Dear Students, Parents/Guardians:
I thought I would write a brief letter to our CDSBEO families today to reach out to all of you in these unprecedented times.
While Easter Sunday will soon be here, the bishops have taken the unparalleled step of closing all parish churches in order to protect the health of everyone in our society, especially the elderly. This closure, like the closure of our schools, will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Most Catholics never thought they would see the day when their local church would be closed on Easter Sunday, yet here we are.
As a result, we find ourselves in a time where we are seeking reassurance, spiritual comfort and hope, while being isolated from each other and from the institutions we rely on. There is a common feeling of vulnerability and helplessness.
I know I can speak for all clergy and educators in saying that we too feel this vulnerability and helplessness. The last thing we want as priests is to be separated from those under our care. So too, teachers long to reconnect with their students and see their bright faces again. Yet the presence of COVID-19, and the threat of contagion that comes with it, has brought about a new reality of quarantine and social distancing that we all must endure.
As Pope Francis said this week: “To the pandemic caused by the virus, we want to respond with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness. Let us remain united.” At this time especially, I wish to encourage you to remain united with your loved ones and with God. I want to assure you that God is present in this crisis and at all times. We are an Easter people and we share in this hope! The presence of the Holy Spirit within us means the resources of hope and love that come from faith are always close at hand. Just as Jesus calmed the storm, so connecting with God in prayer, and the reassurance it gives, can calm the troubled soul in turbulent times.
One of the most famous passages in the bible is a line from Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you God are with me.” I have no doubt that God will protect his people now, just has God has always done, by giving us the resources we need to overcome this evil and to flatten the curve of infections.
This is an anxious time for everyone, especially children. But because God is close to us, this is also a highly effective time for prayer – and not just for ourselves. We remember those who are suffering with the virus, those who are caregivers, nurses and doctors, and other frontline workers, and those who find themselves without work through no fault of their own. Let us remain united in prayer and, through these positive thoughts, be comforted by our unity with God and our loved ones.
Lastly, for those who are parents, I remind you to look into the faces of your children when you need hope during these dark times. In their young faces you will see the future. And the future is bright. Christ is risen. Alleluia!
May God bless,
Fr. John Whyte, Board Chaplain
SCHOOL CLOSURE REGISTRATION PROCESS: NOTICE: Student registration is still available during the COVID19 school closures
For more information please see below link to the Board website registration page, which outlines the process for registering students during the closure.
Will remain open for any child or youth that may need help. Operating hours will be.
|Mondays||1PM – 7:30 PM||Smiths Falls|
|Tuesdays||1PM – 7:30 PM||Perth|
|Wednesdays||1PM – 7:30 PM||Carleton Place|
For more information please visit their website at: https://www.opendoors.on.ca/
Today, the Ministry of Education officially announced that all publicly funded schools in Ontario, including those in the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, will remain closed until May 4, 2020, to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. At this time, we do not know if further extensions will be announced but commit to keeping you updated as new information becomes available.
The Ministry of Education also announced it is entering phase two of its Learn at Home strategy to support the continuity of learning. School boards expect to receive details and direction from the ministry later today, and we will take time and care to review the at-home learning plan we are developing to ensure alignment. We expect to share details with you very soon. Our plan will outline how your child’s educator will deliver curriculum remotely, include expectations for students, and provide an overview of how we plan to ensure equitable access to learning during the closure.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate this new way of learning during these unprecedented times.
Please continue to check www.cdsbeo.on.ca/novel-coronavirus/ for the most up-to-date information, including supplementary online learning resources, and links to other official information channels, as well as our regularly updated Frequently Asked Questions.
With the extension of school closures until May 4, 2020, we are now moving forward, as of April 6, with Phase 2 of the Ministry of Education’s plan for ongoing distance learning – Learn at Home.
Students can access their school’s online learning portal through www.mycdsbeo.com. Many students will know their username and password as it is the same as what they have used to login on school devices. If you experience any issues logging into a device or require your login credentials, please contact our support team
By email: ICT_Support@cdsbeo.on.ca (Please ensure you provide student name, grade and school)
By phone: 613-258-7757 or 1-800-443-4562, press 3 for ICT Support. If your call is not answered immediately, please leave a detailed voice message including your name and phone number and an ICT support technician will respond to you as soon as possible. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.
