Return to Learn Updates

September 11, 2020 Update #7 - Full Remote Learning Update

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

We are providing you with an important update regarding our TVDSB Full Remote Learning Program. 

Elementary students will begin Full Remote Learning on Wednesday, September 16.  

Secondary students will begin Full Remote Learning on Thursday, September 17.  

As we have communicated over the past few weeks, we have been reorganizing our schools to accommodate the learning model requests from our families. In addition, establishing an online learning environment for all grade levels is a complex and extensive task, involving different departments across the Board. We are also working to deploy student devices that have been requested this week. 

We are committed to providing our students with a high-quality fully remote learning program which requires us to ensure that we have qualified teachers and Early Childhood Educators in place for our classes. We are continuing the process of hiring additional teachers to support the 13,172 students enrolled in our Full Remote Learning Program while balancing the staffing needs of our students who will participate in In-Person learning next week. With a staggered start for both In-person and Full Remote Learning, all students will have an equal number of instructional days.  

Our staff will continue to connect with students in Full Remote Learning to make sure technology needs are in place, answer questions and most importantly, establish a student-teacher relationship. 

If they choose, families may access resources to support independent learning for September 14 to 16: 

We are committed to providing a remote learning program with a positive start for our students. Thank you to our families for your continued support and patience, as we put the necessary resources in place to ensure that our students have a successful learning experience, both online and in person.

Thames Valley District School Board

September 9, 2020 Update # 6 - Full Remote Learning Update

Welcome to Thames Valley’s Full Remote Learning Program!  

As the Ministry of Education outlined, families had the option to select full distance Full Remote Learning instruction only for the 2020-2021 school year. In Thames Valley District School Board, these students are enrolled in our new TVDSB Full Remote Learning (FRL) Program! 

Full Remote Learning will begin the week of September 14. Families can expect to hear from their Principals this week regarding schedules and additional information. Class start dates will vary as we continue to finalize staffing for more than 13,000 full remote learners.    

We are working to create an online school experience as close to in-person school as possible. Our FRL Programwill be led by seven Principals and office staff. All students will be assigned a Teacher. Much like at the start of other school years, families will receive a school handbook from their Program that provides key information for the school year. 

Curriculum Delivery 

The TVDSB FRL Program will offer the full Ontario curriculum through structured synchronous and asynchronous learning. 

Synchronous learning:  Learning that happens in real time. Synchronous learning involves using text, video, or voice communication in a way that enables educators and other members of the school- or board-based team to instruct and connect with students in real time. Synchronous learning supports the well-being and academic achievement of all students, including students with Special Education needs, by providing educators and students with an interactive and engaging way to learn. It helps teachers provide immediate feedback to students and enables students to interact with one another. 

Asynchronous learning:  Learning that is not delivered in real time. Asynchronous learning may involve students watching pre-recorded video lessons, completing assigned tasks, or contributing to online discussion boards. 

Instruction will be delivered by Thames Valley Educators, but not necessarily by staff assigned to a student’s home school or class. Each student will be assigned a class taught by a qualified Teacher, who they and their parents and guardians can connect with directly. 

How many minutes will students be engaged in remote learning? 

A school day, whether in-person or online, involves 300 minutes (or 5 hours) of learning. In the TVDSB FRL Program, as per Ministry direction, students will engage in the following number of minutes of synchronous (live) learning: 

Kindergarten: 180 minutes 

Grades 1 to 3: 225 minutes 

Grades 4 to 8: 225 minutes 

Grades 9 to 12: 240 minutes per day for a student enrolled in 2 courses in  a quadmester 

The remainder of the 300 minutes, students will engage in asynchronous learning, where they will work independently on follow-up activities or assignments provided during the live learning portion of their day. 

Courses and Timetables 

Students will be provided with a timetable outlining the daily schedule of subjects/courses according to a five-hour instructional day with opportunities for frequent, live contact with a Teacher and expectations for synchronous learning. Attendance will be taken daily by the online Teacher, and students are expected to be present during online learning instruction. 

We look forward to welcoming students to TVDSB Full Remote Learning

September 4, 2020 Update #5 - Return to Learn - Understanding Staffing
Understanding Staffing

Thames Valley District School Board is re-opening schools to students beginning Monday, September 14. In addition to allowing for students to return in smaller, staggered groups to begin the year, this later start also allows additional time for Thames Valley to re-organize staff for our schools.

Why do we have to re-organize staff in our schools?
On July 30, the Ministry of Education announced that families would have the option of having their children return to school In-person or Full Remote Learning. In Thames Valley, about 69,000 students will attend In-person, and 13,000 students will participate in Full Remote Learning. Just like our in-person students, full remote students require teachers. We were required to move more than 400 teachers from In-person teaching to full remote teaching.

