Parent survey launched on school re-opening views

Posted On Thursday June 25, 2020

Thames Valley has launched an online survey to capture the concerns and expectations of families about the re-opening of schools in September. A second survey in the coming weeks will gather family and student experiences with remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic and help to plan for September

“We know that school will look very different in the fall because of continued efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Mark Fisher, Director of Education. “We want to ensure that the concerns of families are front and centre as we develop plans for the next school year.”

The Ministry of Education has asked school boards to draft plans for three scenarios: 

  • a regular school day routine with enhanced public health protocols;
  • a modified school day routine with smaller class sizes and alternating days or weeks; and 
  • at-home learning with enhanced learning at a distance.

“Although school boards will receive direction from the Ministry and public health officials, we want to make sure we take the concerns of families and students into account as much as possible,” said Director Fisher, adding the Board will also gather input from teacher unions and other employee groups.

For example, parents will be asked whether they are planning for their children to participate in any available school-based instruction or continue to learn at a distance. Parents will also be asked whether they would provide their own transportation or allow their children to use school buses.

Thames Valley’s plans must be reviewed by local public health units before being submitted to the Ministry. 

Director Fisher emphasized that regional differences may emerge across the district depending on the success of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We expect to begin the year with a consistent, Board-wide model, but we may need to pivot in some areas of the district to a more distance learning model, while other areas move to regular in-school instruction,” he explained. “The most important consideration must be the health and safety of our students and staff.”

The Board has already begun testing classroom seating configurations, the use of barriers and directional markings, the creation of isolation areas, and enhanced handwashing options during the summer at two pilot schools in London before implementing measures throughout the district’s 161 schools.  

Parents are invited to complete the survey by June 30. The survey is anonymous and takes 5-10 minutes. The survey can be provided in a different language by making a request to this email address: