Parents concerned about the possible classroom spread of COVID-19 have led the Boundary School District to offer long-distance learning (LD) for the first time in 20 years, according to a district official.
According to Superintendent Ken Minette, School District 51 added the LD option to its back-to-school plan after feedback from area parents showed that enough families were planning to keep their kids home when schools re-open next week.
“This is a significant shift for us,” said Minette.
A full-time teacher will handle an LD program for elementary school kids, with a second teacher working half-time at an LD program for high-schoolers, explained Minette.
Both programs will pause for what he called “natural breaks” at roughly the same time schools let out for Christmas and spring breaks. SD51 will encourage families, who feel they’re ready, to send their children back to classroom learning when schools start-up in the new year and after kids have their two-week spring break in March.
Minette said he doesn’t know exactly how many students will enter the LD stream but said he hopes their numbers won’t exceed 10 per cent.