Today, the provincial government announced their decision to further delay the return to in-person learning at all publicly funded schools across Ontario by at least two weeks in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
As a result of this decision, schools in Ontario will not reopen to in-person learning until at least Monday, January 17, 2022 as opposed to Wednesday, January 5 as previously announced.
Please note the following for Bluewater District School Board:
Effective Thursday, January 6, 2022, elementary and secondary schools will offer synchronous remote learning to students utilizing the online learning environment as in the past (Office 365 suite, Brightspace). Messaging and asynchronous material will be posted to your child(ren)’s online classroom(s) on Wednesday, January 5 to help support their start. If you do not have your child(ren)’s Active Directory login(s) and password(s), their teacher(s) will be able to provide this information.
Access to Internet/Devices
For families requiring assistance with access to reliable internet and/or devices, schools will be reaching out to you individually over the next couple of days based on their previous assessments of the needs within their school communities.
Parents/guardians of children attending a special education class placement will be contacted on or before Wednesday, January 5 to discuss remote learning access. In-person options will be made available for students with special education needs who have difficulty accessing remote learning.
Student transportation services may be available by request for students with special education needs who are attending in-person during the two-week period. Parents/guardians are encouraged to reach out to the school to inquire about arrangements. Student transportation for all other students will resume on Monday, January 17, or upon the return to in-person learning.
Co-op programs for secondary students may continue during this period of remote learning, if all required health and safety protocols are in place.
Students Already Enrolled in Remote Learning
For elementary and secondary students who are already enrolled in remote learning, classes will resume as usual on Thursday, January 6.
Child Care/Before and After School Programs
Child care centres in schools will remain open during the two-week period with free emergency child care available to school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers. Families may wish to contact their child care providers to determine their availability over the next few weeks.
Before and after school programs will be cancelled during the two-week period.
Mental Health Resources
During this time, I also want you to be aware of the mental health resources that are available to support students and families. These include Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868. School Mental Health Ontario also has many helpful resources for students, parents/guardians, and families on their website at www.smho-smso.ca.
In Bluewater District School Board, school-based mental health support is available to Grades 7-12 students. Simply fill out this online form, and a member of our board’s mental health team will be in touch as soon as possible. For students younger than Grade 7, parents/guardians are encouraged to contact their child’s school principal, who can help link them to any community health supports that are available.
Please visit the mental health and well-being section of our board website for additional resources at www.bwdsb.on.ca/students/mental_health.
Additional Learning Resources
Additional curriculum-based content will be available to students and families on the TVOntario (TVO) and Télévision française de l’Ontario (TFO) website, which can be found at the following link: TVO Learn | Learn at home resources for Grade 1-12 Students | TVO Learn
- Daily broadcasting of grade-level, curriculum-based content from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., beginning the week of January 10
- Digital elementary curriculum-based content, including engaging learning activities linked to grades and curriculum
- “Open house” course material for secondary students in the Independent Learning Centre offered by TVO
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we work together during this period of remote learning. We encourage all eligible students and families to seek out vaccination, including booster doses. Please use the following link for information regarding vaccines: Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine (publichealthgreybruce.on.ca)
As always, we are here to assist you with a smooth transition to ensure a continued positive learning experience for your child(ren). Please feel free to reach out to your child(ren)’s school with any questions you have. I look forward to seeing our students return to in-person learning soon.
Director of Education