KPDSB provides further information regarding school closures, graduating students
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
In a letter to families on April 16, the Keewatin Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) confirmed there’s no date set for the reopening of schools, but the school year has yet to be officially cancelled (as of April 20).
“Earlier this week, Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, stated in an interview that schools will not reopen on May 4, 2020, as previously announced. At this time, a date has not been given for when schools may reopen, although the Premier did state that the Minister of Education would make further announcements this week. The Premier was clear in his messaging that the 2019-2020 school year has not been cancelled by the government. We will share any additional information as we receive it,” the letter stated.
Families also received a letter on April 9, where the KPDSB provided further updates for high school students and students scheduled to graduate this year.
“On March 31, 2020, the Ontario government announced that Ontario schools will remain closed until Monday, May 4, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has emphasized that this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice as these dates become closer. Families should be aware that the closures may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff,” the letter states.
Students started teacher-led distance learning on April 6, with the Ministry of Education stating secondary students should be actively participating in three hours of work per course per week for the remainder of their second semester.
In their letter on April 9, the KPDSB shared that students scheduled to graduate this year will be given priority and support.
“A priority will be placed on students scheduled to graduate this year and any student on-track to graduate will be supported to graduation. Teachers of graduating students will be providing mid-term marks for graduating students by April 23, 2020, in order to meet admission requirements for post-secondary education. The Ministry of Education is working closely with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and sector stakeholders to ensure no student’s graduation or transition to post-secondary is jeopardized as a result of the school closure period,” the letter states.
“We know many students and families, particularly graduating Grade 12 students, are concerned about the loss of special events, including graduation ceremonies. At this time, until we know how long these closures will last, it is difficult to say what decisions will be made. We want to assure our students and their families that we know how important these events are and we will continue to look into options for postponing/rescheduling should classes not resume in early May.”
As part of ensuring grade 12 students graduate, the requirement of having a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement has been waived for this school year.
“The requirement that graduating students must complete 40 hours of community involvement to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma has been waived for this school year. Students not graduating this year who still require hours, as well as graduating students who would like to still work towards those hours, as long as the health and safety of the student can be assured, could consider specific volunteer initiatives that support communities’ response to the COVID- 19 pandemic, such as letter-writing campaigns to seniors. The Ministry of Education has also suspended the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test requirement for this school year (students not currently in Grade 12 and on-track to graduate will write the test in the 2020-2021 school year),” the KPDSB shared.
The processing of scholarship applications and bursaries for students graduating grade 12 will still go ahead for this school year. The KPDSB said more details will be shared with families by their schools soon.
To stay up to date, go to www.kpdsb.on.ca.