School boards preparing for online school

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / artush

The Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board is asking for patience as schools switch to online learning for at least two weeks.

Premier Doug Ford announced Monday morning all public and private schools will switch to remote learning until at least January 17.

“I know the announcement from last week to this week is perhaps a little confusing but if we can stay focused and stay positive and stay calm, we can get through this,” said Director of Education Emelda Byrne.

Byrne said principals are assessing current technology requests and equipment will be handed out by Wednesday if possible.

All school boards are advising parents to contact schools directly if they need any technical support over the next two weeks.

School boards are also continuing to prepare for the return to the classroom.

On a conference call with the Ministry of Education, the WECDSB was informed N95 masks for educators will be arriving in the next couple of days along with three-ply masks for students (two per student) and additional Rapid Antigen Testing kits. However, Byrne only expects to have a limited supply of the self-collection PCR kits promised by the Ministry of Education in November.

The Greater Essex County District School board reported its supply of masks should be arriving by Friday.

The higher quality masks are just some of the things teachers would like to see before returning to the classroom.

“For a safe and sustainable learning and working environment in Ontario schools, Catholic teachers call on the Ford government to prioritize access to booster shots for all teachers and education workers, make additional rapid antigen tests available to everyone in schools, reinstitute case count reporting and implement a comprehensive COVID-19 testing and tracing program, and immediately provide all teachers and education workers with N95 masks, as well as the best possible masks to all students, with improved guidelines to ensure masking compliance,” President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association Barb Dobrowolski.