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Saskatoon Public Schools
Inspiring Learning

Teachers maintaining connections as students learn from home

May 07, 2020

Teachers in Saskatoon Public Schools have been successfully engaging students in learning from home, trustees were told during the Board of Education meeting held May 5.

Using a variety of online platforms and other communication strategies, educators are finding ways to provide learning experiences, sustain learning relationships, and monitor student progress.

Charlene Velonas, a learning coordinator at Aden Bowman Collegiate, posts a video lesson and supporting materials three times a week and hosts a weekly Zoom meeting for students needing support. When connecting with parents and caregivers, Velonas makes sure to let them know that their effort at home to support students is enough.

Principal Shalene Herron shared with trustees how teachers at École Lakeview School have approached supplemental learning for English and French students. The school has seen 97 per cent of families wanting to engage in online learning. Families in teacher Annie Schubert's Grade 2 French immersion class have all opted-in to supplemental learning with varying levels of engagement. Her weekly plan has variety and flexibility for families who do not speak French at home.

The contributions of the division's Information Systems and Technology team in supporting schools and staff in the transition to online learning was recognized during the Celebrating Excellence portion of the meeting. Staff provided solutions to a wide variety of complex technical challenges, including the preparation of hundreds of devices for staff and students and assisting staff as they moved to online teaching and learning.

Principal Yvonne Denomy of École Forest Grove School illustrated the commitment with a story about how staff quickly responded to a family's request for help on a Saturday night. Centennial Collegiate Principal Wendy Benson said the efficient support and professional development provided by IS staff has lowered the anxiety of staff during a stressful time.

Reports and information presented at board meetings can be found at www.saskatoonpublicschools.ca. The next meeting of the Board of Education is Tuesday, June 2, 2020.  Requirements that limit the size of public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean the Board of Education will hold its meetings electronically until further notice. Meetings will be recorded, and audio will be available upon request following the meeting by emailing spsdinfo@spsd.sk.ca.