As you know, all Ontario schools, including those in the Peel District School Board, are closed until April 5, 2020, to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Today, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce shared a letter to families regarding these closures.
In the event that schools need to remain closed beyond April 5, the Peel District School Board—along with other Ontario school boards—are using the upcoming two weeks to plan to re-establish the delivery of curriculum, and to explore ways to provide students with access to devices and Wifi. Like you, we have serious concerns about equity of access to technology and Wifi, as well as worries about how all students, including those with English as a Second Language and Special Education needs, will be supported. Our goal is to ensure that every student has access to learning during the closure, and we will be working diligently to ensure all learning needs are met. Once a plan is in place, we will share it with staff, students and families.
This is a stressful time for everyone, and it's normal to feel anxious and worried. To help support student mental health at home, School Mental Health Ontario has shared resources online and The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has shared information on how to talk to children and adolescents about COVID-19. Mental health resources for adults are also available on the CAMH website.
Children and teens can also reach out to counsellors at Kids Help Phone who are available 24/7 via phone, text or online chat. Kidshelpphone.ca also has a number of online resources you can access. You can access their services by calling 1-800-668-6868 or by texting CONNECT to 686868.
It continues to be our goal to keep you as informed and up-to-date as possible. Please visit our online FAQ for Peel board COVID-19-related information.