Snow Days no longer mean cancelled school in some GTA regions

Dec 1 2020, 2:59 pm

Some GTA school boards have implemented a new policy on “snow days” so students aren’t missing out on more school, which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically on a snow day school buses are cancelled, and oftentimes, kids have the day off. But given the new circumstances and how much school time students have lost already, it seems school boards want to change that policy.

Peel District School Board 

Peel District School Board is changing its policy. If a “snow day” is called, students will switch to virtual learning at home.

The board noted that in the past when buses were cancelled, schools remained open to staff and students who could arrive safely. In these instances, classrooms would often be combined to ensure there was supervision for all students. But this can’t be the case with virus prevention rules as it could lead to students and staff from different cohorts interacting with each other.

York Region District School Board 

York Region District School Board is also making “snow days” a virtual learning day for students and ask that no one come to the school that day if buses are cancelled.

However, if elementary students are going to school in-person, they will be provided with learning activities for the day with teachers available online to support students.

For secondary students attending school in person will move to online learning for the day, the board said.

Durham District School Board 

Durham District School Board said that if school buses for elementary students are cancelled due to the weather, schools will remain open.

“This is the same approach as in previous years, and we will be taking extra health and safety measures in order to ensure that class cohorts remain intact and are appropriately supervised,” the board said.

But secondary students will need to learn from home, which the school board noted; these students do already and are used to the procedure by now.

Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board

Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board announced that if school buses are cancelled in a region, then all schools in that region will be closed.

The board said elementary students will learn online through the Learning Management System from 9:30 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 2:30 pm. Secondary students will also learn remotely.

“In addition to schools being closed to students and staff on bus cancellation days, before and after school programs will also be cancelled,” the board said; however, all childcare centres will remain open.

Halton District School Board 

Halton District School Board said if buses are cancelled due to the winter weather, online and in-person learning will also be cancelled.

The board said the decision is communicated to families at 6:30 am.

Toronto District School Board 

The Toronto District School Board has given no update to their policy. In previous years if school buses were cancelled, they would still have schools remain open.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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