Important Information – Return to Learning – January 4, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In response to increased concern about transmission of COVID-19 during the holidays and in the interest of keeping all of our communities as safe as possible, St. Clair Catholic elementary and secondary schools will move to remote learning for all students, as directed by the Ministry of Education.

Beginning January 4 to January 8, 2021 all students will participate in remote learning. In-person instruction will not be permitted during this period. Elementary students may return to in-person classroom learning as of January 11, 2021. Secondary students will begin remote learning on January 4, and may return to in-person classroom learning on January 25, 2021. Students attending our Remote Learning School (elementary and secondary) will continue to follow their regular schedules commencing January 4, 2021.

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board continues to work closely with our local Public Health units and the Ministry of Education. We will provide updates as soon as new information becomes available. Please monitor Newsdesk for the latest updates.

Important Information

  • All publicly funded Ontario schools are closed for the Christmas break from December 19, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
  • Transportation to SCCDSB schools is scheduled to resume on Monday January 11, 2021 for elementary students.
  • School-based daycares will remain open. Further communication will be provided by local daycare providers.
  • Before and after school care is closed for the week of January 4 – 8, 2021.

Mental Health Supports

Parents/guardians are advised to contact their child’s school if support is needed or visit the Board’s Mental Health and Wellbeing web page at https://www.st-clair.net/mental-health-home.aspx where resources and staff contact information is provided.  School Mental Health Ontario also has great resources available for students, parents and families at www.smho-smso.ca  The Kids Help Phone is available at 1-800-668 –6868 or text CONNECT to 686868. Kids Help Phone offers counselling and referral services 24/7.

Remote/Virtual Learning:   What to expect

  • All students are registered in their classroom Learning Management System/Online Learning Platform.
  • On January 4, 2021 teachers will communicate with their students via email, Edsby or a phone call to share important information regarding where to find student work and how to connect with the class on a Google Meet for January 5, 2021.
  • Your child’s teacher will post some work on the class digital platform for January 4.  If your child is able, he/she should login and work on these assignments. 
  • Attendance will be taken daily. Your child’s teacher will inform you of the process that will be used to take attendance. In the event that your child is absent for any reason, call, use Edsby or send an email to your home school secretary. 
  • If your child does not have a device, the school will be in touch with you to arrange pick up at the home school. The student’s school will arrange for technology deployment with families beginning January 4, 2021.
  • Teachers will engage students in learning beginning January 4 and continuing until in-person classroom learning resumes. During the 300 minute school day, students will participate in synchronous learning as follows:
    • Kindergarten – 180 minutes
    • Grades 1-12 – 225 minutes
  • Students will engage in asynchronous learning activities for the remainder of the 300 minute school day. 
  • Teachers will offer office hours each day to connect with families, answer questions and support students.

What is synchronous learning?

This is when learning happens in real time with live interaction with a teacher/educator. Synchronous learning involves educators using text, video, or voice communication to instruct and connect with students in real time. It helps teachers provide immediate feedback to students and enables students learning remotely to interact with other students from the home school class each day.

What is digital asynchronous learning?

Asynchronous learning (digital) is online learning that is not delivered in real time. In this model students work at their own pace at the time of day that is right for them. Asynchronous learning may involve students watching pre-recorded video lessons, completing assigned tasks, or contributing to online discussion boards. Daily student attendance in the virtual environment is required and will be recorded with evidence of daily participation in online discussion posts, submission of assignments and email interactions with the teacher.

Students who are experiencing difficulties participating in meeting the remote learning expectations should contact their school principal.  

Supporting Students with Special Education Needs 

In both elementary and secondary, high needs special education students will be learning remotely with their classes from January 4 to 8.  School teams will contact high needs special education students on January 4 to determine individual supports and instructional requirements.

Time will be scheduled for both asynchronous and synchronous learning for any support staff, i.e., Educational Assistant, Speech Language Pathologist, Social Worker, central support staff, who support students with special education needs.  Teachers will ensure Individual Education Plan (IEP) expectations are followed and regular check-ins with students and families are completed so that students are successful with their individualized plan. The school team will support teachers with implementing and monitoring the IEP. 

Secondary Students

All Secondary classes have been working in an online learning platform that is managed by their classroom teacher.  Secondary students will continue to follow their regular quadmester schedule, which is found at  https://www.st-clair.net/school-year-calendar.aspx  Regular assessment and evaluation of assignments will continue during the remote learning period as students approach the end of the second quadmester on Thursday, February 4, 2021.  Teachers will communicate the final evaluation components expected for each course during the week of January 4-8, 2021.

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board will continue to post to the Board website information from local and provincial Medical Officers of Health and the Ministry of Education regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as the situation continues to evolve.  Thank you for your cooperation and patience throughout this ongoing health crisis as we work together to keep our students and staff safe and well.

Please visit the Board website at www.st-clair.net and monitor Newsdesk during the holidays for the most current information and updates.

We know that this switch to remote learning will be a challenge for many families, especially those who have more than one child and limited access to devices and internet.  We are committed to working with all families and ask for your support and patience as we work to assist where we can with remote learning at home during this period.  Please contact your school following the Christmas break on January 4, 2021 if your family is having difficulty meeting the remote learning expectations.

Wishing you God’s Blessings for a safe and healthy Christmas! 

Sincerely,

Deb Crawford
Director of Education