Bluewater lays out new snow-day guidelines

As with everything else, COVID-19 is about to make its mark when it comes to ‘snow days’ in the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) region.

In a recent letter that went out to parents, the process for school bus cancellations and school closures is about to change.  While school bus cancellations are the decision of the bus companies, school closures are the decision of the principal and BWDSB.

This winter, school closure decisions will be impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, combining students was a strategy often used on ‘inclement weather days’ when not all students and staff were able to get to school. However, public health guidelines now do not allow the mixing of student cohorts.

Therefore, the BWDSB has put in place the following guidelines for the school year 2020-2021:

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8

Schools will do their best to remain open when buses are not running, and as usual, students will be welcome to attend if they can get there safely. If buses are cancelled, and a child is unable to get to school otherwise, students are asked to log in to their online classroom learning environment (Brightspace or Office365) at the usual start of the school day to receive instructions from their classroom teacher. Teachers will have posted work for students to complete and, if possible, will be available to connect with students synchronously. Students who do not have access to the appropriate technology are asked to follow up with their teacher when they return to school. Teachers are working to ensure all students have the information required to access the online platform. If the school is closed to students, the above process would apply to everyone.

Grades 9 to 12

Due to the amount of material delivered in one day under the current secondary model, when buses are cancelled, secondary schools will be closed to students except for those in self-contained special education classrooms. Learning will shift to online and students should log in to their classroom learning environment (Brightspace or Office365) at the usual start of the school day to receive instructions from their classroom teacher. Teachers will have posted work for students to complete and, if possible, will be available to connect with students synchronously. Again, students who do not have access to the appropriate technology are asked to follow up with their teacher when they return to school. Teachers are working to ensure all students have the information required to access their online learning environment. Free apps for Microsoft Teams and Brightspace are available for mobile phones, which students may wish to use for this purpose. Students in self-contained special education classrooms are welcome to attend school on these days if they can safely do so.

Remote Learning School

Learning for students in remote learning schools will not be impacted by school closures or bus cancellations.

School bus cancellations and school closures will continue to be announced using BWDSB usual processes. As always, parents/guardians can subscribe to receive timely email or text alerts regarding cancellations, delays, and closures from the Student Transportation Service Consortium of Grey-Bruce. Visit www.mybrucegreyschoolbus.ca and click on the Parent Portal icon on the righthand side to log in or create an account.