Learn at Home: Update for Thames Valley families

Posted On Wednesday April 01, 2020

The Ontario government yesterday announced the extension of province-wide school closures until May 4 as part of ongoing measures to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The province also provided school boards with guidelines to ensure students will continue to learn while in-school classes are suspended. Overall, the goal is to ensure all students successfully complete the school year and advance to the next school year, earn credits and to graduate.

At Thames Valley, we are committed to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn.

While Principals and teachers will be reaching out to parents /guardians with more details in the coming days and weeks, the following is important information for Thames Valley families:

Teacher-student engagement

  • Some teachers and students will use online, web-based platforms such as Brightspace and Google Classroom. (Information about how families can access online platforms can be found on the Board’s Learn at Home website at www.tvdsb.ca/covid19updates)
  • Brightspace was recently endorsed by Thames Valley as its primary online teaching platform and many staff already use these platforms as part of their classroom activities.
  • Teacher engagement may vary depending on circumstances and could include a range of methods, such as: telephone contact, contact by mail and the delivery of printed curriculum packages, based on the specific needs of students.

Grades and expectations

Grades Kindergarten to Grade 3

  • 5 hours of work per student per week
  • Focus: Literacy and math

Grades 4 to 6

  • 5 hours of work per student per week
  • Focus: Literacy and math + science and social studies


Grades 7 to 8

  • 10 hours of work per student per week
  • Focus: Core math, literacy, science and social studies


Grades 9 to 12

  • 3 hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students
  • Focus: Achieving credits/completion/graduation

*Hours refer to the approximate amount of time students would spend on the work assigned by teachers.  

Report Cards

  • Final report cards will be issued, including the Kindergarten Communication of Learning, for all students.  
  • Mid-year report cards for non-graduating secondary students is suspended for this school year. 

Graduating Students

  • Teachers are expected to provide marks for graduating students in time to meet admission requirements for post-secondary education.  
  • Final report cards with marks will also be issued.  
  • Graduating students should not have their graduation or progression impacted by the developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. No student’s graduation or transition to post-secondary will be jeopardized as a result of the school closure period.

Community involvement hours

  • The graduation requirement to complete 40 hours of community involvement is suspended for this school year. 

Secondary literacy test 

  • The graduation requirement to successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is cancelled and has been waived for graduating students. Students who are not graduating this school year will have the opportunity to write the test in the upcoming 2020-21 school year. 

Access to Technology

  • Thames Valley has launched a survey for families who do not have computing devices in their home and plans are in place to provide school laptops, Chromebooks and/or tablets to families in need. 
  • Parents who completed a questionnaire on the Parent Portal will be contacted by their child’s Principal beginning Monday, April 6 to arrange curbside pickup from the school at a later time.

Parent Engagement

  • Recognizing the primary role that parents play in their child’s education, teachers, support workers, and Board staff are expected to remain in regular contact with parents about student learning and academic progression during this period, as needed.
  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher to discuss student learning

Support for Students with Special Education Needs

  • Thames Valley is committed to supporting the needs of students with special education needs.
  • Principals will be contacting parents/guardians to make arrangements to obtain SEA devices from schools if such devices are not available in the home.
  • Parents will be contacted soon with more information about continued access to the curriculum for students with special education needs. 

Mental Health and Professional Supports for Students

  • Psychology and social work staff will continue to reach out to families and remain available to students to support them during this difficult time. 
  • We remind students and families to access Kids Help Phone, providing 24/7 counselling and information at 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.

Co-operative Education

  • For students enrolled in Cooperative Education courses which involve a classroom component and a community placement component, their in-person community placements will be suspended. 
  • Teachers will provide students with more information soon about how students can modify their co-op Learning Plans to work through the curriculum expectations. Where feasible, these learners may be able to connect virtually with industry partners on career exploration activities, and experiential learning opportunities.