Digital learning likely for Okanagan students

District looking at new learning model, largely by email

North Okanagan students can expect a call from their schools next week.

While spring break is still in session, teachers and staff at the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District are returning to work March 30. In an effort to determine what continuity of learning might look like, principals and teachers will need some time to assess their capacity to educate without meeting face-to-face with students.

As part of this process, families with children in school can expect a call from their school by the middle of next week.

“These calls will give staff an opportunity to check in with students and inquire about student access to technology, which will help inform potential next steps,” said Superintendent Peter Jory.

READ MORE: Vernon teachers back to school after spring break

The calls will also help staff plan for exceptions to campus closure, including scheduled access for students who need to retrieve supplies or personal items.

“Exceptions may also include options for service to children with complex learning needs as determined by the school district, or for younger students who have identified parents who work in an essential service as defined by the provincial government,” said Jory.

The new learning model will be very different and vary depending on age and ability.

Potential options may include:

– Conversations between teacher and students conducted by phone or communication apps

– Email exchanges between teachers and students

– Learning packages emailed to parents

– Introduction of the Microsoft Teams networking platform for group meetings

– Expanded use of the Moodle and MyBlueprint learning platforms

– Use of other learning and communication platforms

“Above all else, we recognize this may be an incredibly stressful time for families, and it may be difficult for students to focus on learning,” said Jory. “While the suspension of in-class learning continues in its current form, our schools will provide resources and activities that you may access and use in a manner that best fits your family’s needs.”

READ MORE: Vernon school district offers parents tips on managing kids’ stress anxiety


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