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TDSB cancels November learning model switch for elementary schools

Last Updated Oct 16, 2020 at 1:28 pm EDT

Five year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter the school at Portage Trail Community School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Parents with children in Toronto District School Board elementary schools will no longer be able to switch between in-person and virtual learning in November.

The board said the next opportunity to transfer between the two learning models will be at the end of January.

Parents had previously been told they had until Nov. 6 to make the switch for a start date of Nov. 23.

TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said he understands this may be a challenge for some people, but that this was for the greater good.

“We just could not put the system into another level of upheaval a month after we just did it, and (then) keep on doing that,” he explained.

“We need some stability in the system and that’s what this is all about.”

Bird said in making this decision they considered the mental health of their teachers and staff.

“Trying to balance staff between in-person and virtual, and then running the risk of having to do it again … I don’t think anyone had the appetite to do that,” he said.

“It was absolutely necessary the first time but looking at what we went through … we didn’t want to put people through that once again.”

The next date to make the change will be January 26, which would be implemented in February.

The deadline for TDSB secondary school students to switch from in-person to virtual schooling is currently on hold.