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Per province announcement last week, remote learning week this week for Monday through Friday except for children of Critical Services workers before planned move to full in-school classes next week. Without of course any identifying info re teachers or students, curious what your remote learning setup is and how you're planning your week. For us and our K-6 class we've picked up a duotang from the school with a suggested schedule and some assignments to do on own time, no virtual on-screen class of the students that would meet the more traditional definition of remote learning. We're doing best to work through the assignments and have ability to be in touch by email. Appreciative of the work to put together the assignments that will be the same work done by the Critical Services kids in the school itself, but admittedly look at friends in Fort la Bosse or Minnedosa or Winnipeg with a bit of a jealous eye for the virtual classes it sounds like they're having this week. What is your remote learning experience at your school? Does your Brandon school offer on-screen classes (I know that at minimum it's taking place in high school)?
Very valuable to read other folks' experiences. Related to this discussion, being reported tonight that there will be return to school on Monday without any condition given on numbers: - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-return-classroom-jan-17-1.6310323 - https://twitter.com/stevelambertwpg Tough spot. I know a lot of people see this in different ways and are in different positions to respond in different ways, but if the data doesn't support a meaningful improvement in the state of Covid in the Province by Friday's update (last update before next week) we just won't be able to send on Monday and will look at all options to make sure of best possible education in safest-possible environment.
Totally get that there are a lot of different perspectives on remote learning and that it works a lot less for some than others, but there's a definite subset of folks that given current Covid climate consider it the best-available option at least until we're closer to the other side of this wave and are willing and able to make it work. Newsflow on remote learning has been extremely unbalanced against remote learning lately but for a lot of folks the perspective of what's in that news isn't our experience. That's why I was excited when I heard a few days ago that BSD was looking at an option for folks starting the week of the 17th depending on demand,. Not totally clear to me how that demand was being gauged in order to get a full sense for it or where that option is today, but watching with interest. Cool thing as far as this week is our kiddo's class is now pivoting to setup optional daily Teams meetings for those that would like to and are able to take up.
Correspondance/survey sent out through Brandon schools today to parents gauging interest level in an alternative remote solution for after this week for those that perceive a need. I've mentioned that this is the kind of thing that I believe is necessary for our own family and appreciate that the division is looking further at learning what the demand might be and what could be offered to at least bridge this gap that I think everyone would like to move past.
Thanks! The division sent out on Twitter a link with more information on what's being considered:
Schools are scheduled to reopen in the Restricted (Orange) Level on January 17, 2022. BSD would like to provide possible attendance options for families. Please see the link below for detailed information. Link: https://t.co/2ObXIWzhJd#BSDSchools #BrandonMB #Brandon #BdnMB pic.twitter.com/iT7xyZTJwW— Brandon School Division (@BrandonMBSD) January 12, 2022
Schools are scheduled to reopen in the Restricted (Orange) Level on January 17, 2022. BSD would like to provide possible attendance options for families. Please see the link below for detailed information. Link: https://t.co/2ObXIWzhJd#BSDSchools #BrandonMB #Brandon #BdnMB pic.twitter.com/iT7xyZTJwW
We've let our principal know that tho will wait until closer to that Monday deadline for feedback to make it official, out of the options they mention we would look at a remote program that starts Feb 1 and runs until March report card time before likely re-integrating with the school at that point if this wave progresses like it has elsewhere. First preference is absolutely to be in the school when assessment is that we're comfortably toward the other side of the worst of this wave. The real challenge is that with all of the changes the province has made to data and reporting... reduced testing, reduced emphasis on impact in hospital ... the ability of a person to understand what's going on is getting greatly reduced. We would prefer to be in Remote Learning for the minimum amount of time, but if information isn't potentially going to be available from the province to best understand where we're at the waiting to March to be sure actually doesn't seem so bad.
Our off-site learning experience evolved over the week. Cool for kiddo to get patched into a fire safety presentation on one of the days, participate in Q & a, etc. As far as next week, folks reading will have their own assessments in what’s best for their children and families and I know we’ll be in the minority as far as having flexibility to pivot to easily support learning from home. Officials do continue to re-iterate that physical school is the best place for learning. Based on our personal circumstances I absolutely agree with that as far as state of COVID from September to December and that in the not too distant future it will be for us again. Others will no doubt have their own opinions on what's right for them through their own lens.
In reading a story like this from Sask after their first full week of return to class, schools will absolutely be doing their best and each school or division will have its own resources and plans but it looks highly likely that there’s going to be at least a brief period of turbulence in the learning environment that for us when factored versus health concerns surrounding the virus and our ability to support remote learning at home has our decision looking pretty cut and dry: https://beta.ctvnews.ca/local/saskatoon/2022/1/13/1_5739403.amp.html
What I do feel confident in is that the common narratives around remote learning aren’t as cut and dry as presented. This link goes a little further than I would as far as tossing around a word like “gaslighting” and having a little more of a confrontational tone, but I thought it made some points that really need to be considered in the wider discussion about education pivots during COVID and what looks to very possibly just be a few week period where Omicron might be at its worst: https://upnight.com/2022/01/12/dont-let-them-gaslight-us-about-our-children-especially-during-a-pandemic/
We’ve all but told school we’ll be taking up on the remote option BSD are surveying the need for but will wait until Monday to make it official just in case an unexpected drastic change. Really appreciate that we've been able to go about from a place of mutual respect. Goal is to continue learning and growing until it’s clear we’re safely onto the other side of Omicron and best re-integrate where most practical on the other side and it’s great to know that options are being looked at to accommodate folks who might be in our same shoes. We accept that theres no guarantee the school division will be able to offer what they're surveying for depending on the response they get but are confident that best-possible solution will be come to to accomodate others in our same boat.
In our position we have all of this next upcoming week’s school work and will chip away at that with us much coordination as works with the school and teacher. We feel it’s important to keep those teacher and school lines of communication open which I think might be part of the reason they're having people contact their school with their preference if this is something they're interested in.
Depending on what BSD is able to come up with, respectful that this week will have its share of demands in the classroom too but confident based on relationship with school and teacher that we’ll be able to best meet needs over the next couple weeks. Want to be as in lockstep with the school as possible but might get creative in supporting with some extra stuff from TeachersPayTeachers.com (parents can buy stuff too) and Outschool.com depending on day schedule and what’s made available to us... there’s a hungry young mind here and we want to keep feeding it
The most unfortunate thing about the timing is that by Feb 1 it’s possible that we’ll already see things be in a better spot re Omicron. Even if transitioning right back in as soon as things seem in our opinion better ends up not being an option, we’re okay with Feb 1 start and staying remote into March vs the alternative and will stay in mode of being ready to pivot based on best option made avail that’s practical for everyone involved.
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