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Board working on plans for schools should closure be extended

Simcoe County District School Board looking at ways to deliver curriculum after April 6; 'It will be challenging and it will be imperfect,' says chair

The Simcoe County District School Board is preparing for the possibility of schools being closed beyond April 6.

The board held a virtual meeting Wednesday evening to discuss plans for students and teachers in case the province announces a further delay in reopening schools.

“There has been no order to extend that closure, but we are preparing in case that happens,” said board chair Jodi Lloyd.

When the province announced the closure of schools in response to COVID-19, it created a “Learn at Home” page on its website, but it is simply a list of resources for students and parents.

“It’s not there to replicate the classroom,” Lloyd said. “We are working to put a plan in place to facilitate the delivery of the curriculum and to continue with credit accumulation.”

Specifics of that plan are still being determined. The board has been working with principals and teachers to determine what resources are available and what ones they would require.

“It will be challenging and it will be imperfect. We can’t do digitally and remotely what we can do in the classroom,” Lloyd said. “We haven’t done this before. It’s new territory for boards. It’s a big undertaking in a very short period of time.”

The board will provide more information to parents as soon as possible.

“People want definitive answers, and we appreciate that it’s frustrating for them, but we’re in a situation where we can’t provide all that information yet. Nobody can,” she said.

The Ministry of Education has said students will be able to move on to their next grade, or graduation, after this school year.

The local board has not made any decisions on graduation ceremonies or other end-of-year celebrations.

A COVID-19 information page is on the board’s website, and it includes frequently asked questions. Click here for more information.