Stop the dictated solution to the new Hybrid Model that affects Kids' education.
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We call on the Minister of Education and the York Catholic District School Board, The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board to stop the hybrid learning model for the elementary schools. This newly communicated hybrid model proposed on October 7,2020 will not work and even the Board themselves see an issue with it as seen on your website. The Minister of Education Stephen Lecce had indicated in August that students would either be doing online or in-class and not the hybrid as previously thought.
Here are some ( of many) concerns from the parents and have remained unaddressed:
1.The teachers can not physically and mentally give it their all to the online and in class learners at the same time. This is going to throw teachers into an undoable stress, throwing more on their plate that they can handle. Further, the online kids cannot benefit from this new model and learn as well as they would have at home with one teacher giving them her/his full attention.
2.Some kids are already established in their virtual classrooms and making friends and a lot of time and energy was spent to ensure they are established. To take these kids out of their classrooms and put them back to their home schools in a hybrid model which is a whole new methods, with a new teacher and new technique, will force them to have to try to catch up with the kids who have been in the school since September. This does not add any value and adds stress and anxiety to the kids who are currently in the virtual class. In addition, this would lead to the kids falling behind and creates additional anxiety and frustration. Hence, this is not only unfair to the kids, but also unfair to the parents and the teachers who now have to bare the extra weight on their end.
3.The online students in the hybrid model will not have the same voice to have their learning needs met to the same caliber as the in-class students as the teacher has to focus on the students in front of her/him and not ones on the computer. This is undue stress on the students who are established as then they will have to be sitting at a computer for more than 225 minutes of synchronous learning which is not considered healthy for them and affects their physical and mental well being to say the least. It is also discrimination against the kids who are at home.
4. This new hybrid model is going to have a major divide in the classroom. In this hybrid model, the kids at home will feel like they are the only ones at home, whereas, with the sole online classes, the kids feel like this is normal and there is no divide. Moreover, this is going to effect on families as they will now have to reorganize their lives and to get used to another learning model. Another stressor that families do not need now.
5.This truly is getting too much for teachers, students, and families alike. The board is treating us like pawns in this pandemic which is sad on so many levels especially since we are part of the Catholic Board who should be more understanding, loving, and caring during these times which they are not.
The school Boards may say that there are many kids that weren’t placed and their questionnaires went missing which is the problem, this is a cop out as the school board had a duty to cross reference that each and every student filled out the forms like other boards.. So, we, as a community who has always supported Catholic Education in the York Region, have the right to have our concerns addressed not only as members of the community, but also as tax payers, as parents and as humans. WE do not support such change and want the board to keep online learning separate from in class learning especially since other boards have been able to place all their kids into online classes. The Minister of Education should come up with a better solution to accommodate kids without teachers rather than shaking up the current system that seems to be working for many students , teachers and parents. A second wave of Covid-19 was inevitable and clearly known since the spring. At that time Stephen Lecce and Doug Ford ensured parents that their concerns and questions will be addressed and that the back to school plan will benefit all parents and kids even with the current pandemic. The Ministry has failed to fulfill this promise and has failed to plan well. ALL students should have equal opportunity to the best education and this is what we were promised and have failed to see any since Covid-19.
As a result, this additional anxiety and curve ball has been thrown our way and we are now asked to "deal with it". The kids have to pay the price of this incompetency.
Lastly, we are asking for the YCDSB , PDCDSB and the Ministry of Education to reverse this decision and come up with a plan B that does not affect the currently established classes.
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