After a day of uncertainty for many parents and teachers, the Toronto District School Board has announced that they are delaying the start of live, online classes for some elementary students.
Instead, they will be implementing a “rolling start” to elementary virtual school as of Tuesday for the over 60,000 students who have enrolled.
All students who opted for the virtual school were supposed to begin synchronous or live, interactive classes online on Sep. 22. But the TDSB says due to an increase in demand and inability to secure enough staff for virtual classrooms, this will not be possible.
Now, some students will be able to join live classes while others will begin asynchronous or “independent” online learning.
In a letter to parents, the TDSB advised parents to log in to the online learning platform Brightspace on Tuesday. If a class has a teacher assigned, a welcome message will be displayed and those students will begin synchronous learning.
If a class does not have a teacher assigned as yet, there will be no welcome message and those students will begin asynchronous learning.
Parents of these students have been advised to visit the TDSB Elementary Virtual School website on Tuesday morning to access a new section called ‘Asynchronous Learning Activities.’ They will find activities connected to the Ontario curriculum listed by grade for students to complete at their own pace. In addition, live sessions are planned this week to help adjust to the new mode of learning.
Many parents and teachers spent most of Monday frustrated due to a lack of information.
On a teachers’ Facebook group many have posted about not being assigned classes yet, not being able to contact parents and the lack of time tables.
Meanwhile, parents also took to social media to try and find answers. Many posted asking about who their child’s teacher was, their schedule and how to log on to the online education platform.
Still waiting for instructions from the @tdsb about virtual elementary school. Will the start of virtual school be delayed for a third time? Kind of don't care at this point, but would love communication of any kind. Being left in the dark is frustrating.
— Tracey Nolan (@misstraceynolan) September 21, 2020
@tdsb @ChrisMoiseTO When will we receive information about virtual elementary school? Who is the teacher, what is the schedule, how do the kids log on? If the first day is delayed, let us know now; I took a vacation day from work to help with technical issues and set up tomorrow!
— Taryn McCormick (@TarynKM) September 21, 2020
No call no email… No idea who is our teacher.. What cohort… No login details whatsoever… 2 kids at elementary..
— Alona Joshi (@AlleFearless) September 21, 2020
The TDSB says that “efforts to hire more teachers have been ongoing and staff have been working around the clock and through the weekend to keep things moving forward.” Parents will be notified as soon as a teacher is available for their child’s class.