Provincial Coordination and Planning
- Schools will not reopen on April 6. More details to come on extended timelines.
- Minister of Education and School Board Chairs and Deputy Minister of Education and Directors of Education conferencing weekly creating structure and collaboration to deal with issues more rapidly and uniformly.
- We continue to work closely with other 71 school boards. We are treating the 2 week period as the prep period for having plans in place for teacher and student connectivity, post April 6.
- There are a number of challenges to make this happen and many still remain unresolved including but not limited to:
- Teacher and student access to information technology, email and internet among those we are working on.
- Considerations for students with special needs and ESL.
- Our support for student mental health and well-being including providing online resources and outreach to students and families.
- The goal is to have a province-wide connectivity of learning – not each board to themselves. School Boards have different resources and capabilities and some have huge geographic distances with no access to internet and some have more diverse populations with unique and diverse needs and challenges. We will need to continue to manage those differences.
- Some child centres are re-opening and the City of Toronto is reaching out to the TDSB as needed. There are all kinds of very stringent protections and a very specific process that we will only be invited to if they need our space. We have not been asked at this time.
- The Ontario government is considering using school buses for additional transportation resources but no decisions have been made.
- People want us to be good partners regarding our supplies – Ministry of Government and Community Services is working with all school boards to provide inventory, if available.
Continuation of learning
- Ministry and school board (TDSB) learning resources on-line.
- Teachers and students who have used and are comfortable with virtual learning will not be discouraged.
- Working on a plan for teacher led learning. Equity of access within school boards and province-wide is exceptionally significant.
- 22,500 families that TDSB doesn’t have an email for. We are in the process of calling these families to acquire emails and assess access to email, internet and so on.
Phase Two – Post April 6
- Have every child connected and teachers supported. System-wide, connecting thousands of teachers with 250,000 students will be monumental and an unprecedented task – we are really in uncharted territory.
- Staff now working on the road map to get us to this point.
- For some students, learning may be different.
- Have to recognize that teachers also have families and children – it will place some limitations on their availability.
- Director Malloy will be providing an update to parents to keep them informed of our plans to restore teaching and learning by April 6
Collaborating on Setting Expectations for Teachers’ Connectivity with Students
- Government needs to take lead on determining the strategy/policy around issues linked to COVID-19.
- We are hearing and we are glad to hear that the provincial government and unions are in discussion around next steps to support return to learning implementation .
- Unions want to make sure (out of desire to protect members) that members are not acting without clarity on expectations of what is required. How will it be done, to ensure that members don’t put themselves at risk or make commitments that are not sustainable or equitable in terms of access to all students?
- At the same time, many teachers/support staff – out of care and concern for students – are proceeding on their own. We won’t tell/discourage but also want to make sure that unevenness that has always been present in our system does not get exacerbated during this important planning stage.
- At the local level, TDSB has set up local discussion tables with each local union so we can be proactive on preparing to support our students and work with our unions in getting ready to do so
- Ministry says students’ graduation will not be harmed. More details to follow from Ministry.
- Ministry working inside government to deal with post-secondary transition – marks, applications, etc.