Board logo

Virtual School 2021-22

Many families wonder what will online learning look like if their child chooses the option to learn fully from home. At BHNCDSB, students partaking in virtual learning can expect to participate in live-time lessons, virtual interaction with peers, and independent work. Daily schedules will vary depending on the teacher, but students will have time for breaks and lunch.

Please be aware that when a student registers for Virtual School, the Virtual School becomes their ‘home’ school. The student is no longer associated with their previous ‘brick and mortar’ home school, its principal, or teachers. The student will no longer be involved in common ‘brick and mortar’ school activities such as field trips, sporting events, community activities, school clubs and graduation ceremonies. Any virtual school-related or sponsored activities and ceremonies will be communicated to parents as information and details become available.

Virtual Elementary School (VES) - Daily Schedule and Set Up

Students enrolled in the board’s VES can expect activities to run between 9 am and 3 pm each day. There will be a blend of synchronous (group) online/real time and asynchronous (independent) tasks completed at various points throughout the day. Teachers will provide a daily schedule for students so that families have a clear understanding of expectations for the day and student work that must be completed and submitted.

Minimum Requirements for Synchronous Learning (Elementary)

  • The minimum requirements for synchronous learning help to ensure that students have access to both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities while at VES.
  • The scheduled synchronous learning sessions will be communicated to parents and students. Educators will use their professional judgement to provide some flexibility to students, on an individual basis, when students are unable to participate in synchronous learning.
  • The information below outlines the daily minimum synchronous learning time requirement (in addition to asynchronous), depending on their grade level, must be provided with synchronous learning as part of their scheduled or timetabled learning while at VES.
    • Kindergarten: 180 minutes
    • Grades 1-3: 225 minutes
    • Grades 4-8: 225 minutes

Synchronous Learning

  • Requires internet access
  • Requires daily face-to-face meetings in Teams (for attendance)
  • Requires daily login to Brightspace / D2L
  • Requires daily work submission through Brightspace / D2L

Asynchronous Learning

  • Requires internet access
  • Does not require daily face-to-face meetings in Teams
  • Requires daily login to Brightspace / D2L (for attendance)
  • Requires daily work submission through Brightspace / D2L

 For more information regarding virtual learning, please see PPM 164

Request to Transfer 

Students and families choosing to register for VES education are committing to this mode of teaching and learning for the 2021-2022 school year. There will be only one transfer point in to or out of VES and will occur towards the end of January 2022.  A specific date will be provided in Fall 2021

Other Considerations – Students with Special Education Needs

  • Students with Special Education needs that are considering virtual elementary education will need to evaluate what this change in placement will mean for the support they receive.
  • The pedagogy and provision of support in virtual schools may be different for different students depending on the strengths and needs of the student as outlined in their IEP. 
  • Please be advised that by registering for VES, students will not have any communication with their designated home-school teachers or principal and will not be able to participate in sporting events, extracurricular activities/clubs, field trips and in person graduation (if permitted) at the brick-and-mortar home school.
  • If you have any specific questions regarding when considering registering your child, please contact your school principal.

Virtual Secondary School (VSS) - Daily Schedule and Set Up

At this time, we have been informed by the Ministry of Education that secondary schools will start the school year in quadmesters offering two courses per quadmester.  Students enrolled in the board’s VSS can expect activities to run between 9 am and 3 pm each day. There will be a blend of synchronous (group) online/real time and asynchronous (independent) tasks completed at various points throughout the day. Teachers will provide a daily schedule for students so that families have a clear understanding of expectations for the day and student work that must be completed and submitted. 

Minimum Requirements for Synchronous Learning (Secondary)

  • The minimum requirements for synchronous learning help to ensure that students have access to both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities while at VSS.
  • The scheduled synchronous learning sessions must be communicated to parents and students. Educators will use their professional judgement to provide some flexibility to students on an individual basis when students are unable to participate in synchronous learning.
  • The information below outlines the daily minimum synchronous learning time requirement (in addition to asynchronous), depending on their grade level, must be provided with synchronous learning as part of their scheduled or timetabled learning while at VSS.
    • Grades 9-12: The higher of 60 minutes for each 75-minute class period or 225 minutes per day for a full course schedule

Synchronous Learning

  • Requires internet access
  • Requires daily face-to-face meetings in Teams (for attendance)
  • Requires daily login to Brightspace / D2L
  • Requires daily work submission through Brightspace / D2L

Asynchronous Learning

  • Requires internet access
  • Does not require daily face-to-face meetings in Teams
  • Requires daily login to Brightspace / D2L (for attendance)
  • Requires daily work submission through Brightspace / D2L

For more information regarding virtual learning, please see PPM 164

Please note that course availability at the VSS will be limited, especially at the grade 11 and 12 levels in the subject areas of mathematics, science and some social science courses.  Specialty courses such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, hairstyling and aesthetics, instrumental music, drama will likely not be available at VSS.

Request to Transfer 

Students and families choosing to register for VSS education are committing to this mode of teaching and learning for the 2021-2022 school year.  Students may elect to return to their home brick and mortar school in semester 2 or remain at the VSS and register for semester 2 (quadmesters 3 and 4). There will be only one transfer point in to or out of VSS and will occur towards the end of semester 1 (quadmester 2) on or about January 31, 2022.

Other Considerations – Students with Special Education Needs

  • Students with Special Education needs that are considering virtual secondary education will need to evaluate what this change in placement will mean for the support they receive.
  • The pedagogy and provision of support in virtual schools may be different for different students depending on the strengths and needs of the student as outlined in their IEP. 
  • Pease be advised that by registering for VSS, students will not have any communication with their designated home school-teachers or principal and will not be able to participate in sporting events, extracurricular activities/clubs, field trips and in person graduation (if permitted) at the brick-and-mortar home school.
  • If you have any specific questions regarding when considering registering your child, please contact your school principal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child have to take the Literacy Test (OSSLT) or Grade 9 Math Assessment if attending virtual school?

All EQAO assessments are required to be done in-person at the school. Students learning remotely can choose to participate in the EQAO assessment at the school with proper health and safety protocols met.

For more information from the Province: https://www.ontario.ca/document/covid-19-health-safety-and-operational-guidance-schools-2021-2022

Will my secondary child need to complete his/her volunteer hour requirement for graduation

Students graduating this year (2021-2022) will need to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service hours. The community involvement graduation requirement of 40 hours will be restored next year (2022-2023).

For more information please email virtualschool@bhncdsb.ca