Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to review the details from the announcement by the Government of Ontario about returning to school this week. 

The return to in-person learning is delayed until at least January 17, 2022. According to the announcement, this and other COVID-19 time-limited measures are in place to help reduce virus transmission, and prevent hospitals and the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Effective Thursday, January 6, 2022, remote learning will be in place.

Students currently enrolled at in-person school: Our school teams are planning for the switch to remote learning and will be ready to welcome students who normally attend in-person school. Your child’s teacher will contact you over the next two days with specific instructions about how to access Google Classroom for synchronous learning. Students who are unable to participate in synchronous learning will be able to access Google Classroom tasks through asynchronous learning. Your child’s teacher can explain more about this process.

Asynchronous versus synchronous online learning: Asynchronous learning enables students to view instructional materials at any time and does not include live instruction. Synchronous learning means students log in and participate in class at specific times. 

Students currently enrolled at the Virtual School: Classes will continue as normal beginning Wednesday, January 5.

Devices for students: While many families already have devices for students, including some HPEDSB devices that were shared last year, families whose children need a device for learning are encouraged to contact their school. Please note that devices (Chromebooks or wifi hotspots) are limited in supply and will be provided based on availability.

Special Education: Schools with self-contained Special Education classes are in the process of contacting families to determine in-person learning requests. Specific timelines and next steps will be confirmed to these families later this week.

Emergency child care: Emergency child care is being arranged by municipalities. If you require this, please contact your municipality and monitor the municipality websites for information.

Mental health resources: We recognize the challenges that have come with the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, and will continue to prioritize students’ mental health and well-being. School-based mental health supports for students will continue to be available during remote learning. Please contact your child’s teacher or principal if your child needs someone to talk with.

In addition, the following organizations have useful resources and services:

  • ​​​​​​​Kids Help Phone offers free 24/7 counselling and referral services. Call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868
  • School Mental Health Ontario has a number of great resources for students, parents and families 
  • Children’s Mental Health Services provides service for children, youth and their families  24/7 by calling 613-966-3100; or, free, confidential, voluntary service is available online

Please know that our priority continues to be connecting with students, providing engaging and meaningful academic learning experiences, as well as supporting their mental health and well-being.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we make this transition. We hope to see students in person again soon. Take care, be well and follow public health measures to wear masks, physical distance and wash hands frequently.