Letter from Director

Dear families,

We have received notice from the Premier of Ontario that the current closure of all Ontario schools will be extended to reopen May 4, 2020. This is in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All schools in York Region District School Board will continue to be closed to students during this time. Schools are expected to reopen May 4 and you will receive additional information about the opening closer to this date.  

It is critically important at this time to continue to follow the direction of public health to practise social distancing in order to flatten the curve of this pandemic virus. 

YRDSB Learning and Caring Plan for teacher-led learning

This week, your child’s teacher will be reaching out to you to check in with your family and let you know that beginning next week, we will be implementing online teacher-led learning for our students. Students can expect some online learning activities and opportunities, as well as information about how to connect with their teacher. You will be receiving information from your child’s teacher about what this will look like for your child. While our schools may be closed, we remain dedicated to supporting your child’s learning and well-being. 

If you do not have access to technology or the internet, please complete our questionnaire, or let your child’s teacher know when they contact you. 

What does the school closure mean for students?

I’m sure you have a lot of questions and concerns. You want to know about marks, graduation requirements, post-secondary applications, and more. While I don’t have all of the answers today, I’m going to share as much as I can, and I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

We know that students may be missing important milestones this year –  trips, athletics and important activities. We share your disappointment and will look for ways to celebrate their achievements when students return to school. For now, it is important to focus on keeping our community safe and healthy. 

You may be concerned about your child’s emotional well-being. You can find tips on how to speak to your child about COVID-19 on our website. We also recognize that this situation is affecting families in different ways. We have compiled a list of community supports and resources, also available on our website.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience. For up-to-date information and resources, please visit www.yrdsb.ca/covid19 and the Board’s twitter feed @yrdsb

I wish you continued health and well-being. 

Sincerely, 

Louise Sirisko

Director of Education

Supports for COVID-19

As we face a challenging road ahead,
together, as a school community we will
persevere.


If you are facing difficulties or challenges
due to COVID-19 (i.e. access to food,
shelter, services or locating community
resources) contact:
Oksana Majaski


Community Partnership Developer,
Inclusive School & Community Services
York Region District School Board
Email: Oksana.majaski@yrdsb.ca
Phone: 416-568-2252

Greetings

Dear families of Ventura Park PS,

On behalf of all our staff here at VPPS, we miss having our students come to school each day and the many connections we have with families. We know how important social distancing is at this time, and I hope that you and your family are doing well and staying healthy during these challenging days.

During this week, staff from VPPS will be contacting families to check in on students. We want to ensure that you receive information from our school, as well as the School Board. As we move forward with online learning opportunities, we want to confirm that students can access a digital environment. As our staff will not be calling from our school, you may see calls coming from, “unknown caller ID”, “Private Name” or “Private Number.”  Throughout this week, we ask that you pick up the call as it may be your child’s teacher. We also know that there is an increase in fraudulent calls, please be assured that your child’s teacher will always identify themselves as such and will only ask questions regarding your child’s education. Just as a reminder, please do not to give sensitive personal information (such as social insurance numbers, etc.) over the phone. Your child’s teacher would not ask this type of information during a call.  

To ensure that our staff can connect with all our families, we will encourage that calls be kept focused. We know that you will have many questions that are still being worked on at the provincial level.  Once we have further information, we will share updates at www.yrdsb.ca/covid19 , Twitter @YRDSB, and emails. 

Please continue to check our blog regularly.

Thank you for your unwavering support in these unprecedented times.

Stay healthy and well.

Greg Farrell and Mary Mackeracher

Information from our Teacher Librarian

Here are some simple stem activities that can be done with items that are around most homes.

www.makerspaces.com/25-makerspace-projects-for-kids/

Just a reminder we also have various online resources available, many of which Mme Lofsky have linked on her weebly
https://venturaparkpslibrary.weebly.com

Additionally, SORA is an online library where students can log in to borrow books using their board email and password.

Hope everyone is staying safe!

Learn at Home and Online Learning Resources

Dear families,

I hope this letter finds you and your family and loved ones well. I know you have a lot of questions about how educators will be supporting students in their learning during the school closure. 

I also know many of our staff members and students have been keeping in contact during the closure, whether it’s been through a classroom tool or social media. We all care about our students and families and want to maintain these important connections. 

As a board, we have been identifying opportunities to support the continuity of learning and caring. Our staff will provide important support in gathering information to coordinate learning and caring plans for our students during this challenging and unprecedented time. Not all of our students have access to technology and we are looking at ways to make technology accessible. Plans are in place for school staff to connect with families to check to see how our students are doing, and gather information on particular technology needs of students and families. 

