Updates

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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Schools Remain Open on Tuesday, April 6

On April 1st, the Ontario government announced additional measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the province. 

Schools will remain open for instruction next week and classes will resume as planned on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

In the announcement, it was confirmed that the Spring (March) Break will proceed as scheduled from April 12-16, 2021.

Read the News Release for more information and additional province-wide measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

As we head into the Easter long weekend, families are reminded to continue to follow the advice of our public health officials and adhere to public health measures to keep our community healthy and safe for all students and staff when we return to school. 

Amanda BartucciSchools Remain Open on Tuesday, April 6
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An Important Letter to Families from Halton Region

As we head into the Easter long weekend, parents and families are reminded to continue to follow the advice of our public health officials and adhere to public health measures to keep our community healthy and safe.

HCDSB families that are participating in Easter celebrations are reminded to:

  • Only gather with those in their immediate household;
  • Maintain six feet of distance from those outside their household;
  • Wear a mask.

For more information and important reminders, please read the Spring Parent Letter from Dr. Meghani, Chief Officer of Health for Halton Region.

Amanda BartucciAn Important Letter to Families from Halton Region
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2021 Grade 12 Graduation Ceremonies

As there is a great deal of planning and preparation taking place at the school level over the next few months, we have been closely monitoring the current COVID-19 health situation to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all students and staff.

HCDSB staff began this school year with the intention that as the year progressed, the health situation across our province would improve sufficiently to allow schools to hold in-person Grade 12 graduation ceremonies.  

On Monday, March 15th the Ontario Hospital Association declared that our province has entered a third wave of COVID-19. This news makes it highly unlikely that the current restrictions on large group gatherings will be lifted by June.

Due to the current COVID-19 health situation, the decision has been made that all HCDSB secondary schools will hold their 2021 Graduation Ceremonies in a virtual format.    

While the preference would have been to host an in-person ceremony for HCDSB Grade 12 graduates and their families this school year, the decision to move the graduation ceremonies to virtual format was made in the interest of student and staff safety and well-being.  

We recognize that students and parents will be very disappointed with this decision. Graduating from school is a special moment in the life of a student and his or her family. We want to assure you that our HCDSB schools are committed to making this important milestone for families as special and memorable as possible in these extraordinary times.    .

NOTE: Parents will be receiving further information directly from their son or daughter’s school with details around graduation plans.  

Amanda Bartucci2021 Grade 12 Graduation Ceremonies
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March Break Postponed until April 12-16, 2021

On February 11, 2021, the Ontario government provided an update on the timing of March Break for the 2020-2021 school year. The announcement indicated that March Break will be postponed until April 12-16, 2021, as a health and safety precaution to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our school communities. 

This means that all HCDSB elementary and secondary instruction will continue as scheduled from March 15 through 19, 2021

Read the Ministry’s News Release here. 

Before and during this week-long break, families are advised to stay home as much as possible, and to continue to follow the direction of our Public Health officials to keep our school communities healthy and safe. 

As always, we will contact parents and guardians directly, should there be any additional updates before the week-long break in April. We will provide new information as it becomes available. 

gligoricjMarch Break Postponed until April 12-16, 2021
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In-Person Learning Resumes at HCDSB Schools on Monday, February 8th

On February 3rd, the Minister of Education announced that in-person learning will resume in schools that fall within 13 additional public health units, including Halton Region. 

This means that all HCDSB elementary and secondary schools will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, February 8, 2021. 

What does this mean for elementary students?

  • All HCDSB Catholic elementary schools will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, February 8th.
  • Students will return to the learning format that was in place prior to the Christmas break. This means, that if your child was attending their home school and learning in-person, they will return to that format. If your child was enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School before Christmas, they will remain in the Virtual School. 

Transition in Learning Formats

At the end of November 2020, parents were invited to request a change in learning format for their children. The changes were originally scheduled to take effect on January 11th, however were delayed due to the closure of our schools and the move to teacher-led remote learning. 

For students where a change in learning format was requested, the transition to the new format will now take place on Tuesday, February 16th

This will offer a coordinated transition to ensure that student transportation is in place for all eligible students, and provide teachers with an opportunity to complete Term 1 assessments (report cards) for their current students. 

Before and After School Program

  • All Before and After School Programs will reopen on Monday, February 8th.  
  • Child care centres will remain open.

What does this mean for secondary students?

  • All HCDSB Catholic secondary schools will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, February 8th, following the same hybrid learning model that has been in place throughout the school year. 
  • Students will remain in the same cohort (A, B, or C) and follow their cohort schedule.  
  • Quadmester 3 will begin on Monday, February 8th, with Cohort A at school on Monday, while students in Cohort B and C will be learning online from home.

Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols

As we prepare for a safe and healthy return to in-person learning, students and families are reminded to review the Health and Safety Protocols available on our website.

In addition to the protocols that have been in place all year, the Ministry of Education has also implemented additional health and safety measures.  

Monitor for Symptoms – for Elementary Students

Parents are asked to continue monitoring their children for symptoms of COVID-19 and complete the Ontario School Screening Tool for each child each morning, before the start of school:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.

Confirmation of Screening – for Secondary Students

Effective Monday, February 8th, secondary students attending in-person learning will need to provide confirmation that they have completed the self-screening and received a ‘pass’ to attend school. Any student who does not pass the School Screening Tool must stay home and self-isolate until they meet the criteria for return. 

  • A daily reminder sent to students each morning from the school.  The reminder will include a link to the Ontario School Screening Tool.  
  • Students will be required to show their classroom teacher the “pass” confirmation on their personal device (e.g., phone, laptop) as they enter the classroom, or show a printed copy of the “pass” confirmation.  
  • Students who require the use of a school device to complete the screening are asked to report to the office or area designated by the school Principal prior to going to class to complete their daily screening. 
  • Parents and guardians of students requiring assistance, including students with special education needs, are asked to contact their child’s teacher to make arrangements for alternate ways to confirm that they have completed the Ontario School Screening and received a pass to attend school.  This may include setting up an electronic practice, verbal communication, or the provision of paper copies of the screening tool that can be sent with the student in the morning. 
  • No student data (e.g., screenshot, pdf, paper confirmation, etc.) will be retained by the school.

Masking

All HCDSB students must wear a mask at all times when at school. Up until the Christmas break, student were required to wear masks indoors only. The Ministry now requires that masks be worn outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

As we cannot ensure physical distancing is being maintained while students are outside during recess or on school grounds, effective Monday, February 8th, all students will now be required to wear their masks when outside at recess and outside after lunch. Your child’s school will ensure that mask breaks are provided throughout the day. 

You may want to consider sending your child to school with multiple masks so that masks can be replaced when they become wet during outdoor use. You are encouraged to read this tip sheet created by Halton Region Public Health on the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools.

Congregating

To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have received Ministry direction to continue to follow physical distancing measures both inside our schools and in outside areas. School staff will be monitoring to ensure that students are not gathering in groups before school starts and after school. Parents are encouraged to review with their families the need to follow physical distancing guidelines and to remind older children to refrain from congregating in groups before and after school

As a reminder, parents are also asked not to gather during drop off and pick up times, and to refrain from carpooling if physical distancing and the use of PPE (masks) cannot be maintained.

Targeted Asymptomatic Testing 

The Ontario government has indicated that it will offer targeted asymptomatic testing for school communities that receive higher rates of positive COVID-19 cases. This testing would be offered on a voluntary basis. Halton Region Public Health is currently developing a plan for Halton schools and details will be shared at a later date.   

Student Transportation

Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will resume for eligible students on Monday, February 8, 2021. Students who ride the bus must be wearing masks, and for contact tracing purposes, students must adhere to their bus seating plans.

Technology & Devices

Elementary school principals will provide further information about the return of any borrowed devices.

Mental Health Supports

The shift from remote to in-person learning can be a very stressful time for many families. Parents are welcome to visit our website for Mental Health & Well-Being resources and support. School Mental Health Ontario also has a number of excellent resources to help our HCDSB community navigate through this difficult period: www.smho-smso.ca.

We look forward to welcoming our students and staff safely back to school for in-person learning on Monday, February 8th! 

Amanda BartucciIn-Person Learning Resumes at HCDSB Schools on Monday, February 8th
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Remote Learning Continues Until Further Notice

Earlier today, the Ontario government provided an update on the period of school closures and teacher-led remote learning. The announcement indicated that in-person learning will resume next week in schools that fall within 4 additional public health units. 

Halton Region was NOT on this list, and therefore HCDSB schools will remain closed for in-person learning until further notice.

The Ministry of Education has not provided a date when our Halton schools are expected to reopen for full in-person instruction.  Read the Ministry’s News Release.

What Does This Mean?

  • Elementary and secondary students will continue to learn remotely until further notice
  • Students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School will continue to follow their established schedules. 
  • The change in learning format between in-person and virtual instruction will be delayed until schools re-open for in-person learning.
  • Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue to receive in-person support during the extended remote learning period.
  • 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.

Our Catholic Faith & Well-Being Resources 

Now more than ever, the mental health and well-being of our students, families and staff is a top priority. Should you feel that your family could benefit from further support, we invite you to explore the community resources below:

Amanda BartucciRemote Learning Continues Until Further Notice
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Remote Learning Extended for HCDSB Schools

On January 20, 2021, Ontario school boards received a memo from the Minister of Education that provided an update on the period of school closure and teacher-led remote learning.  The memo indicated that in-person learning will resume next week in schools that fall within 1 of 7 public health units listed in the memo. 

Halton Region was not on this list, and therefore HCDSB schools will remain closed for in-person learning until further notice.  

The Ministry has not provided a date when our Halton schools are expected to reopen for full in-person instruction.  

What We Know at This Time:

  • Elementary and secondary students will continue to learn remotely until further notice
  • Students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School will continue to follow their established schedules. 
  • The change in learning format between in-person and virtual instruction will be delayed until schools re-open for in-person learning.
  • Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue to receive in-person support during the extended remote learning period.
  • 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.

We recognize that another extension of remote learning, and especially not having a sense of timelines, will create additional challenges and burdens on families and staff. Unfortunately, this is all the information we have to share at this time. If we receive any additional details, we will share them with all HCDSB families and staff. 

Updates 

We will continue to share any new updates from the Ministry as they become available, in the following ways:

Resources & Supports 

This period of remote learning is hard on students, families and staff.  The following are a list of resources and supports that families may access during this difficult time.

Financial Support for Parents

The Ontario government has made financial support available for families during this remote learning period through the Support for Learners program. 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

Faith & Well-Being Resources

We are grateful for the ongoing understanding and support of students, families and staff as we work with the Ministry of Education and our Public Health officials to keep our school communities healthy and safe.

gligoricjRemote Learning Extended for HCDSB Schools
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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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