As countries around the world continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to share an update with you regarding current school closures and international travel.
In Canada, similar to other provinces, Ontario has closed all schools through to April 5, 2020. The government has advised that an extension of this closure period is possible if that is the advice of health authorities.
International flights from Canada are being reduced and foreign travel is becoming increasingly difficult. Given this scenario, parents will need to immediately consider two possible options:
- Stay in Ottawa: The safety, health and well-being of our students remains our top priority. Health measures are currently in place in Ottawa and, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all residents are encouraged to practice social distancing, which involves reducing interaction outside of the home. Our homestay hosts and students have been informed of these preventative efforts and will continue to follow the instructions of health authorities.
- Depart immediately: With international travel increasingly limited, any parents who wish to have their students come home must make arrangements as soon as possible. We certainly will do what we can to support you and your child with this process. Should you make this decision, it would not be expected that your child return to Ottawa in June to receive their final report card.
There are many operational details that will need to be considered. We will continue to maintain open communication lines with families.
We know this is a difficult and uncertain situation, but please be assured our primary focus is to support you and your child. We have put together a place where you can find information to help you during this time that we will continue to update. https://sites.google.com/view/student-update-site-covid-19/home?authuser=1
In addition, the Education Ministry has shared alternative learning resources for students as we await further details about when classes may resume. These resources are available through a portal called Learn at Home and Apprendre à la maison.
I hope that you are well and that you have the information you need to make this important decision. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss further.
Director, Ottawa International Student Programs
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board