As you know, on March 20, the province provided phase one of this learning, which includes online opportunities for students to engage in independent learning through Learn at Home. Additional online learning resources are available on our Board website. We know the importance of teacher-led learning, and this will play an important role in our efforts to support student learning and well-being, which will inform phase two of learning continuity. Although this is still not ideal, we need to find new ways to engage and learn and work together, while apart.  We are continuing to work with the Ontario Ministry of Education to prepare for the continuity of learning and caring across YRDSB and the province. 

We are also receiving questions regarding how long the school closure will last. The Ministerial Order stated that all publicly funded schools would reopen on April 6. However, on March 23, Premier Doug Ford stated during a press conference that it is “unlikely that schools will reopen on April 6. ”At this time, school boards have not received notice, additional information or clarification on the timing of schools reopening. As soon as we receive this information, we will share it with families. 

I know you still have many questions about assessment, evaluation, what the day-to-day will look like. We don’t have all of the answers to your questions today. Our intention is to share information with you as soon as possible, as we receive it. We will continue to share these plans with you. 

Please continue to take care of yourselves, your families and your loved ones. I know everyone is dealing with a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty at this time. If you or others in your family are experiencing emotional distress, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.  There are also crisis counselling supports available, if needed, through the KidsHelpPhone 1-800-668-6868 or 310-COPE (905-310-2673) and Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600.

For those in our community who are essential workers, thank you for all that you are doing to keep our communities safe, healthy and fed. For those who are able, please stay home as much as possible to flatten the curve of this pandemic and help keep our healthcare workers and first responders safe. Further, I want to thank all our families who are staying at home. Although we have never faced something like this before, we can get through this together, while staying apart. 

Sincerely,

Louise Sirisko

Director of Education

Dear VPPS Families,

While our students are not in school, please consider checking out the CENTRE for EDUCATION in MATHEMATICS and COMPUTING website and their resources to help support students during this time.

1) The CEMC’s comprehensive Courseware covers most mathematics topics covered curricula from Grade 7 to Grade 12: https://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/courseware/courseware.html
Each course includes online teaching, interactive components, and lots of opportunity for practice. This is a great way for students who are not in class to continue learning. 
The Grade 9/10/11 Courseware includes curriculum maps that explicitly show how the lessons connect to the various Canadian provincial curricula: https://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/courseware/grade-9-10-11-curriculum-maps.html

2) The CEMC’s Problem of the Week and Problem of the Month offer students the chance to do some problem solving and keep sharp: https://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/potw.phphttps://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/potm.php

3) The CEMC’s CS Circles is an excellent resource for students to learn the basics of programming: https://cscircles.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/
In addition to these resources, the CEMC offers a wide range of other online resources supporting Grade 4 to Grade 12: https://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/resources.html

They are also introducing a new resource called “CEMC at Home”. Most weekdays, the CEMC will post something for each of four grade levels: Grade 4/5/6, Grade 7/8, Grade 9/10, and Grade 11/12. The goal is to provide a wide variety of fun and educational ways to do mathematics and computer science while at home practicing social distancing. The resources will include games, new problems to solve, applications, videos, pointers to existing materials and more.

https://cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/cemc-at-home.php

Letter from The Director of Education

Dear families, 

 I hope this correspondence finds you and your family healthy and safe.  As you know, on March 12, 2020, the Ontario Minister of Education issued an order to close all publicly funded schools from March 14, with an expectation that they reopen on April 6, to interrupt the spread of COVID-19. Today, the Ontario Minister of Education has written a letter to all families and asked that school boards share it broadly. You may find a copy of this letter on the Board’s website.  At YRDSB, many of us have been working during the school closure to provide resources for students and their families and our staff members. On Friday, we shared resources for online learning and tips for speaking with children about COVID-19. We encourage you to continue to visit the Board’s website or Twitter feed @YRDSB for up-to-date information on education-related news, and www.york.ca/coronavirus or www.ontario.ca/coronavirus for public health updates. For those of you returning to Canada from abroad, please remember the importance of self-isolation for 14 days after your return.  As the Minister has requested, our leadership team is working to provide technology for families who may not have access so that they may benefit from the online resources provided by us and the Ministry.  As our plans develop, we will communicate this information to families.  Once again, I would like to reassure you that we are making decisions with your children’s health and safety as a top priority. Please continue to follow us on Twitter @YRDSB and check your email to receive updates from us during this rapidly changing global situation. 

Sincerely, 
Louise Sirisko
Director of Education