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Novel Coronavirus FAQ
Novel Coronavirus FAQ
Please visit the Novel Coronavirus Update page for up-to-date information and additional resources.

Frequently Asked Questio​ns


When will schools reopen?

On April 26, the Ontario Minister of Education announced that schools will be closed until at least the end of May 2020.  You will receive additional information about the potential opening closer to the end of May. We do not have information about closure extensions beyond this date. Once we receive additional information we will communicate that with families. 
 
 
What is being planned for PA Days and Exam Days? Will these days continue as previously planned?

As mentioned by the Minister of Education, PA Days and Exam Days will become instructional days. This means that all Exam Days and PA Days have been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
 
 
Will the school year be extended into the summer as a result of this shutdown?

The Minister of Education has said that the school year will not be extended into the summer.
 
 
How will my marks be affected by school work completed from April 6 until the end of the school year?

 
The Ministry of Education has provided direction regarding end of year report card marks for both elementary and secondary students. During the school closure period, students’ marks should not be negatively affected by performance after March 13. Therefore, end of year marks can only remain the same or increase based on work completed from April 6 and onward.
 

Are end of year milestone events such as graduation ceremonies, prom and semi-formals cancelled?

York Region District School Board has made the difficult decision to postpone all Grade 8 and Grade 12 graduations and cancel all proms for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, in line with physical distancing measures. 
 

 

Are all field trips cancelled for the remainder of the ​school year?

Yes, all overnight field trips are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Daily curriculum-based trips organized at the classroom level may resume once schools reopen. 


Will I be reimbursed for hot lunches, etc. that​​ my child has ordered?

Schools will work with vendors and provide you with information about any reimbursements for missed lunch orders. 


How are refunds being provided for cancelled trips and events​ being processed?

Schools are working to provide refunds from payments made through school cash online. For families that paid by cheque or cash, the Board is looking to facilitate e-transfers. 


How can I register my child for kindergarten if I cannot go int​o the school?

 

All of our elementary schools now offer online kindergarten registration. You can complete the registration online, and bring the required documentation in when schools reopen. If you prefer to complete a paper application, or your school is not offering online kindergarten registration, you can bring that information into the school once schools reopen. ​


Will schools be open for evening permit activities, continuing education and internatio​nal languages?

No, schools will be closed from March 14 until at least the end of May. All activities, including permits, continuing education and international languages, taking place in school buildings are cancelled.  Effective the week of April 6, adult day school, night school, adult ESL and e-learning offered through continuing education will resume online. Information will be updated on the Board website.


How can I register my child for French Immersion for Septemb​er 2020 if I cannot go into the school? 

You can complete your French Immersion registration once schools reopen. 


Will Board meetings, Advisory Committee Meetings and other public trustee meetings continue? 

On April 7, 2020, public meetings resumed, using electronic means, on a modified schedule in order to consider urgent matters.  Members of the public are welcome to call into any public meeting to listen to the discussion.  A list of committee meeting dates is posted on the Board website. Agendas will be posted the Friday prior to the meeting on the News and Events section of the Board website and will include connection instructions.   


Please visit the website for updates on public meetings of the Board or contact Corporate Secretariat and Trustee Services at trustee.services@yrdsb.ca  or call 905-727-0022 ext. 2217 or your local trustee.


Will registration for Adult Day school be rescheduled?

Yes, registration for Adult Day School is now open and Quad 4 started on April 7. 

 

When will Summer School registration open? 

The date for students to register for Secondary Summer School through My Pathway Planner has been postponed to April 20, 2020.  

Will Summer Institute be open this summer?

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, York Region District School Board is cancelling Summer Institute programming this summer. This is in line with public health guidelines. Summer Institute was scheduled to run July 6 - August 14. Families who are already registered for the program are being notified and full refunds will be processed for families who have paid. If you have not received a refund by June 1, please contact performanceplus.si@yrdsb.ca​.


 

 

I have heard that other boards or schools have real-time video/audio learning from their teacher/educator. When will YRDSB introduce real-time video/audio learning? 

