Teachers ready to help students who may lag behind

With thousands of students ready to hit the classroom on Tuesday, the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) and its teachers, understand that some students may need to play catch up.

The board realizes that online learning was frustrating for many and it is ready to take measures that will close the educational gap.

“We know that for many it was challenging, balancing the home experience and staying engaged, we realize it was a struggle,” says Mark Fisher, Director of Education at TVDSB.

“In order to compensate for that we are putting a real emphasis on assessment and they are going to be doing what we call diagnostic assessment to take a look at functional levels for students when it comes to reading, writing and mathematics and customizing programs for that.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) welcomes the assessment and says it’s confident kids will be able to make up any shortfall.

“Do I think it’s insurmountable? no,” says Craig Smith from EFTO. “I think teachers will assess where students are and provide the supports and opportunities that they need.”

Both the union and board are looking forward to Tuesday with COVID protocols in place and a return to in-class learning.

Fisher says it will be a positive move for students and staff adding, “We’re thrilled, we know that students need to be in school and be with their peers and we’re trying to normalize things as much as possible.”