Published: October 15, 2020
As education continues to change in Ontario and around the world, educators, parents, and students need to be prepared to adapt to new ways of learning. Right now, that approach is online education.
We are all playing our part in making the transition to online learning easier on parents, teachers, administrators, and students who are all eager to regain a sense of normalcy.
As parents and educators adjust to the changing landscape, it is also essential that students understand the current situation and are able to access the resources they need.
The tutors at Prep Academy Tutors are providing ample resources to aid students at this time. We offer a range of solutions, including one-on-one, online, and small group tutoring.
What Does Going to School Look Like Right Now in Ontario?
Let’s address what going to school looks like in Ontario right now. Primary students choose to either partake in blended learning (a balance of in-class and at-home learning) or exclusively learn at home. On the other hand, high school students participate in mandatory in-class lessons other day and engage in online education when they are not at school.
Most recently, the TDSB released updated regulations for wearing masks in schools. These regulations state that “Staff are required to wear Level 1 or 2 medical masks at all times when indoors, and outdoors when unable to maintain a physical distance of two metres.”
Elementary and high school students must wear masks at all times, except during a mask break – a break where students socially distance and safely remove their face coverings for a short time.
The Current State of Education in Ontario
Ontario schools are facilitating a blended learning approach and, when preferred, exclusive online learning for elementary school students. The next step would either be a reversion to remote online learning or a gradual integration of more in-class time dependent on how the current situation progresses.
The Changing Landscape
As numbers fluctuate and affected schools close, it is crucial to have a plan in place for your child’s education. Due to the changing landscape, consistency is vital – which is why an increasing number of parents are opting for their students to learn online exclusively.
Parents can use private tutors to help students transition into their new means of education, whether they engage in blended learning or they’re learning exclusively online. Prep Academy Tutors has professional tutors in Mississauga and across Ontario to suit all of your child’s educational needs.
The Ontario Government is reportedly providing up to $1.3 billion in critical support, including over 37 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE), to help classrooms safely reopen across Ontario.
Premier Ford said in a statement that “This school year will be unlike any we have ever seen, but by working together, we can all play a part to keep our children, teachers and education workers safe and ensure our students continue to thrive and be inspired to learn during these extraordinary times.”
The province has provided funding (more than any other jurisdiction in the country) to help support academic institutions at this time. This funding includes the hiring of up to 1,200 custodians, the hiring of more teachers, and the implementation of advanced cleaning protocols in schools and busses.
Up to 625 nurses have been hired in schools to offer efficient and effective support, including screening and mitigating.
Monitoring School-Related Cases
Ontario’s school boards and the Ministry of Education are closely monitoring schools and keeping parents, educators, and students up to date. The government provides an updated summary of cases in schools that indicates how many cases have occurred and where.
Ontario schools typically offer vaccinations to Grade 7 students for Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus and Meningococcal disease. CBC reports that these vaccinations will no longer be available in schools and will instead be at community clinics and doctors’ offices in 2021.
How Parents Can Help Students Adjust
We are all adjusting to the ongoing regulatory changes and adapting to our new normal, so we all must support one another. Our children, for one, can benefit from educational and emotional support to make their transition easier.
The good news is that there are many different ways you can support your child’s transition and help them to reap the benefits of a more flexible education:
Parents often think that students don’t need academic support when they are learning from home. The reality, however, is that students learning from home can significantly benefit from personalized tutoring. In addition to improving student grades, a private tutor’s guidance can help students build skills and gain the tools they need to succeed with online learning.
At Prep Academy Tutors, we are committed to shaping the leaders of tomorrow and providing them with high-level strategies and skills to approach new means of learning. You can learn more about our tutoring services to identify how we can help your student; we offer online tutoring, small-group tutoring, and more.
Maintain open communication with students to keep them in the know and aware of any changes they may face in the future to prepare themselves.
Fear of the unknown can take a toll on a student’s mental health, which is why it’s better to discuss the current circumstances with your student. Answer any of their questions and decide together the best route for their learning, whether in class or online.
Preparedness to Pivot
Rules and regulations in schools continue to change in response to the ongoing situation, but we can plan to accommodate these changes as needed. Have a plan in place and maintain open communication about the future of education. Preparedness can help teachers, parents and students feel better equipped to tackle any other changes to the education system that may come our way.