How We’re Returning to Learning and Instruction
Learning and instruction is at the core of what we do. This year we will apply the Ministry of Education direction to create days that maximize face-to-face instruction in the most engaging and student focussed ways possible. Those students using Remote Learning will experience a more scheduled day that features daily synchronous instruction that follows with appropriate asynchronous learning experiences. Our students with special education needs will all have IEPs developed with their learning needs considered at this unique time.
Glossary of Terms
Virtual school: School for students who opted for learning fully online are enrolled in one of the four HDSB virtual schools. There is one virtual secondary school and three virtual elementary schools (east, north, west). Students participate in 300-minutes of scheduled learning which includes 225 minutes of synchronous learning (175 minutes for Kindergarten).
In-person school: School for students who opted to learn fully in-person at their designated school and physically attend school. Elementary students participate in a scheduled 300-minute day at their school five days per week. Secondary students participate in a scheduled 300-minute day, attending school in-person on designated days per week (two or three days per week in-person and the other days via distance learning) for 180 minutes at the beginning of the day. All students participate in distance learning (synchronously and asynchronously) for 120 minutes at the end of the day.
Distance learning: Distance learning is for in-person students only. When in-person secondary students transition home after their morning classes at school, they participate in distance learning. Distance learning occurs online either synchronously or asynchronously. Distance learning will also be available all day for elementary or secondary students who temporarily cannot attend school in-person if they are required to self-isolate or are ill but still able to participate in their learning.
Learning Model Selection
Families will receive an Intent to Return survey via email on August 10. We ask that this be completed by August 23 at 4:00 p.m.
This requires families to indicate for each child:
In Person Learning (secondary adaptive model or elementary full return model) or
Families will be asked to commit to the model selected for the duration of a semester (secondary) or the term (elementary). This is the end of January for both. This provides stability for assessment of student learning, programming, staffing, and transportation.
Additionally, the survey will ask families to state their Intent for Transportation, should they qualify and complete the Daily Self-Assessment Acknowledgement Form
Students with Special Education Needs
Schools will support students with special education needs who may require additional transition time prior to the start of the school year
Changes in the school environment and/or remote learning needs will be considered when reviewing and updating Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and to ensure continued access to assistive technology
Students in self-contained programs will attend school for the full day, 5 days per week if parents/guardians have selected the In Person Learning Option on the Intent to Return Survey
Students in self-contained programs selecting the Full Distance Learning Option will receive programming via this selected delivery mode on the Intent to Return Survey
Elementary Instructional Models - September
The Ministry of Education has directed elementary schools to open with the Full Return Model (In Person Learning or Virtual Learning)
Full Return - In Person Instructional Model
Schools are fully open and operating under the new safety protocols to deliver instruction
Students will return to the classroom five days a week to receive in-person instruction
Students will be in class cohorts, adhering to social distancing protocols and wearing non-medical masks if they are in Gr. 1 - 8. Non-medical masks/face coverings for students in Kindergarten are encouraged but not mandatory.
Full Return - Virtual Learning Instructional Model
All students will have the option to enroll in Virtual Learning, at the beginning of each assessment period rather than attend in-person classes
Students will engage in remote learning five days a week (virtual program delivery)
Students will be expected to log in daily for attendance and participate in synchronous and asynchronous learning, and complete assignments by expected dates
Student performance will be assessed and evaluated accordingly
Grade 1 to 8 Program Considerations
Students will be provided with refresher learning opportunities to support continued growth overall expectations as they engage in new content, with an emphasis on gap closing in areas of literacy and mathematics
Elementary schools will continue to offer learning in all program areas (e.g., music, health and physical education, science and technology, etc.)
Student learning opportunities will be informed by public health guidelines (e.g., physical distancing, outdoor spaces, restrictions on sharing equipment)
Kindergarten Program Considerations
The Kindergarten program will continue to be play and inquiry based. Health and safety protocols will be followed so it will look different than in typical times. Kindergarten educators will use small groupings, outdoor space, individual materials and enhanced cleaning protocols to provide an inquiry and play based program that is as much like it would be in a typical year to the extent possible
Educators will use the outdoor space for learning to allow for greater physical distancing. Students will be placed in small groups weekly and they will sit at table groups and access centres with the other students in this group or “bubble”.
Many learning materials will be organized in separate containers for individual children. Individual sensory materials will be used. There will not be communal sand and water tables. Classroom cleaning protocols will be in place for any shared materials. Plush items will not be used. Student cubbies will be accessed in small groups
Entry procedures for Kindergarten students will be communicated to families by their individual schools and will include information about entry doors, timing of entry, meeting educators and other site specific information
School teams will use the information that we have provided based on direction from the Ministry of Education and Public Health to develop school based protocols
Secondary Instructional Model - September
The Ministry of Education has directed secondary schools to open with the Adaptive/Hybrid learning model.
Adaptive/Hybrid Instructional Model - In Person Learning Option Quadmester
Students in Gr. 9 – 12 will take 2 courses over 10 weeks. Required cohorting means that the face to face instruction will be shared with Cohort A and B each receiving two or three days of face to face instruction in that course per week.
Example - Course 1 Cohort A’s day to attend in person: Cohort A will receive in person instruction for 180 min at the start of the day; During the 180 min period, Cohort B will receive synchronous and asynchronous delivery(same course) for 180 min (teacher determined). Cohort A will then transition to distance learning to complete 120 min of synchronous online instruction for their other course in full class cohorts (A+B).
Note: Students in the Community Pathway Program (CPP)
Students in the Community Pathway Program selecting the In Person Learning Option will attend school 5 days a week for the full day and remain in their self-contained class cohort.
Adaptive/Hybrid Instructional Model - Virtual Learning Option Quadmester
All students will have the option to enroll in Virtual Learning, at the beginning of each assessment period rather than attend in-person classes. You will be a student in the HDSB Virtual Secondary School.The start and end times for the Virtual Secondary School will be communicated to secondary students selecting this option.
In Virtual Learning:
Students will engage in remote learning five days a week (online program delivery) both synchronously and asynchronously.
Students will be expected to log in daily for attendance and participate in both the synchronous and asynchronous learning, and complete all assignments by expected due dates
Student performance will be assessed and evaluated accordingly
For students in the Community Pathway Program who opt for Virtual learning, their IEP will be revised as appropriate. The programming will look different for each student and will include synchronous and asynchronous delivery and interactions, and will include resources and supports as needed. The details for all of this will be specific for each student.
Secondary Regional Programming, CO-OP, OYAP and SHSM
Results of the Return to School Survey will inform our ability to offer regional programming in one or both sites, Students in any regional programming will be contacted by their school if student choices do not allow us to offer the program in both formats.
Co-op placements will be offered virtually, where feasible and in-person community placements can take place if aligned with the recommendations of public health and with the safety and curriculum requirements of the Cooperative Education curriculum
Cooperative education remains a key component of Specialist High Skills Majors, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and Dual Credit Programs; all of these will continue to be provided for students
Secondary Program Considerations
Students will continue to earn compulsory credits required for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), as well as providing access to types of elective courses that support all post secondary pathway destinations
Students will be provided with refresher learning opportunities to support continued growth overall expectations for each course
Secondary schools will continue to offer courses in all elective program areas (e.g., music, health and physical education, technological education, etc.)
Student learning opportunities will be informed by public health guidelines (e.g., physical distancing, outdoor spaces, restrictions on sharing equipment, cleaning protocols) and the instructional strategies used in all courses will reflect these health requirements.
students will be not share musical instruments and these will be played outside or at home
simulation software, instructor demonstrations, video demonstrations will be used necessary
The number of overall instructional hours in courses does not change nor does the curriculum. Rather, instructional strategies are chosen to support the curriculum expectations and the public health requirement.
EQAO and Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
Students in Grades 3 and 6 will not participate in EQAO assessments in the 2020-21 school year
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, a requirement for graduation, is scheduled for Thursday, April 8, 2021
Students graduating before February 2021 who have not yet met the literacy graduation requirement, should be enrolled in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) or an adjudication process. Contact your secondary school for more information.
Students in Grade 9 Applied or Academic Math courses will participate in the Assessment of Mathematics depending on their course schedule
Learning Management Systems/Instructional Platforms
Elementary students will be part of a Google Classroom
Elementary teachers will provide information regarding the Google Classroom at the start of the school year
All secondary students and staff will use the Brightspace Learning Management System
Students are automatically added to their courses and can login via https://hdsb.elearningontario.ca/d2l/home using their HDSB email and network password
A HDSB Tech Tips website has been created to support all students and families in using technology and providing solutions to common technical issues, questions or ways to reach out to receive Technical Support
Families are encouraged to review the Technology and You section of www.hdsb.ca
“Program Nights”, Welcome and Orientation Parent Events
Schools will plan and communicate September welcome and information opportunities, given the restrictions for large group events
Refer to your school communication
Excursions/Day Field Trips
In-School Virtual Field Trips may be considered
The following are paused until safe to do so
Day Field Trips requiring students to leave the school
Day Field Trips that include inter-school competitions/activities/athletics
Walking Outdoor Experiential learning opportunities that leave school property (e.g., activities in the local community, parks and trails) while maintaining cohorting, safety and social distancing may continue
Approved excursions will be reviewed regarding deposits, payment balances, refund dates and insurance clauses; viability will be determined by Administrative Council
No new excursions will be approved until further notice
September Start Up forms will be sent electronically from your school
The decision to resume inter-school athletics will be made in consultation with our local Health Units and the governing sport organizations in the Province
Co-curricular face to face events are paused until further notice
Volunteer Hour Requirement for Graduation
Graduating students will need to meet the 40-hour community involvement graduation requirement and can do so virtually.
October 2020 update: the Ministry of Education has indicated that students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year must complete 20, not 40, hours community service.