7,500 TDSB Students Switch To Online Learning In Less Than A Month Due To COVID-19


After less than a month of classes, about 7,500 elementary students in Canada’s largest school board have gone from in-person to online learning, according to data provided by officials at the Toronto District School Board.Previously, some 60,000 TDSB students chose the virtual school this fall – but a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the province has led even more families to make the switch where it is available.

Some families, however, choose the opposite.

About 3,000 students have chosen to switch from virtual school to in-person learning.

Families with children at TDSB were given the option, through the board, to switch between in person and online on three dates during the school year.

The first deadline to request the change was Wednesday at 4 p.m. The next two dates are November 6 and January 29, 2021.

Overall, the board’s virtual school has approximately 76,500 students – approximately 58,500 elementary school students and 18,000 secondary school students.

Approximately 3,000 TDSB students are moving from virtual learning to in-person learning. (Francis Ferland / CBC)

High school students can request the change on November 23, as well as February 8 and April 23, 2021.

The data comes as Ontario sees an increase in COVID-19 cases, with 538 new cases reported Thursday. Of these, 229 have been reported in Toronto.

Almost half of Peel’s students learn online

Meanwhile, in Peel Region, nearly half of students in public elementary schools have already chosen to learn online, according to data provided by the Peel District School Board.

More than 54,600 primary school students have opted for distance learning this year in this board and 57,300 have returned to class.

The Peel Council has seen a surge in students opting for distance learning over the past month, according to figures it shared.

By the end of August, only 35,800 students had registered for e-learning, compared to 78,300 who indicated a preference for classroom courses.

The area’s Catholic school board – the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board – said about 14,150 elementary school students are learning online, compared with 32,400 who returned to class, meaning only 30% are taking lessons. remotely.

Vickita Bhatt, an elementary school teacher on the Peel board of directors, said the number of students learning at home had had little effect on life in the classroom.

“Some families thought that: ‘If I keep my child at home it might ease the burden and it might mean smaller classrooms for those who have to send their kids to school face to face because they are in front of line workers, etc.

This, Bhatt said, was a misconception.

The school funding model, which relies heavily on the number of students in a given class, has forced the school board to collapse and combine in-person classes, she said.

Peel Council High Schools, on the other hand, operate on a tailored model, with students who have chosen classroom learning only attending school half the time to minimize contact with their peers.

Still, the board said 27% of high school students – around 11,200 – learn entirely online.

Province Updates COVID-19 Testing Guidelines for Students

Meanwhile, Ontario has updated its COVID-19 screening guidelines for children in school to remove abdominal pain and pink eyes from the list of symptoms.

It also states that children with symptoms such as a runny nose or headache can now return to school or daycare after 24 hours – if they only have one symptom and their condition improves.

People with two or more symptoms or those with a fever or cough are advised to stay home until a doctor is consulted or the child tests negative for COVID-19.

The Department of Health says it is providing updated information to help parents determine when it is appropriate for students, children and their families to be tested for COVID-19.


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