DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) is hopeful the next school year will see all students back in in-person classes. The board’s Director of Education, Wes Hahn, wrote a letter recently to parents and guardians about how people’s patience in this pandemic may pay off. “While the pandemic is not yet over, there is hope in sight. There is a real possibility, widespread vaccination programs will make many more opportunities available to us, as we begin planning for the new school year in September. At this time, our planning is going to be on the assumption that all students will be back in schools for in-person learning at the beginning of September.” The pandemic caused schools to have to pivot to provide and support online learning for students. “At-home remote learning may be considered for September 2021 if school boards are directed by the Ministry of Education or if a concern related to the COVID-19 pandemic is raised by local public health. Due to the tremendous amount of work put in place, we are now able to quickly pivot when needed into remote learning,” read the education director’s letter. Strict health measures are currently in place in schools for students attending in person. “As we plan for students to be in schools in September, there will continue to be stringent health measures in place.
The enhanced level of cleaning in schools will be in place, if there continues to be concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible, staff and students will continue to wear masks. Classroom cohorts may continue to be in place, and secondary schools may continue using ‘octomester’ blocks for students. All of these decisions will be made using advice and direction from the Ministry of Education and our ongoing collaboration with local public health. Our school communities will need to remain flexible, as we plan for the new school year in a time of uncertainty. We will continue to provide information to families as any new information becomes available,” the letter stated.