September 22, 2020

Elementary PA Day on Sept. 25, 2020—no classes for all elementary students

Dear Peel District School Board elementary families:

As you know, all Kindergarten to Grade 8 families were informed on Sept. 17, 2020, about changes to elementary classes through the board's annual reorganization process. Today, I'm following up to provide you with some information about the upcoming Elementary Professional Activity (PA) Day on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.

But first, I'd like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we embark on a school year like no other. I'm sure you have seen firsthand how hard our staff are working to make the very best of this unpredictable start. Our goal, in the midst of uncertainty, is clear: to transition students back to school as smoothly as possible, while keeping their health and safety at the heart of everything we do.

As I said in my previous communication, no amount of planning could account for the considerable changes to enrolment since the start of the school year. That's why we anticipated that this reorganization would have a more significant impact on schools than in previous years. Depending on your school's enrolment changes, some classes may have undergone changes to class sizes to align with Ministry requirements, and/or be reassigned a different teacher. These changes came into effect as of yesterday.​

I'm sure some of you are wondering what this means for the PA Day scheduled for Sept. 25, and whether there will be additional changes to your child's class. Sept. 25 will remain a PA Day—all elementary schools (online and in-person) will be closed to K-8 students.​ ​Secondary classes will continue as usual in person and online. ​ 

In previous years, the September PA Day was used to support and finalize the reorganization process. Instead, this year, the day will be used for in-school professional learning for elementary staff and to make adjustments to any school routines in the best interest of staff and student safety.

We know that many staff, students and families were nervous and worried leading up to the start of the school year—some of you may still feel this way, and that's okay. I hope that the gradual start to the school year and the orientation days put some of those concerns at ease and helped you become more familiar with this new way of teaching and learning. As we continue to navigate through this very different school year, we remain committed to keeping our school routines as consistent as possible, understanding that in some cases, we may need to adapt to ensure safe and supported learning environments for students.

Whether your child is learning online or in person, we are committed to providing them with a rigorous, engaging and culturally responsive learning experience. For families seeking to switch from online to in-person learning, or vice versa, we anticipate another opportunity to do so in mid-November. More information will be shared with families in the upcoming weeks.

I want to personally thank you again for your ongoing patience and understanding during this difficult but unavoidable transition. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school directly.

Colleen Russell-Rawlins

Interim Director of Education

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