COVID-19 Response

Current Communication from the Ministry of Education

Here are some other key takeaways specifically applicable to HCOS:

Regular HCOS Educational Programming

  • There is no change to regular educational programming at HCOS. Given the nature of our school and of home education, we are already experienced in the type of education campus schools are now needing to figure out for the remainder of this school year.
  • There is some confusion around Minister Fleming’s remarks regarding whether school is cancelled entirely for the remainder of this school year. This is addressed in the following statement from his letter: “While classroom lessons are suspended it is expected that schools will implement a variety of measures to ensure continued learning for students.” All schools, public and independent, are required to provide continuity of learning, instruction and assessment for students with as minimal disruption as possible to students’ programs. We believe that keeping students engaged in their learning will best prepare them for success in the 2020/2021 school year.
  • All students will receive a final mark and students who were on track to advance to the next grade will do so.” The statement made regarding all students receiving a letter grade and on-track students moving on to the next grade level was intended to be a reassurance that the school year will be completed in some form and there will not be an expectation to continue on through the summer or into next year. It does not mean that school is over for the year.

In addition:

  • For the remainder of the school year HCOS teachers will not be conducting physical home visits. All home visits should occur via Zoom, Skype, email or telephone. 
  • Support teachers will reach out to make alternative plans over the coming weeks. 
  • Weekly communication with your support teacher via email or an online platform should continue as usual.
  • Community Connections / Academies
    • As per the government’s directive, “All K-12 schools will suspend in-class instruction as of today.” This includes the in-person aspect of our Community Connections, Community Connections+ and Academy programming.
    • However, educational programming will still continue. HCOS will deliver student programming using a mix of video conferencing and assigned work for students. Those who were meeting face to face can expect weekly online conferencing and follow up from their Community Connections teachers. Teachers will outline how to go about learning the content at a distance, and continue to provide assessment and feedback for your child.
  • Co-ops
    • Coordinators will communicate alternate plans to meet virtually with their groups, or depending on the nature of the event, the decision will be made as a group, to cancel.
  • Learning Camps
    • We will proceed on a case by case basis. When possible to deliver programming virtually we will do so. More information will come closer to the date of each planned event.
    • For information on refunds please see the section Cancelled Lessons, Learning Camps and Passes

Many lessons and passes have been cancelled due to facilities closing or service providers unable to perform services. Here is how the HCOS finance office will process refunds: 

  • HCOS will enter the refund into the families ENCOM account once we receive the refund
  • If the refund is entered into the families Encom April 5th or prior, the family will have until April 15th to spend the money (PO CUT OFF DATE)
    • Parents are responsible to check their account to see if the refund has been posted
  • If a family is given a refund for cancelled lessons or passes between April 6 – April 30th, 2020
    • HCOS will enter the refund in the families 2019/20 account
    • HCOS will email the family alerting them to the refund and letting them know they have two weeks to make a purchase
  • Refunds that are received after April 30th, 2020 will not be available to families as we will be working on closing our fiscal year
  • Provincial Assessments - these have been postponed for Grade 10 and 11 students. Grade 12 students on track to graduate this year will do so. The Grade 10 Numeracy assessment is a requirement for this year's graduates and more information will follow for Grade 12 students that still need to meet this requirement.
  • At this time, we have decided to postpone our Graduation Ceremony to July 3rd, 2020. Without a change of date, we would have had to make a decision about whether to go ahead or cancel without additional information from the Ministry. Postponing by a month allows us to make a better informed decision and gives us a stronger probability of being able to celebrate together. We will make a final decision about the event, based on all information, by May 22nd. 
  • There are numerous complex factors that affect the ability of EAs and other service providers to continue to work with our students. Our preference is that as many services as possible are delivered online. We also recognize how critical continued access to EAs or third party service providers is for some students' educational programming. As such, HCOS will proceed on a case by case basis, factoring all the variables before making decisions. These variables include the ability of the 2:1 adult-to-student ratio policy to be maintained, comfortability level of both the service provider and the family in terms of current health status and potential health risks, the ability to meet social distancing recommendations, along with other variables. 
  • Some service providers are offering online alternatives but we recognize this is not possible in all scenarios. We will continue to address these on a case-by-case basis

Please see this Learning Commons page for information around resources and availability: https://hcslearningcommons.org/learning-commons-response-to-covid-19

Resources

  • We have decided to cancel the inaugural HCOS Connect events at the end of this April. It is very disappointing to miss the opportunity to come to various regions of the province to connect in-person with our families and to provide encouragement, support and training. 
  • We eagerly look forward to launching our HCOS Connect events in April 2021. Please use this HCOS Connect site to help you save the date!