EDMONTON -- Students in Edmonton Catholic Schools will continue to have the option of learning online for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Edmonton Catholic School Division (ECSD) released its online learning options Monday.

Catholic schools will offer real-time instruction for K-12 students, including French immersion in Grades 4 to 9.

A news release from ECSD said programming will be teacher-led with a focus on supporting online students exclusively and designed for connection.

A blended online and in-person approach will be offered for pre-Kindergarten.

“We believe in-person learning is the best environment for our students. Growing together in community is at the heart of Catholic education. However, the pandemic has revealed that some students are more comfortable in an online learning environment,” Chief Superintendent Robert Martin said in the news release. 

“We have met the challenge before us this school year and have built an excellent online program that will support our students’ learning experience now and into the future."

The division is not opening registration yet. Parents and guardians have been asked to simply declare whether their kids will be attending their current school or learning online before March 22 so that ECSD can plan budget and staffing needs. 

Parents and guardians will be able to make a final decision before the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

“Our online learning will operate in the same manner as in-person learning,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tim Cusack said in a written statement. “A child will be logged-in from home and they will follow a structured schedule with ongoing feedback and individual check-ins

"It is imperative we start planning and preparing for the new school year, but we will remain responsive to the direction and guidance of Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services.” 

According to numbers provided by ECSD in October, 27 per cent of students chose to go online over in-person learning for this school year.