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Families asked to confirm remote learning plans

Limestone Learning Foundation
Families asked to confirm remote learning plans
Posted on 08/13/2020
Image of school reopening graphic

Dear Families,

I am writing to provide you with another update on the Limestone District School Board’s school reopening plans for September.

I will begin by sharing that we await further information from the Ministry of Education regarding the new funding announced this afternoon by the Minister. We will require some time to understand what this might mean for Limestone.

In the meantime, with just a few weeks until classes begin on September 3, 2020, we are sharing more detailed information on what school reopening will look like for students in Limestone. Reopening our schools to students and staff is a complicated process as we work to safely navigate COVID-19.

At a special meeting last evening, the Board of Trustees and remote viewers learned more about our plans to return all elementary and secondary students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 to in-person learning. We covered a variety of topics including the learning models, school day operations, transportation, mental health and special education supports, and significant health and safety protocols. All this information can be found in a new Family Reference Guide. We hope this information, supplemented by information on our School Reopening microsite, including regularly updated frequently asked questions, will provide you with a clearer picture of what school will look like in September. To be sure, school will look different, but we continue to plan for a safe and effective return.

One important piece of our planning includes knowing which students will not return to in-person school. We are excited to welcome all students back to school, but we understand that families have different needs. As a family, you decide whether your student will attend school in-person, or remotely. We are here to support your decision, and to provide your student with a quality learning experience.

To help you make this decision, please review the Family Reference Guide for more detailed information about remote learning and the options available to students. All LDSB families will receive an information call, email, or text linking you to the Return to School Opt Out Form. If you are planning to have your child(ren) return to school, no action is required. If you are planning to opt your child(ren) out of returning to school, we need you to answer a few short questions. Completing the form is mandatory for each student not returning to in-school learning. The deadline to return the form is August 19, 2020. This is necessary to ensure there will be sufficient staff in place for both the in-person and remote learning models to start September.

When making your decision, it is important to note that families who choose remote learning may not be able to easily move back to in-person learning, and vice versa. We will do our best to accommodate requests, but school staffing is funded and completed based on student numbers so choosing to move from one mode of learning to another is complicated. Moves may be dependent on space availability and other factors.

Deadlines to make a change:

  • Elementary students wishing to move from remote learning to in-class learning will need to notify their home school by September 14, 2020 to begin in-class instruction September 21, 2020.
  • Secondary students wishing to move from remote learning to in-class learning will be able to do this by notifying their home school by October 28, 2020 to begin in-class instruction November 11, 2020.

While efforts will be made to accommodate requests for a change, families should expect that they might need to be wait-listed if they change their minds after these dates due to capacity challenges at their current school.

Another piece of information that might assist you is today’s Statement of Support from Local Medical Officers of Health Regarding the Return to School. Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health, and Dr. Alexa Caturay, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, both “completely support the local school boards in the reopening of our local schools as students and staff return to the classroom in September.” We will continue to work closely with KFL&A Public Health to make informed decisions and provide useful resources and information to support a safe return to school.

This is a challenging and stressful time for everyone. We will be releasing more resources in the coming days and weeks to help prepare students and families for a smooth transition back to class. In addition to the Family Reference Guide, we also encourage you to review the wellness resources and supports section of our School Reopening microsite.

We all need to continue to work together to support the safe return to school by following public health guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We all have a role to play in ensuring our community and schools are safe. 

Krishna Burra
Director of Education

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.