• Larry Hope

TLDSB Learning@Home – an update for school communities

As we bring our fourth official week of TLDSB Learning@Home to a close, we wanted to bring our staff, parents, and communities up to date on a few items of importance. There has been a whirlwind of activity recently, and we want to recognize the extraordinary efforts of so many — our teachers and support staff, school administrators and consultants, and of course, our students and parents. To make something like TLDSB Learning@Home come to life in such a short period of time is a truly remarkable achievement, and we are grateful for all that’s happened so far. We know it’s not ideal or perfect, but we are getting better every day.

Last week, we asked our parents to share their level of satisfaction with how we’re doing with TLDSB Learning@Home. We were very pleased to see nearly 3,200 responses to our survey and we were equally pleased with the feedback we received. We’ve had an opportunity to review what folks had to say, and I’d like to share the results with you here.

With regard to overall satisfaction with the online programs and tools, 68% of respondents indicated an overall level of satisfaction, 11% expressed dissatisfaction, and 20% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. When it came to the level of communication between home and school, 79% of respondents shared that they were satisfied, 7% were dissatisfied, and 13% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Finally, as it relates to the quantity of school work being provided to students, 65% indicated they were satisfied, 14% were dissatisfied, and 20% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Additionally, parents provided us with a number of written comments, which will help us with our continued planning.

These results, while quite positive, remind us that we still have some refining to do with our TLDSB Learning@Home offerings. We need to continue to pay attention to the mental health and well being of our students and their families at this time, and we need to be mindful of the fact that our students are not all in the same place in terms of access to reliable internet or technology. We also heard that there are often competing demands in our homes these days, and that differentiation of work is more important now than ever because of some of these factors. Additionally, the whole notion of assessment and evaluation continues to be one of concern for parents and staff alike, in that we are continuing to seek solutions to fair and equitable evaluation of the work our students are doing remotely. As a system and individually, we are challenged by some of these variables, and we continue to search for best practices and consistency as much as we can.

Understandably, we are being asked about access to schools and when we might be heading back into regular classroom settings. We continue to follow the direction provided by the province, and clearly we are on the same page as we want to do everything as safely as possible. At this time, we do not have a return date that is assured. As we learn more, we will certainly update our communities as quickly as possible.

Given the precarious nature of large group gatherings, and our sense that we will not be in a position to facilitate large groups, we have had to make the very difficult decision to postpone all June graduations. We have not taken this decision lightly as we know how important the opportunity to celebrate our graduates is for all of us. We have asked our schools to work with their stakeholders to develop a plan to honour our students, and those plans will be developed over the coming weeks. This milestone is very important for our graduating students, and we will do what we can to ensure appropriate recognition on a school-by-school basis.

We appreciate the support our families have given us over the past weeks. From the flexibility shown to the commitment to your children and positive feedback our staff have received from so many, we are reminded how fortunate we are to be in TLDSB. Our communities and our schools are once again demonstrating just how strong and resilient we are, and we look forward to continuing the excellent work we have been involved in together.

Thank you for all you’re doing to support our students.

Sincerely,

Larry Hope
Director of Education

2020-05-01T14:56:03-04:00May 1st, 2020||
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