Nearly 20 per cent of public school students in Simcoe County are learning online

Enrolment in the Learn@Home program has closed

The next chance to switch modes from in-school to online learning or vice versa at the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) won’t happen until February 2021.

Manager of Communications Sarah Kekewich said in an email to Barrie 360 that there are 2,900 secondary school students and 7,000 elementary students enroled in the Learn@Home program, which represents approximately 18 per cent of all SCDSB students.

“We have received some requests to switch between modes – both from in-school to Learn@Home and from Learn@Home to in-school. At this time, switching between modes may take place at the natural term transition, which is February 2021.” said Kekewich.

The province has seen a huge spike in COVID-19 cases as part of a second wave of the virus currently sweeping across parts of Ontario.

While there continues to be exposures in local schools, Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner says there has been no transmission in schools to date. In his weekly media briefing on Tuesday, Gardner said they have had a total of 25 cases involving 24 schools were an individual was identified as a case and had an exposure at the school, resulting in a large number of people having to be isolated and followed up and recommended for testing.

In her email, Kekewich explained that in an effort to support students who wish to come out of in-school learning, and those who are required to remain at home as a result of self-isolation due to COVID-19, all SCDSB in-school teachers are required to maintain digital learning platforms to ensure the continuity of learning for their students. She says students may access classroom material or submit assignments on the digital platform assigned, either Google classroom or Desire2Learn (D2L).