As hopes that Ontario students will return to in-class learning before the end of the school year dwindle, the Ministry of Education has announced that students can opt to take all their classes online when the new school year begins in September.
The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) is making plans to implement a hybrid model of learning for elementary and secondary schools and will reach out to families during the summer to provide more information about the learning models and to ask families if they prefer face-to-face or remote learning for their children.
“Through feedback, we have heard from families that their priorities include students being connected to their home school, the ability to switch more readily when required between remote learning to in-person learning, and access to continuity of remote learning as needed,” says Director of Education Louise Sirisko. “Through the hybrid model, families will continue to have the ability to opt for in-person or remote learning and placement for all students will be in their home school.”
Students attending face-to-face and students attending remotely will be taught simultaneously by the same educators. Where numbers warrant and when operationally feasible, in some schools, some classes might begin in a fully face-to-face or fully virtual format. All classes, however, have the potential of being hybrid. At the high school level, the YRDSB will continue with an adaptive model that will be developed based on Ministry of Education directives and Public Health requirements.
Ontario closed its schools to in-person learning indefinitely in mid-April as COVID-19 daily case counts began to surge amid the third wave of the pandemic. All schools continue to teach students online as Ontario remains under a stay-at-home order.
Though its vaccine rollout has been ramping, the Province says the online option will be available for the entire 2021-2022 school year.