Hamilton school boards will have ‘transition days’ for staff and students to adjust to remote

·2 min read

Hamilton’s public and Catholic boards will offer a transition period for families and educators amid a province-mandated shift to remote learning next week.

On Monday, all schools at the public board will be closed for a “transition day.”

In a letter to families, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) chair Dawn Danko and education director Manny Figueiredo said “educators will be contacting families to ensure students can log in to the platforms for remote learning” and co-ordinate with families who have indicated they need a device.

On Tuesday, instruction will continue for elementary students already enrolled in the remote learning program and secondary students.

Elementary students moving from in-person to remote will have a second transition day, with no scheduled instruction.

Wednesday will be a “full instructional day” with all HWDSB students in virtual classrooms.

At the Catholic board, Monday will be a transition day for all elementary students and staff. In a letter to families, the board said teachers will connect with students “to provide a schedule and outline learning expectations for the remote learning period.”

Instruction will continue on Monday and Tuesday for secondary students, whose current octomester (one subject at a time schedule) ends this week. There are no classes on Wednesday for secondary students, and a new course will begin on Thursday.

Some students with special needs will continue to learn in person across the province, including at both the public and Catholic boards.

“This is not a local decision, but we know that it matters to many students, and their families,” the HWDSB letter reads.

The HWDSB says families with students who were learning in person during January’s school closures will be contacted by staff on Monday and Tuesday “to determine options and scheduling.”

The Catholic board will contact eligible students with special needs on Monday and Tuesday for an expected return to the classroom on Wednesday.

At both boards, before- and after-school programs will be closed. Child-care programs for non-school-aged children will remain open.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator