Government Supports Online Learning During COVID-19 Outbreak
Summer Learning Plan
The province unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan for Ontario students to ensure students have every opportunity to continue their learning through the summer months. Summer learning programs are being expanded to reach the most students in Ontario history, to ensure they remain on track to start the 2020-21 school year with the confidence and knowledge required to succeed.
The summer learning seven-point plan will be focused around the following elements:
- Expanded core programming represents 'traditional' summer school courses focused on grades 9 to 12, with additional opportunities for grade 8 students to better prepare.
- Introduction of upgrading courses, which will allow students to upgrade their mark in a course in half the time it would have taken them previously.
- Targeted supports for vulnerable students to support access to non-credit ministry educational programs and leadership supports.
- Focused programming for students with special education or mental health needs, including dedicated learning supports such as access to educational assistants and existing after-school programs that could be delivered through summer school
- Communicating volunteer opportunities for students so that students can leverage virtual volunteer opportunities where possible;
- Summer programming in Provincial and Demonstration Schools to focus on continued learning for our students with specialized learning needs; and
- Key concept mapping for next year's learning to focus on compulsory, high-demand and pre-requisite secondary courses
Summer Camps and Programs
In Ontario, there are over 450 camps which provide both day and overnight camp services, employing thousands of Ontarians, including students. These camps provide families with children, youth, and adults with special needs, with much needed respite, while engaging individuals in meaningful activities.
Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, indoor and outdoor summer day camps may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines to be developed in partnership with local public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities. Any final decisions to permit summer day camps will be based on trends from key public health indicators continuing to show progress at the time camps are scheduled to open officially. Overnight camps will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.
In addition to expanding the pre-existing summer school course offerings, summer programs are being designed to help students upgrade their courses and refresh their learning. Non-credit programs will be available to deliver existing or modified programs to support vulnerable students. A new two-week program for students with special education needs and/or mental health needs will focus on closing gaps in skills development and learning, and on establishing routines. To support students with special education needs participate in summer program offerings, the ministry will also be providing a top-up to boards for summer school programs in 2020.
Learn at Home Resources
A more user-friendly Learn at Home site was also launched today, and an adapted summer learning site will be developed to provide resources to help students refresh their learning in preparation for 2020-21 courses. The site will focus on compulsory, high-demand, and prerequisite secondary courses, such as math, science, English, and French.
The resources are available at Ontario.ca/LearnatHome.
Access to Services, Tools, and Technology
As part of the Government of Ontario's aim to build-up and improve the Learn at Home program, the government working with non-profits, organizations, and businesses, is offering a comprehensive suite of services and resources to Ontario school boards to support students, parents and educators during the current school closure. School boards have asked for access to services, tools, and technology that can aid them in the delivery of modern and quality online learning.
The government launched the Ontario Together portal to solicit offers and encourage private enterprise and the non-profit sectors to step forward to propose solutions that historically have impeded learning from home. As a result of those submissions, Ontario is moving forward with 34 partnerships with organizations and private businesses, along with school boards, to address key needs among educators, students and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. The government remains committed to an inclusive online learning program that enables local school boards to provide access to the technology and software required to learn from home.
Through the government's Broadband Modernization Program, the province is also working with all school boards to deliver sustainable, modernized networks with improved Internet access at the target speed. Upon completion, all students are expected to have the same equitable access to digital resources across the province. As of March 31, 2020, broadband modernization is complete at 1,983 schools and in progress at 2,954 schools.
- Canadian Foundation for Economic Education: (For Grades 7 to 12); a suite of free, bilingual educator, parent and student resources focused on financial literacy.
- Crayola Canada: (For Kindergarten to Grade 9); free resources for educators, such as lesson plans created by Ontario-certified educators, including Indigenous educators.
- Credit Counselling Society: (For Grades 9 to 12); free access to a suite of teacher resources and lesson plans to introduce students to financial literacy topics, including budgeting and setting financial goals.
- Enriched Academy: (For Grades 9 to 12); free access to an online financial education course for students.
- Get it Guide Inc.: (For Grades 6 to 9); free access to math activities, slideshows and worksheets for educators, parents and students.
- Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario (LDAO): (For Kindergarten to Grade 12); free access to more than 200 resources and professional development materials for educators and parents to support students with learning disabilities in areas such as math, learning strategies, and mental health.
- Learning for a Sustainable Future: (For Kindergarten to Grade 12); free access to more than 1,300 teacher-reviewed, curriculum-aligned classroom resources (lesson plans, books, videos, outdoor activities, and games/apps) to explore environmental, social and economic issues with students.
- Let's Talk Science: (For Kindergarten to Grade 12); A variety of free curriculum-aligned resources and activities to support educators, families and youth across Canada in STEM learning.
- Logo Computer Systems: (For Grades 4 to 8); free access to Lynx Coding, a programming environment to support students in learning to code.
- Nelson Education: (For Kindergarten to Grade 12); free access to myNelson books.(For Grades 6 to 10); free access to the Edwin digital ecosystem to facilitate remote teaching and learning.
- Ontario Council for Technology Education: (For Grades 4 to 12); online learning content will be created for the ministry to support technological education educators and students.
- Pearson Canada: (For Kindergarten to Grade 12); Free access to digital versions of educational resources through the Pearson K-12 Resources at Home portal for teachers, students and families. Discount of 50% on print editions of specified student texts, student workbooks and teacher's guides
- Perimeter Institute: (For Grades 5 to 12); free access to resources for science and physics educators that include hands-on activities, lesson plans and modifiable worksheets.
- Prodigy Education: (For Grades 1 to 8); a free adaptive, online game-based learning platform featuring more than 75,000 math questions. Educators can set up virtual classrooms, assignments and performance reports.
- Sprig Learning: (For Early Years to Grade 1); Free access to Sprig Home, a resource with hundreds of activities to foster language development for young children. Sprig Learning also offers free access to Sprig Library an app downloadable on Apple devices.
- Math Help Services: (For Grades 6 to 10): Reduced pricing for an Ontario curriculum-based math solution for teachers, students and parents that feature detailed video lessons and scored quizzes.
- TorStar Corporation: (For Grades 4 to 12); Free access for Ontario Certified Teachers to the Toronto Star ePaper edition and education resources to support students' media literacy skills.
- Vretta Inc.: (For Grades 9 to 10); free access to Ontario College Math Test - High School Edition, an online learning platform that enables teachers to assign diagnostic assessments to identify gaps in student numeracy skills.
- YMCA Ontario: (For Grades 1 to 10)YGym/GymY supports free access to student physical activity content at home and is led by YMCA coaches with content based on Canada's Physical Activity Guidelines
- Zorbit's Math Adventure: (For Kindergarten to Grade 3); free access for educators to an innovative and adaptive math instruction and activity program.
Health and Well-Being:
- Egale: providing access to webinars, additional online resources, targeted counselling supports for identified students who are experiencing mental health challenges, and virtual Gay-Straight / Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) discussion groups in English and French.
- Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (Ophea): additional free online resources and supports (such as interactive lessons), in both English and French, for educators, families, and students to enable safe and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities related to Health and Physical Education.
- Start2Finish Canada: will make their Daily 20 virtual physical activity program available to all school boards, schools, teachers, parents and students to support physical and mental health activities during COVID-19.
- Centre ontarien de prévention des agressions (COPA): access to resources (all of which are available in English and French, some in additional languages including Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish and Indigenous languages) and online training in French and English, for educators, families and students about online safety, bullying prevention, mental health, and empathy.
- Cogeco: discounted high-speed cable Internet and unlimited data usage.
- Eastlink: discounted high-speed cable Internet and unlimited data usage.
- iLeague Wireless: 4G/LTE wireless data-only plans at bulk rates on Rogers and Telus networks
- Kajeet: cellular (4G/LTE) school bus and student Wi-Fi "hotspots" with Internet access via the Bell and Rogers networks.
- Shaw Communications: has opened up all of their 1,800 Wi-Fi hotspots in Northern Ontario for free to the public during COVID-19.
- Xplornet: discounted 4G/LTE residential Internet connections and unlimited data usage.
Hardware & Devices:
- HEXA: up to 100,000 discounted Chromebooks and 150,000 other tablets.
- Piicomm: up to 257 discounted Lenovo Chromebooks and laptops.
- Corporations for Community Connections (CFCC): up to 10,000 free used and refurbished HP laptops.
- We Are The Villagers: up to 35 discounted used and refurbished HP and Dell laptops.