Hamilton school boards make adjustments amid planning for full online learning scenario

HWCDSB has pushed back the day elementary students can switch between in-person and remote learning from the Christmas break to February. HWDSB families now have until Friday night to complete a survey that indicates how ready they would be to switch to full remote learning.

HWCDSB moves elementary school transition date to Feb. 1, HWDSB extends online preparedness survey deadline

See desks in empty classroom.
An HWDSB student and staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Hamilton's Catholic school board has pushed back the deadline to Feb. 1 for elementary students to switch between in-person and remote learning. 

"In order to ensure the greatest stability for students, it has been determined that the next opportunity for elementary students to change learning modalities will take place on Feb. 1 rather than at Christmas break as previously indicated," read a letter to families.

"Information on how to request a change will be shared in the coming weeks."

Allowing students to switch between in-person and remote learning has been a challenge for school boards. It has led to massive reorganizations, which have disrupted families, students and educators.

Meanwhile, parents and guardians in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) now have until Friday night to complete a survey that indicates how ready they would be to switch to full remote learning.

"We are asking families to assess their preparedness to have students learn from home should a school close due to an outbreak, or in the event the Ministry of Education directs us into a full remote learning scenario," read a update to families.

"Our priority is to review our expectations related of remote learning during times of closure. Staff will be working on a plan to help remove barriers for learning during COVID-19, including barriers to technology and internet."

Both the HWDSB and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board have been preparing for how they would manage a school or entire board closure due to the novel coronavirus.

With those survey results, the board can assess the technology and internet requirements of families and help them learn from home.

2 new COVID-19 cases in HWDSB schools

A student at Hess Street Elementary School and a worker at Dundas Central Elementary School tested positive for the virus on Sunday. The schools say students and staff listed as close contacts are self-isolating.

There have been more than 100 COVID-19 cases in local schools since pandemic started.

Despite this, neither board fears it will have to shut things down anytime soon, as schools have not led to mass outbreaks or spread of the virus.