Monthly Archives: March 2020

News Release – Ontario Extends School and Child Care Closures to Fight Spread of COVID-19

Province announces second phase of Learn at Home to support continuity of learning

March 31, 2020

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — Due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government announced that schools and child care centres will remain closed to protect the health and safety of students and staff. This extension is being made on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

To ensure continuity of learning, the government is launching the second phase of Learn at Home. Developed in conjunction with education partners, the government is establishing clarity for parents, enhancing education supports, and creating opportunities for teachers and educators to connect with students.

“The decision to extend school closures was not made lightly. We know from the medical experts that the next two weeks will be critical in the fight against COVID-19 and that’s why we’re taking further action to keep our kids safe and healthy by having them stay home,” said Premier Ford. “At the same time, we cannot put the school year in jeopardy. That’s why we’re providing additional tools for at-home learning and ensuring students from kindergarten to Grade 12 to postsecondary education can finish their academic year and get the credits they need to graduate.”

Public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff. Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time. Select centres designated to support frontline health care workers and first responders will remain open.

As previously announced, no student will have their graduation compromised by COVID-19 and the Ministry of Education continues to collaborate with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that there will be no barriers to accessing postsecondary education.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep students safe from COVID-19 – which is why we have extended the school closure period and why we have unveiled a teacher-led program that keeps students learning while at home,” said Minister Lecce. “By providing clarity for parents, enhancing support for students and enabling the teacher-student relationship, we are ensuring our children continue to safely learn – providing some sense of stability and hope for them amid this difficulty.”

The second phase of Learn at Home features a new set of expectations for the education community, including:

  • Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers;
  • Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows:
    • Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy and math)
    • Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy, math, science and social studies)
    • Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week (focus on math, literacy, science and social studies)
    • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)
  • Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail;
  • Developing a program of training for educators to support them in virtual learning delivery;
  • Requiring final report cards for all students;
  • Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate;
  • Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction;
  • Maintaining a responsive posture for health care and community partner requests; and
  • Establishing formal COVID-19 working groups with education sector unions to work together, share ideas and to find solutions in the support of students.

“The province is taking extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we do, we need every Ontarian to continue to do their part by staying apart. Please stay home as much as possible and keep your distance from others if you must go out. Stay home, stay safe, lives depend on it.”

On March 21, 2020, Ontario launched Ontario Together, an online portal helping organizations work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. The government will leverage partnerships with the telecommunication sector to provide innovative, low-cost and high-impact solutions to solve the equity challenges facing some students across Ontario. With this resource, the Ministry of Education has posted a new challenge that looks for learning solutions focused on:

  • Free or low-cost learning resources and supports for students, parents and educators;
  • Access to devices such as computers, tablets and portable wi-fi hotspots for families that need the supports; and
  • Other ideas, goods or services, for example, to support mental health and students with special education needs.

Quick Facts

  • English and French-language materials will continue to be added to Learn at Home on a regular basis to provide new and compelling content throughout this period. Recent updates include supplemental STEM learning resources created by third-parties and a parent resource that is focused on reading and writing.
  • There are now 36 high-quality English courses and 47 French-language courses available for secondary students to review, refresh and extend their learning as part of independent study.
  • TVO Kids offers educational programming throughout the day for school-aged children. Their broadcast schedule can be viewed here. TFO also offers a range of educational programming in French throughout the day for school-aged children. L’horaire de diffusion est disponible ici.
  • Mathify provides real-time homework help led by OCT certified educators for students between Grades 6-10, six days a week, including weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Eurêka! provides online learning support in French to students in Grades 1-12 with their school work and learning.

Additional Resources

  • Learn at Home
  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19

Update from St. Anne School – March 29-2020

Hello Families,

We hope that all families and children are keeping safe.

We have a few updates to share with you…………

The school board is working on a plan to get a learning device out to families who need one. More information will be coming on this.

Our teachers are working to contact students and families to find out who may need a device. In some cases, this has been a challenge with contact information (phone number/e-mail) not up to date. If you do not hear from your child’s teacher in the next few days, please try to contact them.

The staff list on our web page has the e-mail listed for your child’s teacher: https://stannecambridge.wcdsb.ca/staff-list/

Please follow us on NewsWire and please encourage any families who have not signed up for NewsWire to do so. Just enter your email in the bottom left corner of our Web Page and hit “Subscribe”. https://stannecambridge.wcdsb.ca/

You can also follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stannephoenix

We are expecting an announcement Monday form the Ministry of Education with more details about the remote learning plan and timelines for the school year.

The ministry of education has launched a website: ontario.ca/learnathome where students can continue their learning for the time while schools are closed.  I would also suggest that students review the work that has been completed in their courses to date. Teachers are also posting work.

