Thousands of students in the Hanover School Division will be moving their classrooms back to their dining room tables Tuesday.
The division staff have spent Monday getting ready to send students home and have them dial in to the class room remotely says Ron Falk, Hanover School Division Board of Trustees chair.
“Today is a very busy day in the school division for sure. It’s a bit of a transition day for sure, trying to get everything lined up,” Falk said.
“Thankfully we have a fair bit of experience from earlier in the spring. We will be doing the same kind of format where the teachers are able to Zoom in with their students at home and hold class like that.”
Not all of the division’s approximately 8,000 students will be remote learning — about 1,000 will still be heading to class physically. Those are students whose parents are critical workers like other teachers or health care staff.
The division says staff have been working through the weekend to get ready for this week.
“This announcement came in very late Friday, and so parents didn’t get a lot of notice for sure. The weekend and today to work some of those details out. For the time being there won’t be transportation to help students who need to go to school for parents who are in the critical work force. [As for] support for parents, we did set up an emergency hotline where they could phone over the weekend and ask questions and get clarification on their concerns.”
Danielle Wollmann, whose three children go to school in the Hanover School Division, said the announcement for remote learning has left her family stressed.
“It was very short notice. We got an email around supper time on Friday that we would be transitioning Tuesday. I felt like we didn’t have a lot of notice. We are kind of used to changes at this point but it was still a hard blow because my kids were really enjoying school,” she said.
“We actually had lots of tears this weekend. My daughter was crying every night before bed this weekend, I was crying because it was hard for me too. It was our one sense of normalcy that we felt we had. The last few weeks activities are cancelled and we can’t have playdates with friends at least they still had school to go to.”
Wollmann hopes the school will send some laptops or iPads home with students and is finding spots around her house where her kids can do their school work.
“We do have an iPad lying around, old phones and a family computer so I think we will be able to figure it out,” she said.
“Luckily my oldest is in high school so he’s going to be bringing a Chromebook from school so I think I’m going to set him up here in my office. He has a schedule from the school, we just got that today. Before I had no idea what that was going to look like. He has a schedule for when he has to log into his classes. He’s going to be on kind of the same schedule as when he’s in school, just on the computer. My younger two – I don’t know yet because I didn’t get an email from the school yet.”
Cheif Public Health officer Dr. Brent Roussin says while there haven’t be a significant amount of COVID-19 transmission cases from schools, health officials have seen a large amount of cases from school-aged children.
“When we start seeing community-based transmission and a test positivity rate as high as 40 per cent, it makes any type of gathering difficult.”
For the parents and staff at the Hanover School Division, they’re still awaiting news for when their remote learning model will be done and students will be allowed back in class.
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