Today, the Ontario Minister of Education announced that schools will remain closed to students until May 4, 2020, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak. As such, all Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) schools will remain closed to students until May 4.
The province's announcement may be found at this link.
We understand that this announcement may require families to consider additional planning and considerations for the coming weeks. Based on the expectations outlined by the Ministry of Education, LKDSB Senior Administration is working with Principals, educators and education workers to finalize plans for student learning at home beginning the week of April 6. Further detailed information for students and parents/guardians will be provided later this week.
The health and well-being of your family is paramount, and we understand that this is your primary focus at this time. As we are currently in the second week of the school closure following March Break, we understand that students may be missing in-person interactions with educators, education workers and their peers. Please know that we are available to offer supports and many of our educators are reaching out to students and families as per your typical means of communication to check in and connect with students. To assist parents/guardians with discussions with children/youth about the current situation with COVID-19, we have provided a list of available supports and resources. Additional information is available through School Mental Health Ontario.
Moving forward, we are committed to supporting the continuity of student learning. We appreciate all of the feedback received through the Thoughtexchange online engagement. We share concerns regarding the importance of equity and access to learning resources and devices, as well as Internet access, and this has been a key consideration in our planning. However, we recognize there may be some unique challenges to address. Please expect to be contacted by your school to help us understand your specific context so we can provide learning resources to support our students in your household.
For those who have WiFi Internet access at home, but do not have sufficient shared devices to complete school work, you are invited to complete an online order form to support your family needs (NOTE: The online order form is now closed). Please note: Device distribution will be prioritized to graduating students first. During these unprecedented times, it is our shared responsibility to support the success of all students.
We know that for most students and staff, learning during the school closures will look different than in-classroom learning. We also understand that families are navigating their unique circumstances and the learning processes will continue to evolve as staff and students become more familiar with learning at home. We are grateful for the outstanding dedication and commitment of our staff to supporting students' success, as demonstrated to date with many educators connecting with students and families this past week.
With the extension of the school closures, we understand some families may be anxious to access items students left at school prior to the closure. At this time, the Provincial Medical Officer of Health has not permitted access to schools for students to collect personal belongings unless there is an essential need (i.e. medication).
These are unique times and we continue to adapt as the situation evolves. We know that you will have questions and we are doing our best to get you answers. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available. We appreciate your support and understanding through this process. Please continue to visit the LKDSB website for up-to-date information (www.lkdsb.net). All COVID-19 updates will be posted on this website.
I extend all the best to you, and the health and the well-being of your family.
Director of Education