December 2021 – Communication to Tutors & Learners
Dear Tutors, Learners and Friends of ELTOC,
With the end of 2021 fast approaching, we reflect on the past year and look towards the coming year. While COVID-19 is still very much with us, particularly now that we are facing rapidly rising case counts due to the spread of the Omicron variant, Ottawa’s high rate of vaccination and likely high uptake of the booster, along with the success of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing serious illness and hospitalization, help us to feel cautiously optimistic about the year to come. It is our hope that this current wave will pass once winter ends and warmer temperatures return.
There is some progress to report for 2021. Early in the fall, we were able to reopen the office to staff and visitors under COVID-19 health and safety protocols which include showing proof of being fully vaccinated and completing COVID-19 screening prior to the visit. Starting in July, learners and tutors were able to receive hard copy ESL materials through curbside drop off by counsellors to assist with online sessions.
Throughout 2021, the ongoing pandemic and associated public health measures have meant that ELTOC has had to continue to provide tutoring and support through virtual means only. Staff have worked hard to source online ESL resources and have held workshops to help tutors increase their confidence and effectiveness as online tutors. We recognize that online tutoring may not be as satisfying as in-person tutoring for both tutors and learners and that there is a desire to return to in-person tutoring. We are extremely grateful for the patience and perseverance that tutors, and learners have shown in respecting ELTOC’s COVID -19 policy and continuing with the online tutoring format.
Our hope for the coming year is to be able to resume in-person tutoring, starting some time in the spring. Of course, this will depend on whether the COVID-19 numbers and public health measures in place at the time deem it prudent to do so. The return to in-person tutoring will be done through a carefully planned, phased-in approach with a view to minimizing risks as much as possible. Both tutors and learners will be required to be fully vaccinated. Stay tuned for further details in the new year. In the meantime, we ask that you continue to tutor online and refrain from having in-person contact with your learner.
Tutors, we also ask you to once again please contact your learner(s) and let them know that this letter has been posted on our website. The SELECT LANGUAGE option at the top right of the home page offers the ability to translate this letter which may be of use to your learner.
On behalf of the Board and staff, I would like to thank you all again for the tremendous effort that you have put into helping ELTOC continue to fulfill its mission during this challenging time. For those tutors and learners who are waiting until in-person tutoring resumes, we hope to be able to welcome you back in the not-too- distant future. We wish you and your families a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season and the same for the coming year.
As the saying goes, “This too shall pass.” In 2022, may we see the pandemic being put firmly behind us and may we be able to resume a more normal life.
Chair, ELTOC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Committee