Since YRDSB moved to online platforms to support learning at home, an asynchronous (not real-time or live) approach to teaching and learning has been implemented. Teachers have been asked to design and deliver online learning in this manner to ensure all students have the opportunity to engage at times that are respectful of individual family circumstances. This approach was adopted to support a flexible, adaptable and equitable approach to learning.  If required learning is only available at specific times of the day, some students may be unable to participate due to a variety of reasons including, but not limited to:
  • Access to necessary technology, which is often shared among family members
  • Shifting/challenging home circumstances which impede support for access and/or engagement with online learning opportunities
  • Bandwidth demands of simultaneous on-line learning across the board and province and the limitations of internet connectivity

As learning from home has now been extended to at least May 29, asynchronous learning will continue and synchronous learning may also be used by teachers to further complement learning opportunities for students. While the overall model for teacher-led learning from home is primarily asynchronous, teachers may include synchronous opportunities to support student learning where needed and appropriate. Synchronous (real-time or live)
learning opportunities provide the benefit of allowing teachers to reinforce concepts in small groups or one-to-one settings. Teachers can also use real time connections to provide feedback to students.  

If a student is not able to participate in a live conference, alternative asynchronous support is provided to ensure the student has access to the learning (e.g., posting of pre-recorded material or tasks for reference at a later time).

 

I am having trouble with the technology provided by the Board/accessing online learning platforms. Who can I contact for tech support?

 

Students and families can fill out the Student Tech Help form​ for support with student echnology and accessing online learning platforms.

 

What if I don't have access to technology or the internet and ​can’t access online learning resources?

We have been identifying opportunities to support the continuity of learning and caring for all of our students. We know not all of our students have the technology they need to access these resources, and we want to hear from our families. 



Will teachers have office hours and will office hours reflect the entire school day?

 

Yes, teachers will have office hours and communicate these to students and families.  Office hours will take place during the previous regular school instructional day and teachers will be available in “real time” to respond to student questions. Depending on the platform the teacher selected, this may be a different experience with each teacher. We are mindful of each child’s context and know that not all students will be available to attend teachers’ office hours, so this time is not mandatory for students. It is meant to be a drop in for students as they require. Office hours are only one part of teachers’ responsibilities in the Learning and Caring continuity of learning plan, which also includes planning lessons, posting assignments and tasks, reviewing and responding to student learning activities and assessing student work in an ongoing manner. As such office hours won’t take place for the entirety of a regular instructional day so that teachers can continue to support the continuity of the learning plan for your child. 


I/My child was expecting to write an EQAO assessment this school year. Will EQAO tests, including OSSLT, continue during the remainder of the 2019-2​020 school year? 

No, the Ontario Ministry of Education has given notice to cancel EQAO assessments for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The Minister has stated that this decision will not affect students’ ability to graduate. 

 

My child has an IEP and access to supports at school. ​How will these supports be provided now?

Teachers are reaching out to families to determine the best way to support students’ individual learning needs and the Board is preparing resources to support students with special needs through our Learning and Caring Plan.  As educators plan online learning opportunities, they will consider the strengths and needs of students with special education needs as noted in students’ IEPs. This may include assessing the appropriateness of online learning materials and resources for students.

 

My child has been receiving English as a Second Language supports. How can I continue to support English language learning at home, and will they receive additional​ support in completing online assignments and learning?

Online learning with English language learners (ELLs) will be customized to meet the needs of students at various STEPs (Steps to English Proficiency). Educators will continue to provide the necessary accommodations and modifications for ELLs. This may include assessing the appropriateness of online learning materials and resources for students.


I recently completed the ‘Access to Technology’ Questionnaire indicating that my child will require access to a device or internet access to continue learning at home. When can families expect to receive the technology requested?

Technology is currently being distributed to families who requested it. School principals are contacting families with information on a process to obtain the technology.

 

Will entire classes be meeting together online?

Teachers determine time frames each instructional day that works best for them to be available for office hours in “real time” to respond to student questions.  Depending on the learning platform that has been selected, this may provide various opportunities to connect with students. 


Please note that we do not mandate specific learning times for students for various reasons (e.g., access to technology, individual circumstances).  There is no expectation that all students “attend” a teacher’s office hours. Office hours are meant to be a drop-in time for students when they know a teacher is “available”


Will elementary students receive final report cards?

All Kindergarten to Grade 8 students will receive a final report card at the end of the 2019-20 school year.  Elementary students will continue to be assessed throughout the remainder of the school year to support their ongoing learning. Teachers will use the assessment information gathered prior to March 13 to determine final marks, as well as information gathered during the school closure when the assessment evidence is in the best interests of the student. Similarly, Kindergarten teachers will use key learning and growth information gathered prior to March 13 to develop the Kindergarten Communication of Learning. Teacher comments associated with student growth can also be included from the time of school closure if it is beneficial to the student.


