopen
  4. Visit your school to complete the registration process
How do I register my child for September if the schools are closed?

To start the registration process, complete our online registration form. When schools reopen, the school will contact you to set up an appointment and complete the registration. Specific questions regarding registration can be directed to admissions@ocsb.ca.

How to register

  1. Find your school
  2. Submit online registration form and collect documents
  3. Wait for your school to schedule an appointment once schools reopen
  4. Visit your school to complete the registration process
How do I transfer my child to a different OCSB school?

Please email the school account for your child’s current school with this request. School email addresses are available on the homepage of the school website.

School after May 31

If schools reopen on May 31, will the curriculum be condensed?

If we return on May 31, teachers will need to decide how much of the curriculum is reasonable for their students to learn before the end of the year. They will focus their teaching on the core expectations of the course.

Will school activities and trips take place after schools reopen?

We will follow the direction of Ottawa Public Health when deciding if these events should occur.

Will year-end award ceremonies for students still take place?

This will depend on when and if, schools are allowed to reopen.

Will the high school summer school courses be offered this year?

Summer School Reach Ahead courses are being offered as planned, online registration is now open. Due to the uncertainty of our current situation, the in-class courses may be moved to a distance learning format if necessary.

Will the school year be extended past June?

Any decision to extend the school year can only be made by the Ministry of Education. So far, we have not received any indication that this will happen.

 

What is the status of events and initiatives scheduled for the spring?

 

Cancelled:

  • All overnight field trips and exchanges
  • Extracurricular events for April and May
    Cappies Gala
  • OCSB Special Olympics Swim Meet
  • Extracurricular events for June
  • Proms

Postponed:

  • Sacramental preparation courses and celebrations
  • Celebrating Excellence
  • Graduations

Supporting our community

How can I help some of the needy families in our school community?

Donations made to The Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa (CEFO) go directly to the students and families in need. CEFO is a registered charity that provides funds for the families of our OCSB students living in poverty. Since March 23, the foundation has provided over $45,000 in emergency donations to 150 OCSB families who required food, shelter and medicine, among other things. The foundation is run by volunteers, and there are no administrative fees except for 4% for credit card donations. DONATE TODAY.