Thursday, January 21, 2021

School Board Advises on Winter School Closures & Bus Cancellations

Dear Editor, Parents/Guardians:

This is to update you on the process for school bus cancellations and school closures that may occur during the 2020 – 2021 school year. School bus cancellations are the decision of the bus companies, while school closures are the decision of the principal and Bluewater District School Board.

This winter, school closure decisions will be impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, combining students was a strategy often used on ‘inclement weather days’ when not all students and staff were able to get to school. However, in our current situation, public health guidelines do not allow the mixing of student cohorts.

In order to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff, the following plans are being put into place for the remainder of the current school year.

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8

Schools will do their best to remain open when buses are not running, and as usual, students will be welcome to attend if they can get there safely. If buses are cancelled, and your child is unable to get to school otherwise, students are asked to log in to their online classroom learning environment (Brightspace or Office365) at the usual start of the school day to receive instructions from their classroom teacher. Teachers will have posted work for students to complete and, if possible, will be available to connect with students synchronously. Students who do not have access to the appropriate technology are asked to follow up with their teacher when they return to school. Teachers are working to ensure all students have the information required to access the online platform. If the school is closed to students, the above process would apply to everyone.

Grades 9 to 12

Due to the amount of material delivered in one day under the current secondary model, when buses are cancelled, secondary schools will be closed to students except for those in self-contained special education classrooms. Learning will shift to online. Students should log in to their classroom learning environment (Brightspace or Office365) at the usual start of the school day to receive instructions from their classroom teacher. Teachers will have posted work for students to complete and, if possible, will be available to connect with students synchronously. Students who do not have access to the appropriate technology are asked to follow up with their teacher when they return to school. Teachers are working to ensure all students have the information required to access their online learning environment. Free apps for Microsoft Teams and Brightspace are available for mobile phones, which students may wish to use for this purpose. Students in self-contained special education classrooms are welcome to attend school on these days if they can safely do so.

Remote Learning School

Learning for students in remote learning schools will not be impacted by school or bus cancellations.

School bus cancellations and school closures will continue to be announced using our usual processes. As always, parents/guardians can subscribe to receive timely email or text alerts regarding cancellations, delays, and closures from the Student Transportation Service Consortium of Grey-Bruce. Visit mybrucegreyschoolbus.ca and click on the Parent Portal icon on the right-hand side to log in or create an account.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to adapt our processes during an unprecedented school year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s school.

Sincerely,

Lori Wilder

Director of Education

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