Dear Students and Parents,
First, as we reflect on the reality of our circumstances during Holy Weeek, we wish to express your thanks and patience as we continue our learning journey. As we begin “Phase 2” of distance learning this week, we wanted to remind you of and update you on a few key pieces of the provincial learning plan and our board’s role in it while schools remained closed.
First, the expectation for student work is as follows:
- Kindergarten to grade three: Five hours of work per student per week, with a focus on literacy and math;
- Grades four to six: Five hours of work per week, with a focus on literacy, math, science, and social studies;
- Grades seven to eight: 10 hours of work per week, with a focus on math, literacy, science and social studies; and,
- Grades nine to 12: Three hours of work per course per week for semestered students, and 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students, with a focus on credit accumulation and graduation.
One question we are receiving is, how will I be graded? The answer varies a bit depending on your grade.
Mid-Year Marks for Graduating Students
- As a result of further discussion and collaboration with Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), we will be submitting your marks between April 23rd and May 1st.
- In determining mid-year marks for the admissions process, your teachers may use evidence that reflects work completed prior to the school closure period, as well as provide opportunities for you to submit a missed and/or additional assignment to demonstrate your learning. Teachers can adjust the weighting of assigned tasks in their determination of a mark, if needed. Marks should represent the most accurate reflection of your work. We will base your mark on what is reasonable and in your best interest during this extraordinary time. In doing this, we need you to help us ensure you have shown us your best work by the time we are ready to submit marks.
- It’s important to note that while we are submitting marks for all graduating students, high school students will not be receiving at mid-term report card this April.
- The Ministry of Education and your school is continuing to work with the post secondary sector, including OUAC and OCAS to support the admissions process and transition to post-secondary.
What about the actual graduation ceremony at the end of June?
We don’t know yet what things will be like at the end of June and whether gatherings like grad ceremonies will be permitted or whether we will need to postpone. We will keep you updated.
Final Report Cards for Secondary Students
- Final report cards will still be issued all high school students.
- Your teachers will assign learning tasks, projects and culminating activities for both formative and summative purposes. Teachers will communicate results of these marked assignments to students.
- Results will be used by your teachers to inform students’ final course marks.
- Your mark will be based on what is reasonable and in your best interest during this time.
- As well, given this very unusual time, in recognition of performance prior to March 13th, teachers can adjust the weighting of assigned tasks in their determination of a final mark as needed. Again, we ask you to make sure you have submitted your best work so that your grade reflects this.
- Your teacher will also report on Learning Skills and Work Habits and this should reflect information gathered prior to March 13th and they may include comments on the final report card.
A Note on the Civics and Citizenship and Career Studies Half-Credit Courses (Grade 10)
- For students enrolled in Civics and Citizenship and Career Studies half-credit courses in the second semester, your final mark for the half-credit course underway at the time of school closures will be based on work completed as of March 13th. Where appropriate, teachers may adjust this mark in the best interest of students to be a more accurate reflection of their learning. Students are not required to complete any further culminating assignment for this course.
- On April 6th, students will begin work on the other half-credit course.
Final Report Cards for Elementary Students
- Final report cards will be issued for all our elementary students.
- Teachers will use assessment for learning (formative assessment) to gather evidence of how students are progressing in their learning and provide feedback to their students to support their continuous and ongoing learning.
- In determining final grades and marks for the final report card, your teachers will use the evaluation information gathered before March 13th. When in the best interest of students, teachers may use evidence of learning completed during the school closure period in their determination of final grades.
- Reporting on Learning Skills and Work Habits will also reflect information gathered prior to March 13th. Teachers may choose to include comments on the final report card if they feel that doing so would support the student’s progress.
- The Kindergarten Communication of Learning will be based on teachers’ observations of key learning and growth in learning prior to March 13th. Teachers may choose to include comments on growth in learning demonstrated during the school closure period when it is to the student’s benefit.
If my grade is being weighted on the work I did up until schools were closed, does this mean I don’t really have to do any more?
- As we have said before, this is an extraordinary time in our lives and our number 1 focus is on the health and safety of everyone. While our schools continue to be closed, your teachers have done their best to create some emergency, on-line and distance-learning activities that are meaningful and move your learning forward. The more you can show us your best work, the better, not just for your report card, but in terms of being prepared for next year should the school closure period be extended again.
Is there any more information on accessing devices or the internet?
This week, we are starting to roll-out technology lending for students who will require a device and/or have an Individual Education Plan with Special Education requirements. We continue to explore other ways to get materials to students who do not have access to internet but we want to stress that not even our teachers our permitted in our schools at this time. While it is not ideal, we want to remind you that you may be able to access some internet in the parking lots of most of our schools.
We want to remind you to follow the advice of the health authorities to stay home and stay safe – that’s the quickest way to defeat the virus and get us back to normal. Please continue to think of all those essential workers on the front lines in this battle. Let’s honour the work they are doing by doing everything we can to look after one another and keep learning when and where we can.