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An update for families from the director

An update for families from the director
Posted on 03/30/2020
Update

Dear OCDSB Families:

As we kick-off a new week, I wanted to touch base and let you know about our progress to date.

As you can appreciate, developing a plan to support learning for 75,000 students while schools are closed, is a challenging task. There are still many questions about next steps and we anticipate further direction from the Ministry of Education, but there is lots to report on.

Last week

  • Check-ins by and with School Staff - Last week, our school-based staff had a chance to check-in with principals and colleagues and get their “Work At Home” configuration set up. Then, they got to work connecting with students and families using email, telephone calls, social media, teacher websites and more. Here are just a few ways our staff are reaching out and making connections: https://youtu.be/y6Vn8oxCGDM 

  • Letter to Students - On Friday, we sent an update to all OCDSB students in grades 4 through 12. We wanted to ensure parents also had this information and are completely up to date with our progress.

 

Looking ahead this week

  • Continued Check-ins from School Staff - School staff will continue to reach out to students to check on wellness and suggest optional activities that students may participate in. Our staff will also be planning for Phase 2 of Learning At Home.

  • Update from the Ministry of Education - We anticipate an update from the Ministry of Education on the duration of the closure period. We will share more information about this once details are available.  

  • Finding Solutions - We are working on strategies to ensure that all students have access to technology, wifi, and special education resources  to support learning. Without restricted access to our buildings and working online, this is a complex problem, but we are working towards solutions.  

  • Restricted Access to Playgrounds - We know how valuable school yard space is in our communities.  We also know that we are unable to clean playground equipment during this time.  This week, new signage will go up on school yards noting that the school yard is closed except for walk through traffic.

 

Resources and information

  • Tips About Self-Care - Self-care is so important at times like this; this Self-Care Tip Sheet is good for the whole family. 

  • Tips About Reaching Out - It can be difficult for parents and for kids to start conversations about how you are feeling - this Reaching Out Tip Sheet has some helpful hints.

  • Information from ONFE - the Ottawa Network for Education is a wonderful partner to schools and families and has created some online educational resources.

  • COVID-19 Multilingual Resources for Sponsors and Newcomers - a tip sheet on where to get information in many other languages.

While we do not have all of the answers today, we continue to make progress and work to create a new plan for learning that supports the needs of all of our students. Like you, we remain committed to supporting student learning in a way that leads to the successful completion of the school year and supports student advancement to the next school year and graduating,

 

Be well and stay safe,

 

Camille Williams-Taylor

Director of Education/Secretary to the Board

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