The return to in-person learning: New TDSB guidelines for students
February 7, 2022
Due to the fast-growing cases in Ontario, students were forced to stay home and participate in online learning for a few weeks after winter break. Then, the start of school was delayed even further for students across the TDSB due to significant snowfall.
The news was sudden but hardly surprising; many have gotten used to in-person classes being delayed at every turn. Now that students are finally able to return, the TDSB sent out a large influx of information regarding updates and guidelines.
Some of these updates positively impacted both students’ grades and mental health. Many students were ecstatic that marks after December 17th would not negatively affect their grades. This means their marks could only go up from that point. Lein Elnaw, a grade nine student at King, feels as though this change was a good idea. “I believe that making sure a student’s grade can not be reduced is really helpful considering the circumstances and giving them the opportunity to improve. It’s also a great accommodation,” says Elnaw.
Gwyneth Hsu, another grade nine student at King agrees. “I think that stopping grades from falling is beneficial for students who’ve achieved their ideal marks and those who are struggling alike, as they know their marks can’t dip.”
Hsu does have some skepticism about the change, “However, with the courses being as they have been, teachers have been going through course material faster, meaning that allowing students to slack off at the end of the semester has more of an effect on learning overall as they will lose more potential knowledge.”
I think that stopping grades from falling is beneficial for students who’ve achieved their ideal marks and those who are struggling alike, as they know their marks can’t dip.”
— Gwyneth Hsu
Furthermore, in some classes, students could choose to opt out of the culminating activities if they believed their marks were adequate. On top of that, exams and standardized tests such as EQAO have been cancelled until further notice.
Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, decided that COVID-19 cases within schools would not be collected nor reported. Only students in classes directly affected by the case(s) will be notified. Moreover, students are responsible for checking whether they can attend in-person classes with their daily screenings; instructions will no longer be provided by the school.
Additionally, physical distancing during lunch will become more heavily enforced. It is possible that lunch schedules will be introduced to limit contact between students. In addition, extracurricular activities that require contact, singing or wind instruments will be put on hold for the time being.
Stronger and more protective cloth masks (3-ply) will be available to students. Students are encouraged to contact their principal if they require them. Rapid antigen tests will be provided to students as well.
Last but not least, several changes have been made to the Now Mobile™ app. The entry QR code not only shows whether one is allowed to enter TDSB buildings but their name and the date as well. Students are also encouraged to take note of the improved questions on the daily screening.
It is all very uncertain how the next semester will turn out with all the recent changes; one can only hope for the best. Find out more about new changes from the TDSB at: https://www.tdsb.on.ca/