Our local diocese has set up a webpage with helpful resources so Catholics can remain in touch with their faith while churches are closed: https://hamiltondiocese.com/. Some parishes are even offering mass online over YouTube.

Nutrition for Learning has mobile locations set up, including times at St. Anne school, for food and snacks. The local Food Bank remains open to serve the community. https://www.nutritionforlearning.ca/

Please know that each and everyone of you are missed and that the staff at St. Anne will pray for everyone every day.  We hope and pray we will see each other soon.

Please stay safe and healthy.

St. Anne School Staff

Phoenic Blue Plaid

Update from St. Anne School……

Hello Families,

Today is the third day of the previously announced two-week closure of all schools in Ontario to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The closer has been extended indefinitely as announced Monday by the Education Minister.

I know that this is not easy for you.   We have all been impacted by COVID -19 in some way. I know that many of you wanted to be in school this week.  The staff at St. Anne wants to be there to see you and teach you.  Our staff wanted to talk to our students about their March Break and wanted to dive back into teaching and learning.  It’s what we love to do. We wanted to feel the excitement of the first days back from March break.  However, these are extraordinary times.

I want to let you know that both the school and the WCDSB wish to stay in communication with you and we will keep you updated on the latest developments, resources and any impact on schools and learning.

Please follow us on NewsWire and please encourage any families who have not signed up for NewsWire to do so. Just enter your email in the bottom left corner of our Web Page and hit “Subscribe”. https://stannecambridge.wcdsb.ca/

You can also follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stannephoenix

I know there are many questions that you have regarding the continuation of learning.  The ministry of education has launched a website: ontario.ca/learnathome where students can continue their learning for the time while schools are closed.  I would also suggest that students review the work that has been completed in their courses to date. As the situation unfolds, the ministry of education will be providing more direction if schools are closed beyond the four-week period.

We have been meeting remotely as a staff to plan and work together. Our teachers will be reaching out to connect with their students and some work will be posted to keep us connected to the learning.

Our local diocese has set up a webpage with helpful resources so Catholics can remain in touch with their faith while churches are closed: https://hamiltondiocese.com/

Nutrition for Learning has mobile locations set up, including times at St. Anne school, for food and snacks. The local Food Bank remains open to serve the community. https://www.nutritionforlearning.ca/

Please know that each and everyone of you are missed and that the staff at St. Anne will pray for everyone every day.  We will see each other soon and for me personally, that gives me great hope.

Please stay safe and healthy.

St. Anne School Staff

Plaid Phoenix 7

Ontario Helping Students Learn from the Safety of Their Own Home

Province Launches First Phase of the Learn at Home Portal

TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford joined Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education to launch the first phase of Learn at Home and Apprendre à la maison, a new online portal that will provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

“As a father myself, I know parents always want the best for their children, and I also know from speaking to parents that many are concerned that their child is going to fall behind while schools are closed during this difficult period,” said Premier Ford. “To support families and students, our government has developed a one-stop spot for at-home learning. It doesn’t replace school, but offers a great alternative as we approach the end of March Break.”

Learn at Home offers all students high-quality, made-in-Ontario math and literacy resources, created by Ontario-certified educators, in both English and French. Elementary resources are designed to help young students learn at home with interactive activities that encourage participation through entertaining and stimulating digital content. High school content was designed with a focus on STEM courses and ensure core competencies and skills are reinforced. The government is also providing access to course content for students who take the initiative to refresh and extend their learning.

“The Learn at Home initiative will help mitigate ‘learning loss’ during this period of uncertainty,” said Minister Lecce. “Our plan will provide interactive teacher-led math supports to keep students learning and empower all students to learn key skills with an emphasis on STEM education, while also arming parents with resources to support them as their kids learn at home.”

“By offering new at-home educational resources, the province is further supporting Ontario’s families as they help contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Minister of Health. “Each and every Ontarian has a role to play in flattening the curve. Our government is providing families with the support they need so that they can continue to contribute to our shared goal of protecting the health and wellbeing of all Ontarians, including our young students.”

“TVO is proud to be part of this important initiative by the Ministry of Education.” said Jennifer Hinshelwood, TVO’s Acting Chief Operating Officer. “TVO’s suite of digital learning products are designed to engage young minds in learning – a mission that seems doubly important at times like this when many of our traditional learning environments are not accessible.”

The at-home activities offered by Learn at Home provide quick and easy access to some of Ontario’s best online kindergarten to grade 12 learning resources produced by Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) Educators. As part of the government’s commitment to planning for every scenario, the province is working closely with education stakeholders to develop a plan for scaling and building additional online learning programs.

“In these uncertain times, we are proud as a public agency to join the Ministry of Education’s efforts in supporting families and students,” said Eric Minoli, TFO’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our online Apprendre à la maison program will help ensure continuity in education for Francophone and Francophile parents. TFO will be offering daily activities which will be accessible at all times on our IDELLO.ORG platform, BOUKILI.CA and our TV channel. TFO will remain a proud partner of all families through a tailored program of fun, high-quality educational activities and conten t, all of which will be aligned with the curriculum of Ontario.”

 

QUICK FACTS

  • For students who do not have access to a computer, work is underway, in conjunction with school boards, to provide the necessary technology to everyone who needs it.
  • TVO Kids offers educational programing throughout the day for school-aged children. Check out their broadcast schedule here to know what is on and when.
  • Bilingual materials on Learn at Home will continue to be added on a regular basis to provide new and compelling content throughout this period. Other learning programs, such as Ontario’s Virtual Learning Environment, are being further developed to provide enhanced learning options.
  • Mathify provides real-time homework help led by OCT educators for students between grades 6-10, six days a week, including weekdays from 9AM ET – 9PM ET. The Government worked in concert with TVO to expand Mathify beyond the existing grades 7-10, to now include grade six.
  • Eurêka! is another online learning support program that helps students in French language schools from grades 1 to 12 with their school work and their learning.
  • Ontario public schools will be closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020 in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Similarly, private schools and licensed child care centres will also be closed until April 5, 2020.
  • EQAO assessments for the 2019-20 school year have been cancelled, including the Ontario Secondary School Literacy test. The literacy requirement for students graduating in the 2019-20 school year has also been waived.
  • The Ministry of Education is working with TVO and TFO to roll-out robust education programming on their broadcast channels, with a phased-in approach commencing next week. This iterative process will ensure that Ontario students and families have additional mediums available for engaging with high-quality, made-in-Ontario education resources that support a continuity of learning for students.

 

EQAO Cancelled….

Please be aware that the Minister of Education has provided direction to cancel all Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessments for the 2019-20 school year.

Thank you,

St. Anne School Staff

STEAM Days are coming……

 

Coming soon………

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board has launched a new online campaign called #STEAMDays to assist parents in keeping their children engaged and learning as we work our way through the unprecedented COVID-19 shutdown.

In times like these, it is vital for one and all to come together – and #STEAMDays will provide a convenient platform for parents and educators alike to share ideas, resources and fun ways to keep the learning process going.

As ideas are shared, we will gather some of them and post via our website: www.wcdsb.ca/STEAMDays

Please visit on social media via:

Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire #STEAMDays

 Facebook: @wcdsb #STEAMDays

 Instagram: @waterloocdsb #STEAMDays

Free snacks available……

Hello families,

Please review the info below if you or someone you know needs some support with food and snacks for your kids.

POP UP Snacks for Students

Nutrition for Learning will be ready to provide mobile POP UP NUTRITION BREAKS offering free healthy Snacks for school children staring Monday March 16th in Cambridge.

Each morning starting at time and location to be posted on the Nutrition for Learning website and social media channels our Nutrition for Learning van will be offering free snacks, yogurt, granola bars and cheese strings for school kids. Tomorrow we will be in Cambridge and the route will be posted on the Nutrition for Learning website at 8 am. www.nutritionforlearning.ca

Nutrition for Learning will have volunteers walking with coolers beside our van down the streets posted on our website to meet kids at the end of their driveway or walkway but no congregating around the van/ truck will be allowed and we will ensure participants maintain social distancing (keeping 2 arms’ lengths or 2 meters between each child).

All Nutrition for Learning staff and volunteers have police vulnerable sector checks and have been trained in safe food handling and abide by all public health rules.

“We know our donors want us to be there for the students and we know how important it is to ensure our community overall safety first, as well as our staff, the kids, and the food. All the items we would distribute will be sealed and handled safely. We just want to get out to the kids.” states Mary D’Alton at Nutrition for Learning

For more information please contact Mary D’Alton at mdalton@nutritionforelarning.ca or call 519-624-5744 or 519-589-0241

Today’s Pop Up Snack
Locations

Preston School at 9:00 am
Coronation School at 9:30 am
Ryerson School 10:30 am
Elgin Street School 11:00 am
St. Anne School 11:30 am
Stewart Avenue School at 12 noon
Chalmers School at 12:30 pm
If all goes well we will be back in Cambridge on Wednesday and will be in Kitchener and Waterloo tomorrow.
For more information www.nutritionforlearning.ca/popupsnacks

Nutrition for Learning
POP UP Snacks for Students