Families of elementary students considering a transfer between in-school and online learning have until Dec. 1 to make their decision.
"We know some families may be considering their options and what is the best for their child's well-being in the coming months," said Charlene Scrimshaw, Deputy Director of Education for Saskatoon Public Schools. "We know this is an important decision to make for your child. Our schools have done an excellent job in supporting student learning while demonstrating the effectiveness of our safety protocols.
"While our school division believes face-to-face learning is the most successful way to educate students, the staff with our Online Learning Centre have been doing incredible work to lead and support students in their studies."
In order to maintain stability for student learning, Saskatoon Public Schools recommends students continue with their current classroom for the entire school year, whether in school or online. However, for families who wish to change their current learning program there is an opportunity to transition between in-school and online learning.
Elementary students can transfer between in-school and online learning with the change taking effect Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. In order to transfer, families will need to make the request by contacting their current school principal by Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. The notification deadline is necessary for the adjustment of staffing in both schools and the Online Learning Centre.
To minimize further disruption to classes, families should commit to remaining with their learning program until the end of the school year.
"We are confident in-school learning can continue safely and effectively right now," Scrimshaw said. "However, if the situation changes and schools must move to at-home learning like we did in the spring, our staff is ready to pivot quickly to ensure learning continues with their classes."
Establishing a single transition period benefits students and staff alike. Students achieve their best when they have steadiness in their learning environment and classroom relationships. Classes offered face-to-face and online will be at different points in the curriculum and a transfer may disrupt the student's learning and have a negative impact on academic success. Families considering a transition to online learning should have access to technology and wi-fi.
Limiting transfers also provides stability to class composition and staffing in schools and online learning. Class cohorts for in-school learning need to be protected for safety reasons and the movement of students in and out of the classroom does not support that goal.
If a family has extenuating circumstances after Jan. 4, the family can speak to their principal about requesting a transfer to online or back to face-to-face learning. Requests will be reviewed by the division.
Learn more about the Online Learning Centre by visiting the centre's website. If you have questions, please contact your school principal.