Guidelines for Distance Learning

Download the HCDSB Learn at Home Distance Learning Plan: A Guide for Parents and Guardians

The Ministry of Education has provided school boards with specific guidelines around distance instruction. The following are some of the key expectations.

Tips for Distance Learning

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

Hours of Instruction and Focus of Learning

The following is provided by the Ministry of Education as a minimum guideline:
Grade range  
K-Grade 3
  • 5 hours of work per student, per week
  • Focus: Literacy and math
Grades 4-6
  • 5 hours of work per student, per week
  • Focus: Literacy and math + science and social studies
Grades 7-8
  • 10 hours of work per student, per week
  • Focus: Core math, literacy, science and social studies
Grades 9-12
  • 3 hours of work per course, per week for semestered students;
    1.5 hours of work per course, per week for non-semestered students
  • Focus: Achieving credits/completion/graduation

NOTE:  ‘hours’ refers to the approximate amount of time students would spend on the work assigned by teachers. This does not mean the amount of time educators or students are expected to be in front of a screen.

Teacher work would include preparation of assigned work and providing feedback or assessment. Teacher engagement with students is expected but would vary depending on circumstances and could include a range of ways that teachers would connect with their students.

Specialist teachers – such as teachers of the Arts, Core French, and PTMs – may be used to develop assigned work for students in subjects such as art, music, French as a Second Language and Physical Activity. 

Our Special Education department is exploring ways to continue supporting our students with special education needs.

As a Catholic school system, we all share in the belief that our faith and Gospel values are integrated in everything we do. 


For elementary students, teachers will use formative assessment approaches to gather evidence of how students are progressing in their learning. It is expected that teachers will provide feedback to their students on their progress.

Secondary students will be assigned learning tasks, projects and culminating activities that will be marked by their teachers for the purposes of formative and summative evaluation. Teachers will communicate results of these marked assignments to students. Results will be used by teachers to inform students’ final course marks.

School boards are expected to issue final report cards from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

De Franco, RobGuidelines for Distance Learning