Everything You Need To Know About The Emergency School Closure

Written by Emma Pascu and Ethan Carley

Ever since March 14th, schools have been locked up. The building sits empty, collecting dust, awaiting the return of its source of life: the students. Unfortunately, the day we return is looking farther and farther away. Students have been left somewhat in the dark with questions about the future of the school year. But, journalists from Raider Weekly have come to the rescue with everything you need to know about the emergency school closures. All your burning questions answered right here!

 Q: Will we return to school this year?

A: No. On May 19, the Minister of Education announced schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year. 

Q: Are exams canceled? 

A: Yes. All exam days and P.D days are now instructional days to maximize learning time. Culminating assessments, however, will still occur, but the framework will need to be adjusted to accommodate online learning.

Q: Will students receive a final report card?

A: Administration is waiting for further direction from the board, but yes, the province has guaranteed that all students will receive a final report card.

Q: Can students’ marks change from where they were on March 13 (before the closures)? 

A: According to the HCDSB’s own website, final marks cannot go down from what they were on March 13, or midterm marks in the case of the Grade Twelves. Final marks on the June report card “will remain the same or, if a student demonstrates improvement after March 13, may go up.” 

Q: When is the last day of school? 

A: The last day of instruction is scheduled for June 26. 

Q: Are the EQAO and OSSLT assessments canceled? 

A: The Grade 9 EQAO assessment will not take place this school year. The Ministry of Education has waived the literacy graduation requirement for students graduating this year. Students who are not graduating this school year will write the OSSLT in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. 

Q: Will the school year be extended into the summer? 

A: The Ministry of Education has shown no plans to extend the school year. However, the summer learning program will be expanded. 

Q: Have there been any issues collecting and submitting grades to universities/colleges for the grade twelve students?

A: The Grade Twelve students have already received their midterm marks which have been successfully submitted and uploaded to the OUAC and sent to universities.

Q: Can students graduate if they have not completed their community service/volunteer hours? 

A: Yes. The requirement of 40 hours of community service/ volunteer work has been waived for all graduating students this year. 

Q: What are some concerns that teachers have about distance education?

A: Many teachers are concerned about potential gaps in the learning of their students. Teachers who teach subjects such as Math and Science are concerned that their students may miss certain concepts that are essential for moving up a grade and are having difficulty deciding how to best prepare their students for next year.

Q: What will happen when schools reopen?

A: When Ontario schools do reopen, extra measures will be taken to ensure the continued safety of all students. There will be enhanced cleaning of drinking fountains, door handles, desks, light switches, and other touch surfaces in the school. Deep cleaning and disinfecting of the school will also take place in the days before openings are announced.