Ottawa Catholic School Board expects changes to online, in-class models before school starts
Ottawa Catholic School Board teacher Natalie Wainwright volunteers at printshop maintaining 3-D printers. Ottawa, ON. April 21, 2020. (Tyler Fleming / CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- Less than three weeks before the start of the school year, the Ottawa Catholic School Board expects it will have to make changes to its remote learning and in-class lesson plans following new directions from the Ministry of Education.
Staff hope to release updated information to parents on Monday or Tuesday after spending the weekend reviewing the new regulations for online learning and in-class models. The board unveiled its plans last Monday for back to school in September, including in-class learning in elementary and secondary schools.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Ottawa Catholic School Board said, "we are spending the weekend reviewing the ministry's new regulations relating to distance learning; reviewing our proposed models and; tabulating the results of the parent survey regarding distance learning."
"We anticipate changes will be required to meet the new guidelines. We hope to share our new plans with our families on Monday or Tuesday."
Both the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board planned to break up the high school year into quadmesters, with students taking two classes each quarter. Under the plan, students will be divided into two cohorts, with each cohort attending school in-person five days out of every 10. The cohort would spend the first period at school for in-person instruction, before travelling home for the second period online. That means students would only be attending class in-person 25 per cent of the time.
On Thursday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the Ministry of Education's expectations is that students in the adaptive model of learning are in class 50 per cent of the time.
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board said on Friday that staff will spend the weekend adjusting the secondary school schedule.
Lecce also unveiled guidelines for full-time online learning in September, including requirements that school boards have teachers solely focused on the online learning component.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board required parents to decide by Friday whether their kids will enrol in online learning in September.
The board says, "If our families change their minds due to the new changes to distance learning, we will work with them to meet their families' needs."