Teachers union concerned about new PDSB policy to switch to e-learning for snowy days

By Matt Dionne

Posted on November 29, 2021 at 11:51 a.m.

With the implementation of new technology to lessen the impact of the pandemic on learning, a side effect is that snowy days will not be like they used to be in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon.

The Peel District School Board (PDSB) has announced that when bad weather forces the cancellation of school buses, schools will switch to the e-learning method for the day, rather than canceling classes altogether.

Additionally, during these days, school buildings will remain open for educators and staff who need access to the building, as will child care programs.

In response, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) sent a letter to Rashmi Swarup, Director of Education for PDSB, expressing concerns about the decision.

Among the issues raised was the fear that the switch to online learning would negatively impact students who do not have access to the technology needed to facilitate this model, such as a computer or high-speed internet.

“The pandemic has surfaced and amplified glaring inequalities that for too long have been allowed to exist within our systems,” reads the letter written by Gail Bannister-Clarke, ETFO Executive Member and President by Peel Elementary Teachers’ Locale.

Additionally, the letter raises concerns that this policy does not give teachers enough time to adjust their lesson plans for the day.

“The wait to switch to an online model with one day’s notice in inclement weather is an added stress for teachers who have scheduled their lessons in person,” the letter read.

According to the PDSB website, the decision to cancel the buses will be announced at 6:15 a.m., meaning most teachers will have less than three hours to adjust their lesson plans to make the transition to learning easier. line.

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