Remote Learning Option

In-person or remote learning? Making an important choice for the 2021 - 2022 school year.
Posted on 05/26/2021
Remote Learning OptionRemote Learning Option - September 2021

Although we do not know at this time if the Ministry of Education will open schools for in-person learning between now and the end of June, we are planning for a safe return to school in September, and we are excited to welcome students and staff back to school in the fall. We are hopeful for a gradual return to regular learning. At this time, we are planning for a conventional, in-person school opening of teaching and instruction, with enhanced health and safety protocols, which have proven to keep schools safe.

In line with guidance from the Ministry of Education, the Kenora Catholic District School Board is planning to offer a Remote Learning Program option in September. Although we believe in-person learning best supports our students, we also recognize that given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, some families may want their child(ren) to learn remotely.

You only need to complete the Remote Learning Option Form if you are requesting this mode of learning for your child(ren). Students will be transferred to their respective in-person school in preparation for the Fall of 2021 unless you complete this Remote Learning Option Form.

Please click the link below to complete the Remote Learning Option Form:

click to access the remote learning option form

If your child is currently enrolled in St. Isidore Virtual School, you must complete the form to register them for remote learning in the fall.

If, after reviewing this information, you wish to choose the Remote Learning Option for your child(ren), for the 2021 – 2022 school year, you must complete the form by 4:00 PM on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

The following information is important for families to review as you make the decision about the mode of learning for your child(ren) for September. Please note that requests to change learning modes will be limited for the 2021 – 2022 school year and will only be considered during elementary and secondary reporting periods.

The first day of school for students for the 2021 - 2022 school year is Thursday, September 2, and we are looking forward to welcoming all of our students and staff back to school.

Please note

Mental Health, Well-Being and Learning

The KCDSB believes that student learning, mental health and well-being are best supported through in-person learning, where students can benefit from close connections from their educators and peers. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is the value of in-person learning, the relationships between students and with educators, of supporting social-emotional learning and the positive impact that in-person learning has on student mental health and well-being. The benefits of in-person learning include:
• Dedicated and personalized face-to-face supports to meet the needs of young children, students with complex or special needs, those who struggle to learn independently and vulnerable students
• Supporting the mental health and well-being of students through caring relationships with peers and educators
• Fostering a sense of community, belonging and connection for students
This past year has been extremely difficult for students and their families. Focusing on strong relationships, connections, and belonging will be foundational to student learning next school year. Our staff will prioritize the creation of faith-filled classrooms that are safe, inclusive, and caring, where students feel a sense of belonging and community.

Safe and Healthy Learning Environments in our Schools

The KCDSB remains committed to ensuring that all health and safety protocols are in place and that our schools will continue to operate safely. Thanks to the support of our staff, students and families, there has been minimal transmission of COVID-19 in our schools, and our partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit has allowed us to respond quickly and effectively. Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, we hope to resume regular operations over time as it is safe to do so, continuing to work closely with, and be guided by, the advice from local Public Health and the direction of the Ministry of Education.

Elementary In-Person Learning

In-person learning for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be modelled on our current practice.
• Students will continue to be cohorted by class, and staff will rotate from class to class as the schedule demands.
• There will be a continued focus on reducing the number of educator contacts delivering instruction to each homeroom/cohort.
• Teachers will continue to be expected to maintain a virtual learning environment (such as Google Classroom or Brightspace) and practice learning in these environments with their students in order to support a transition to remote learning should the need arise.

Secondary In-Person Learning

In-person learning will begin with the current safety measures in place. As we move through the school year, we hope to be able to resume more regular activities and operations, subject to health guidelines.
• In September, we plan to organize our St. Thomas Aquinas High School secondary panel into quadmesters for the first half of the school year, but we will be prepared to pivot to semesters as the school year progresses (end of quadmester 2), depending on the Ministry of Education and Public Health direction.
• At this time, we expect that students will continue to be grouped into cohorts. The specific daily schedule cannot be confirmed at this time.
• Once public health direction supports the removal of cohorting and/or a return to a more regular schedule, we will look to implement those changes as quickly as possible.
• Teachers will continue to be expected to maintain a virtual learning environment (such as Google Classroom or Brightspace) and practice learning in these environments with their students as an effective teaching practice in order to support a transition to remote learning should the need arise.

