Choosing between Remote and In-Person Learning

Posted On Friday July 31, 2020

Families will be able to decide if their child(ren) will return to in-person learning at a physical school site or if they will be opting-out of in-person learning.

Families will be receiving an e-mail on Friday July 31 on how to opt-out their child(ren). If families do not opt-out by the deadline of Wednesday August 12, it is assumed that their child(ren) will be attending school in-person.

To help you with this important decision, we have developed a series of FAQs (listed below) related to remote learning. We also encourage you to learn more by exploring other sections of the Return to School webpage about the enhanced health and safety protocols and cleaning standards that we will be implementing in schools.

What if my child is learning in-person and the class is required to stay home?

  • It is possible that with the return to school the Durham Region Health Department will direct us to have all students in a class and/or in a school to stay at home. In this situation, we will transition to remote learning for that group of students until they can return to school.

What will remote learning look like?

  • Students who opt-out will receive instruction remotely at home and will receive both RealTime (live) learning and FlexTime (independent) learning during this period.
  • The program is intended to cover a similar amount of time that students would usually spend in the classroom learning and doing independent work with their teacher.

Will remote learning be the same as in-person learning?

  • It is important to understand that remote learning will not be the same as in-person learning but will be scheduled in a predictable manner and involve daily real-time opportunities.
  • We aim to ensure students can learn the required curriculum expectations and engage in learning with a teacher and other students through a variety of virtual platforms in a structured format.
  • The expectation of students engaging in remote learning will be that they are online and present. 

Will my child be able to participate in remote learning with students and teachers from their home school?

  • Students engaging in remote learning may not be able to participate with students and teachers from their own school. We may be required to create virtual classrooms where students across the district in similar grades are attached to a teacher who will deliver online instruction.

Why do I need to decide by August 12th if my child is going to be learning remotely from home?

  • To plan for the successful return to school on September 8th, we need to know how many students will be opting for remote learning. We may have to adjust staffing across the system and some teachers will be assigned to provide remote learning for students at home. As a result, there may be less teachers assigned to physical classrooms at your child’s school.

Will students be able to switch between in-person and remote learning?

  • Direction from the Ministry indicates that students may not necessarily be able to move between remote and in-person learning, and families should anticipate the possibility to be wait-listed if they change their minds.
  • The opportunity for switching between remote and in-person learning will be dependent on an appropriate class placement being available. This may be at the end of an instructional period (i.e. each term at the elementary level and each quadmester at the secondary level). Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis for students that have special circumstances.

Will technology be provided for my child?

  • Technology will be provided for students who are learning remotely and require it.
  • Families will receive more information in the coming weeks on how to request technology.