Welcome to Niagara Catholic’s COVID-19 Student Learning From Home Resource Page
*New* June 19, 2020 - Ontario Prepares for the Safe Reopening of Schools
The Ministry of Education has how the 2020-2021 school year could look, and its safety plan for the coming year.
Ontario's plan to safely reopen schools provides options for parents to send their children in-class or to enter online learning - with health, safety and well-being at its core. Boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios to be implemented in September, depending on the public health situation at the time:
- A normal school day routine with enhanced health protocols. Students would attend school every day in classes that reflect normal class sizes.
- A modified school day routine, designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time, and adopt timetabling allowing students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.
- Continued at-home learning, should the school closure be extended, remote learning would continue. There may also be parents who choose not to return their children to school. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teacher at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.
This plan was made following extensive consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the Province's COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at the Hospital for Sick Children, partners in education, frontline workers, parents and students.
The government is instructing school boards to be prepared with a plan, should it be required, that includes an adapted delivery model, which could include alternate day or alternate week attendance, staggered bell times and recess, and different transportation arrangements, among a variety of other considerations to ensure the safety of students and staff.
The government's safety plan for schools was created following extensive consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children, education sector partners, frontline workers, parents and students. While this plan reflects the best medical and scientific advice and recommendations available, parents who do not feel comfortable having their children physically return to school will have a choice to pursue online remote learning.
Key elements of the safety plan include:
- guidance for developing health and safety protocols, including the use of personal protective equipment;
- expectations of an in-class school environment;
- professional development training for teachers on the new protocols and directions;
- supports for students with special education needs;
- enhanced mental health and well-being supports;
- proposals on how educators and students can move fluidly between in-class and remote learning;
- guidelines to help schools and boards in their communications with students and parents;
- guidelines for student transportation systems;
- expectations for the delivery of curriculum and assessment across subjects and grades;
- guidance for working with First Nations students, parents and communities;
- regional options for reopening based on the advice of local public health authorities; and
- a checklist to help boards in their reopening planning.
School boards have been asked to prepare their own safety plans for the upcoming school year and submit them to the Ministry by August 4, 2020. Niagara Catholic's Re-Opening Task Force has been discussing re-opening scenarios extensively, and will ensure that plans are in place for all three possibilities. We will continue to communicate with students, parents and guardians throughout the summer, keeping you aware of the safety plan, offering guidance and answering questions about health and safety measures and protocols, and any other changes that will take place when schools reopen in September.
At this time, Niagara Catholic's 2020-2021 School Year Calendar has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Education. When it is approved, it will be sent to families for your information, and also published on this website.
We will continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in Niagara in July to determine whether in-person summer school classes may proceed. All families of students signed up for summer school will be notified.
May 19, 2020
Earlier today, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Students will continue learning at home until the end of June. A letter from Minister Lecce to all students has been posted under Board and Ministry Communications on this page, and is being sent to all families this evening.
We know families have questions about how to complete registration for the 2020-2021 school year, and about retrieving items left behind when school ended for the March Break, and we will be in touch with families about these issues once plans have been finalized. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work out a system that will work well for our families and our staff.
Please continue to stay well and safe.
To assist students and parents as we navigate this new stage in Catholic education in Ontario - and learning throughout the world - Niagara Catholic has created our Learn at Home platform.
To ensure it is easy for you to navigate, we have realigned the page, breaking it down into specific categories. Please check on the appropriate tab to access the information you need.
To assist students and families in accessing virtual learning, please watch the video, directly to the right of this text.
Please continue to pray, be well, and stay safe.