Edmonton Public Schools adds details to online learning plan ahead of Friday deadline for parents to communicate decision

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Nancy Petersen and Kathy Muhlethaler, who have been leading school re-entry planning at Edmonton Public, said the online learning plan aims to be predictable and systematically structured to allow families to plan and keep up with the curriculum even if children need to move between in-person and online learning.

The division has invested $4 million in resources for developing online learning this year.

Petersen, managing director of strategic district supports, said the division has done online learning for years, but they started building the new system beginning in July to have curriculum coordination for the fall. The daily schedule is meant to provide structured and predictable time with their classroom teacher — something parents said they needed.

“The day is mapped out for a parent, they would actually be able to say to their kiddo, ‘aren’t you supposed to be in your (teacher-led) class right now?’ or ‘oh yes, it’s lunchtime right now,’” said Petersen.

Muhlethaler, assistant superintendent of schools and learning services, said holding kids accountable for their time during online learning requires capturing their attention.

“You’re really upping your game in terms of engaging students,” said Muhlethaler.

Once the division collects figures on how many students will be learning online it will assign teachers who will be professionally trained in using online tools and set them up with technology supports.

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