Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Monday’s letter advised families of the move to online learning, effective tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 6. This letter is to keep you up-to-date about Near North District School Board (NNDSB) plans and procedures as we ready staff and students for the move to virtual learning.
In addition to the monthly Letter to Families that will be sent out Friday, Jan. 7, NNDSB will continue to send COVID-19- and remote learning-related update letters to families as new information arrives.
Students in special education classrooms as identified through the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process will be able to resume in-person programming in their schools on Monday, Jan. 10. Staff will be contacting families whose students will be able to attend in-person. Transportation will be arranged. If your child qualifies for in-person programming and you have questions, contact your child’s school.
Childcare and school-aged Early Years programs are permitted to provide emergency childcare for children of healthcare and other eligible front-line workers during the period of virtual learning. Early ON Child and Family Centre programs will not be operating in schools during this time.
The following is a list of school sites where programs will be operating:
North Bay and area: YMCA of Northeastern Ontario is operating childcare at Woodland and will begin their school-aged program (in the school) on Monday, Jan. 10. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; West Ferris Day Nursery will operate their childcares (they are currently not operating any of their school aged programs) from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at West Ferris, Silver Birches and Ferris Glen; West Nipissing Childcare will operate a school-aged program at 131 Michaud St. in Sturgeon Falls, serving students from White Woods; St. Theresa’s in Callander will open, with a program operated by the North Bay YMCA.
Almaguin area: Mapleridge and Sundridge Centennial, operated by the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board, will open sites to accommodate 15 students per location from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Parry Sound area: YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka will operate a school-aged program at Parry Sound Public School from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parry Sound YMCA will run a school-aged program as well.
Supporting a smooth transition to remote learning:
To ensure a smooth transition to remote learning, we ask Near North families to review and consider the following information:
- Families that need the use of board-provided technology to access remote learning are asked to complete the Technology Request Survey to communicate technology needs. Families that have devices for their students are not required to complete the survey.
- Inform the school if there have been changes to your email, phone number or other contact information. This information is critical to support ongoing school/family communication during times of remote learning. Reach out to your child’s school if communication is not being received.
- Visit the Near North Passport to Learning webpage to access a variety of resources and helpful links to support remote learning including technical support, information about virtual learning platforms, and instructional resources.
- Review the Tips for Remote Learning document to learn about best practices for remote learning.
- Contact the family help desk number if you are unable to login to your NNDSB parent or student account: 705-472-5169 (North Bay), 705-773-7975 (Parry Sound).
- In addition to using the online Microsoft Office products available to students through Office 365, all NNDSB students are provided with five licenses to download the most recent Microsoft Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote). Click here to learn how to install these applications.
- TVO Learn and TFO/IDÉLLO are ministry-partnered sites that provide supports for students learning remotely by accessing additional educational resources developed by Ontario-certified teachers.
Minimum requirements for engaging students during remote learning:
During remote learning periods, students and parents will be provided with a daily schedule or timetable that includes 300 minutes of learning opportunities, with a combination of synchronous (all students and teacher learning remotely but together in real time) and asynchronous (learning on one’s own schedule) learning activities. Programming will be based on the full Ontario curriculum and include opportunities for guided instruction, large and small-group learning, synchronous check-ins, and asynchronous independent work.
Teachers will be available to students at all times during the teachers’ assigned teaching timetables, as they would be if they were face-to-face in a classroom setting. Educators will continue to use their professional judgement to provide flexibility to students on an individual basis when students are unable to participate in synchronous learning.
Process for Exemption from “Synchronous” Learning:
To ensure equitable access to learning, Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) No. 164, requires school boards to allow students to be exempted from the minimum requirements for synchronous learning – for example, this may be because of poor internet connectivity or family scheduling, etc. In accordance with PPM 164, Near North District School Board has created an online exemption form to facilitate synchronous learning exemption requests.
Please note, students who have completed a synchronous learning exemption form will be provided with ‘asynchronous’ learning opportunities in accordance with the 300-minute instructional day. Furthermore, daily attendance is still required (daily contact with their educator). Assessment, evaluation and reporting continues to apply to all students who have been exempted from the minimum requirements of synchronous (live, interactive) learning. Students will be expected to complete and submit assignments and will receive feedback from educators.
The board’s website has a COVID-19 alerts page where families will find NNDSB’s operational guidelines, the updated self-assessment survey and links to Ministry of Health and the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit information.
NNDSB follows the direction of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the public health unit when devising COVID-19 plans.
Thank you for your support.
Near North District School Board