News Second phase of Learn at Home program launched for Ontario students SHARE ON: Wendy Gray, staff Tuesday, Mar. 31st, 2020 (photo supplied by Pixabay) The province has announced the second step of the Learn at Home program. This program is geared to make sure each student has an opportunity to continue to take classes at home while schools remain closed until at least May 4th. “We will do whatever it takes to keep students safe from COVID-19 – which is why we have extended the school closure period and why we have unveiled a teacher-led program that keeps students learning while at home,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “By providing clarity for parents, enhancing support for students and enabling the teacher-student relationship, we are ensuring our children continue to safely learn – providing some sense of stability and hope for them amid this difficulty.” The province will work with school boards to get the program launched and will supply school-owned laptops and proper technology to students as needed. Lecce added it is the ministry’s intention to salvage the school year if even by using nontraditional learning methods, “It will require all of us to work together for the good of the students.” Here is a list of expectations for the education community to implement the second-phase: Reconnecting students with teachers and other school staff, including mental health workers; Re-establishing teacher-led learning by grade groupings as follows: Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy and math) Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy, math, science and social studies) Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week (focus on math, literacy, science and social studies) Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation) Leveraging digital resources and identifying alternative forms of teacher-student connectivity, such as phone and mail; Developing a program of training for educators to support them in virtual learning delivery; Requiring final report cards for all students; Prioritizing and supporting students on track to graduate; Distributing laptops and/or devices from schools as needed, while observing public health direction; Maintaining a responsive posture for health care and community partner requests; and Establishing formal COVID-19 working groups with education sector unions to work together, share ideas and to find solutions in the support of students.