Q: Are elearning courses continuing as part of the continuity of learning/distance education plan?
(updated April 7)
A: Yes, all secondary courses are continuing; none have been cancelled. All courses, including HDSB elearning courses are governed by the workload guidelines published by the Minister of Education.
Q: Will the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) scheduled for March 31 take place? (updated March 18)
A: No, the Ministry of Education has announced that EQAO assessments, including the OSSLT, scheduled to take place this school year will be cancelled. For students who are graduating this year, the literacy graduation requirement will be waived. Students who are not graduating this year will have the opportunity to write the OSSLT in the 2020-21 school year.
Q. Will the school year be extended into the summer?
A: We have not received any direction from the Ministry of Education on the extension of the school year. The decision to extend the school year would be made by the Ministry.
Q: Will learning continue during the Ontario school closure?
(updated April 27)
A: Teacher-led learning re-started Monday, April 6. As shared by the Minister of Education
, our goal is to ensure the successful completion of the school year for all students, and make certain that our elementary students advance to the next grade and our secondary students earn credits and graduate.
Additional online learning resources: The Ministry of Education’s 'Learn at Home
' online portal provides resources for elementary and secondary students. HDSB staff have posted additional learning resources
for Kindergarten - Grade 8 students. Should you choose to use third-party online resources, you are encouraged to review the privacy and security settings outlined in the user agreement to ensure you are comfortable with them.
Q: What will distance learning look like? (Updated April 28)
A: Teaching and learning will look different during the Ontario school closure. Given the challenges with distance learning, educators will only be covering subject/course material that is crucial to the key learnings and overall expectations. We will be following the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education
with respect to suggested hours of work for students each week and areas of focus. Educators may be providing weekly overviews to students rather than a day-to-day lesson plan (e.g. a series of learning activities the students are to complete over the course of the week) allowing students to work at their own pace.
Staff will make themselves available to their students at scheduled times each week for students who need assistance or want to ask questions. This could take the form of an email exchange, a phone conversation with the teacher or small group meeting online.
Since teachers may be reaching out by phone, please be aware that they may not be calling from a number you recognize, so you might see “Unknown Caller ID”, “Private Name”, or “Private Number”.May 15 update: Synchronous learning
Beginning next week we will be transitioning to a new phase of distance learning where teachers will include synchronous learning and instruction. Synchronous learning refers to real-time learning by one or more students and their teacher. Teachers will, in addition to other strategies for teaching, include real-time learning as part of whole class instruction, small group instruction, and/or student conferencing on a weekly basis either online or by telephone.
Teachers remain committed to using a range of instructional strategies that promote equity and access, recognizing the wide range of student needs during the school closure period. Student and staff well-being, equity and inclusion remain at the forefront at all times.
Q: How will students with special education and language needs be supported?
(updated April 2)
A: Staff are conscious of supporting our students with special education and language needs. Resources and strategies to support all learners have been made available to teachers.
To support the learning needs of all students, including students with special education needs, we have developed resources and strategies which are available to families and staff on the HDSBlearning resources website: https://olr.hdsb.ca/special-education-learning-resources
Q: How will families without access to technology or internet be supported?
(updated April 24)At the beginning of April, our educators began reaching out to families to assess technology needs. Since then, technology and devices have been distributed and internet connectivity has been supplied to families who did not have access and had requested it. To date, we have been able to meet all student requests for a device for each household. In most cases, we have supplied Chromebooks as they tend to work best with our learning platforms and resources.
We encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal if you require technology support.
Q: What platform can HDSB students use to support them in distance education?
A: The HDSB has a contractual agreement with Google for G Suite for Education which is significantly different from a standard personal Google account. The agreement provides the HDSB with content ownership, application controls and support and protection from advertisements.Secondary students
All HDSB students have a Brightspace account. Brightspace is an online learning management system provided to all school boards in Ontario through the Ministry of Education. It includes an online classroom and a portfolio tool to help students document and share their learning with teachers.
Q: Will students still receive midterm report cards?
(updated April 7)
A: There will be no midterm report cards. Graduating grade 12 students will receive midterm marks and these marks will be shared with colleges and universities as appropriate. All secondary students will receive final report cards in June
Q: Will the secondary Term 1/2 date be changed and will this impact Civics and Careers?
(updated April 7)
A: Term 1 ends April 15. Civics and Careers teachers have been in touch with students about an optional final performance task opportunity to improve final marks prior to term change.
Q: Will co-op placements continue during this time? (updated April 2)
A: Co-op placements are postponed during the school closure period. Co-op will be included as part of the HDSB’s Continuity of Learning Plan. Some students have the ability to do their placement virtually and others will work with their school co-op teacher on other curriculum strands of the course. Information will follow directly from co-op teachers to students.
Q: Is there going to be a letter sent out to co-op students? I can’t fulfill all of the requirements because of the self-quarantine.
