Please see a letter from the Director of Education to all Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) families regarding the current COVID-19 situation below:
I know there are many, many parents of Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) at home wondering what is going to happen to their child’s education and to the rest of the school year. There may also be increasing concerns about your child’s mental health and even your own well-being as you make your way through each day in this new reality. First of all, you are not alone. We all have questions and we understand that not having clear answers can be frustrating. Secondly, there are supports available in the community and elsewhere if you or your children are struggling. I have placed a few links to resources at the end of this letter.
At this point in time, we do not know how long the closure of schools is going to be. We are told that the Ministry of Education will be letting us know soon. When we know, we will share this information with you as quickly as possible.
There is currently some confusion about learning for your children during these two weeks of shutdown until April 3. I have no expectation that students will engage in any formal academic learning while they are at home during this initial school shutdown period, and as we gather input from our staff about what is reasonable and manageable within our context. First of all, and most importantly, you and your family need to look after your own needs first. Your health, safety, and well-being are your priority right now.
Secondly, we want to be sure that programming and resources are in place that are fair and equitable for all our students if the shutdown is going to continue for any length of time. This includes consideration for families who do not have internet access or resources for any number of reasons. I want to assure you that school boards across the province are working together and with the Ministry of Education to develop a plan that will provide curricular support in a variety of ways so that access will be reasonably available to all.
In the interim, I encourage you to take a look at resources that have been posted by the government of Ontario through the Learn at Home initiative. Additionally, please consider the positive impact something as simple as integrating learning into your daily routines can be. For example, a half hour of reading a couple times a day, measuring in the kitchen or workshop, or tuning into online learning resources if you are able. These are a few simple things that can support our students with continuation of learning in a manageable way until more formal learning opportunities are implemented.
I know that our educators are just as anxious as you are to learn what the plan is going to be. Many of our staff have been or are in the process of reaching out to students to check in to see how things are going. We are highly supportive of our staff reaching out and engaging with their students and families but again, I have not directed our staff to do so in the short term.
We are clearly in unprecedented times. Like you, we have many questions. We have tried to ensure timely response to the questions that come our way, and responses we have are posted on the TLDSB website at tldsb.ca/covid19/. Please check back often.
The best thing you can do right now is to focus on your family and being well. As always, we will get through this. And as always, we will do our best to keep you as up-to-date as possible in these times of change.
Thank you for your continued support.
Director of Education
- Kids Help Phone: Online chat or call 1-800-668-6868 to speak to a counsellor. Text CONNECT to 686868.
- Big White Wall: Online peer support.
- Bounce Back: Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, youth will get access to tools that will support them on their path to mental wellness.
- hopeforwellness.ca: Immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention for all Indigenous peoples across Canada (available in some Indigenous languages). Toll-free: 1-855-242-3310.
- Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line: Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit* youth-led organization for Youth up to 26: 1-800-268-9688.
- Transgender Crisis Line: Call 1-877-330-6366.
- Crisis Services Canada: Call 1-833-456-4566 anytime or text 45645 from 4 p.m. to midnight.
- Ementalhealth.ca: Visit the crisis and emergency section to find various crisis services in your community.
- ConnexOntario: Services for drug and alcohol, gambling, or mental health issues.
- Canadian Mental Health Association: Local CMHA to access mental health help, support, and resources.
- Find a therapist: in your local area.
- Mental Health Helpline Information and Referral Specialist: Email or chat online.
- 211: Information and referral for community, government, social and health services, including mental health resources across Ontario.
For more COVID-19 updates, visit tldsb.ca/covid19/. Thank you for your patience.