DCDSB's Distance Learning Plan

Posted on Saturday April 04, 2020

April 4, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Within our Catholic learning community, faith is embedded in everything we do. In the week ahead we will be embarking on teacher-led distance learning. At the same time, we will continue to celebrate and honour our faith-based traditions with our Durham Catholic family recognizing that beginning tomorrow, we will also be entering Holy Week, the most sacred time in our Catholic Liturgical Calendar. May this be a time when we hold our family close and remember our broader Durham Catholic community in prayer.

As you are aware, the Ministry of Education announced this week that schools will remain closed until May 4, 2020. Our staff has been working to address technology tools and access with families. We want you to know that we will continue to support the education needs of our students and have developed A Guide to Distance Learning for DCDSB Parents and Guardians. This plan involves teacher-led learning delivered through Edsby, Office 365 and/or D2L Brightspace.

Our plan aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Phase 2 Learn at Home Plan and provides guidelines on subject areas being taught, hours of student work and assessment and evaluation. Below are some of the guidelines:

  • Kindergarten-Grade 3: six hours of work per student/week (focus on Literacy, Math and Religion)
  • Grades 4-6: six hours of work per student/week (focus on Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies and Religion)
  • Grades 7-8: 11 hours of work per student/week (focus on Math, Literacy, Science, History/Geography and Religion)
  • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week

Beginning Monday, April 6, teachers will start to post lessons and clarify expectations with their students. They will work diligently to deliver a learning experience that is consistent with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education. Our staff members are looking forward to reconnecting with their students.

For those families who completed our survey or have connected with the school, plans are underway to distribute the technology your child will require as soon as possible.  Your child’s Principal will contact you with the necessary details.  Do not worry, we will work with each individual situation so that your child will not fall behind.

Special Education

As part of our Distance Learning Plan, teachers will provide students with learning materials and supports that are consistent with the goals and expectations in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Program Support Teachers will provide additional and specialized support for students who have Alternative expectations in their IEP. A full explanation of special education supports is provided in our Parent’s Guide to the DCDSB Special Education Distance Learning Plan.  Parents and guardians are also encouraged to visit the Special Education section of our Keep Learning  webpage. This webpage includes online resources and tip sheets to support learning at home for students with special education needs.

Edsby Help

Earlier this week, we asked families to become familiar with Edsby and to log into the platform. Thank you to all who have taken the time to log in. If you have not signed in, please visit dcdsb.ca/Edsby to access step-by-step video instructions. If you are experiencing a problem with Edsby, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions. If you require further clarification or support, please contact your school directly. A staff member will be in touch with you to assist.

These are truly unprecedented times with information changing hourly, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you need help, we have posted a link to a list of community agencies available to assist with financial services, mental health, food, shelter and more.

Yours in faith,

Tracy Barill
Director of Education

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