Why is this happening so close to the start of school?
Normally, we assign students and staff to classrooms in the Spring. It takes a couple of months to match the number of registered students with the appropriate number of teachers, keeping in mind that class sizes must adhere to collective agreements and Ministry of Education mandates. In late August, we were required to re-organize staff twice based on three things:
1. New one-time funding provided additional teaching staff that we could assign to schools,
2. We were requested by the Ministry to change our secondary school in-person learning schedule, and
3. Enrolment for In-person Learning and Full Remote Learning continued to change.

How did this impact my school?
Every year, there are always some adjustments to staffing due to class re-organization. Schools will sometimes need additional teachers because new students join Thames Valley or change schools. Conversely, if student enrolment is lower than predicted we collapse classes, which requires a temporary placement in an alternative school location for the remainder of the year.

This year, it may be to another school, another classroom or to Full Remote Learning. This doesn't mean that staff will lose their job, but rather, they will have a change in teaching assignment. In fact, we are continuing to hire more occasional teachers with recently announced temporary funding.

When will staff know what their assignment is?
Recently, we have compressed a three-month process into two weeks. This week, and next, schools are in the final steps of confirming their staffing assignments. The impact at any particular school will depend in large part on the number of students who have chosen to participate in Full Remote Learning.

Staff who are re-assigned from their school will be able to find a placement at another school, which may include our Full Remote Learning Program. We do not expect any layoffs for our permanent staff members.

Will these be final decisions?
Students and families may see some changes in the teaching staff at their school. Students in Full Remote Learning may not have a teacher from their home school.

Thames Valley welcomes many new students during the first week of school. As a result, we regularly make adjustments to classes to help balance class sizes. This will happen in September once all students have returned to school, so as always, students and families should be prepared for potential changes in their classroom and teacher.

We know this may sound like a complicated process and we certainly never imagined doing it in such a short timeline. This is one of the many tasks we have been carefully working on to ensure we meet the needs of all of our students and staff. Thank you to our staff for their flexibility, adaptability and patience. We are grateful to families and staff who continue to work with us as partners on this journey.

Thames Valley District School Board

 

August 27, 2020 Update # 4 - Return to Learn - Message from the Ministry of Education

Please find attached a letter to parents from Minister Lecce.

Minister Letter - Parent Guidance (English)

Minister Letter - Parent Guidance (French) 

August 26, 2020 Update #3 - Return to Learn - Secondary Families

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We look forward to our students returning to learn in September! Thames Valley secondary schools will be open to students the week of September 14. This change in start date is required to re-organize all of our schools based on the high number of families who have selected Full Remote Learning.

Secondary Full Remote Learning students will begin school on Monday, September 14.

Updated Secondary Adapted Learning Model

The Board has been instructed by the Ministry of Education to change from a model of two courses per day, to one course per day, to ensure we are keeping student contacts to a minimum. Students will still be enrolled in two courses at the same time over a 10-week period. Period one will run weeks 1,3,5,7,9 and period two will run weeks 2,4,6,8,10. Students will attend in cohorts, with a combination of in-person and at-home learning. 

 

Sample Secondary Schedule

view our sample secondary calendar

Students in Full Remote Learning will also follow this schedule.   

 Please visit www.tvdsb.ca/returntolearn to view the new secondary calendar. 

 

Changing Learning Models

To honour requests to change learning models, we are accepting changes no later than 12:00pm on Friday, August 28.  Please contact your school as soon as possible if you wish to make a change.

Additional updates, information and Frequently Asked Questions are provided on our website.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to plan to welcome our students back this year. 

Thames Valley District School Board 

August 26, 2020 Update #3 - Return to Learn - Elementary Families

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

We look forward to our students returning to learn in September! We have important updates to share with you related to the start of school for your child.

 

Start Date

Thames Valley elementary students will begin school the week of September 14. This change in start date is required to re-organize all of our schools based on the high number of families who have selected Full Remote Learning. 

Elementary students who have selected to return to school in person will begin with a staggered start the week of September 14. Your child's school will contact you by Friday, August 28 to inform you of which days your child will attend. All elementary students will attend on Friday, September 18.  

Elementary Full Remote Learning students will begin school on Monday, September 14 and participate in learning every day.

 

Masks/Face Coverings

All students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 must wear masks/face coverings in school and on student transportation. Students in Grades 4 to 8, who do not wear a mask/face covering, risk being sent home from school unless they have medical exemption. If a student requires a mask, the school will provide one.

 

IMPORTANT DEADLINE: Changing Learning Models

To honour requests to change learning models, we are accepting changes no later than 12:00pm on Friday, August 28. Please contact your school as soon as possible if you wish to make a change.

Additional updates, information and Frequently Asked Questions are provided on www.tvdsb.ca/returntolearn.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to plan to welcome our students back this year.  

 

Thames Valley District School Board

 

August 20, 2020 Update #2 - Return to Learn
 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

We look forward to our return to learn this September! Our Return to Learn plan continues to change based on shifting Ministry of Education direction and we are working to keep families informed. Please know the health, safety and well-being of our Thames Valley community remains a priority. You can review our Plan, resources and frequently asked questions for the most current information.  

