We know that our students, families and school communities have a lot of questions relating to the province-wide school closure. We created these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help. Please note that this FAQ is a working resource and we will update it often as we learn more information. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Impact on Learning and Graduation

Will students be at risk of not graduating?

The school closures will not impact secondary school graduation.

The Ministry of Education has indicated that its intention is that no student will be at risk of not graduating due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The school closures will not impact any students progressing from one grade to another (i.e, students in Grade 8 will progress to Grade 9).

Will this impact college and university applications?

The Ministry of Education is currently connecting with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to clarify application and acceptance processes. Further information will be provided shortly. Students and families are encouraged to check with your college or university. We understand the added pressure this creates for our students and are hopeful that it will help them knowing all Ontario students are in the same situation.

Will the OSSLT scheduled for March 31 be cancelled?

This Ministry of Education has announced that EQAO assessments, including the OSSLT, are cancelled for the remainder of the year. As a result, the literacy graduation requirement for any student who has not yet passed the literacy test will be waived for students graduating this year. Students who are not graduating this year will write the OSSLT in the upcoming school year.

Will teachers continue to assign daily work via Google Classroom?

At this time, teachers are being directed not to assign any new work during this time.  Students may wish to use this time to catch up on any outstanding assignments.

Will eLearning courses continue?

During this closure, there is no expectation that students complete course work or progress in the course based on previously established timelines and due dates. However, students may wish to use this time to catch up on any outstanding assignments. We have communicated to our eLearning teachers that they are not to be assigning work or evaluating students at this time. 

Will this impact mid-term marks?

The school closures will not impact mid-term marks. Students will not be penalized for missed work or assessments. Our goal is to ensure that there is as little negative impact on students as possible.

Will secondary students still receive their mid-term marks in late April?

We have not yet determined if mid-term marks will be provided. We will communicate with students and families when we have further information.

Will Co-op placements continue during this time?

No, Co-op placements are postponed during the school closure. We will review CO-OP placements upon return to school.

Should students in Dual Credit programs attend their college/university classes?

No, students in Dual Credit programs will not attend their college or university classes. 

Will the DELF happen on April 6 and 7th?

No, the DELF has been cancelled. Those who had planned to write the DELF in April will have the opportunity to write it at a later date. More information will be shared directly with those students.

How will I complete my 40 volunteer hours required for graduating?

The Minister of Education announced that the graduation requirement to complete 40 hours of community involvement is suspended for this school year. Community involvement hours that have been completed should be reported on the report cards of graduating students. Graduating students should be encouraged to complete their hours wherever possible, where the health and safety of the student can be assured.

In short, graduating students who have not completed their 40 community service hour requirement will still graduate.

Will the school year be extended into the summer months?

At this time, we have not received direction from the Ministry of Education. The decision to extend the school year would be made by the Ministry. It’s too early to determine if this will be necessary.

Learning at Home

Will students be provided with online learning opportunities during the closure?

The Premier of Ontario and Minister of Education announced the first phase of Learn at Home (Apprendre à la maison) on March 16th, 2020 This is a new online portal that will provide resources for families, so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.  These resources can be found on the WRDSB Website under WRDSB@Home.

I don’t have access to technology, how can I continue my learning at home?

Currently, in the WRDSB we are working through a process to better understand the learning needs of our students and families. Classroom teachers are contacting each student and family and will be working through a short survey with families to determine any unique learning needs and who does not have technology and/or access to the internet at home. Once we have this information we will work in partnership with the Ministry of Education to create a plan to support these students and families. 

How are we communicating with students that do not have computer/internet access at home?

As mentioned above, students and families will be receiving a personal phone call from their classroom teacher. Teachers have been asked to work through a survey to help us to better understand and determine our students’ learning needs. From there, we will devise a plan to help ensure equitable access to learning materials for all our students, each and every one.

Will Home Instruction continue?

No. All Home Instruction will be suspended until schools reopen.

Is there any support WRDSB can direct towards families with students with special needs that don’t fall into a given school learning grade?

Families are encouraged to access the WRDSB@Home Portal where you will find a number of differentiated learning opportunities that will engage and meet the needs of our diverse learners.  The WRDSB is also working with our paraprofessional (CYWs & EAs) and social work staff on a plan to reach out to students with special learning needs. Please stay tuned for further updates.

What is asynchronous vs. synchronous learning?

Synchronous and asynchronous learning occurs through technology-enabled tools with or without real-time interaction. Many hybrid learning models will include a blend of both asynchronous and synchronous online learning.

Asynchronous

The teacher and the student(s) are providing and accessing learning materials at different times. Examples could include posting of screencasts or pre-video recorded learning materials and posting them to the VLE or Google Classroom.

Synchronous

The teacher and the student(s) are interacting and providing/accessing learning materials at the same time. Examples could include phone conversations or video conferencing (VLE, Google Meets).

Childcare and Before and After School Programs

Are childcare centres located in WRDSB schools closed?

Yes. All childcare centres located in our schools are closed while schools are closed.

Will I be charged for childcare during the closure?

Families enrolled in WRDSB operated Before and After School Programs will not be charged program fees during the closure. Families enrolled in childcare centres located in our schools should contact their provider directly for information regarding fees.

Are EarlyON Centres open?

No, EarlyON Centres located in our schools (Cedar Creek and Riverside Public Schools) are closed at this time.

General Questions

Are rental permits cancelled?

Yes, all rental permits are cancelled during the school closure.

Can we still use basketball courts at schools?

WRDSB playgrounds are closed and students or family members should not be making use of these spaces.  

Public health has continued to encourage social distancing.  As per the direction from Public Health, the Government of Ontario and the Federal Government of Canada, if families are self-isolating they should not be out of the home at all.

Can students access belongings in their lockers/desks?

Unfortunately, no. All schools are closed to the public at this time. You will have access to these items once schools re-open.

When will schools reopen?

At this time schools have been closed indefinitely. We continue to take our direction from the Ministry of Education. Once we have updated information we will share it with our WRDSB communities.

Will students who are graduating this year still have a ceremony?

We continue to remain optimistic that schools will reopen in time for students and staff to return to school this school year. If schools do reopen this school year then we will work to resume our normal routines and activities, where appropriate and possible.

How can I communicate with my school?

You may contact educators via email or telephone. Email addresses are available on your child’s school website on the staff list, located under the About tab. If no email address is listed, you may call the school and follow the prompts to leave a voicemail, and your call will be returned.

Vice-principals and principals are also available to answer questions that you may have. We encourage families to follow our usual process for addressing concerns.