Remote Learning Program in September

The KCDSB will offer remote elementary and secondary programs for students who wish to learn virtually. The Remote Learning Programs will be modelled after the Remote Learning Program offered this year. With more students returning to in-person classes, our ability to offer a similar scope of programs as was offered during the 2020-2021 school will be limited.

French Immersion

French Immersion programming will not be available virtually for elementary students. Current French Immersion students who select remote learning for 2021-22 will have the option to transfer back to French Immersion in-person learning for the 2022-23 school year. Those families wanting to guarantee French Immersion Programming for their child(ren) should consider in-person learning at École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys and St. Thomas Aquinas High School to ensure there are no disruptions to French Language learning.

French Immersion for grades 9-12 cannot be guaranteed for remote learners, as remote learning courses will be very limited.

Elementary Remote Learning Program

Remote learning will be delivered daily, both synchronously and asynchronously through Google Classroom and Google Meet. Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to that of our in-person elementary schools. We do expect that all classes will be multi-grade combined classes. Students in grades 3 through 8 may choose French or Ojibwe as a second language class. Students will receive 180 to 225 minutes of synchronous instruction per day.

Intermediate, Grade 7 and 8 programming will not mirror the in-person learning opportunities, such as culinary arts, physical education, art, shop etc.

Secondary Remote Learning Program

KCDSB’s Secondary Remote Learning Program (SRLP) will offer a limited selection of courses in each grade level in all program pathways. Secondary students have already completed course selections for next year, and for those students and families opting to attend the SRLP, please note that every effort will be made to offer courses that students require for their chosen pathway to graduation.
The SRLP will follow the same school calendar and daily schedule as our regular programming.

Special Education, Specialized Program Classes and Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)

Our experience this year has shown that in-person learning is the best model to support students with complex special education needs.

Students with special education needs will continue to be supported with the necessary accommodations, modifications, or alternative programs provided in their Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Requests to Change Learning Modes


Families who choose remote learning for their elementary child are committing to that mode of learning for the 2021-2022 school year. Transfer requests to return to in-person learning during the school year will be very limited and will be aligned with elementary and secondary reporting periods. Elementary transfers will be possible to coincide with assessment periods, after Progress Reports and the Term 1 Reporting period.


Students and families choosing remote learning are committing to that mode of learning for the 2021-2022 school year. The school year will begin with two quadmester terms. A transfer from remote learning to in-person learning during the school year will require a formal transfer request and will be limited. Transfers will only be considered between each quadmester.

The following programs are not available in Secondary remote learning:
• Specialist High Skills Major
• Ontario Youth Apprentice Program
• French Immersion (some courses may be available)

Students who select the remote learning option are committed to virtual course offerings but can participate in in-school activities such as sports and band in-person.

Please note, students who are attending in-person, do have access to some e-learning courses.

Similar to St. Thomas Aquinas High School, student course requests will determine which courses are offered. Courses will be delivered synchronously and asynchronously through the Virtual Learning Environment (Brightspace), Google Classroom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams following a daily schedule similar to that of the in-person schedules at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. e-Learning courses and independent study courses will also be available to Remote Learners.

Support for Families

It's important for parents and guardians to focus on what is best for your family and your child's learning, mental health and well-being. You know your child best. If you still need additional support in making this decision please reach out to your child's school or refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for September 2021.

Thank You

We know how difficult it was for our staff, students and families to move to remote learning this past April. It was not easy and continues to be a challenge, but we are all working together to find ways to balance the many demands. Together we will do the same thing next September. Once again, we ask for our collective best efforts, patience, understanding and compassion for one another.

The hopeful news is that more and more people in our communities are getting vaccinated each day, and vaccinations expanding to youth 12+ is ahead of schedule. Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. You and your family remain in our prayers.

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