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Union says Ford government needs to do five things to get schools ready to open again

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TLDSB recognizes no mandatory online training occurred for local teachers

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) says the provincial Conservative government’s decision to close schools today because of the surging pandemic is only the first step of what should happen next.

Ontario schools will stay closed indefinitely to in-person learning as the pandemic surges in Ontario to levels not seen before. Premier Doug Ford just announced this Monday afternoon along with Education Minister Stephen Lecce – just 24 hours after Lecce had said schools were safe to resume classes after the break.

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School board trustee wonders why teachers are not a priority for COVID vaccines

in Education/Health by
School board trustee wonders why teachers are not priority for vaccines
"School staff are frontline workers and unfortunately the health units and the ministry do not see it that way."

As far as trustee Gary Brohman is concerned, staff working in Trillium Lakelands District School Board schools are essential workers and he cannot understand why the province has not made the vaccination of teachers, administrators and support staff a priority.

At the recent school board meeting, Brohman advocated forcefully for staff vaccines to be safe against the threat of COVID-19.

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March break now April break; Octoblocks not certain for the fall, says board

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce has postponed March Break, so that schools can help to limit community transmission, according to the education minister. The break will happen the week of April 12-16 instead.

“I recognize that this is one more change in a year that has been challenging for so many students and our education staff who continue to work so hard,” he said, but added he acted on the “best advice of public health officials.”

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Questions remain as to who will administer rapid COVID-19 testing in schools

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Questions remain as to who will administer rapid COVID-19 testing in schools

At a recent press conference Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams were vague on key educational issues, leaving Trillium Lakelands District School Board parents, students and staff needing more clarification about March Break.

This includes questions on who will be administering the rapid COVID-19 test in the school setting, and when Muskoka students be back to in-person learning.

During the question and answer section of the briefing, March Break, scheduled to run from March 13-22, became a point of contention. Dr. Williams was asked directly if there were plans to “cancel March Break to make up for time lost due to COVID-19.”

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TLDSB wants parent feedback on future planning, says octomesters working well

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At a recent Trillium Lakelands District School Board meeting, Director of Education Wes Hahn said the board will soon be looking for feedback to determine its next five-year plan.

This is the last year of their 2015-2020 strategic plan, which has focused on student success and achievement. The next five year plan is already being developed and the director wants as many different shareholder groups involved in its planning as possible.

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Kawartha Lakes students back to school Monday

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Many parents in Kawartha Lakes are overjoyed to hear that their school-aged children who were attending in-person learning before the Christmas holiday will be returning to school on Jan. 25.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the chief medical officer of health, announced that schools under jurisdiction of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will be returning to in-person learning Jan. 25 while schools under jurisdiction of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit will continue remote learning until at least Feb. 10.

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School board reports show education stressors are piling up

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Reports made by multiple Trillium Lakelands District School Board officials indicate a system that, while working hard to provide the best available education, is straining under the almost constant change being thrown at it by pandemic-related developments.

These stressors are impacting administrators, front-line staff, parents, and students.

Director of Education Wes Hahn spent the better part of a half hour detailing how the board was coping with the changes that have occurred just since Jan. 1.

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School board notes: Health unit supports classes shut down until at least Jan. 25

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The Ontario government has extended the temporary remote learning period for elementary schools by an additional two weeks while they monitor the ever increasing second wave of COVID-19.

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School board notes: A $3 million deficit, students’ resilience, and a 100 day report from director

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Education director says PD has helped staff whether breakneck changes during COVID
Director of Education for TLDSB, Wes Hahn.

The Trillium Lakelands District School Board recently met, covering their recent audit, staff reporting on some of the upsides seen during the pandemic, and the director of education’s 100-day report.

2019-2020 board financial audit reports $3 million deficit 

Superintendent of Finance Tim Ellis presented the auditors report to trustees.

Ellis pointed out that some numbers will look different this year because of pandemic affected accounting. For example, with property taxes deferred until later in 2020 by Kawartha Lakes, the province had to step in with TLDSB and front the board the money that would have normally been transferred by the municipality.

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Worries about octoblocks grow as students, teachers deal with relentless pace

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Despite the mostly positive reports coming from senior Trillium Lakelands District School Board staff regarding octoblocks, a different narrative is emerging powered by student and teacher experiences.

Octoblocks, according to a school trustee, a union representative, and three teachers are affecting students and staff in a number of negative ways.

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