Hamilton public school board delaying transition day for students amid pandemic challenges
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board says the Oct. 13 date has been pushed back to Nov. 3
Hamilton's public school board is delaying the first day elementary students can switch between online and in-person learning due to the number of challenges it has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board noted in a report to trustees the Oct. 13 date has been pushed back to Nov. 3 because of "the staggered start, the significant demand for remote learning, the additional time needed to assess school level space in order to maintain physical distancing, and the anticipated number of changes to student and staff class assignments."
Peter Sovran, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board associate director of learning services, said families will receive a notice on Tuesday afternoon about the change.
"We're going to provide them the details on how we want to collect the information from them, but they'll have up until Thanksgiving to give us that information and we'll need a couple of weeks after that to reorganize both in-person classes and remote classes," he explained in a phone interview.
"We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to settle in, experience that learning environment and they can make a more informed decision, whereas if we wanted to make the transition occur right after Thanksgiving, we would have had to have asked for a decision already and begin the transition process."
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- Hamilton public school board's virtual school is 8 teachers short as delays persist
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The board's virtual school has had delays due to a leap in demand.
At least 8,700 students have registered for it in the past weeks, creating a huge demand for more educators. On Friday, HWDSB said it was eight teachers short.
"Given all that, we thought a couple extra weeks was really reasonable," Sovran said.
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The public board also emphasizes in its report every effort will be made to accommodate requests and that discussions related to extraordinary circumstances will continue.
Sovran added that HWDSB will bolster its "Thoughtexchange" program where families submit their thoughts to the board, see each other's thoughts and add stars to the ones they think are important.
All of the results are then shared online.
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