I hope this email finds you well and safe wherever you are in the world. I am writing to you to update you on a recent announcement from the Ontario government, which some of you may already be aware of.
Schools to Remain Closed
Yesterday the Premier of Ontario announced that schools will remain closed to help ensure the safety of children until the end of the school year and that learning will continue online. Our teachers continue to strive to accommodate the needs of all students during this unprecedented situation. The sudden transition to online learning has been challenging for students and teachers alike. Everyone has had to show great flexibility and resilience in order to adapt to a set of very challenging circumstances. We all are continuing to learn and grow during this time.
The Premier also announced that overnight summer camps in Ontario will not open this summer which will be a huge disappointment for many. Our summer camps for international students, as a result, will not operate this summer, but we look forward to welcoming students again in summer 2021. For international students who are remaining in Ottawa this summer, online credit courses will be available through the Ottawa-Carleton District School board. Students are asked to contact their guidance counselor and their school website for information on registration. A list of the e-courses available can be found here.
Considerations for September
Before the end of June, the government will be making an announcement on schools opening in September and what that will look like. International students who are planning to continue their studies in September and who plan to return home for the summer should take into consideration that a travel ban and quarantine rules may make it impossible to return to Ottawa to start in September. Students who are unable to return to Ottawa will be able to defer their studies to a later date (second semester or fall 2021) as it is unlikely that they will be able to continue to learn online if the schools are opened and classroom learning resumes.
Determining Final grades
All of the learning you demonstrated prior to March 13th and until the end of June will inform the final grade for a given course. To ensure that students are not negatively impacted as a result of these difficult circumstances during the school closures, teachers will only consider the following in determining final grades:
Learning demonstrated prior to March 13th; and
Demonstrated improvement in learning to the end of June.
This means, for all students engaged in learning until the end of June, your marks are not at risk of dropping.
Once again thank very much to our students and parents for your understanding and flexibility during this time of uncertainty and great change. Please continue to check here for updates during the covid pandemic.
Director, Ottawa International Student Programs
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board