LDSB: new dates to move between in-class and Virtual School model

Limestone District School Board
Kingstonist file photo

As Kingston students complete the seventh week of the 2020-2021, Limestone District School Board (LDSB) is providing a chance to revisit their choice between in-person or virtual learning.

“Students and teachers have done an amazing job of adapting to the new routines and health and safety procedures,” said LDSB.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic students and families have the option of choosing to opt in or opt out of in-person or virtual school.

“We required families to express their interest in changing from one model of learning to another as early as possible to ensure we could adhere to staff collective agreements and class sizes set by the Ministry of Education,” said LDSB.

“As we have shared before, we will accommodate moves between models of learning if there is available space in the class or school.” LDSB also noted that they are able to transition students to online learning — not Virtual School — should a class or school be required to close, or self-isolate due to COVID-19.

At the elementary level, the board conducted a reorganization in late September to adequately staff in-school and virtual classrooms. Since then, LDSB said additional families have asked to move their students from in-person school to the LDSB Virtual School.

“Currently, some students remain on a wait list for the virtual school. In other cases, families have opted to return to the classroom,” LDSB said.

New transition dates

Elementary students: Elementary students seeking to move between in-person to remote learning must provide notice by Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 at 3 p.m. To do this, families must contact their student’s home school. Once numbers are known, staffing will be arranged, with class start up scheduled for the week of November 9, 2020.

“While efforts will be made to accommodate requests for a change, families should expect that they might need to be wait-listed if they change their minds due to capacity challenges at their current school,” said LDSB.

Families who are currently on the wait list will be accommodated first. “While we will endeavour to make another formal opportunity to move between learning models, it is important that families understand we cannot guarantee another opportunity to switch between modes of learning later this school year. If we can do so, it would occur mid-winter.”

LDSB Director Krishna Burra has previously explained that staffing agreements limit the board’s flexibility to move elementary students between one type of learning and another.

Secondary students: Secondary students will begin Block 3 classes on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Students wishing to move from remote learning to in-class learning, or vice versa, for Block 3 should notify their home school’s Student Services Department anytime between October 26 and November 5, 2020 at 3 p.m, LDSB said. Students cannot move mid-block.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work through these changes because of COVID-19,” LDSB said.

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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