Mission students are returning to their lessons on Monday – but not to the schools.
“Here’s what’s happening. Effective Monday, April 6, teachers will be providing learning opportunities to students, but the students will be at home,” explained Angus Wilson, Mission’s superintendent of schools.
The new at-home lessons will vary, depending on several factors including the age and grade level of the students. So students in Grade 11 will have more work to do than students in Grade 3.
“It will not be a carbon copy, exact duplicate of the curriculum. That would not be possible to do. We are not expecting or asking either teachers or parents to try and do that,” said Wilson.
He said the direction from the Ministry of Education is that students will have “engaging and quality activities” to do from between one to three hours a day.
Currently many of the Mission teachers and principals have reached out to parents and students to connect with them and let them know what’s happening next week.
“Every teacher is kind of doing their own thing… Some will be doing Zoom meetings and online classes or something like that, while others will be ‘please read this and answer the questions.’”
There will be a lot of variations. If a parent is having any concerns they should phone their school principal.
“There’s going to be lots of bumps along the road, and again, this is not going to be a replica of the regular school system, for however long this is going to go on.”
Extra help will also be available for parents or students who need it.
“Students with additional learning challenges with also be connecting with things like learning support teachers, education assistants and so on. There will be support for students and their parents,” said Wilson.
Tis is a situation that in new for everyone and Wilson said it will be a work in progress.
“We are endeavouring to create quality and engaging educational opportunities for kids in a very unusual and challenging situation.”
While he knows the current COVID-19 situation is a scary and unusual time, Wilson said there are also a lot of opportunities.
“What a chance to spend some time with your kids and really look at what’s important and valuable in the world. All the great and positive things that are happening right now – people working together and supporting things and recognizing healthcare workers and super market employees and all those sorts of things.
“It’s this time when we all came together over a big challenge. That’s a big learning opportunity right there.”