OTTAWA -- Classes resume at home Monday morning for elementary and secondary school students in Ottawa and across Ontario.

The second phase of the Ontario Government’s “Learn at Home” program is being launched as schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Premier Doug Ford announced last week that schools will remain closed until at least May 4.

Ontario’s “Learn at Home” program outlines how many hours of work each student from Kindergarten to Grade 12 should do each week, and provides additional tools for at-home learning.

The Ministry of Education has provided direction by grade groupings related to both the hours of learning per week, and the areas of focus for students

Kindergarten to Grade 3

5 hours per week

Areas of focus: Literacy and Mathematics

Grades 4 to 6

5 hours per week

Area of Focus: Literacy, Math, Science and Social Studies

Grades 7 & 8

10 hours per week

Areas of Focus: Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology and Social Studies

Grades 9 to 12

3 hours per course (semestered schools)

1.5 hours per course (non-semestered schools)

Area of Focus: Course Content

In a note to parents, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board says teachers have reviewed their long range plans and the curriculum requirements to determine which big key ideas and core skills have not yet been taught, practiced and assessed.

Speaking with CTV Morning Live Friday morning, OCDSB Superintendent of Learning Nadia Towaij said the new Learn at Home program will “not replicate a school at home day. This doesn’t involve our parents at home becoming the teachers.”

“We are talking about a focused instruction led by our teachers with the most important curriculum areas and a very limited number of hours per week,” said Towaij. 

Teachers will use technology to reach out to all students and provide learning opportunities through teacher-led instruction, resources to support learning, and tasks/assignments.

Towaij says the OCDSB has secured WiFI hotspots for families that don’t have internet at home.

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has set up a website for its Learn at Home Phase 2.

In a letter to parents over the weekend, the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Director of Education Denise Andre said “these are new experiences for all of us, but with flexibility and innovation, we will do this together.”

“I would ask everyone to be flexible and patient with themselves and others. Together we will learn but there could be a few bumps along the way.”

Andre says teachers will continue to check in with students by email, phone, video calls and social media platforms.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board is hoping to have a protocol in place by mid-week to safely distribute computers and devices to families in need of technology to help continue the online learning. 

The board told parents last week it had acquired Chromebooks for students that don’t have access to computers at home.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has launched a website for the Learn At Home program.