How often will teachers give tasks to students? 

Teachers will use their professional judgement with regard to how often to provide their students with tasks. The frequency will be influenced by a number of factors, including student needs, grade level, subject matter, course content, or pace of unit.



How often will teachers communicate with parents?

Teachers conduct ongoing assessment of their pupils’ progress, evaluate their achievement, and report results to pupils and their parents regularly via telephone, email, informal reports or online platforms (i.e. TeachAssist).  In addition, teachers will reach out when there are concerns about a student’s progress.


Do parents need to send work back to teachers?

Elementary students will continue to be assessed throughout the remainder of the school year to support their ongoing learning. Teachers will communicate with their students and their families with regard to the expectations for what assignments are to be sent back to teachers and how they expect the work to be submitted.


What are the timelines for mark reporting?
In order to meet mark reporting for the full disclosure deadlines, we have adjusted our timelines as follows:
May 1 - Students enrolled in grade 11 and 12 courses can log into TeachAssist to see their mid semester mark update highlighted in the system. Parents and Guardians will need their child’s password in order to view the mid semester mark updates on TeachAssist. Note: Grade 12 students and any Grade 11 students who indicated to guidance their intention to graduate this school year were provided their mid-term mark update on April 16, 2020, and this mark will not be updated.

May 1-8 - Students may contact their Guidance Counselor to drop a course if needed. An email from a parent/guardian giving permission is required if the student is under the age of 18 and would like to drop a course.
May 8 - This is the last day that a student may drop a course in order for it not to be recorded on the Ontario Student Transcript and not have a mark recorded.
 
We recognize that you and your child may have questions regarding this information. If it is helpful for you to connect with a staff member from the school, please contact a teacher, guidance counsellor or administrator to discuss your questions.
If you have concerns about how your child may be affected by the change to reporting, including possible concerns for their mental health, help is available. Resources and supports related to student mental health can be accessed through YRDSB COVID-19 Mental Health Resources for Students and Families.
 
 

Will the closure affect my ability to graduate in​ June or to apply to post-secondary education? 

On March 22, in a letter to families, the Minister of Education indicated that 


“We want to make this clear: no graduating student will have their ability to graduate impacted by the two-week closure and the COVID19 developments. For example, I have cancelled EQAO assessments for this school year. I have also approved a change in graduation requirements so the completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is not a barrier for students on track to graduate. We are also working with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to ensure students can apply to post-secondary education (including Apprenticeship, College and University), regardless of the situation this semester.


The Ministry of Education has also provided the following information for students graduating this year scheduled to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT):  

 

“For students who are graduating in the 2019-20 school year, the literacy graduation requirement as set out in Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements, 2016 will be waived. This applies to students in publicly-funded and private/First Nation schools. Students who are not graduating this school year will have the opportunity to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in the upcoming 2020-21 school year.”

I can’t complete my community hours now. Will I still be able to g​raduate? 

On March 31, in a letter to families, the Minister of Education indicated that, “no student will have their graduation jeopardized by the developments of COVID-19.”  On March 31, 2020, the Ministry of Education advised school boards that, “The graduation requirement to complete 40 hours of community involvement is suspended for this school year.”

 

Will secondary students have to write exams?


Final examinations will not be occurring this year.  Exam days will become instructional days.

What will happen with International Baccalaureate (IB)? Are IB ex​ams still happening? 

The International Baccalaureate Organization has announced that the May 2020 IB exams will no longer be held.  Eligible students will be awarded a Diploma which reflects their standard of work. This is based on students’ coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. See the IBO website for more information. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Will students continue to participate in accelerated OYAP progr​ams?

 

The following Accelerated OYAP programs will be continuing through online learning starting April 6th: Cook/Baker @ Humber College, Truck and Coach @ Centennial College.  The Automotive Program at Centennial College will commence on April 27th.   Dual credit teachers and college partners have been in touch with every Accelerated OYAP student to communicate next steps.  The following Accelerated OYAP programs have been cancelled/postponed due to the lab based nature of the program: Child Development Practitioner @ Seneca College, Electrical and Plumbing @ Humber College, HVAC program @ George Brown College and Carpentry @ College of Carpenters. Students enrolled in a cancelled/postponed program will be notified of alternative programming options. For more information please connect with the Accelerated OYAP teacher.​


Are there options for AP students to continue learning and tak​e exams?

