Virtual Learning FAQs

Will elementary students participating in distance learning be expected to sit in front of a computer for 5 hours per day? Can the 5 hours of learning happen at any time during the day?

Will elementary students participating in distance learning be expected to sit in front of a computer for 5 hours per day? Can the 5 hours of learning happen at any time during the day?

No. Students will not be expected to be online for five hours a day. Each student that chooses distance learning should still plan for 5 hours of schoolwork each day. The plan provided to them for the day or the week is based on five hours of work each day. It does not mean they have to be online for five hours. For example, if in-class students were given 30 minutes of reading for an activity, the student in distance learning would be assigned the same or similar activity. This time would not need to be in front of the computer.

While teachers will be available at specific times in the day, parents can arrange for the work to be completed at different times based on family circumstances.

If my child is participating in distance learning, am I expected to be their at-home teacher? I don’t speak French!

Depending on individual circumstances and the needs of your child, you may need to provide some support, but you are not expected to be their teacher. Lessons will be provided by your child’s classroom teacher on Hapara. You will not have to provide lessons or content, but parents will be expected to create a routine at home to allow your child to work through lessons independently.

Ne t’inquiète pas! Your child’s French teacher will post their lessons in the Hapara workspace for students to view daily, and when the schedule permits throughout the week, they will support your child with their French online.

If our child doesn’t complete all of the online learning assignments, will they have to repeat the year? What if online learning doesn’t work for our family and we do not want to send our children back to school?

Teachers will provide on-going assessment throughout the year. The final decision for whether or not your child will move to the next grade is based on that assessment. If online learning does not work and you do not wish to participate with in-person learning then you could apply to homeschool your child.

Will teachers take time to engage with parents participating in online learning so we can work together to support my child?

Each teacher will develop strategies to work with parents. Parents should be familiar with the Hapara workspace for maximized engagement. We will provide optional training for parents to learn how to use the Hapara system. Parents will also have a Principal contact once the virtual program is in place.

Can we request to have our child in the same virtual class as our neighbours so parents can share the responsibility of supporting them?

Every effort will be made to group students from the same school and/or family of schools together. The challenge of scheduling will necessitate some students being assigned to different teachers, so this may not be possible. This is similar to parents requesting friends to be in the same class for in-person learning– it’s not always possible given the class composition.

How can students access mental health resources?

A parent can contact the school Principal for additional support. Our central staff continue to provide a variety of counselling support for students.

Will grade 2 students doing online learning still be able to do First Communion through the school?

We will collaborate with the parishes to establish the process for First Communion. As long as this is offered by the local parish, it will be made available to all students regardless of their mode of learning.

What will distance learning (online) look like for students with special needs?

Distance learning (online) is an option for all students, including students in our system classes. If your child receives specialized support from an Educational Assistant, Behaviour Analyst or Consultant, or Speech-Language Pathologist, your child will continue to receive these supports virtually. These supports will be determined individually and many include real-time support, check-ins or a combination of both.

Will you hold my EDP spot if I choose to keep my child home in September?

We cannot hold spaces for families who do not register or re-register their child in one of our child care programs. If you are not re-registering your child in one of our child care programs but are concerned your circumstances may change, we recommend placing your child on the City of Ottawa’s Child Care Registry and Wait List. This will allow you to get called at a future date when there is space in the program.

How will the virtual Program for Gifted Learners (PGL) work?

Students who are identified as gifted (grades 4 to 6) will not travel to PGL classes. Instead, they will receive guided and real-time support from their PGL teacher online during classroom hours.