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Learning and Caring Plan - Director’s Message and Implementation
Learning and Caring Plan - Director’s Message and Implementation
college of families learning together 
 

Message from the Director

As a board, we have been identifying opportunities to support the continuity of learning and caring. Our plans are now fully in place for school staff to connect with families to check to see how our students are doing and gather information on technology needs of students and families. This will help us coordinate learning and caring during this challenging time as we all take the necessary precautions to reduce the spread of COVID19.

We know the importance of teacher-led learning and the connections our schools have with students. This plays a central role in phase two of learning continuity. We are continuing to work with the Ministry of Education as we find new ways to engage and learn and work together, while apart.  Our teacher-led learning environment will evolve and strengthen over time and we thank all members of our community for their patience as we develop our online learning environment and consistency.

We believe in our staff and are confident that they will work together to provide an ongoing, supportive learning experience for our students.

Students are at the centre of all that we do.


Louise Sirisko
Director of Education


Scaffolded Implementation Plan​ 

Over the next number of weeks, educators will begin preparing and delivering learning activities in an online learning platform to support continued learning for students.  Following a scaffolded model, YRDSB will be supporting teachers as they transition from face-to-face to online learning.

YRDSB’s Learning and Caring Plan has four steps that outline how teachers will implement and deliver online learning to our students, in line with Ministry of Education requirements. Teachers are working through the following steps as they create an on-line learning environment.

For more information and resources for families on COVID-19, see www.yrdsb.ca/covid19.

Scaffolded Implementation Plan
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Week of Marc​h 30th

Goal - Teachers to decide which online platform they will use and begin initial planning. 


Step 1 - Initial Check-in With Families ​

  • Access contact information. The Board has developed a pathway for our teachers to connect with families while ensuring that privacy is protected. 

  • Remind families of Technology Survey and Mental Health resources

  • Identify translation support required.


Step 2 - Select a Learning Platform and Review Available Resources 

  • Use the selection guide for teachers to help choose your platform.

  • Review processes/requirements for student access based on the platform of choice.

  • Review supplementary resources as required. 


Step 3 - Begin Planning for Learning and Building an Inclusive, Safe and Accessible Online Environment

  • Complete a Curriculum Check.

  • Prepare to sequence the learning online. 

  • Review the bi-weekly planner:

    • Kindergarten

    • Elementary

    • Secondary 

    • Role-specific Teachers - Elementary

    • Role-specific Teachers - Secondary 

  • Send communication to students/families to provide online learning platform information and identify and communicate office hours.

  • Access teacher supports as necessary. 


Week of A​​pril 6th  

Goal - Set up and implement initial learning activities and continue to communicate with families

 

Step 4 - Implement Initial Learning Activities and Continue to Communicate With Families 

  • Review pedagogical support resources: 

    • Pre-created lesson series on Building Online Environments. 

    • Pedagogical Considerations for Online Learning. 

  • Clarify expectations for students participating in an online learning environment.

  • Engage students in two-way communication and respond to any issues that may arise.

  • Complete bi-weekly planner. 

  • Implement learning sequenced in the weekly planner document, continuing to focus on building inclusive, safe and accessible online environments.


As outlined by the Ministry of Education, teachers will deliver learning by grade groupings as follows:

  • Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week 

  • Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week 

  • Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week 

  • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)


Week of April 13th

​​Goal -  Continue to explore resources and approaches in the online environment with a particular focus on students who may require additional support. 


Continue to implement and assess curriculum-based learning in an online environment. 

Moving from face-to-face classroom learning to an online environment in two weeks is a significant challenge and will look different in each class, but we are committed to ensuring that our students continue to learn in a safe, inclusive and accessible environment. We will continue to provide new resources to teachers and continue to develop supports designed to enhance online learning. 

We know that families will have questions about this new way of learning and we encourage you to visit our frequently asked questions or reach out to your child’s teacher directly to ask any questions you might have.


