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HPE school board launches K-12 virtual school

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board will open a K-12 virtual school for online learning.

The plan is in direct response to results from the recent questionnaire asking parents/guardians to indicate whether their children would attend school in person, or remotely, for the 2020-2021 school year starting in September.

“Of the 15,000 students at HPEDSB, data was received for approximately 10,000, representing about 66 per cent of the student population,” said Kerry Donnell, the board’s communications manager. “Of those, the data indicated that 84 per cent of children would return to school in person and 16 per cent would stay at home for remote learning. Given those numbers, HPEDSB must provide virtual learning for that 16 per cent.”

“Staff have been working non-stop for the past week to create this virtual school,” said Sean Monteith, Director of Education. “We have never done anything like this before, let alone have it ready within a week. I am so proud of the team who took this from an idea to what will be a fully-functional K-12 virtual school.

“Families who choose for their children to learn in this virtual environment can be assured of effective learning using the same content and expectations in the Ontario curriculum as regular in person learning. Families who choose to send their children to school in person can equally be assured that we are doing all we can to provide safe learning environments.”

K-12 Virtual School will be staffed with a principal, two vice-principals and teachers.

Louise Gunning will be the principal, and the vice-principals will be Kerri Denyes and Brent Jewell. Gunning was formerly the principal at Madoc Township Public School; Denyes and Jewell were curriculum coordinators at the Education Centre. Educators will be hired in the coming days.

Starting today, schools will begin making direct contact with families which indicated an interest in virtual learning.

The first day of virtual school for K-12 Virtual School will be Monday Sept. 14 (updated), 2020.

The school day will be from 9 a.m. – 3:20 p.m., with breaks and a lunch period
Students will be grouped from many different schools to form classes.

Daily classes will consist of a combination of scheduled synchronous (real time online learning using text, video, or voice communication) and asynchronous (not real time. May involve students watching pre-recorded video lessons, completing assigned tasks, or contributing to online discussion boards). instruction that is delivered by a teacher in an online classroom

Students will be expected to participate in daily virtual meetings with their peers, as well as to complete assigned independent tasks.
Students will require technology, such as a Chromebook or laptop with internet access. Schools will work collaboratively with parents/guardians to look at technology options, if needed.
Students with special education needs will be provided with accommodations, modified expectations and alternative programming as outlined in their Individual Education Plans.
Meetings with parents/guardians will be conducted through electronic tools, such as Google Meet or by telephone.
Students may transfer back to their home school for in person learning only on specific transfer dates which will be announced at a later date.

Families who wish to register their children for K-12 Virtual School, should contact their child’s current school by telephone.

Click here to visit the K-12 Virtual School website with information about tech help, the virtual return to school plan, student code of conduct and more. 

Filed Under: Hastings & Prince Edward District School BoardLocal NewsPECI - It's a Panther Thing

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