 

Staggered Entry

Based on recent Ministry of Education announcements, Boards are permitted to stagger entry of students up to a two-week period for the return to school. Staggering entry means that not all elementary in-person students will start school on Tuesday, September 8. This staggered entry will allow for more time to learn new school routines in smaller group settings. The staggered schedule for elementary in-person students will be determined and sent to families as soon as possible. Parents and guardians should be prepared to make alternate child care arrangements for the first two weeks of the school year.

 

Return to School Confirmation

Thank you for confirming your preferred model for school this Fall. This information will help us plan and allocate staff for our in-person and full remote schools. Our Return to School Confirmation received a response from 94% of our families. We will reach out to families who we have not heard from to collect information on their intention for school in September. Of our 81,000 students, approximately 69,000 students will be attending In-person Learning and 12,000 have selected Full Remote Learning. Based on this response we are creating several virtual elementary and secondary schools that will be staffed by qualified Thames Valley teachers, principals and support staff. 

 

Mask Requirements

Students in Grade 4 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks while in school and on school transportation. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks in common spaces and on school transportation. Families are asked to please prepare your children for school by having them wear masks now for short periods of time throughout the day. 

 

We will send further updates as we approach the school year and are developing a series of videos to help students and families understand what to expect in September. Watch our elementary video here. Please stay tuned for kindergarten, secondary and special education videos. 

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

 

Thames Valley District School Board

August 12, 2020 Update #1 - Return to Learn

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We look forward to our return to learning in September. Following the presentation of our plan for re-entry to the Ministry of Education on August 5, we are sending families our Return to Learn plan, as well as a newly developed Return to Learn Community Resource. In these documents, you will find additional information on our learning models and health and safety practices for September reopening. We know that you have many questions regarding our plans, and we hope that you find this information helpful and informative. 

We continue to receive new information and direction from the Ministry of Education and public health almost daily. We are focused on health and well-being, teaching and learning, equity and connecting with our community. Thank you for partnering with us, as we strive to be flexible and adaptable on our journey together. 

As a reminder, the Return to School Confirmation is open for parents and guardians until August 18, 2020. Please be sure to log in to the Parent Portal and share the learning model your child(ren) will engage in this September. If you have any difficulty doing this please contact your school principal or call our help line at 519-452-2005.

Please visit our Return to Learn website, which includes a frequently asked questions area. Thank you and stay well. 

Thames Valley District School Board

August 5, 2020 Update - Return to School Confirmation

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Thames Valley District School Board is excited to welcome your child(ren) back to school and plans are underway to make this a safe and welcoming experience. The Ministry of Education announced on July 30, 2020 that all Elementary students will return to school every day, five (5) days-a-week, in a designated cohort for the full day (i.e. recess and lunch). Secondary students will return in an adapted (cohort) model, that combines in-person attendance and remote learning. Cohorts of approximately 15 secondary students will be attending school on an alternating schedule that will be provided once our plan has been reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Education.  

 

Return to School Confirmation August 5 to August 18

The next step in our plan for the upcoming school year requires your response, as parents/ guardians. We are asking parents and guardians to complete the Return to School Confirmation on the TVDSB Parent Portal (www.tvdsb.ca/parentportal) and indicate whether or not your child(ren) will be returning to in-person learning in September. A separate entry must be completed for each child and is required for both elementary and secondary students. The deadline to complete this form is Tuesday, August 18, 2020. If you are new to the Parent Portal, instructions are provided below. 

 

Your Decision

There will be limited opportunities within the school year for parents and guardians to change their child’s learning between models of learning. Families must notify the school in advance and there will be a waiting period for admission to school (in-person and full remote learning), depending on scheduling and availability of class placement. For secondary students, course selections may not be available when switching between models.

 

More Information to Make Your Decision

In order to provide families with more information on all models of learning, Thames Valley has developed the following information resources:

 

Elementary In-person Learning

Secondary Adapted Learning

Full Remote Learning

The Ministry of Education has also provided a GUIDE TO RE-OPENING SCHOOLS

 

Our educators and staff are excited to welcome back our students and families! We have been working hard to prepare everyone for September and are committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We promise to keep our families informed and will continue to provide regular updates. 

 

Visit www.tvdsb.ca for Return to Learn information.

 

Thank you,

Thames Valley District School Board

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New to using the Parent Portal? www.tvdsb.ca/parentportal

Parents/Guardians who are new to using the Thames Valley District School Board Parent Portal are asked to visit the TVDSB Parent Portal to create an account using the email address registered at their child’s school. An online video is available on the login page to assist with the account creation process.

 

The Parent Portal is a key communication tool for families in Thames Valley. The Parent Portal works on phones, tablets and computers. The first page of the Parent Portal allows parents/guardians to easily access their child's information including attendance and report cards. For students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or Individual Plan of Care, this information can also be accessed through the Parent Portal. Throughout the year, parents/guardians can view school information and update their own child’s information and required consent forms using this valuable online tool.

 

 

Guide to Reopening Schools

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