Older Announcements

Administration changes to the Elementary Virtual Program

October 14, 2020

Dear Virtual Families:

Thank you for journeying with us through this experience of the first-ever OCSB Virtual Elementary Program. As you may or may not know, in mid-August, the Ministry mandated that all School Boards offer 225 minutes a day of synchronous learning to our students. Given the size of our organizations (school boards) and the fast-approaching school year start, getting this off of the ground was not an easy task. It would require experience, work ethic, patience and flexibility.

As a school board, we were so blessed that three of our very experienced retired principals decided to take on this opportunity. You have come to know them well, Andrea Green, as principal and Luce Paradis and Michelle Corbitt as vice-principals. These three amazing women have worked long hours, weekends and nights to ensure, given the circumstances, that your children had a positive virtual experience. In the education field, a retiree can only work so many days before their pension is affected, and we have come to that day with these women. Friday, October 9th, was officially their last day. Please join me in thanking them for their tireless hours to ensure that this program got off the ground in record time. They were truly inspiring, and they will be missed.

We were transitioning Michelle McGarry as the new Virtual Elementary Program principal and Jim Conklin as the vice-principal during all of last week. A big congratulations to our new Admin team! They bring with them energy and enthusiasm, recognizing we are in the middle of creating a brand new experience for all of our current and future students!

In addition, in our new structure, each grade level has been assigned a vice-principal. By Friday, you will receive a welcome letter from your child's official vice-principal. All future communication should go through this vice-principal. If the VP is not able to respond to your question, he/she will know who they should direct the inquiry to in our system, and someone will get back to you promptly.

We are hopeful that this structure will allow you to have a more intimate and personal experience as we journey through this together.

Again, we thank you for your ongoing support, words of encouragement, praise and mostly for your patience.

Sincerely,

Shelley Montgomery

Superintendent of Student Success Elementary

Reorganization of classes & French programming

September 27, 2020

Dear OCSB Elementary Virtual Program Families

To meet the demand for remote learning some of our elementary schools will be reorganizing this week. Families directly involved will be contacted regarding how this will affect your child(ren)’s classes.

The reorganization process happens every September in our schools. Classes are organized based on projected enrollment and then finalized once the actual number of students are determined. Usually, in a typical year, the board must reorganize approx one-third of our elementary schools. This year, due to the addition of remote learning and the creation of the OCSB Virtual Elementary Program in August, we expect changes to schedules, language of instruction and teachers to many of our classes.

As of this week, 6700 elementary students, 24% of the OCSB elementary population, chose remote learning. Based on the revised numbers of students attending in-person schools, we must transfer teaching staff from in-person schools to serve the virtual school's learners.

This means that some teaching staff will leave their current schools to teach in the virtual program. While classes may be affected at schools, teacher staffing remains consistent across the OCSB. We are not reducing the number of teachers but changing the location where some of them teach. This is a complex process that involves many moving parts. We appreciate your patience and your support in finalizing the reorganization of classes. Our goal is to make this as seamless as possible for our students and our teachers.

The scale of the staffing changes requires a reorganization to accommodate all students (virtual or in-school), and adhere to Ministry of Education regulations and collective agreements with our labour partners. This is also why moving from in-person learning to remote learning is a complex process.

French programming is scheduled to begin this week. Staffing our French teachers is ongoing. As we address staffing, reorganizing some classes still requires a French teacher. We hope to have these positions filled as soon as possible. If a French teacher is unavailable in grades 1,2 and 3, you will have the required 225 minutes with your English teacher and asynchronous learning will be provided for the French program.

The OCSB Virtual Elementary Program has adapted the French synchronous and asynchronous minutes to meet the demand in our Virtual classes. Please note the French synchronous and asynchronous minutes for your child(ren) enrolled in a virtual classroom.

Kindergarten: 60 min/day synchronous + 30 min/day asynchronous = 90 min/day

Grade 1-3: 60 min every second day synchronous + 55 min every second day asynchronous = 115 min every two days. (French in grades 1-3 will be taught on a Day 1/Day 2 schedule.)

Grade 4-6 extended: 50 min/day synchronous + 10 min/day asynchronous = 60 min/day

Grade 4-6 immersion: 100 min/day synchronous + 15 min/day asynchronous = 115 min/day

We understand that changes to your child(ren)’s class may be upsetting, and we thank you for your patience and understanding. As shared above, schools and teachers will inform families directly about how this reorganization will affect their child(ren)’s classes next week. Please note that with the number of virtual students that we cannot accommodate family requests for a specific class placement.

Thank you for your continued support in our Virtual Elementary Program.

Recording now available: Parent "Tech Support" - Thursday, September 24

A recording of the Parent Learning Session that took place on Thursday, September 24 is now available on our Online How To's page.

Tips for parents to support virtual learning

We've created some Tips for Parents to help you support your child as they learn from home.

Suggested Learning Tools (Kindergarten)

We suggest that students have the following items available, if possible:

  • Scissors

  • Pencils

  • Glue stick

  • Paper

  • Books

  • Magnetic letters and numbers (for those that received Welcome to Kindergarten bags)

  • Found/gathered items from nature - pine cones, shells, pebbles, acorns, etc.

  • Anything that can be used as counters such as screws, buttons, coins, etc.

  • Building materials - lego, wooden blocks, etc.

Suggested Learning Tools (1-3)

We suggest that students have the following items available, if possible:

  • Pencil

  • Paper

  • Coloured pencils

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Ruler

  • Whiteboard and whiteboard marker

  • Anything that can be used as counters such as screws, buttons, coins, etc.

  • Earphones

  • Stylus (if possible)

  • Quiet personal workspace

Suggested Learning Tools (4-6)

We suggest that students have the following items available, if possible:

  • Pencil

  • Pen

  • Coloured pencils

  • Scissors

  • Glue

  • Ruler

  • Protractor

  • Calculator

  • Whiteboard and whiteboard marker

  • Earphones/headphones

  • Stylus (if needed for touch screen)

  • Fidget tool (if needed)

  • Quiet personal workspace