Guiding Principles for Successful Online Learning

​Online Learning is most successful when it includes:
  • A learning environment that is inclusive, culturally responsive, safe, participatory and supportive
  • Clear curriculum-based learning goals
  • Logically sequenced, asynchronous learning tasks that are:
    • chunked into manageable segments
    • differentiated to reflect the wide-ranging strengths and needs of learners, with careful and upfront consideration of English language learners and students with Special Education needs
  • Simple, clear instructions and one or two well-chosen resources 
  • Ongoing Opportunities for Formative Assessment (Assessment For/ As Learning) with a mix of individual and collective feedback
  • An ongoing feedback loop for l​earner questions/concerns
  • Ongoing check-ins to ensure that all members of the learning community feel like they matter and belong
  • Authentic and meaningful Summative Assessment (Assessment Of Learning) with clear success criteria (Please note: more information will follow once the Ministry of Education provides direction to Boards about the parameters for mid-term and end of year reporting.)
 

Time Guidelines

The Ontario Ministry of Education has established timeframes by grade-group that will inform the weekly curriculum-based learning opportunities that teachers post online for students. It is important to think of all time guidelines as being inclusive of both on and off-line activities (e.g., time spent viewing/listening to online resources, posting and commenting online, as well as time spent reading, thinking, practicing or creating/constructing off line). 

We know that what might take an hour for some students may take double that time for others and as a result learning plans are developed flexibly and responsively with all learners in mind, with upfront consideration of special education and language learning needs.

The timeframes are designed to be supportive of the current context and the various other responsibilities that many of our students may have (e.g., looking after younger siblings, shared computer time with other family members, overall health and wellness).

As a reminder, all online learning activities/assignments are designed to be asynchronous - this means that students can log in at different times to complete a task, rather than mandating that all students be present at the same time.  Where a teacher is creating a task that requires students to collaborate, communicate or comment on each other’s work, they may establish timeframes within which the task is to be completed to help ensure that all students are able to benefit from feedback.​

 ​ 

Secondary (Grades​​ 9-12)

Teachers create and post approximately 3 hours of learning activities/assignments per course, per week (this includes working on and off-line for students). 

In this model, a secondary student with 4 courses will be expected to engage in 12 hours of online learning a week across all courses.

 

Elementary Intermed​iate (Grades 7-8)

Teachers create and post approximately 10 hours of learning activities/assignments per week (this includes working on and off-line for students).  

 

Elementary Junior (Grade​s 4-6)

Teachers create and post approximately 5 hours of learning activities/tasks per week (this includes working on and off-line for students).   

 

Elementary Primary (Grades 4-​6)

Teachers create and post approximately 5 hours of learning activities/experiences per week (this  includes working on and off-line for students).

 

Kindergarten (Year 1 & 2​​)

Educators create and post approximately 5 hours of learning experiences per week (this includes working on and off-line for students).

 ​

Reaching All Students

English Language Learners

Online learning with English language learners (ELLs) are differentiated to meet the needs of students at various STEPs (Steps to English Proficiency), in order to address language learning goals and content/curriculum goals simultaneously. During this time of online learning, educators continue to provide the necessary adaptations for ELLs. These adaptations may include providing necessary accommodations and/or modifications, as well as assessing the appropriateness of online learning materials and resources for students.


Students with Special Education Needs

Teachers have the special education needs of their students at the forefront of their planning to provide all students with the opportunity to develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to live up to their full potential.  In this online environment for students with special education needs, we continue to be committed to:

    • believing all students can learn;
    • providing appropriate accommodations and modifications as required;
    • recognizing, valuing and validating all children
    • and supporting students to be active participants in all aspects of school activity; and
    • creating environments for all staff, students, parents and other partners to focus on shared understandings of common goals.​

Resources will continue to be accessed and developed to assist teachers with program planning and implementation for all students.

As we transition toward teacher-led learning, online resources can be accessed on the YRDSB website.

Further resources can also be accessed at Ontario’s Ministry of Education Learn at Home


Access to Technology - Devices and Internet

he COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in additional financial stress for families and we know that not all our families may have access to the required technology to participate in the continuity of learning while schools are closed. We are taking steps to support students with devices or access to the internet. Families were encouraged to participate in an online survey to outline their needs, but for those that did not have an opportunity to do so, please tell your child’s teacher. The York Region District School Board has secured a number of devices and have worked with internet providers to provision a limited number of access points to internet service. Our aim is to ensure our students have an opportunity to participate in our learning and caring plan.


FAQs

We know that families will have questions about this new way of learning and we encourage you to visit our frequently asked questions or reach out to your child’s teacher directly to ask any questions you might have.

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