The following is information for families with students enrolled in the Elementary Virtual School only (online school). All families should have received this email from the board yesterday, but we wanted to share it here as well.
September 9, 2020
Dear Families of the Elementary Virtual School,
We hope that you and your families are healthy and keeping well during this time of global pandemic. We look forward to welcoming our students into the Elementary Virtual School (EVS), which currently comprises over 28,000 students and over 1,000 staff members.
Our staff have been working closely with the Ministry of Education and York Region Public Health to plan for the 2020/2021 school year. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate through this unprecedented time in education. We are committed to providing optimal learning experiences for our students and are working diligently to ensure inclusive and inviting learning environments for all our students. Please visit our Elementary Virtual School (EVS) website for more information.
We will provide an update on the virtual school plan on Thursday, September 10 and Friday, September 11 that will ensure a supported entry for all our students. Regularly scheduled classes will resume on Monday September 14.
EVS Supported Entry Plan – Orientation to the Elementary Virtual School (EVS)
Part 2: Focus on Curriculum Orientation for Supported Entry (30 minutes) followed by Asynchronous Activities for Students
Monday, September 14
8:45 am – 3:15 pm
Full Day of Classes EVS
Timetable/Class Placement Information
By noon on Sunday, your child’s teacher will be sending a welcome message to your child with more information including access to the Google Classroom that will be used as a platform for learning this year. A schedule is below.
Elementary Virtual School (EVS) Schedule: K-8
8:45 – 9:35
9:35 – 10:25
10:25 – 10:55
10:55 – 11:45
11:45 – 12:35
12:35 – 1:35
1:35 – 2:25
2:25 – 3:15
Switching Between In-Person and Virtual Models of Learning
We appreciate that with new information and demands of this time, parents/guardians may wish to request a switch between the in-person and the virtual models of learning. Transfers from in-person to virtual cannot be accommodated at this time. Elementary Virtual School (EVS) is timetabling and staffing and must work with the numbers that have been shared already to complete this process. Subject to the availability of space and program, additional transfer requests will be considered when the initial timetabling and staffing process is complete and we have had an opportunity to verify the data. Home schools will hold on to any past requests at this time which will be placed on a waitlist. During the week of September 14, 2020, families will receive information on how to request a transfer between the models, i.e., online transfer request form. Students new to YRDSB should be registered and timetabled in home schools, pending consideration of their request to attend EVS.
French Immersion Update
EVS will offer French Immersion for Grades 1 to 8. For primary EVS students, Grades 1 to 3, French Immersion students in the virtual school will receive 150 minutes of French instruction per day and 150 minutes of instruction in English per day. Similarly, Grades 4 to 8 will receive this same amount of French and English daily instruction. The provision of French instruction will enable us to meet the Ministry of Education requirements for French Immersion, while allowing maximum use of teachers with French qualifications to maintain the offering of French Immersion in EVS.
Students in the regular track in Grades 4 to 8 will be receiving 150 minutes of French Instruction each week. This amount of time will meet the Ministry requirements of 600 minutes by the end of Grade 8.
Virtual School Digital Tool Supports for Families
To support you and your child accessing learning materials and synchronous learning tools through Google Classroom, a number of online resources are available:
Information regarding Tip Sheets for Accessing Zoom will be available soon
For more digital tool resources, including video screencasts, please visit our parent resource page on the Board website. In the near future, you will also be able access Frequently Asked Questions for families specific to the Elementary Virtual School (EVS).
If your child requires technology, families can make requests for devices and internet access by contacting their home school, who will then complete the request for technology on your behalf. If you require further technical supports for board provided devices, please fill out the Student Tech Help. Students who are new to the board, or have forgotten their Username or Password, should contact their “home school” office staff to retrieve their Username and Password.
YRDSB held a Virtual Town Hall meeting recently in order to answer families’ questions about our reopening plan. It was live-streamed on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Click on this link to watch the recording.
Regional Principal: Bernadette Smith EOAA: Margaret Burns
We’re counting down the hours until the first day of school for students. We ask that you please look over the attached key messages carefully. They outline arrival, recess, lunch and dismissal procedures for all students. It is important that you discuss this information with your child so that they fully understand. This message will also be reinforced with students at school.
This year, we have new health and safety measures in place to help keep students and staff safe from the spread of COVID-19. Everyone, including families, plays a critical role in supporting health and safety in our school communities. Please carefully review the attached daily checklist, provided by the YRDSB, before school each day. As a reminder, students in Grades 4-8 must wear a mask and it is strongly recommended that students in Grades 1-3 wear a mask.
Thank you for your help in supporting health and safety for all students and staff at Ventura Park.
We are so excited to welcome you for the 2020-2021 school year! School staff have been working so hard behind the scenes to get everything ready. We cannot wait for our classrooms to be filled with students once again.
As we shared earlier this week, the York Region District School Board is using a Supported Entry model this year. For the first few days of school, we will be welcoming students back in smaller groups to give them additional time to learn and practice our new health and safety measures, and to support their transition back to school after the school closures. Please refer to the information posted on the Ventura Park blog or sent via email earlier this week for the dates of school attendance during Supported Entry.
On the first days of school, we will have large numbers posted on all of the exterior doors. Students will be asked to walk around the building and find their correct entry door. When they come in the correct door, the children will proceed directly to their classrooms. Homeroom teachers will be waiting in the classrooms to greet students. Rotary teaching staff will be helping guide students and helping them maintain social distancing. Lockers will not be used their year – please limit the number of items students are bringing to school with them.
If your child usually takes the bus to school, please send them on the bus. This is important for safety reasons; it helps us minimize traffic in front of the school and lessens confusion for students about morning routines. Parents will not be permitted to enter the school. If you are dropping your child off, please do not linger as it is essential for students to enter in a socially distanced way. We will have extra supervision on the yard in the morning to ensure a smooth and safe entry.
This year, our Grade 1 students will enter the school via the door located on the east side of the building, adjacent to the parking lot. During our Supported Entry days, Grade 1 students will enter the door and be guided to their classrooms by a staff member. We know that Ventura Park is new to them, but we will have significant support to ensure a safe arrival.
More information will be forthcoming next week clarifying changes to our recess and lunch procedures at the school. These changes will help us keep students in small groups during outdoor time.
We are so excited to have your children back next week. We have close to 600 students returning, with class sizes of approximately 15 students for Grades 1-3 and approximately 20 students for Grade 4-8. Because of our reduced class sizes we have opened 4 new classrooms as we strive for safety. Please continue to follow our blog as we will soon be sharing procedures for the first day of school. It is very important that all blog post are clearly read by families.
Yesterday, the YRDSB announced plans for a supported entry to the 2020-2021 school year. This staggered return to school during the first two weeks will give our staff additional time to prepare the school for your child’s return and give students time to learn and practice new health and safety measures in smaller groups. Welcoming students back in smaller groups will also enable us to better help students transition back to school and to new school routines.
Students will start school on Thursday, September 10 or Friday, September 11, 2020. Students will be divided into two groups by last name alphabetically and go to school on alternate days for the first four days (i.e. your child will attend school on September 10 and 14 or September 11 and 15). All students in Grades 1-8 will begin attending school every day on Wednesday, September 16.