More than 60 stu­dents learn­ing on­line in Catholic divi­sion

Medicine Hat News - - HOMETOWN NEWS - MO CRANKER Lo­cal Jour­nal­ism Ini­tia­tive Re­porter mcranker@medicine­hat­ Twit­ter: mocranker

Like other school boards in the area and around the prov­ince, the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Ed­u­ca­tion has cre­ated on­line pro­gram­ming for stu­dents who are not back for in-per­son learn­ing.

The board has more than 60 stu­dents who are learn­ing on­line and has teach­ers work­ing di­rectly with stu­dents ev­ery day.

“We’ve had 66 kids reg­is­tered from Kinder­garten through Grade 9 for our on­line learn­ing,” said deputy su­per­in­ten­dent Chuck Hell­man. “We’ve also had 11 kids who have re­quested to go from on­line learn­ing back to face-to-face learn­ing.

“Kids be­ing in school is a great thing for them so­cially and emo­tion­ally, but we’re go­ing to be there to sup­port any­one who chooses on­line.”

Hell­man says the school board is do­ing ev­ery­thing it can to make schools safe, in­clud­ing ex­tra clean­ing staff, phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing and san­i­tizer all around schools.

MHCBE is of­fer­ing a French im­mer­sion op­tion for kids K through Grade 6, and has teach­ers as­signed to work­ing with on­line stu­dents.

Hell­man says stu­dents are wel­come to re­turn to school at any point.

“We’ve told our stu­dents and par­ents that kids can come back and learn face-to-face,” he said. “We want peo­ple to know that they can come back when they feel they can.”

Hell­man says he thinks more and more stu­dents are get­ting com­fort­able with the idea of be­ing in a class­room.

“In the first week of classes we added a few stu­dents to the on­line pro­gram, but since then we haven’t had any,” he said. “We’ve had a num­ber of stu­dents re­turn to be back with their friends and it’s great to see.”

Hell­man says there is no de­ci­sion date as of right now for fam­i­lies to com­mit fully to on­line or in-class lessons.

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