Toronto school board prepares online lessons for almost 250,000 students

Mar 26 2020, 11:57 am

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is developing online coursework for almost 250,000 students as schools across Ontario remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the TDSB’s Director of Education John Malloy said the Ministry of Education asked all school boards to use the next two weeks to develop plans to establish the delivery of curriculum for the extended closer of schools.

“During these unprecedented times, I know parents/guardians have a number of questions about their child(ren)’s education. I wanted to provide an update and try to answer a number of them,” Malloy said.

Earlier this week, Premier Doug Ford announced that schools will remain closed beyond the initial April 6 deadline to an indefinite time.

“As you can imagine, developing a plan for 247,000 students while schools are closed and on an extremely tight timeline, is challenging to say the least,” Malloy said.

“At the same time, our goal is to create teaching and learning conditions that will, as best as possible given the circumstances, lead to the successful completion of the school year for all students and to support students in advancing to the next school year and to graduate.”

The Director of Education noted that they will take into account numerous factors such as; accommodations needed for different types of learners like special needs or English-language assistance, and increased online mental health resources, when creating the online curriculum.

For now, families are encouraged to have their children use Ontario’s newly launched Learn At Home program and the Student Learning Resources provided by the TDSB.

The TDSB will also be closed all their school playgrounds with the recent announcement by the City of Toronto on Wednesday to close all city-owned playgrounds and parks.

Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, has not yet announced when schools will be reopened, but he is expected address the issue in the upcoming days.