On May 6, we launched Exchanging Ideas, a campaign that allowed us to connect with families, students and staff during the school closure. Using Thoughtexchange, we asked families and students the following question:

What are the most important things WRDSB can do to better support students’ learning and well-being during this time?

Over 4700 students and families participated, with nearly 6000 thoughts shared. Using ThoughtExchange helped us to determine the views that are most important to our community. After reviewing the participants’ thoughts, eight themes emerged, which we used to create actions to support your feedback.

Below are the eight themes and an example of an action we will take to support you and your family during this time. Learn more about the themes and our actions to support students and families.

Importance of Synchronous Learning as part of Distance Learning Experience In situations where educators are aware that the use of synchronous audio or video would benefit students, we are encouraging and supporting its use. When used effectively, it [live video] can also be a valuable tool in aiding instruction as it can enhance students’ learning and keep them engaged while supporting their mental health, particularly when they are isolated from classmates, friends and extended family.
Be mindful of the challenges students and families are facing Administrators and Educators are being provided with resources to support student well-being in a distance learning environment.
Clearly communicate expectations for students There is an expectation that educators connect regularly with students and families to provide clear expectations where students or families have questions.
Provide feedback on students’ progress We continue to reinforce with educators the importance of timely feedback on student learning and have continued to build educator capacity to provide feedback in the distance learning environment.
Different approaches to Distance Learning being used We continue to provide support to educators to use a combination of digital tools and personal techniques to deliver distance learning, with new resources being created to support educators in using video conferencing
Continue to communicate with families

We continue to update our community weekly, with more frequent updates when the Ministry of Education makes an announcement.

We introduced a new weekly video series highlighting the work of our educators delivering distance learning.

Educators continue to reach out and connect with families to monitor students’ experiences of distance learning.

Ensure all students and families have the tools needed to engage in distance learning We have reinforced that distance learning cannot be a “one-size” fits all approach and that educators must differentiate based on the needs of the students and their families.
Consideration for re-opening We will seek feedback from parents and guardians as we develop our plans for re-entry.


We want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Your feedback will help us support your child and their needs as we continue with distance learning.

We hope you will continue to participate in the next installment of Exchanging Ideas which we will launch in the near future.