Transitioning from the COVID-19 School Experience – A Discussion Paper

Ontario children are preparing to return to their public schools after the biggest disruption in a lifetime. What have we learned about student engagement, and how equitably we are connecting with all the province’s young learners?

Since first declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, COVID-19 has been, and continues to be, one of the great social and economic disruptors of our time with widespread impact on one of society’s most traditional institutions – school.

The Transitioning from the COVID-19 School Experience Discussion Paper reflects the initial thinking of OPSBA membership from first-hand accounts of remote learning during the pandemic, in all manner of school and geographic settings. This process of reflection has revealed two compelling realities: that a worrisome number of students have been unable to profit from remote forms of learning; and that several innovative practices in pedagogy and leadership have emerged that should be preserved and implemented on a broader scale post-pandemic.

What can we change, what can we deepen? This is a rare once-in-a-lifetime chance to reset how we go about education, a critical moment that needs everyone’s voice – students, educators, parents, trustees, everyone in our school communities.

OPSBA is encouraging opportunities to connect with our education partners to build on current observations and research evidence to generate recommendations for effectively transitioning from the COVID-19 school experience in the short and longer term.

This Discussion Paper is the launchpad for this conversation. We are calling for others to join us. For more information, please contact Judith Nyman, Director of Program Policy, at jnyman@opsba.org.

Read the Final Provincial Report – Online Learning and Covid-19 Community Survey

Read the Final Provincial Report from OPSBA’s Survey of Grades 5 to 12 Students regarding their experiences with online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic


Cover of the Discussion Paper with masked girl doing work in class.