Q&A with TLDSB;Q's - Grade 12 students, back to school date, extending year, online learning, & more
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Muskoka Post had sent in several interview questions to the Trillium Lakelands District School Board regarding the outlook for the remainder of the school year; as well as how this extended closure will impact grade 12 students who are set to graduate in June.
Catherine Shedden, TLDSB media communication person, responded on behalf of the school board.
Muskoka Post: Could you please provide some info on if Grade 12 students will still be graduating? Is there coordination between high schools and post secondary institutions on behalf of those students? Has there been an update on when kids will be returning and if at all this year?
TLDSB: We do not currently know if school closures will extend beyond April 5. The premier stated earlier in the week that students would not be going back to school on April 6th but we have not heard any details from the Ministry of Education at this time. And so, we are not making any decisions about graduating students other than to say grade 12 students will not be jeopardized by this current situation.
Muskoka Post: Minister Lecce a week ago said that no kids would lose their school year ... is this still the case? Will students have to repeat a year or will it be extended?
TLDSB: We have not received any information from the Ministry of Education indicating repeating or extending the school year. We do know that the OSSLT requirement has been waived. These are all questions that have been shared with the Ministry and we are awaiting direction.
Muskoka Post: We have been receiving reports that parents have had zero communication with teachers, same goes for high school students who have been checking their online portholes and have not had any updates from their teachers. Will teachers be providing updates? Or will the school board in terms of e-learning or at home online schooling. I understand the ministry released resource information last week, however, will teachers be actively uploading info online in their classroom portholes?
TLDSB: There are no academic expectations of students during the current closure until April 3rd. We are asking for patience as school districts across the province work with the Ministry of Education and provincial and local union leadership on continuity of learning. Some TLDSB teachers are reaching out to families but it is their choice, there is currently no specific direction around academic programming. We are using this 2-week period to plan and prepare for the potential extension of school closures. There is a lot to consider to make sure that there is fair and equitable access to learning.
The Ministry of Education has offered parents access to an online portal, the Learn at Home initiative, so that, if desired, students can continue learning until families hear more.
Shedden said that at this time, the boards concern is for the safety, health, and well-being of all members of their school communities.
"We want to be sure that families reach out to community resources if they need help. We have been sharing the Kids Help information on our social media. And we ask that parents regularly check the tldsb website for any updates - in particular this page: https://tldsb.ca/covid19/," Shedden said.