The hybrid learning model at Ecole St. Mary High School was highlighted at the regular meeting of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education meeting on Monday, Feb.8.
The reason for the discussion around the model was a recent presentation by Principal Mark Phaneuf for a graduate level class taught by Professor Alec Couros at the University of Regina.
Director of education Lorel Trumier explained that the set up was unique in Canada and was created because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It wasn’t necessarily part of our first plan to return but when we are looking at returning to Level 3 for high density high schools we had to come up with something that would really work.
Phaneuf shared how the entire educational team at the school is optimizing instructional strategies to connect with students while remaining focused on teaching and learning curriculum.
Couros’ graduate course is devoted to online and blended learning and falls under the Education Curriculum and Instruction umbrella.
Students at the school have an opportunity to participate in online courses, in-person hybrid learning environments or both.
Trumier explained that the approach at St. Mary is balanced in support for students through things like ensuring that items such as lunch hour where spread could happen wouldn’t happen. The hybrid-learning model puts students in classrooms for the morning or 60 per cent of the day and at home for 40 per cent of the day.
“Mark Phaneuf, myself and the two vice principals – we sat in a room for a few days there and it was pretty organic in terms of how we approached it, we took the feedback from families from March to June and tried to get the best results,” she explained.
She also wanted to salute the work of the entire staff at the school.
“We have to highlight the staff at St. Mary for the work that they are doing to support our students in COVID times and a time where none of our generation of teachers and students have ever engaged in a pandemic,” Trumier said.