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ALCDSB reminds elementary families of option to switch learning modes

The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

David DeSantis, Director of Education for the Algonquin Lakeshore District School Board (ALCDSB) sent a letter to families of elementary students on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.

In the letter, DeSantis reminded families that the date to switch between learning modes – Remote Learning or In-Person – is quickly approaching. Beginning Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, families can access a survey to request a change in learning method. The date for changing between the two learning models is Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.

This change option is only available to elementary aged students, grades JK to 8. There are no changes to the secondary students (Grades 9-12.)

“Please note that Remote Learning is available for families who require this option for student health and/or the safety of their family,” DeSantis stated in the letter. “Otherwise, our Board is very excited to welcome back families into our schools. We continue to work diligently to ensure our Catholic school communities are safe for all students and staff.”

“Please note that this is a request for movement and not a guaranteed placement in a new classroom,” DeSantis clarified. “Depending on the number of requests received, ALCDSB may establish a waiting list, similar to other Boards in Ontario.”

For those considering movement between the two learning models, ALCDSB asks families to please consider the following:

  • Due to many changes required at the school level and student wellness and achievement, we do not encourage families to go back and forth between Remote Learning and In-Person Learning.
  • Changing between learning models does have an impact on staffing, physical distancing and space allocation. Please be patient with us as we take the week of October 5 to place students in classrooms. Once you complete the survey, updated information (i.e who your teacher is) will not be immediate.
  • Similar to if your child were to change schools, the curriculum is not connected and taught in the same order at every school. The units of study will not necessarily match up so there may be gaps or overlap in a student’s programming if they move between the two modes of learning.
  • French Immersion Programming is not offered in Remote Learning. All students will receive a minimum of one period of Core French per week of 40 minutes.
  • Similar to many Boards in Ontario, ALCDSB is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers. We are working hard to keep up with demand for more qualified teachers. Class sizes is a factor that our Board takes into consideration.
  • If your child transitions to a new learning model, they cannot switch back immediately. The only other date of transition is January 4, 2021.  
  • For more information on Remote Learning, including a timetable example, please click here.

ALCDSB said they remain committed to the health and safety of all students. They will continue to provide families with updates from the local public health units and the Ministry of Education as they become available.

If you have further questions, please contact your school principal. If you wish to transition between the two learning models, please complete this survey by Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Click here to access the survey.

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