Vancouver students will have option to learn from home this fall

Aug 29 2020, 10:52 am

The Vancouver School District has developed another option for parents who are still nervous about sending their children to school in September.

In an update on Friday, the school board said it recognizes how important it is that families are heard in the process of making decisions for the upcoming school year, and having just completed a survey of its elementary students’ families, is presenting a new completely learn-from-home based option.

Now, parents have four options when it came to educating their children this fall.

The first option lets students return to full time, in-person instruction as per Stage 2 of the BC Government’s Education Restart Plan. Students’ primary learning environments will be their classroom, with safety plans in place for COVID-19 exposure control.

Elementary students may also be grouped into cohorts of up to 60 students and staff for recess, lunch, or occasional learning activities.

Another option is homeschooling, in which the family has the responsibility to provide for their child’s learning at home. Home school students do not attend part-time classes or participate in any school activities.

The third option allows families to enrol their child in the Vancouver Learning Network Elementary Program.

“This is a distributed learning program that operates within the Vancouver School District,” the board wrote in its update. “This option is well-suited for students who wish to learn at home or who need more flexibility in their schooling schedule. Students follow the provincial curriculum, in a more structured educational program delivery.”

Finally, a transition option has been added after the district heard from parents that another choice was needed. This led to the ongoing development of the Learn from Home Transition Program.

Meant for families who are not ready to have their children return to in-person instruction, it will be a temporary transition option that allows students to learn remotely and to receive some learning support from the district.

“Students would likely receive support through one-on-one check-in times with a teacher assigned by the District,” the update said. “Children whose families choose this option remain enrolled in their local school and would be placed in a learning group for possible transition to in-person instruction this school year.”

According to the survey sent out to parents, 69% of the over 21,000 respondents plan to send their child to school for full-time in-person instruction while 29% are interested in the Learn from Home Transition Option.

Home Schooling and the Vancouver Learning Network received 1% each of the responses.

“We appreciate the time families took to complete the survey released on August 24. Based on these results,” said Deena Kotak-Buckley, director of instruction at the Vancouver School District, “the District will develop a fourth option and will share it with families early next week.”

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