Local school boards see shake up in online and face-to-face learning

·2 min read

It’s never too late to change your mind.

That is exactly the case with many local students in the Public and Catholic School Boards. Students were recently given the option to switch learning methods from virtual to in-person, or vice versa. Schools had to be notified of the switch by Oct. 22, so the transfer could take effect on Nov. 16.

According to Lambton-Kent District School Board Director of Education John Howitt, many students chose to make a switch, but the results vary at the elementary and high school levels.

At the elementary school level, 135 students decided to make a switch from face-to-face learning to virtual learning, while 220 students opted to go from virtual to face-to-face learning.

However, at the high school level, 290 students chose to move from face-to-face to virtual learning, while 90 students chose to move from virtual to face-to-face learning.

Howitt added he feels compared to other jurisdictions, the numbers are very stable, stating it’s a demonstration of satisfaction around the programming that is being delivered.

“In the elementary panel, that’s a net increase from virtual to face-to-face of 85 and in the secondary panel that’s a net increase of face-to-face to virtual of 200,” said Howitt.

The Catholic School Board also noticed a similar trend in how their students want to learn.

According to St. Clair Catholic District School Board Director of Education Deb Crawford, approximately 60 elementary school students chose to move from virtual to in-class learning, while about 30 students chose to switch from in-class to virtual learning. At the secondary level, 40 high school students chose to switch from virtual learning to in-class learning, and 60 students chose to go from in-class to virtual learning.

Crawford added the net gain and loss was not too significant at the schools.

Regardless of the chosen method of learning either from home or at school, Crawford said there would be an emphasis this month on online security, privacy, and safety.

“It aligns with next week, which is identified as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week,” said Crawford. “There is a number of events and activities that focus on kindness and strategies to prevent bullying in our schools and in all of our virtual schools.”

To help prevent bullying in any form and encourage students to report incidents of bullying to a staff member or parent, the LKDSB will also be participating in Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News