(updated April 7)A: Co-op is part of the HDSB’s continuity of learning plan. If you have questions about co-op, please contact your co-op teacher.
Q: Will the closure impact my ability to apply for a SHSM for 2020-2021.
(updated March 27)
A: The course selection deadline has passed but our SHSM programs still have spots. Students can connect with a Guidance counsellor upon return to school.
Q: Will the requirements for SHSM be impacted and will I still be able to graduate with a SHSM certificate?
(updated April 2)
A: A process is in place to allow graduating students in the Specialist High Skills Major programs (SHSM) program who are unable to complete their SHSM requirements due to extenuating circumstances, including the impacts from COVID-19, to be supported through the override request process.
Q: Will dual credit courses (with community colleges, post-secondary institutions, etc.) continue during the Ontario school closure? (Updated April 2)
A: Dual credit programs are postponed during the school closure as students do not attend HDSB programs at other sites when our own sites are closed. Dual credit programs will continue as part of the Continuity of Learning Plan. If you have not heard from your Dual Credit teacher, please send them an email. Q: Is summer school running? (updated May 11)A: Summer school registration is open from May 11 - June 30, 2020. Please visit the following webpage for more information: https://garyallan.ca/high-school-students/secondary-summer-school/. Q: Is summer learning taking place? (updated June 2)
A: For information on summer learning opportunities for 2020, please visit the Gary Allan High School website. Q: Will the International Baccalaureate (IB) program be impacted?
(updated March 23)
A: The May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme and Career-Related Programme candidates will no longer be held. Read more in the
message for International Baccalaureate Students & Families
, or visit
Q: Will secondary school exams be impacted?
A: The Ministry of Education will move forward to replace examination days with instructional time. Students in IB, AP, or Dual Credit with questions specific to final examinations in those programs, should connect with their school principal.
Q: Will DELF, the French examinations specific to the CommonCommon European Framework, occur this year?
Q: Will decisions around Elementary Optional Attendance (Grades 1-8) still be made by the end of March? (Added March 23, 2020)
A: No. The DELF consists of annual exams written by students in a large group setting. The HDSB has cancelled/postponed any planned large group gatherings for the remainder of the school year.
A: Decisions regarding Optional Attendance for September 2020 will be delayed. Further information will be provided once schools re-open. Decisions regarding Optional Attendance for Kindergarten will continue to be made the third week of September.
Q: How do families register students for school while schools are closed?
(updated March 31)
Q: How do students drop a course right now?
A: Please visit our
Student Registration page for instructions on how to register students for school during the Ontario school closure.
A: Please connect with your school Guidance Counselor or Principal for more information on how to drop a class. Students must withdraw from a course by Wednesday, May 6 for the course not to appear on their transcript.
Q: How do I obtain a transcript while schools are closed?
A: For information on how to request a transcript during the Ontario school closure, please visit this page:
Q: Will students be able to retrieve items left at school? (updated June 1)
A: With the announcement that we will not be returning to school this school year, it is time to remove items left in student lockers/classrooms. Working with Halton Region Public Health, we have developed a process to provide safe access to schools to retrieve personal belongings.
- Elementary schools: A process has been developed for parents/guardians to pick up student belongings. This process will be communicated by the school along with assigned dates for a parent/guardian to collect personal belongings. A protocol for parent/guardian safe access to schools has been developed and is available to view on the HDSB website (translated versions in multiple languages are available).
- Secondary schools: Students have requested access to retrieve their belongings from lockers through a form sent by their school. The assigned date and time for access will be confirmed by the school.
Please contact your school for more information.
Schools will communicate the process for the return of school resources. Q: Will year-end celebrations take place? (updated June 16)
A: Year-end celebrations are important to all of us. Recognizing that large group gatherings are not a reality at this time due to public health guidelines, elementary and secondary schools will be holding year-end celebrations virtually. All schools will organize virtual graduations/commencement presentations in June.
Schools may potentially have in-person celebrations at a later date when public health directives indicate it is safe to do so. Until then, we want to ensure the achievements of our students are celebrated now in a way that is safe for all families and staff in accordance with public health guidelines. These virtual celebrations do not prevent secondary schools from organizing their own event in the future when it is safe to do so.
June 16 update: The Government of Ontario announced on June 8 that province-wide social gatherings of up to 10 people are now permissible
with physical distancing in place. To confirm, with physical distancing in place, gatherings of more than 10 people are still not permissible according to public health guidelines. As a result, suggestions/ideas such as outdoor graduation ceremonies with physical distancing cannot be considered because these still do not comply with public health guidelines of a maximum of 10 people at gatherings.
We have and will continue to take our direction from the Ministry of Education and Halton Region Public Health. The health of our students and staff is our highest priority.Q: When will school sports for elementary and secondary students begin?
A: School sports will begin once it is safe to do so. The Ministry of Education has announced that it will release a plan by the end of June detailing what school will look like in the fall. The Minister of Education has said schools will operate differently as a result of health precautions to protect against COVID-19.