LONDON, ONT. -- The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) says that they are preparing for nearly 1,000 elementary students to make the switch to remote learning in November.

Mark Fisher, TVDSB director of educationsays staff scrambling to make needed changes.

“It's disruptive to a classroom when you are collapsing a classroom and moving teachers from one class to another, it really challenges that relationship between teachers and students and for the stability of our system and for the benefit of our staff and students we are really looking at stabilizing things moving forward.”

The rise in numbers comes as the board has seen cases of COVID-19 pop up in several schools.

Currently there is only one active case in a TVDSB school, but the city has seen a total of 14 cases across all boards since school returned in September.

Still, Fisher says parents shouldn’t be too worried about COVID-19 in schools locally because of very low cases counts.

“If you look at our district compared to Ottawa, Peel, Durham - those other districts of similar sizes have much, much high cases of COVID than we do. So what we are doing here in London and Thames Valley is working, our schools are safe. Whenever we've had positive cases there has been no spread, no extra transmission. So I want parents to know that school are safe and it is really of benefit to students to be in learning and working with their peers.”

Craig Smith with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario - Thames Valley Local, agrees that remote learning isn't ideal.

“It is not a natural way for teaching and learning to happen at a distance. It's certainly not a natural way for teaching and learning to happen compared to an elementary school where so much of our interaction and learning and teaching with students happens one-on-one and face-to-face.”

The board says that 985 students are expected to make the switch to remote learning, with the switch likely to happen on Nov. 16, after the board prepares for the change.

The board says they currently have a total of 66,627 students enrolled in in-person learning in elementary and secondary schools. There are 12,863 students enrolled for full remote learning.

The board says that any switches for secondary school students will take place in February.