September 10th, 2020
Dear Parents/Caregivers of Secondary Distance Learning Students
We are looking forward to working with you in our secondary distance learning classrooms. We have some important information and updates about the program to share with you. The Secondary Distance Learning Guide may help you find answers to topics we have not covered here.
Teachers Assignments and Phone Calls
We want to ensure that all courses offered in the Secondary Distance Learning Program (SDLP) will be taught by qualified subject teachers. Due to the significant reorganization of our high schools that occurred in a very short timeline, some of our distance learning courses have yet to be assigned a permanent teacher. However, students in such courses can expect to receive a phone call by an occasional teacher by the end of the day on Friday, September 11th.
Occasional teachers will take time to connect one on one via phone or Google Meet with students and their families. This time will offer an opportunity to ensure technology is in place to support student learning and ensure students can log in to the virtual learning environment.
Course Enrollment: Wrong Course or No Course
A second impact of the significant reorganization required in all of our secondary schools and in setting up the distance learning program is that some students may have incomplete timetables due to course conflicts (two courses chosen by a student fall at the same class time), and changes in course availability. Guidance staff at all 16 home secondary schools are working as quickly as possible to resolve these issues. Guidance counselors and/or SDLP teaching staff will communicate updated timetables with students as soon as they are available. Guidance staff will prioritize these cases according to student academic impact; meaning those courses that are needed to graduate will take precedence over a student’s changing their course choice.
Our First Days of School
On September 11, all secondary Distance Learning students should be prepared to log in to their Period 1 course and plan for a five-hour instructional day between the hours of 8:30 am to 2:15 pm.
The focus for this day will be to ensure students gain familiarity with the WRDSB Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform called “Brightspace” by getting them started on the Virtual Learning Environment orientation for students and to have our teachers begin to know their students.
Students enrolled in courses that do not have a permanent teacher can still log in to their virtual classroom and complete the student orientation and a supply teacher will be making contact to help students get started as well.
To access the VLE students can go to https://wrdsb.elearningontario.ca/ and login with their WRDSB email address and password.
The student orientation has four modules:
Module 1 – Using the WRDSB Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Module 2 – Developing a Learning Portfolio
Module 3 – Digital Citizenship & Digital Literacy
Module 4- Transferable Skills
On Monday, September 14th SDLP staff will be hosting a student welcome assembly for all Distance Learning students. This will be posted in all SDLP virtual classrooms.
The focus of these assemblies will be to:
- Welcome students and introduce SDLP Staff and Administrators
- Provide clear digital citizenship expectations for distance learners
- Describe a typical day for a distance learner and share student attendance expectations
- Provide tips on how to be a successful distance learner
- Share how students can access academic and social-emotional supports
Please remember to check the SDLP Guide for the latest updates and more information.