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.
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.
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.
On snow days bused students generally stay home when the harshest winter days mean bus cancellations, something that seems to be a common, positive memory for rural kids.
Town kids are often expected to trudge on into class or get dropped off to school by parents.
It’s been back to school for a while now — but not for everyone.
Staff and trustees of the Trillium Lakelands District School Board were caught off guard by the number of families choosing at-home learning with work booklets, rather than online at home. Only now, the week of Oct. 19, are students finally starting school for those who chose this learning option.
The Trillium Lakelands District School Board has posted to social media that due to the ongoing bus driver shortage parents should be prepared to handle their own transportation needs to and from school if needed.
“Due to our current shortage of qualified school bus drivers,” the board’s social media message began, “any day we (TLDSB) could be without a driver for your child’s route. It is important to make alternative transportation arrangements to get your child to and from school in the event of a cancellation.”
With the second wave of COVID-19 confirmed by Premier Doug Ford and with record numbers of new cases being diagnosed every day, the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit has clearly laid out their protocols regarding school closures.
Chandra Tremblay, manager of corporate services, communication and IT for the health unit, was asked via e-mail how many cases of COVID would need to be present to close any of the 68 schools schools that the health unit was responsible for?
In August of 2014, I sat in my bedroom scrolling through the Trent University website, nervously selecting courses for the first year of my undergraduate studies. Fast forward six years, and I found myself nervously scrolling through the website again, selecting courses for the final year of my undergrad. This time though, my nerves are caused by a new uncertainty – COVID-19.
At a Special Meeting of the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, director of education Wes Hahn said that the vast majority of parents have opted to return their children to regular full day learning beginning September 8.
The Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) that represents over 5,000 school leaders in public elementary and secondary schools across the province has asked for more time to get their schools ready for opening in September.
Schools across Ontario are slated to be open Sept. 8, but the OPC, in a press release shared late last week, has recommended that the start of the school year be delayed until September 14 “to allow staff the time to train on matters such as PPE, outbreak management and tracing protocols.”