May 28, 2015

Letter from Director of Education Tony Pontes to secondary school families

May 28, 2015

Dear Peel District School Board families:

On May 26, 2015, the Ontario Labour Relations Board’s ruling ended the secondary teachers’ strike in Peel, Durham and Rainbow district school boards. As a result, Peel secondary schools reopened to students and staff yesterday. The school year will be revised, but not extended.

This has been a difficult time for you, our students and for our staff, and I am sure you must be concerned about the schoo​l program missed during the strike. I want to assure you that our key priority is to ensure students have a successful end to the school year, and are prepared for the year to come.

Teachers will ensure students have the opportunity to re-engage in their courses. They will also adjust their course outlines and timelines to focus on essential overall expectations for each course. Each teacher will, in the coming days, share his or her revised course expectations for the remainder of the school year with students.

During the secondary teachers’ strike, the Peel board communicated that students would not be required to continue working on class assignments or projects assigned prior to the job action. With this in mind, a one-week moratorium on collecting assignments or conducting assessments began May 27. During this week, assignments will not be collected and assessments will not take place. Students who were working on independent study units (ISUs) prior to the beginning of the strike will have due dates extended into June.

Instruction in Peel classrooms will continue to the end of the day on June 24. Exams and culminating tasks will not take place in any course this semester. Instead, final grades will be based on 100 per cent of term work, assignments, tests, etc. prior to the strike and from now until the end of the school year. Days originally designated as exam days (June 17, 18, 19, 22 and 23) will be converted into instructional days where teachers and students will continue their regular class schedules. June 24 will be a tutorial day when teachers will be available for students who require extra support. June 25 and 26 remain Professional Activity Days focused on promotion meetings and school closure activities. Students will not attend school on June 25 or 26.

Report cards may not be distributed on time according to the timelines provided to you at the beginning of the year—there may be a slight delay. This being said, final marks to colleges and universities will be submitted on time. I know you have other questions about reimbursement of school fees, rescheduled events, etc. We are looking into these and will make decisions that are in the best interests of students. You will receive information as details are finalized.

We appreciate your continued patience and understanding during this time, and thank you for your support as we return to school and to learning.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Pontes
Director of Education

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