/Province extends school closure 

Province extends school closure 

By Jenn Watt

Trillium Lakelands District School Board staff are putting the pieces in place to support students to study from home as the Ontario governmentannounced Tuesday that schools will not reopen until May 4 at theearliest.

Medical experts advised the province that the “next twoweeks will be critical in the fight against COVID-19” which led to thedecision to keep staff and students at home said Premier Doug Ford onMarch 31.

The local school board has been working to prepare itsTLDSB Learning@Home page and over the last week have been correspondingwith staff about how to best support students said Catherine Sheddencommunications manager for the school board.
“Yesterday we providedour school administrators with our continuity of learning plan which weare calling … ‘TLDSB Learning@Home’” Shedden said in an email to theMinden Times on Tuesday. “Principals are now sharing this with teachingstaff. Our next step will be to determine the capacity families have tobe able to participate – there will be messaging going to homes thisevening with a survey asking questions about home connectivity devices and the best way to communicate with the teacher etc.”

Expectations for students were released by Education Minister Stephen Lecce in thesecond phase of Learn at Home. Those in kindergarten to Grade 3 will beasked to do five hours of work per student per week; Grade 4-6 to dofive hours; Grade 7-8 to do 10 hours; and Grade 9-12 to do three hoursper course per week.
Final report cards will be issued for all students.

Tuesday’s announcement stated that laptops and other devices would be distributed from schools as needed and that they would identify alternative formsof student-teacher connectivity including digital phone and mail.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep students safe from COVID-19 – whichis why we have extended the school closure period and why we haveunveiled a teacher-led program that keeps students learning while athome” Lecce said. “By providing clarity for parents enhancing supportfor students and enabling the teacher-student relationship we areensuring our children continue to safely learn – providing some sense of stability and hope for them amid this difficulty.”