Welcome to the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Virtual School 

Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board is pleased to announce the launch of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Virtual School.

With more than 2,200 students enrolled in remote learning, the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Virtual School will be the board’s largest school, welcoming 1,440 elementary students and 770 secondary students. All virtual learners in the Board will be enrolled in the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Virtual School. 

Named after the Patron Saint of students and Catholic schools, the virtual school will serve students from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and will employ approximately 80 teachers and support staff.

NEW Adjustment to synchronous (real-time) learning schedule between Sept 14-25

We have become aware of a number of issues with the rollout of our virtual school that we will need to address in order to be able to continue successfully. As a result, we will be adjusting the synchronous (real-time) learning time for all virtual classes for the next two weeks, from Monday, September 14 through Friday, September 25. The teachers will be engaged in synchronous learning on those days from 8:30am to 11:30 am. The remainder of the day will be devoted to asynchronous learning, composed of activities and assignments given to the students by the teachers in the morning.

We realize this may be an inconvenience to some parents/guardians, but it is necessary so that we can continue the technical, organizational, and training work that needs to be done to continue the year with our students in the virtual school. In the context of school reopening, we understand that in some school boards, the start up of the virtual classrooms will not begin at all until after mid-September.

We know parents/guardians continue to have questions about virtual learning and we have created a dedicated telephone number for all virtual school inquiries at: 705-878-9794.  We are also compiling the list of those who need technology to access the virtual classroom and will be in touch with those families very soon with more information.

We appreciate your understanding and patience and look forward to having all of our programs running at full capacity in the very near future.

Teaching and Learning

  • Daily schedule or timetable that includes 300 minutes of learning opportunities – to be provided to students and parents
  • Students will be using Google Classroom as the platform for learning
  • Program based on full Ontario Curriculum
  • Guided instruction, large and small group learning, synchronous check-ins, and asynchronous independent work
  • Teachers must be available to students at all times as they would be face-to-face

Synchronous (face to face) Learning Expectations 

  • Kindergarten: 180 minutes
  • Grades 1-3: 225 minutes
  • Grades 4-8: 225 minutes
  • Grades 9-12: 225 minutes 

Note: Parents will be sent an exemption form to complete if their child is not able to meet the minimum synchronous requirements. They will also be provided with the class schedule so that their child may participate when it is possible synchronously.

Communication

  • Virtual teachers will establish and communicate with students and parents their particular synchronous learning schedule as part of their remote learning timetable.
  • Teachers will work to accommodate parent requests to meet by telephone or virtually when an in-person meeting is not possible and will be available to receive parent communication about issues or difficulties a student may have with remote learning.

Administration 

Our virtual school will be hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay. 

  • Principal: Jonathan DiIanni
  • Vice-Principal: Natalie Bittner

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Virtual School Vice-Principals:

  • Carrie Graham – K to Grade 3
  • Barb Smith – Grade 4 to Grade 8
  • Andrew Finlan – Grade 9 to 12

Special Education

Special Education Resource Teachers are assigned to the virtual school to support planning for students with special needs. The Special Education Resource Teacher at the student’s home school will oversee the IEP and IPRC processes.

Students will be able to access similar supports to those available to students who attend school in-person including access to resources for wellbeing and social work support.

Staggered Start and Timetables

Elementary Online Learning 

September 8 to 16, 2020  

Focus on connecting with families and preparing for online learning 

  • Tuesday, September 8 – Teacher planning and preparation for online learning
  • Wednesday, September 9 –  Teachers contact with families to provide class placement and information
  • Thursday, September 10 – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters A – K, Grades K – 8
  • Friday, September 11 – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters L- Z, Grades, K – 8
  • Monday, September 14  – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters A – K, Grades K – 8
  • Tuesday, September 15 – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters L – Z, Grades K – 8
  • Wednesday, September 16 – All students in full class

Orientation to virtual learning. Educators will focus on community building, supporting health and wellness, reviewing expectations, and supporting online learning on our educational platforms. 

REVISED Secondary Online Learning  

Revised staggered start for Secondary Virtual Learners

September 10 to 18, 2020 

  • Thursday, September 10– Students to receive timetables and instructions about how to enter the Google Classroom.
  • Friday, September 11 – Period 1 course – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters A – K,  Gr. 9 -12  
  • Monday, September 14 – Period 2 course – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters A – K,  Gr. 9 – 12  
  • Tuesday, September 15 – Period 1 course – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters L – Z, Gr. 9 – 12  
  • Wednesday, September 16 – Period 2 course – Orientation of students whose surnames begin with the letters L – Z, Gr. 9 – 12  
  • Thursday, September 17 – All students in Period 1 Class
  • Friday, September 18 – All students in Period 2 Class

Orientation to virtual learning. Educators will focus on community building, supporting health and wellness, reviewing expectations, and supporting online learning on our educational platforms.