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Director's Message - May 19, 2020

Limestone Learning Foundation
Director's Message - May 19, 2020
Posted on 05/19/2020
Image of Director of Education update graphic

Dear Families,

Today, the Premier and Minister of Education announced that publicly funded school boards in Ontario will not return to school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Schools will remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic response until the end of June 2020.

Despite a recent downward trend in positive cases of COVID-19, the Premier has indicated that keeping schools closed is based on recommendations by the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children.

This is disappointing news, and we know it is not what many of you might have hoped for, but it is based on the advice of provincial and local public health officials who continue to monitor each stage of the reopening plan to assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will support all decisions that help ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of our students and staff. It is important to note that school is not cancelled – in-school teaching and learning is suspended. Learning opportunities will continue within our emergency remote learning plan.

We know you will have many questions about what this means, and we will do our best to provide answers as quickly as possible. Some of this information will likely not be available for a few weeks.

Here is what we do know:

  • We will continue to prioritize the physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being of our students and staff.
  • We will continue to provide emergency remote learning to our students for the remainder of the school year. We thank families and students for participating in our remote learning survey. We are eager to review the feedback and how we might work together to strengthen our actions going forward.
  • Students will receive final report cards in June. All marks will be based on students’ learning prior to the school closures on March 13. Marks cannot go down, only up.
  • Grade 12 students scheduled to graduate will do so as planned. Graduation ceremonies that normally take place in June are cancelled and plans are under way to determine how we will recognize this significant milestone for our senior students when it is safe to do so.
  • Grade 8 graduation ceremonies are also cancelled. Schools are working on ways to celebrate students in a virtual format.
  • Limestone’s existing summer session registration is now open. We await more detail on the province’s new, expanded Summer Learning Program, and what this might mean for Limestone students.
  • Child-care centres located in our schools will also remain closed. The gradual reopening of child care is subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.
  •  Schools will remain closed, but we will work with local public health officials to determine how students can safely return to school to retrieve any belongings that were left behind in March.
  • The Province will announce plans for the 2020-2021 school year before the end of the current school year.

We must remember that these changes to our school communities are not forever. They are for now. Everyone is affected by this pandemic in some way, and we will continue to work together to support our students, families, and staff as best we can.

We will share more information with you as soon as possible. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.

Debra Rantz
Director of Education

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March 31, 2020 Message from the Minister of Education to Ontario Families

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March 13, 2020 Message to Families

Frequently Asked Questions re COVID-19

Talking with children and youth about COVID-19

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.