Hamilton

Public board plans transition days, device distribution as schools move to remote learning

Hamilton's public school board is preparing to transition to online-only classes after the April break by halting teaching for two days and handing out devices students will need for remote learning.

Provincial officials have not shared a date for when kids can expect to return to class

Bags of laptops and tablets were waiting to be taken home by students in April when COVID-19 forced classes to carry on at home through e-learning. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Hamilton's public school board is preparing to transition to online-only classes after the April break by halting teaching for two days and handing out devices students will need for remote learning.

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that schools will stay closed for in-person learning following the break that began this week, as Ontario weathers a third wave of COVID-19.

Provincial officials have not provided a timeline for when students will head back to in-person classes, instead saying they will monitor data and trends to determine when a return is possible.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) says its schools are closed and no instruction will take place on April 19 and 20 to give staff time to make the shift. The two-day break will also ensure there's time to connect families with the devices they'll need for online learning.

The board will contact families about devices starting on April 19, and devices can be picked up the following day, HWDSB says.

Classes will begin again on April 21, the board said in a letter to families.

Child care for non-school aged children will continue, but before and after school programs are closed.

For elementary students who have already been learning remotely, their program will also be closed on April 19, before resuming the following day, says HWDSB.

High school students will do the same — no school on Monday, but classes resume on April 20.

Students who attend special education classes, or who need support that can't be provided online, will continue to learn in-person, according to the board, which said a start date will be shared with families based on staffing and scheduling.

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