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Uncomfortable with return to school? Boards looking at 'short-term remote learning'

'Teachers will ensure that students are able to access learning materials on the digital learning platform they have established,' says public board spokesperson

With schools set to reopen Monday, local boards are preparing for the reality that not every family will be comfortable sending their children back right away and education officials are working to find ways to accommodate them. 

“We are exploring ways in which we may be able to provide temporary, short-term remote learning for families,” said Pauline Stevenson, spokesperson for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, 

Stevenson said that although officials are still working through the details of what that may look like, she says the board is committed to providing more details directly to families once those logistics have been sorted out fully.

“In the meantime, students are able to continue accessing work through their virtual learning classroom," she said. 

For those families opting not to send their children back on Jan. 17, students the the Simcoe County District School Board will continue to be able to access class materials online, said public board spokesperson Sarah Kekewich.

“Recognizing that some families will be required to keep their children home, or may choose to do so for a limited time, teachers will ensure that students are able to access learning materials on the digital learning platform they have established," she said.

The Catholic board had asked families to select their chosen method of learning back in the summer and that decision would cover the entire school year.

With the public board, families were provided an opportunity to request a change in learning mode for their child  where available space existed  for Term 2, which begins Feb. 22. The change in learning mode request form closed on Dec. 10, 2021, said Kekewich, adding new registrations and families who did not submit a request for Learn@Home will continue through the 2021-22 school year as an in-person learner. 

“Requests for asynchronous learning should be made by contacting the school directly,” she said.

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About the Author: Nikki Cole

Nikki Cole has been a community issues reporter for BarrieToday since February, 2021
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