Some Toronto elementary students may not have a teacher for first day of virtual classes

TORONTO — Some Toronto elementary students may have to begin their virtual learning independently if they log in Tuesday morning and find that a teacher hasn’t been assigned to them.

On Monday, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said in an update to parents of elementary students that it is still hiring staff for virtual classrooms, despite tomorrow’s start date.

“While it was our plan to have all students start the year with synchronous (live, interactive) learning on the first day, we have determined that this will not be possible for some students due to ongoing efforts to hire staff for virtual classrooms,” the TDSB said on their website.

Parents are being asked to log into the remote learning platform Brightspace Tuesday morning as scheduled—at which point students will learn if their live instruction will begin.

“For those classes with a teacher assigned, synchronous learning will be underway on Tuesday,” the school board said.

“For those families who login to Brightspace and do not see a welcome message from a teacher, there is not currently a teacher assigned to the class and your child will begin on Tuesday morning with asynchronous (independent) learning.”

Login information for the virtual schools will be provided to parents at some point after the board completes “some maintenance on student accounts.” The TDSB says the maintenance is expected to be completed by 8 p.m. Monday.

Children learning independently should access school work for their grades through the Elementary Virtual School website, the TDSB said.

“We know that this will be a disappointment for some and is not how we had hoped to begin the school year. Please let me assure you that efforts to hire more teachers have been ongoing and staff have been working around the clock and through the weekend to keep things moving forward. You will be notified as soon as your child’s class has been assigned a teacher.”

Tuesday’s start date for virtual learning was originally delayed after the TDSB received a surge in registrants.

More than 66,000 elementary students opted to learn remotely rather than go into class every day.

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