March 11, 2020, is a day that all educators and school-age children will remember for their entire lives. This was the day that changed how we look at education. When the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, schools responded swiftly across the globe by closing.
Many hoped for temporary closures, while some immediately went to an online learning format, settling in for the long term. Schools that did not feel comfortable reopening had one choice: online learning. Canada, like other countries, saw their school doors close in rapid succession.
Everything went virtual from virtual meetings to virtual healthcare to virtual education.
In the fall, many schools continued to keep their doors closed to in-person learning. By then, schools had time to prepare online formats and dashboards for students.
At the beginning of 2021, only 7 regions in Ontario had resumed in-person learning. All of the other schools maintained online learning formats.
Schools governed by the London District Catholic School board, or the LDCSB, followed suit. Administrators put together a powerful online learning option for students.
The London District Catholic School Board is a group of like-minded individuals who aim to serve their students through excellence in Catholic education. They tout the vision of being inspired by Christ, learning together, and serving together.
The LDCSB seeks to foster a love of God in students as well as a love of people and self. They teach students how to appreciate prayer and a moral foundation that will assist students as they journey through life. They offer a stringent academic program that integrates religious instruction and Gospel values with learning.
LDCSB lives out the slogan that love conquers hate. They teach it in every class students encounter.
Registering for classes through LDCSB is a simple process. You've mastered explaining Covid to kids, so truly, you can handle anything at this point.
Each school has its own procedure. Here's what you need to do.
Registering your elementary student is done in three basic steps.
First, confirm that your child is the right age for elementary school. Is your child four? If your child turns four by December 31 of this calendar year, then you can register your child for junior kindergarten, an excellent program that gives students a taste of learning before moving into school-age curriculums.
Second, find your school. Pick the school that is closest to you geographically. You may not even be aware that you have a Catholic school right around the corner.
You can find your local school by using the "Find a school" page. Your school placement depends on your location as well as the age of your child.
Next, you need to prepare the documents necessary for registration. Here are the documents you will need:
Once you have the proper paperwork in order, you can apply to the elementary school.
Elementary students grow up quickly, and before you know it your child is driving, and you're looking for a good high school.
LDCSB schools strive to help students transition from elementary to high school as smoothly as possible. The high schools offer a variety of activities so your high schooler can find his niche, from competitive sports to art programs to specialized academic programs.
Both Catholic and non-Catholic students from private, Catholic, public, and home schools can enroll.
High school registration looks much like elementary registration with a few basic steps.
First, you need to find your designated school. When you confirm your home address, you can find the school within your particular boundary.
Then, complete the online registration form. You will need these original documents in English before you register:
Once you've gathered these documents, you can apply for secondary school online.
All international students whose first language is not English and who are new to Canada should visit the LDCSB Welcome Centre. Also, any student born in Canada whose first language is not English should visit the Welcome Centre.
At the Welcome Centre, a professional will assess the student's current math and language skills. They will have a conversation with the student and their family about the family's background and the student's previous education.
The student and their family will receive an introduction to the Ontario school system as well as information regarding the community programs. Then, together with the educational professionals, the best place for the student's registration based on their secondary language assessment will be determined.
LDCSB established LDCSB International to increase the support available to international students who want to study in London. The international programs through LDCSB partners with Brescia University College, King's University College, and Fanshawe College aim to introduce students to the opportunities available to them after high school. This program gives motivated international students the preparation they need for post-secondary success.
The international program also has peer-mentoring programs and an orientation program that helps students integrate smoothly with their Canadian peers. The superior English-language programs help motivate students to learn academic-level English.
Furthermore, the extra-curricular activities provide international students with the opportunity to connect with Canadian students and build cross-cultural relationships. Plus, their language skills will grow even more.
LDCSB welcomes international students who want a Catholic education. They offer language support in the classroom as well as a full ESL program. If you're an international student, you can apply for classes online.
LDCSB accepts credit cards as an adequate method of payment, allowing international students and all other families to register and pay for tuition easily.
LDCSB has made communication with parents as smooth as possible using digital communication. LDCSB uses sophisticated apps and digital communication to keep families aware of student activities, attendance, and progress in the classroom.
SchoolMessenger is an app for your smartphone that allows the school to personalize their communication to parents. Once you have an account and log in, you will be able to communicate effectively with your school.
Here are a few features:
LDCSB allows you to see your child's progress and communicate effectively with their teacher with this application. Signing up for School Messenger is simple as well.
You first create an account using the email address you gave the school for your particular file. Then follow these steps:
Once you log in with your verified email, you can see any messages you've received from the LDCSB contacts associated with your email address.
LDCSB uses D2L through Brightspace. D2L is the eLearning platform that allows students to access Brightspace.
Think of D2L as your virtual school property and Brightspace as the building. With Brightspace, schools communicate with families about student's academic and behavioural success in a timely way. This clear communication leads to fewer behavioural problems and higher levels of graduation rates.
D2L prides itself on the following three results.
Students and parents alike experience great outcomes because of this simple, clear platform. Parents can see what students are doing, and students can see their assignments and lessons clearly.
The platform allows teachers to organize their work effectively, giving students the best possible outcomes because of the clear communication and lessons.
All students are unique, each learning in a different way. Brightspace allows students to have the same access to education with full inclusion. Students all have access to the realizable goals teachers set out for them.
Brightspace gives parents and teachers a clear way to communicate. Users notice a dramatic improvement in communication between parents and teachers, and this leads to student success.
For additional information about D2L or Brightspace, check out this document.
LDCSB uses VLE or the Virtual Learning Environment for grades K-5. The VLE is a D2L that allows students to access all of their coursework remotely. They can work from the comfort of their own home when in-person school is not an option.
The toolkit for each class will have the assignment students need to do. They can communicate effectively with their teachers and view and submit their assignments easily.
For more information, check out this document.
At the secondary level, both middle and high school, LDCSB uses a mix of eLearning and blended learning techniques.
Students use vLE or Virtual Learning Environment, to communicate with teachers and access their assignments. The Ministry of Education of Ontario provides vLE through Brightspace by D2L. Thus, when you hear Brightspace, D2L, and vLE, they all refer to eLearning.
Students and parents can access vLE at school and at home, so students are learning the same thing regardless of their environment. If a student is working from home, they are learning the same material their in-person classmates are learning.
For more information, check out this document.
Students can access their courses using their My Courses widget. Once they use the LDCSB login to log into vLE, they will see their course start date and time displayed. They cannot access their materials until this time has passed, so students and families should not contact the school about a dead link until their course date has started.
If you cannot see your course, you may have accidentally unpinned it. So, to find your course, click on the three dots, find the course, and then pin it. It will stay pinned in the My Course widget until you remove it.
Sometimes you cannot see your course because you accidentally collapse your widget. If that is the case, you need to click on the dropdown arrow and select "expand this widget." Then you'll see your course information.
We have kids too, and we understand the difficulties of raising them, especially with today's challenges. We know that good schools and caring teachers will make the difference in helping us all raise our kids to be the humans we want them to be.
We understand the difficulty of having those conversations with kids about Covid and the reasons life has changed for them in the past two years, why they can no longer sit in class next to their friends but instead have to log into the school from their computers at home.
Insurdinary is here to help you make the best financial-related decisions for your family for now and for the future. We have you covered from financial decisions to insurance decisions.
Education has changed its face, and LDCSB has shifted with it.
If you're looking for financial advice, contact Insurdinary.