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Important update for HDSB families - May 15

Dear HDSB families, We hope you and your families are keeping well. This week we are writing to provide you with an update on distance learning and other important items. We would like to begin by saying how grateful we are for the work of our families and staff in supporting our students in distance learning in these challenging circumstances. Together you have stepped up and have done an outstanding job of meeting the needs of our students. Synchronous learning Beginning next week we will be transitioning to a new phase of distance learning where teachers will include synchronous learning and instruction. Synchronous learning refers to real-time learning by one or more students and their teacher. Teachers will, in addition to other strategies for teaching, include real-time learning as part of whole class instruction, small group instruction, and/or student conferencing on a weekly basis either online or by telephone. Teachers remain committed to using a range of instructional strategies that promote equity and access, recognizing the wide range of student needs during the school closure period. Student and staff well-being, equity and inclusion remain at the forefront at all times. Graduation Ceremonies & Commencements Given the Public Health restrictions on large group gatherings and physical distancing guidelines, the HDSB is currently investigating creative and innovative ways to honour students who are graduating in June. Elementary or secondary schools will be sharing more information with their communities once plans are finalized. HDSB Virtual Prom With physical distancing regulations in place, the annual tradition of holding a prom for Grade 12 graduating students will not be possible at this time. In the past these events have been organized by the schools or by parent groups. Since it is not safe to hold school proms, the Halton District School Board will be hosting a board-wide virtual Prom on Thursday, June 11 from 8 - 9:30 p.m. The Prom, organized by staff and students from numerous Halton high schools, features a "Hoodies and High Heels" theme and will be shared live on YouTube with performances by HDSB student bands and a DJ. Follow @HDSBVirtualProm on Twitter and Instagram for updates. Update for families from Halton Region Public Health Halton Region Public Health has provided an update to families containing mental health resources and information about COVID-19. We encourage all families to read this letter. Letter for families from Halton Regional Police Service and the Halton Children’s Aid Society While physical distancing measures have been in place, there has been a significant drop in reports of suspected child abuse/neglect. As a result, Halton Regional Police Service and the Halton Children’s Aid Society have requested we share this letter with families. Retrieval of belongings in schools We are working with the Halton Region Public Health on guidelines to provide safe access to schools to retrieve personal items left in student lockers and classrooms in the event that schools will not be reopening this year. We will inform families should these procedures be necessary. Online school registration is available Families are able to register their child online through the HDSB website by visiting our Student Registration page. Please share this information with families who are new to your neighbourhood and those who have children starting school in the fall. Summer school registration Summer school registration for secondary students is open until June 30, 2020. Visit the Gary Allan High School summer school webpage to register. For more information, email Frequently Asked Questions We continue to update the frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help address concerns from families. If your question is not covered in the FAQs, direct it to Stay in touch While schools are closed, we encourage families to continue to check for updates from us through email (SchoolMessenger),, and the Board’s social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Thank you for your patience and understanding. Sincerely, Stuart Miller Director of Education


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