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Elementary Virtual School Update

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB

Dear Virtual Elementary School Parents/Guardians,

Today was the first day of Virtual Elementary School for more than 60,000 TDSB students and while thousands of them had a successful start to the school year, we know that others did not experience the start that they expected or what we would have liked to provide.

This is a time of adjustment and a new normal for students, staff and families alike and we will continue to provide ongoing updates in as timely a manner as possible. The logistics behind getting a new virtual school up and running to support 60,000 students has been an enormous task with many moving parts and there have been bumps along the way. As we have seen in Toronto and across Ontario, many school boards have faced similar difficulties with the opening of virtual schools. However, we continue to move forward and sincerely appreciate and acknowledge your patience and understanding.

Staffing Update
As a system, we have been working to hire hundreds of new teachers and get them set up as quickly as possible to connect with students and begin teaching. We know that students and families are anxious for synchronous (live, interactive) learning to begin for all and we are moving in the right direction! New teachers continue to join TDSB on an hourly basis and we are well on the way to having a teacher assigned to every class by end of day on Friday, September 25 (or sooner). Please continue to check Brightspace for a message and information from your child’s teacher.

All teaching staff who have joined the Virtual Schools have been instrumental in getting things up and running under tight timelines. We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to getting set up online and connecting with students as soon as possible.

Asynchronous (Independent) Learning Activities
To support independent learning at home during the days leading up the start of a virtual classroom, a new Asynchronous Learning Activities section has been added to the Elementary Virtual School website where families can find activities connected to the Ontario curriculum listed by grade level for students to complete at their own pace. There are also links to recordings of the live sessions that were offered by TDSB teachers throughout the day today. We encourage any students who were not able to join live to take some time to watch the recording for their grade.

Brightspace Information and Support
We are aware that some students and families have experienced access issues and difficulty logging into Brightspace and apologize for the inconvenience. Please know that we continue to work on all issues and have implemented additional technical support to assist. In order to login to Brightspace, users require both their account ID (firstname.lastname@student.tdsb.on.ca) and password. If you experience any issues, the most efficient solution is to complete this form and once the information is verified, login and password information will be emailed to you. For more information, you can also visit the Brightspace web page.

Thank you again for your ongoing support and understanding. We look forward to welcoming all students to their virtual classrooms this week.

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