Distance Learning Resources

September 2020

Looking ahead to September 2020, our focus in re-opening our schools will be ensuring we have put a plan in place that keeps students safe, keeps students learning and a plan that ensures we are re-opening our schools responsibly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that in September, school may not look or feel the same.

As outlined in Ontario's Plan to safely reopen schools, there will be options for parents - to send their children in-class or to enter online learning - with health, safety and well-being at its core. Since the announcement in June, the HDSB's Reopening Schools Committee has been planning for the following three potential scenarios to be implemented in September, depending on the public health situation at the time:

  1. Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols - Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.

  1. Modified school day routine - Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model based on smaller class sizes, cohorting and alternative days or week delivery.

  1. At home learning - with ongoing enhanced remote delivery.

The best way to be prepared for September is to be ready with the needed online skills - for both students and staff. In keeping with Ontario’s Framework for Distance Learning, the HDSB has embraced this change and new way of delivering lessons to our students across all of our schools. In September, all HDSB schools will use Brightspace by D2L, a learning management system to deliver distance learning to our students.

Brightspace is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that helps K 12 schools offer both blended and fully online courses. Brightspace allows teachers to be where students are (not always in the classroom), allows staff to stay connected to students, families and the community. It will provide our students with the skills for tomorrow’s workforce, increase access and continuity of learning for ALL students, support and teach students how to be proficient digital learners and citizens, and will create culturally relevant and responsible online learning environments preparing our students to all post-secondary pathways.

Brightspace offers more robust tools than Google suite alone and offers students and staff ease of use; enables system support and allows for the dissemination of common messaging. This consistency allows for multilingual translation for student support.

Benefits to Students

  • One starting spot for all classes

  • More ways to engage with teacher and other students

  • Individualized course content

    • Individual release of assignments for specific students

    • Students can set up notifications for email/phone for new postings

    • Video note capabilities

  • Synchronous instant messaging tool with the ability to see who is online

Benefits to Teachers

  • Everything is in one place with auto-rostering of students - accurate with our Student Information System

    • Brightspace allows teachers to track attendance, see what students are accessing and how long students have spent on the site

    • Notifications for tracking student work at set thresholds throughout the year

  • Content management

  • Allows Team Teaching capabilities

    • Ability to have combined content to have unique experiences for students

  • Course materials can be copied from semester to semester, or teacher to teacher allowing for collaboration and sharing of resources, knowledge.

Benefits to School

  • Ease of consistency of support

    • All student assignments and work in ONE place

  • Teachers can see what students see

  • Easily share student information with School Teams

  • Easier to troubleshoot issues for students & staff

  • Ability to track attendance and engagement

  • Adaptable to uncertainty

    • Allows for courses to be modified for students to learn at home or at school

hands typing on keyboard

Online Learning

Resources - ebooks, videos, databases, etc.

Library Services

Username: library

Password: library123

  • Watch informational and recreational videos from platforms such as Curio, Learn360, Access Learning, and McIntyre Media.

  • Explore all kinds of subjects in our encyclopedias and databases

  • Enjoy a great variety of eBooks and eAudiobooks through OverDrive and BookFlix

  • Soothe your soul with some amazing music from the Naxos Music Library

Halton District School Board Digital Library - Access to eBooks and audio books

Crabtree Publishing Company eLibrary

Username: read

Password: free


Learning Disabilities Association of Halton-Hamilton - Online tutoring opportunities for students with Learning Disabilities