Access to Devices for Distance Learning
We continue to work with local public health to establish a protocol to safely distribute devices to families. Schools will be in touch with families who require a device in the coming days. The school will identify specific details and timelines for picking up the device when they contact you. Please do not go to the school at any time unless you are directed by the school principal in order to pick up a device.
For Families Without Internet Access
Schools will be reaching out to connect with families that do not have access to the internet in order to discuss options and how to continue moving student learning forward.
Support for our identified learners is at the forefront of our considerations as we work to develop online learning possibilities for all students. Our Special Education team, consisting of clinical, educational and support staff, have been involved in determining plans for allocation of SEA equipment, individual student support plans and conversations with our families. Our Special Education Department will continue to collaborate with our school communities and families to determine the best learning experience for each individual student based on the realities of our current at home learning situation.
Elementary Students (Kindergarten to Grade 8)
Once students have accessed www.mycdsbeo.com they will see a list of apps. All students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 can find their online learning in the Microsoft Teams App.
Once your child has accessed the Microsoft Teams App, they can click on the icon for their grade and access activities and content in the following subject areas:
Kindergarten – Grade 3
Literacy and Numeracy
5 hours per week recommended
Grade 4 – Grade 6
5 hours per week recommended
Grades 7 and 8
10 hours per week recommended
Please Note: Distance learning is flexible. Students can access and complete work at any time throughout the day. Teachers will be available during regular school hours by email to provide guidance, clarification or address any questions parents and students may have. Should you wish to contact your child’s classroom teacher, please email them at email@example.com
Assessment and Evaluation – Elementary/Intermediate Students (K-8):
During the closure period, educators are available by email during school hours to provide feedback to students on how they are progressing and to support their ongoing learning. Teachers will use the evaluation information gathered prior to the school closures on March 13, 2020 to determine a final mark. No student will have grades negatively impacted due to the closure of schools. However, it is important to note that evidence of improvement in learning during the closure period will be taken into consideration when assigning a final grade in a subject. All students, K-8, will receive a final report card.
Secondary Students (Grade 9-12)
Once students have accessed www.mycdsbeo.com they will see a list of Apps. All students in Grades 9 through 12 can find their courses on either the Microsoft Teams App and/or the BrightSpace VLE App.
Grades 9 -12
3 hours per course per week recommended
Please Note: Distance learning is flexible. Students can access and complete work at any time throughout the day. Teachers will be available during regular school hours by email to provide guidance, clarification or address any questions students or parents may have. Should you wish to contact your child’s classroom teacher, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Assessment and Evaluation – Secondary Students (9-12):
All secondary students will receive final report card marks. Teachers will assign learning tasks and projects and will provide students with feedback on their learning. Results from the work done through distance learning will be used by teachers to inform the final mark. Teachers will base the final mark on work completed up to March 13th, however, they can adjust the weighting of assigned tasks based on what is in the best interest of students at this time, incorporating evidence of improvement in learning during the closure period in the final mark. No student will have grades negatively impacted due to the closure of schools.
Mid-term marks will be calculated for graduating students for the college and university admission process. Teachers will use evidence of learning that reflects work completed prior to the school closures, March 13. They may also provide opportunities for students to submit a missed and/or additional assignment to demonstrate their learning within the timelines prescribed by the teacher. Mid-term marks for graduating students can be communicated by classroom teachers upon request from the student and/or parent.
Mental Health Resources and Supports
This is a stressful time for everyone and it’s normal to feel worried. Students, parents, and staff may be feeling a range of emotions and be struggling with time away from school, work, community activities, and not being able to see their family and friends. Please visit the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario website https://www.cdsbeo.on.ca/ for mental health supports, information and updates.
We will continue to communicate with you as we move forward. We thank you for your ongoing patience, cooperation and support as our CDSBEO community works collaboratively to provide quality Catholic education to students and families in an online environment during this challenging and unprecedented time.
God bless you and your families as we begin Holy Week.