COVID-19 Update #5

An Important Update for Members
April 14, 2020
In update #5 on COVID-19 related issues, you will find information related to: financial support for students to purchase tools; distance learning resources for a number of subject areas; mental health resources; and more.
Need a refresher on ETFO’s COVID-19 updates?
The information in this newsletter is up to date to the best of our ability and current as of 2:00 p.m. on April 14, 2020. With the situation rapidly changing, ETFO will continue to provide weekly updates on our response to COVID-19.
Keep reading, stay safe, and please wash your hands!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is the government offering financial support for children to purchase tools to support learning?
Yes, the government’s new Support for Families initiative offers one-time payments of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those aged 0 to 21 years of age with special needs. There is no income gap in this program. Further information and the online application can be found at
I am an itinerant teacher and have been asked to provide resource support for my grade team. What distance learning resources can I use to support my team and my students’ learning?
Here are resources from subject associations, education partners and publishers to help get you started.
Art Education
The Ontario Art Education Association provides distance learning visual art curriculum resources for teachers, students and families. These resources will be updated regularly.
Drama and Dance
Drama and dance resource support for teachers, parents and students is available from the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE).
The Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) offers resources including lesson plans for all grades focused on inquiry and critical thinking. The content and methods can be easily be adapted or act as a starting point for online instruction.
Environmental Education
Learning for a Sustainable Future –Learning Inside Out offers a selection of environmental education activities for various grade levels. These guides are released weekly and archived on the website.
Health and Physical Education
The Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) provides resources regarding: mindfulness; physical and dance activities; physical activities with math; health and financial literacy activities; and puberty and health activities.
OPHEA offers live Open Class videos for educators every Monday at
French as a Second Language (FSL)
The Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA) provides professional learning and advocacy for Ontario French and international languages educators. Its website,, and facebook page, also offers resources for new teachers.
Can ETFO recommend resources to help foster positive mental health with my students as well as resources to share with parents?
It is understandable that you would worry about positive mental health given that educator, student and parent routines have changed so significantly due to COVID-19. For a list of mental health resources, please visit the ETFO website. If you have a concern about a student’s well-being during the closure period, please speak to your school administrator or seek assistance from the board’s professional support personnel who are trained to deal with these issues.
I am becoming sore from working at my computer in my home. How can I set up a better temporary workstation at home?
Since this pandemic may last weeks or even months, it is important to take the time to set up a proper workstation and appropriate work habits. There are many excellent resources to assist you with this:
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW):
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS):
Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD):
How can ETFO members and the Federation support those facing increased food insecurity?
COVID-19 is affecting us all but, as with any crisis, the most marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted. Many students in our communities who traditionally access breakfast or lunch programs can no longer rely these meals. There is undue hardship that is further magnified for those living in poverty.
As a social justice organization, ETFO is once again taking the lead by financially supporting partner organizations that are providing food assistance. ETFO has donated $75,000 to FeedOntario in addition to matching donation made by many ETFO locals. To date, ETFO locals have donated over $65,000, bringing total donations to over $205,000.
Members are encouraged to support local organizations that are dedicated to assisting those adversely affected by systemic oppression.
Funding and Support Resources
COVID-19 Self-assessment. This tool helps to determine what steps you should take if you exhibit symptoms.
Apply for the Provincial Child Benefit. Eligible parents will receive $200 for children up to 12 and $250 for children with special needs up to age 21.
For regular updates visit
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation Of Ontario | 136 Isabella Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 0B5 Canada