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Say goodbye to ‘no school work’ on snow days: TVDSB gives option of virtual learning during school closures


The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) has decided to change what snow days will look like for its students. 

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In a message sent Thursday, the board said that in the event of a school closure, students will have the option to access class activities through their virtual classrooms.

“The decision to close a school is based on the best information available to the TVDSB regarding road and weather conditions,” the message read. “During severe winter weather, the safety and security of students and staff is Thames Valley’s highest priority.”

These changes, however, do not apply to the days where there are only bus cancellations since schools remain open in most cases, said the TVDSB. They emphasize that if it’s safe to get to school through other modes of transportation, that is encouraged. 

The message also highlights that students won’t be penalized in terms of grades or their attendance if they choose not to take part in school activities on inclement weather days.  

School closures can be a result of various factors, including poor weather conditions or facility emergencies. 

‘It just makes sense to provide a continuity in learning’

The board said that all students and teachers already have regular access to virtual classrooms as a result of the pandemic when schools across the province had to switch to online learning.

Riley Culhane, the board’s Associate Director of Education, told CBC News that it just makes sense to provide students with a continuation in their learning, even on days when they aren’t able to attend physically. 

“Given the fact that our staff have done a wonderful job supporting our students and families remotely over the last number of years, it just makes sense that we continue to provide learning opportunities for our students when schools need to be closed,” he said. 

He added that teachers would follow up with students when they return to school.

“They’ll make sure students understand the concepts that were addressed or taught through those independent activities before any assessment takes place.”

Culhane clarified that teachers would also have the option of working from home on bus cancellation days if it’s unsafe for them to commute to schools. On full school closure days, teachers will work from home. 

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