March 22nd, 2020
Dear WRDSB Families,
We are writing to you at the end of what has been a very different March break, one that we could never have imagined only a few weeks ago. We would like to share with you some of the work the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is doing, and will be doing for students and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let us be clear: Our school buildings may be temporarily closed, but we are actively transitioning to offering service outside the classroom and this includes supporting our students academically and emotionally. We know that our students are eager to learn and we will match this desire with work-from-home materials and support. While we understand that there are many questions and some anxiety about how this will happen, please be reassured that we will provide support throughout the process.
We would like you to know that we will complete a thorough cleaning of our facilities before our students return to their schools. The Board of Trustees and senior staff are meeting virtually, and we are doing our best to make sure we have the best measures in place to ensure staff and student safety.
On Friday, the Premier of Ontario and Minister of Education announced the first phase of Learn at Home (Apprendre à la maison), a new online portal that will provide resources for families, so students can continue their education while schools are closed. We can imagine that some of you may be apprehensive about your role in supporting your child’s learning in this uncertain time. Please know that learning takes many forms, and you should feel comfort knowing that many of the things you already do with your children contribute to their learning. As you begin to navigate this process, remember that staff are here to support you and additional information will be made available in the coming days.
Most importantly, hug and reassure your children, understanding they may experience anxieties and difficulties at this time, and take care of your family and those you hold most dear. The materials and support mentioned will be there when you are ready and our educators are committed to supporting each and every student in their learning journey.
We all have a role to play during this time, and as a school board, we understand our unique privilege and responsibility to all of our students and to our community.
If you have questions or concerns about student issues that we can help with, we ask you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
Director of Education
Resources to support health and well-being
Talking to Children About COVID-19
By Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)
Children and youth have many questions as they learn about the virus too, and look to the adults around them for answers. We have compiled these resources to help start and guide these conversations with children and teens.
The effort to address COVID-19 is both extremely important for us all and poses a range of challenges to individuals and families as they respond to the demands of the situation. The situation is stressful for everyone and it is normal to be anxious and worried. This resource is designed to provide information and suggestions about how best to cope in this difficult time.
Personal Resiliency Tips for Helpers Who Support Students
By School Mental Health Ontario
It’s essential to take care of yourself, not just for your well-being, but also for those you care about and support. Your self-care will help improve your energy, focus, ability to cope with challenges and overall life experience. And you’re modelling wellness strategies for the children and youth in your life. (Ce document est disponible en français)
Looking for more information about COVID-19?
Please remember to wash your hands, not to touch your face and maintain social distance. For more information, please visit Region of Waterloo Public Health.