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Elementary Switching Update

Friday, October 16, 2020
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB

Dear Elementary Parent/Guardian,

As you know, we began the school year with several dates when parents/guardians could
request to switch their children between In-Person Learning and the Elementary Virtual
School. When these transitions happen, there is a need for both students and teachers to move
between the two learning environments to maintain class sizes both in-person and virtually.

This year, the reorganization process that TDSB has every September to balance classes and
adjust to enrolment changes, was directly impacted by the movement of students between In-
Person Learning and the Elementary Virtual School and resulted in more extensive changes. We
continue to monitor the impact of reorganization on student learning, student mental health and
well-being, and on teachers, and we are mindful of the concerns from families about classroom
changes and disruption. What we have heard consistently from parents/guardians, teachers and
education workers is that they want stability in classrooms and schools and we are committed to
doing everything we can in the months ahead to maintain this stability.

With this in mind, we have adjusted the schedule to request a switch between the two learning
models (in-person and virtual). The next opportunity for elementary students will be offered at the
end of January 2021. There will no longer be an opportunity for elementary students to switch in
November. We are confident that this approach will help maintain current classes and teacher
assignments in both in-person and virtual classrooms until the new year and will benefit all
students and staff by ensuring no further disruptions. We understand that unique circumstances
will need to be considered on a case by case basis and we will share information about this next
week.

The pre-planning and implementation of the back to school plan for Canada’s largest and most
complex school system was undertaken with no prior road map to follow and within an extremely
short timeframe. It has not been perfect by any means, but we are proud that learning is
underway for nearly 240,000 students in healthy and safe environments.

We will continue to monitor our return to school plans and welcome input from parents, students,
staff and our union/federations. We are making the necessary adjustments to ensure that school
operating and student learning plans respond to changing conditions and are sustainable in the
long term.

Sincerely,

Kathy Witherow
Interim Director of Education

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