April 26, 2020
Closure of Peel board schools and worksites extended to May 31, 2020
Dear Peel District School Board Families,
As you have most likely heard, today, the Ministry of Education officially announced that all publicly funded schools in Ontario will remain closed until at least May 31, 2020, to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. This was expected, and a necessary step to keep us safe.
The Minister of Education also announced that the remainder of Professional Activity (PA) days and examination days will be replaced with instructional time. As well, the ministry will introduce an expanded summer learning program that will focus on credit recovery, supports for vulnerable students, and course upgrading. The Minister did not indicate that the school year will be extended. The Peel board will review this announcement and will provide families with an update in the days ahead.
As always, we are committed to keeping you updated as new information becomes available. Below are a few current updates:
A Community of Care
During the closure period, we will continue with A Community of Care: Peel District School Board's Learning and Support Plan. Some have said, in the move to distance learning, that we are transforming face-to-face teaching and learning. I want to be clear—although educators and support staff have reimagined education and done incredible things to ensure students are able to learn from home, what we are doing is teaching and learning during a global crisis.
We recognize that these are not normal times and that not all students are equitably well-positioned to learn from home. Some have limited access to technology. Others may have less support from family members because their parents/guardians are essential workers, and others may be struggling in other areas. All of this to say that we understand the extremely difficult circumstances in which many of our families find themselves, and we will assess and evaluate student learning, with care and compassion.
Our goal is to support every learner, with a focus on well-being, and to not to penalize students for the circumstances that they find themselves in. We want students to be supported as they work towards their credits and to be well-prepared for their next level of education. We will do everything we can to support all learners to be successful, and are relying on feedback from families to help us adjust our sails as we navigate this new world together.
As always, students and families should connect with teachers directly if they have questions about assessment, evaluation and reporting, or any other class/course-related question. You can also direct questions to your vice-principal or principal, but please start with your teachers. To find out how to contact your child/teen's school during the closure, visit our website.
We have made the difficult decision to postpone all elementary and secondary graduation and commencement ceremonies that were scheduled for the Spring. A lot of hard work, planning, energy and funds go into these milestone events, so we know that students, families and staff will be very disappointed to hear this news. We share in this disappointment. We know that graduation is a special moment in the lives of students and their families, but keeping everyone safe must be our top priority. We appreciate everyone's understanding.
We grieve alongside Nova Scotians
Last weekend, we learned of the tragedy in Nova Scotia that left the world saddened and shaken. We watched as it unfolded on the news and on social media, and we held onto hope for the victims and their loved ones. It is difficult to understand what happened, and our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by this senseless act.
The loss of life is distressing, but when it involves an act of violence, it can leave some feeling especially unsettled. Resources to support you and your family are posted on the Peel board's website
. If you believe your child/teen needs additional support, please contact the school and a school administrator will reach out to the board's Social Work or Psychology departments.
At this time of great difficulty, our hearts and minds are with everyone who is experiencing loss through this unfortunate tragedy. May they find strength, hope and peace in the days ahead.Stay up-to-date on the board's response to COVID-19
Please continue to check www.peelschools.org/coronavirus
for the most up-to-date information, including supplementary online learning resources, mental health and community supports, and regularly updated Frequently Asked Questions.
As we eagerly await the opportunity to welcome students and staff back into the classrooms, please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.
Director of Education