RDSB tells families to prep for possible learn-from-home mandate

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SUDBURY—Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) is instructing students and families to prepare all of the materials they may need to learn from home in January in case provincial public health restrictions put a temporary stop to in-person education.

“Given that the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly, we have asked students to please bring home any materials they may require for remote learning before leaving school for the holidays,” stated RDSB Director of Education Norm Blaseg in a December 17 open letter to parents and guardians, shared on the board’s website and social media channels.

“On behalf of our schools, I would like to thank students and families for following health and safety protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19. Let’s continue to choose our actions wisely over the holidays to make the return to school as safe as possible,” Mr. Blaseg said. “Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.”

The letter is related to a December 16 directive from the Ontario Ministry of Education to the heads of all school boards, asking them to prepare their students for fully virtual education in case the province closes schools amid a still-rising second wave of COVID-19.

The memo does not guarantee that this action will take place; rather, it seeks to ensure school boards and families are as prepared as possible.

RDSB is also asking parents to fill out surveys on its website, asking about what tools and resources families may need to help students pivot to fully online learning.

The board has asked parents to fill out one survey per student and it has created two separate forms, one for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students and another for secondary school students.

Questions include whether each student has access to an electronic device to support remote learning and whether a home internet connection is reliable enough to support live classes.

RDSB is asking parents to complete the surveys by Tuesday, December 22 at the latest.

For links to the surveys and Mr. Blaseg’s full message, please visit https://www.rainbowschools.ca/parents/covid-19/enjoy-a-covid-safe-holiday.