Free live and on-demand AP courses are available online. In addition, there is a new at-home testing option. Visit collegeboard.org for information about the exams and course schedule. 

 

Will I get mid-term marks?

This year, mid-term marks are only required for Grade 12 students. The mid-term marks should reflect the performance of students up to March 13.  Grade 12 students will receive their mark updates for both their Grade 11 and 12 courses, prior to the end of April 15. The marks will be submitted to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) and the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) on April 23.  When beneficial to students’ marks, teachers may continue to reflect on assessments that were submitted prior to April 6 to develop a more fulsome OUAC/OCAS mark submission.  Further specifics regarding Grade 12 mid-term marks will be sent in the near future.

Will I get a final report card?

All secondary students will receive a final report card at the end of the 2019-20 school year. Teachers will continue to assign in-class learning tasks, which may inform assessment and develop student knowledge and skills that can be effectively demonstrated through unit projects, assignments or tests for assessment of learning. Teachers will continue to consider how course culminating activities will provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their overall achievement within the context of this semester’s learning experiences. Teachers will communicate feedback, as well as results of marked assignments to students. These results will be used by teachers to inform students’ final course marks. When completing the final marks for students, teachers will determine the most accurate reflection of student work while considering performance prior to March 13.  Teachers will also give consideration to work assessed during the remainder of the year. Through this process, teachers can reflect on the assigned work for the year and adjust the weighting of assigned tasks, projects and activities to determine final marks as necessary in the best interests of the student.


If graduations are cancelled, how will I get my Ontario Secondary School Diploma? 

York Region District School Board has made the difficult decision to postpone all Grade 8 and Grade 12 graduations and cancel all proms for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, in line with physical distancing measures. We will continue to share updates and information with students and families about graduation and how students will receive their diplomas. .


Will co-op placements continue during the shutdown?

In the interest of student safety, Co-op/ALEP students will not be attending their placements as teachers will not be able to monitor their progress or be responsive should an emergency arise. Please connect with the Co-op Department Head and/or Co-op Teacher at your school to access Co-op course materials to meet curriculum expectations. Where applicable and appropriate, Co-op students may continue to work with their Co-op Supervisors on-line at the professional discretion of their Co-op teacher.  

 


Will students be expected to attend dual credit classes during the closure?

Students will not be attending face to face dual credit courses as the colleges are closed.  If there is an online learning platform provided by the college, students may continue with their dual credit courses in the online environment.  Dual Credit Students may continue to connect with their Dual Credit Teachers if they have questions about their specific course.​ 

Will students be able to attend their ALEP cooperative education placements?

Unpaid placements will not continue during the shutdown.  Students in paid ALEP placements may continue during the closure.  Please be advised that students working at paid placements are working independently from the board, will not be monitored by a teacher, and the hours will not count towards their course expectations. There are a variety of options available for students to continue earning their ALEP credits during the shutdown, that do not involve physically attending a placement location. Teachers will connect with students to provide additional information. 


When will summer school registration open? 

The date for students to register for Secondary Summer School through My Pathway Planner has been postponed to April 20, 2020.  Please visit the Summer School page for details.  ​


I/my child is feeling very anxious about the current situation. Are there ​supports I can access?

We recognize that many people may be experiencing feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. We have compiled a number of resources that you can access for support:

I have heard healthcare and emergency services have requested additi​onal Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be donated. I understand my child’s school may have these items, will the schools be donating such items? 

York Region District School Board has redirected personal protective equipment that is desperately needed to our health care providers; and are redirecting the funds we use to serve breakfast programs directly to families in need. We continue to work closely with the provincial government, the Region of York’s Emergency Operations Centre, and other emergency and healthcare provider services to determine what, if any, items may be provided or how we can continue to collaborate with essential services providers. 

The Minister of Education mentioned that certain daycares will ope​n for essential services employees’ children. Will the daycare at my child’s school be open? 

During the school closure period, daycare facilities will not be open to the general public. The Minister of Education has provided direction that specific daycare facilities may open for essential services employees’ children only. At this time, we have not received direction or information from the Ministry of Education to open school based daycares for essential services employees’ children. Daycare programs located in schools remain closed along with schools. Please note the school board only has purview over daycares located within its school buildings and this information may not apply for other daycare facilities. For more information, please contact your service provider. 


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