New routine comes with benefits

·2 min read

GLENCOE - Glencoe District High School’s principal says that not everything to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is bad.

According to school administration, teachers and students are getting used to only one class per day. It’s helping them eliminate set-up time and dive deeper into subject material.

“In the past, with a class that is 76 minutes, there was time used to set up, to prep, get the tools out, and everything like that,” says Principal Tom Maloney. Before they knew it, it would be time to start cleaning up.

“That can really take a bite out of a class of 76-minutes,” the principal adds. Now, students stay with their class from 9am until 1:25am. Lunch takes place from 1:25-2:05, and then a study hall period from 2:05-3:05. Maloney says this has been favourable for classes like technology.

This year, the high school’s population is around 190. That’s up from 154 in 2017, when Maloney first stepped on the scene. Based on numbers from the two local elementary schools, Ekcoe and Mosa, next years’ numbers are expected to stay the same as this year.

Of course, the student population is all spread out. Cohorts attend in-person classes on alternating days, and students also had the option of full-remote learning. About 10%, or 19, students are enrolled in remote learning. Just two students switched back from full-remote to in-person, and that number stayed low in-part due to the provision of wifi-enabled devices by the school board. Maloney says that the demand for these devices was actually relatively low, with just six or seven requests for devices.

“Like everything new, there’s questions about, ‘how is this going to work’,” he explains. Morning announcements are made via video, and Google classroom is the new forum for class discussion.

Maloney says it’s too early yet to be thinking about graduation and commencement, but last year, a virtual ceremony was prepared and distributed via Youtube video.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner