The Prince Albert Catholic School Division launched their option for online learning on Thursday, August 20. The board of education announced in a press release that the division is offering both in-class learning or on-line learning for all Grades K to 12 when school begins on September 8.
All school-specific plans were released on the division website for all in-school learning om Thursday.
“We are looking to try to provide an opportunity for our children to learn online because there are many families that have immunocompromised children,” director of education Lorel Trumier said.
Trumier explained that they have been examining possible plans since school was closed in March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We knew that there would be a contingent of people or children that may need to remain with that as a solution,” Trumier said.
Some examples of students this would be an option for include parents who are having medical issues, immunocompromised students and students who may live with elderly grandparents, among others.
With Premier Scott Moe’s announcement on Monday that extra funding would be available they decided to move this concept ahead.
“The recent announcement put us in a position to move forward with our decision to offer online and launch that knowing that we may be able to proceed, so that excites us,” Trumier said.
In their release, they invited parents and students who would like more information about online learning programming to complete an intake form for online learning which can be found on the division’s website at www.pacsd.ca. Once the intake form is completed school division personnel will contact families in order to review options.
“We just launched our intake link on our website so that families who are interested in it and want to have the conversation with us so we can look at the program that best suits their needs and go through the questions that they may have then they can make their decision in an informed manner,” Trumier said.
She explained that they launched the idea now because of consultations with Prince Albert Health Officer Dr. Khami Chokani. They also looked at transmission rates to make the decision around programming.
“We are getting close enough to the start of the school year now where we have time to talk to families who are still seeking that opportunity,” Trumier said.
The change in start date for school to September 8 was also a factor.
“The extra week was a great opportunity to just give more time for us to communicate these kinds of elements with our families,” she said.
“There is lots at play for sure and it is moving very quickly. We are excited for this opportunity and we just launched our intake link on our website so that families who are interested in it and want to have the conversation with us can look at the program that best suits their needs. (They can) go through the questions that they may have then they can make their decision in an informed manner,”
“We want to support our students well and we are always looking for ways to be responsive to our student’s needs. We are excited to start this new program option and we are grateful that the Provincial Government is seeking ways to support these options too.” Board Chair Suzanne Stubbs said in the release.
The permeation of Catholic faith will occur across all learning models.
Programs available include In-class learning for all elementary students in all Catholic schools, in-class and online hybrid learning for École St. Mary High School Grades 9 to 12 as well as new online learning options for all grades.
“We wanted to make sure that we launched all of that so that families know what the staggered entry would look like, they would know what we are doing with recesses, what we are doing with lunch and key questions that families are having right now. And that way they got to see all of our schools, so if they attend Holy Cross they can click on that and see what is happening there and if they got to St. John they can see that,” Trumier said.
Information outlining all program options for the school division and their Return to School Plans and Fall 2020 school specific plans are available at http://pacsd.ca/plan-for-reopening- schools-2020/.