Student support program back after brief pause to re-evaluate

·2 min read
Many parents rely on the school respite program, the Public Schools Branch says. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Many parents rely on the school respite program, the Public Schools Branch says. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

A program meant to help students struggling with online learning is up and running once more following some confusion over new pandemic restrictions.

The new respite program has substitute teachers work in-person with small groups of students who need extra help.

It started Monday, but was put on hold following the sudden announcement of new COVID-19 measures on Tuesday.

Public Schools Branch director Norbert Carpenter said it wasn't clear whether the program could go on with the measures.

"We wanted to make sure we had enough staff to run respite, and we wanted to make sure people felt comfortable coming back into our schools and we had the space available so that people could distance and take all the necessary precautions to run the program," he said.

"We did pause it, no question about it, to re-evaluate and we felt comfortable opening it back up."

'I didn't have any reluctance to going in'

Paul M. McLeod
Paul M. McLeod

The program was restarted Thursday. Seventy-five substitutes are helping groups of up to 10 students at schools across the province.

Carpenter said parents who think their child needs the support can reach out to their school, though there's a limit on how many students can access the program.

Lorraine Galloti, one of the substitute teachers working in the program, said everyone is masked, physically distanced and required to take a rapid test at the start of the day.

"I didn't have any reluctance to going in. I still felt it was absolutely necessary because the students that are coming in, there's a reason they are coming in — whether it's their parents aren't available or up to the task, or that they have their own learning or behavioural issues that make it really difficult to learn at home."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting