TDSB pushes back start date of virtual school for elementary students

Sep 11 2020, 10:10 am

The Toronto District School Board has pushed back the start date for elementary students who are taking classes virtually this fall.

According to the school board, on Thursday night, it was decided that students enrolled in virtual schools would begin classes on September 17, two days after the initial start date.

“Due to the large number of families who have selected Virtual School (more than 66,000 students), we require additional time to staff and timetable to ensure a more consistent opening for all staff and students. As a result, all students, including those in Special Education classes, attending Virtual School (elementary and secondary) will begin on Thursday, September 17,” the school board said.

This latest decision comes one day after the school board delayed the start of classes for secondary students also to September 17 for both in person and virtual.

The TDSB said the delay was due to “complexities” with the timetables and staffing.

“Our top priority is to ensure students experience success in both our in-person schools and virtual schools,” the TDSB said.

However, the school board warned that there could be some changes along the way as the school board adjusts to the new health protocols.

“While we have been working diligently to prepare to safely reopen the system in this new reality, there will be a period of adjustment while everyone learns and adapts to the new protocols and practices in place and reconnects after being away for several months,” the TDSB’s statement read.

“We are committed to working together through this phase of reopening and will make any necessary adjustments along the way. We ask for and appreciate your patience during this transitional time and remind everyone that the health and safety of staff and students continues to be our priority.”

The TDSB added that they have heard from parents who have concerns about elementary class sizes and the that board remains “committed to achieving class sizes that do not significantly exceed our targeted caps.”

“As the numbers continue to change, please note that any necessary adjustments may not be in place on the first day of school, but we will be working to rectify these situations as quickly as possible,” the board added.

There is a mandatory face mask policy at the TDSB and daily health screenings for students.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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