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High school students will have more flexibility and can choose to register for full-time or part-time online classes, but work will include regular online sessions with their teacher.
Some of the division’s teachers are shifting over to work solely with the online learning centre, and Norris said new classroom teachers will need to be hired, although how many depends on the final online enrolment numbers.
Regina Public Schools, Regina Catholic Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools have all developed similar online learning models, each with designated online teachers.
Regina Public launched their eSchool and online class registration on Tuesday. Already some parents have registered their children, but division spokesperson Terry Lazarou said it is too early to tell how much of a demand there will be.
The full elementary school curriculum will be offered, along with all core high school classes. High school electives will be offered depending on the number of students interested in them. Some teachers will be moving over to teach through the division’s eSchool, but Lazarou did not anticipate the division needing to hire additional teachers.
Darryl Bazylak, superintendent of human resources and technology for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS), said an earlier survey indicated the division could see up to 3,000 students register for online learning, although it’s too soon to know if that number will prove accurate with registrations only opening on Tuesday.
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He noted some parents have also been choosing not to register their children in face-to-face or online learning.
“Lots of parents are waiting to see what it looks like in going to school … They’re just waiting to make a decision yet,” said Bazylak. He encouraged parents to register their children sooner rather than later so that the division knows where to designate supports.
On Wednesday, Saskatchewan reported four new cases of COVID-19, with two in the North West and two in the South West regions, bringing the province’s case total to 1,586. There are 154 active cases, and 104 of those are in communal living settings.
While concerns around COVID-19 or family circumstances may change throughout the year, several divisions stressed the importance of stability in a child’s learning routine and asked that, if possible, parents commit their children to either in-person or online learning for the full year.
If a student does become sick while attending in-person classes, each school division said they would not transition into the full online school while recovering at home. Instead, they would have access to their regular classroom teacher and resources through a separate online platform.
Students will need a few things to succeed with online learning.
“A desire to learn (and) a desire to participate. We’re striving to create an environment where students can learn as well as they could in a classroom,” said Lazarou. They will also need internet access, a device and someone at home to support them throughout the day.