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Letter to parents: UGDSB Learning at Home (April 3, 2020)

April 3, 2020


Dear parents and guardians, 

I hope you and your family are staying well during these challenging times. 

This week, the province announced that all schools would remain closed until at least May 4 and that school boards would soon begin distance learning programs for their students. 

On Monday April 6, we are launching Learning at Home, the Upper Grand District School Board’s distance learning program, which will provide teacher-led instruction to UGDSB students, assisted by our support staff.

Please know that our Learning at Home program will evolve in stages and not every piece of it will be ready to go on Monday. 

This week, teachers were busy connecting with families to assess students’ tech and learning needs, while setting up their Google Classrooms and distance learning platforms. Next week, teacher-led instruction and activities for students will begin. 

As we work through the process of developing systems for Learning at Home within the UGDSB community, we want you to know that we are very aware this will be a challenging time for some of our students.  We have been strategically looking at how best to support our students’ learning needs as well as their mental health and well-being with recognition that distance learning is not ideal for every student or an option for everyone. We have a committee working diligently on rolling out our plan for safely getting technology and devices to our students, and families can expect to hear more about this in the coming days. Families can also expect to be contacted by their classroom teacher and Special Education Resource Teachers to ensure that students with special needs and families with limited access to technology or the internet are well supported as we implement Learning at Home.

This week, the Minister of Education shared information on the time commitment expectations for students as they engage in distance learning, ranging from five to 12 hours per week depending on the grade level (you can read more from the Minister at this link: http://ow.ly/V8y350z3Adq). In the coming weeks, we expect additional information from the Ministry of Education regarding evaluation and assessment, and we will continue to share those updates as we receive them. 

In the meantime, we at the board will continue to develop our Learning at Home program. If families are struggling, we would ask that parents reach out to their child’s teacher or principal to discuss their situation and see if there are ways that the school can support them.

We thank you for your understanding as we work through the challenges of developing and implementing a distance learning plan for our students. 

We are thinking of all our Upper Grand students, staff and families. 

Sincerely,

Martha Rogers
Director of Education & Secretary-Treasurer

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