Letters from the Ministry of Education

Provincial Announcement: All Schools Moving to Remote Learning After Spring Break

On April 12, 2021, the Premier of Ontario announced that all Ontario elementary and secondary schools will be moving to remote learning following the Spring Break. Read the News Release here

According to the Ministry memo received, the decision to move to remote learning has been made to reduce mobility, and support as many households as possible in staying home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

In light of this direction –

  • Elementary and secondary schools will move to remote learning after the April Break and until further direction is received. 
  • Students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School will continue to follow their established schedules. 
  • Child care centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions.  
  • All Before and After School Programs will remain CLOSED until in-person learning resumes.

Remote Learning

Remote learning will be provided for all students in accordance with PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning, which provides specific expectations around synchronous learning. Learn more about Remote Learning in our schools.

The following links and documents provide some guidelines for parents and students to help ensure safe and effective live online learning:

Access to Your Child’s Learning Platform is available below:

Having Tech Issues? Contact our HCDSB Help Desk for Remote Learners  


Technology Support for Students 

Families requiring a device and/or internet connectivity during the period of remote learning will be invited to make a request through an online survey that will be emailed to parents and guardians later this week.  


Special Education

Additional information will be shared around the plans in place to support students with special education needs that cannot be accommodated through remote learning. 


Supplemental Learning Resources

The Ministry of Education will continue to offer two portals, TVO Learn and TFO IDÉLLO, apprendre à la maison, which provide supports for students learning remotely by accessing additional educational resources developed by Ontario certified teachers. 

Secondary students can continue to access TVO’s Independent Learning Centre (ILC) Open House and Portes ouvertes pour les cours TVO ILC in French-language, which provide access to 144 Grade 9 to 12 courses. These ILC resources are designed to provide flexible learning opportunities to help students keep up with their learning or deepen their understanding of a specific subject.


Student Transportation

During this next period of remote learning, student transportation services will only be provided for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning based on student needs. 


Child Care

  • Child care centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions.  
  • All Before and After School Programs will be CLOSED when elementary schools are closed to in-person learning.

Mental Health Supports

As this can be a very stressful time for many families, living through a pandemic has created additional challenges for many in our community. School Mental Health Ontario has posted a number of excellent resources to help students, families and staff navigate through this difficult period: www.smho-smso.ca.


Catholic Faith Resources

As a Catholic faith community, we understand the importance of finding time for prayer and reflection – most especially during times of stress and uncertainty. We have posted a number of Catholic Faith Resources on our Return to School website. We are also posting Grace Notes frequently on our Focus on Faith page on the Board website that provide timely information, resources and support from a Catholic faith perspective. 


Updates & Additional Information 

We will continue to share updates with families on the Board’s website, on social media, and directly through email as information becomes available.

Amanda BartucciProvincial Announcement: All Schools Moving to Remote Learning After Spring Break
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Provincial Announcement: Ontario Extends Teacher-Led Remote Learning Until January 25, 2021

On Thursday, January 7, 2021, the Ontario government announced the extension of teacher-led remote learning until January 25, 2021 for elementary students. Secondary students will continue to participate in remote learning until January 25th.

Read more in the online News Release.

Expectations for Elementary Schools

  • Elementary schools will be closed for in-person learning between January 4-22, 2021. 
  • Beginning Monday, January 4th and until Friday, January 22nd , all elementary students will learn remotely from home. 
  • In-school instruction for elementary school students will resume on Monday, January 25, 2021.

Expectations for Secondary Schools

  • Secondary schools will be closed for in-person learning between January 4-22, 2021.
  • Beginning Monday, January 4th and until Friday, January 22nd, students will follow their regular schedule, with all cohorts (A, B, and C) learning remotely from home. 
  • In-school instruction for secondary school students will resume on Monday, January 25, 2021.

Remote Learning 

Remote learning will be provided for all students in accordance with PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning, which provides specific expectations around synchronous learning.

Resources for Parents & Families

The following resources provide some guidelines for parents and students to help ensure safe and effective live online learning:

Requests to Change Learning Environment

Requests to switch from in-school instruction to remote learning (and vice versa) will be delayed until students return to in-person instruction on January 25, 2021. More details to follow.

Supporting Students with Special Education Needs 

  • To support remote learning for all special education students, school staff (Teachers, Educational Assistants, etc.) as well as board professionals (e.g. Speech and Language Pathologists) will continue to provide ongoing support and services virtually. 
  • For students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning, we will provide in-person support during the remote learning period.

Child Care 

  • Child care centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions.  
  • All Before and After School Programs will be CLOSED January 4-22, 2021, when elementary schools are closed to in-person learning.

Getting Help

Parents and guardians who have concerns about the health and well-being of their children are encouraged to seek help in one or more of the following ways: 

  • Contact your child’s school directly. School staff, including School Social Workers, School Child and Youth Counsellors, Chaplains, Principals and Vice-Principals, are always available to support our students.
  • Contact your family doctor.
  • Contact the community Health and Resource Center, Public Health Department, by dialing 311.
  • Contact Kids Help Phone – 1 (800) 668-6868 or visit: KidsHelpPhone.ca

School Mental Health Ontario has also posted a number of resources for students, families and staff at: www.smho-smso.ca.

Financial Support for Families

Financial support is available for families during this temporary remote learning period through the Support for Learners program. Starting on January 11, 2021, an expanded Support for Learners program is providing $200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12 and $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs. Applications will be open until February 8, 2021.

Apply for Support for Learners Funding Here

Student Transportation

As all students will be learning remotely until January 22, student transportation services will not be provided January 4-22, 2021. Once schools resume in-class instruction, student transportation services will resume. 

Amanda BartucciProvincial Announcement: Ontario Extends Teacher-Led Remote Learning Until January 25, 2021
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Financial Support Available through Support for Learners Program

The Ministry of Education announced that they will be providing a one-time financial support for eligibleparents and guardians through the launch of the Support for Learners program.

About the Program

The Support for Learners program is intended to assist parents and guardians with additional costs incurred during the 2020-2021 school year. 

Eligible parents and/or guardians will receive a one-time payment of:

  1. $200 for each child up to age 12 
  2. $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 years with special needs

Apply for Financial Support

To apply for the Support for Learners Program, visit Ontario.ca/SupportforLearnersThe deadline to apply is January 15, 2021.

gligoricjFinancial Support Available through Support for Learners Program
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Ontario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools

On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, the Ontario government released the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools document. This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and is intended to support schools in identifying and isolating COVID-19 cases, help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks. This guidance document is available online at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/operational-guidance-covid-19-management-schools

For more information, read the August 26th Letter from Minister Lecce.

RobOntario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools
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Minister of Education Releases Guide to Reopening Ontario Schools – July 30, 2020

gligoricjMinister of Education Releases Guide to Reopening Ontario Schools – July 30, 2020
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Letter to parents/guardians from the Minister of Education

On March 22, 2020, the Minister of Education shared a letter with Ontario parents and guardians. Read the letter from Minister Lecce.​

The health and well-being of our students and staff remains our highest priority. We will continue to post updates on our HCDSB website and share new information with parents and staff directly through email as it becomes available.

De Franco, RobLetter to parents/guardians from the Minister of Education
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