Catholic division asks parents to choose in-person or online learning for rest of school year
EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Catholic School Division is asking parents to choose between online and in-person learning for the rest of the school year.
The district is going back on its initial plan to break the school year into four quarters and let students decide how they want to learn in advance of each quartermester.
ECSD says the decision was not made lightly and cited a number of reasons for its reversal, including wanting more stability for students, not having enough teachers and how challenging it would be to have staffing and scheduling changes three more times.
"We don’t want to jeopardize that learning relationship," ECSD deputy superintendent Tim Cusack said. "So potentially with three more changes across the school year, it could be the case that the online students might have a different teacher two or three times as we have to reconfigure and reorganize our staffing.
"When we heard how challenging it was, how much time and investment, late evenings and weekend work that our entire team put into getting this ready for families and students, we realized that having to do it several more times throughout the year really would potentially be disruptive to the teaching and learning, so it's so important for us that students have that continuity of learning, have teachers in place where they can connect and make those relationships. We believe this is truly in the best interest of the continuity of learning for all of our students."
Starting Monday and until Oct. 15, families and children will have the opportunity to decide whether to finish off the 2020-21 school year in the classroom or from home.
"We're offering a bigger period of time to make that decision. I'm not afraid at all that students are going to leave ECSD. I think our families know the quality of education that Edmonton Catholic provides."
Edmonton Catholic Schools currently have approximately 30,000 students in the classroom and 13,000 students online.
The new period begins Nov. 10.
Edmonton Public Schools told CTV News it is sticking with its plan of four quarters.