School board confirms no hybrid classes for Mississauga/Brampton elementary students

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Published May 28, 2021 at 3:12 pm

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The situation for Peel District School Board students continues to come into focus as preparations are being made for the 2021-22 school year.

Poleen Grewal, Associate Director of Instruction, Equity and Support Services, said the board continues to work on solutions that work for everyone, both meeting students’ needs as well as adhering to provincial guidelines and regulations.

“As per direction from the province, there will be both an in-class and fully online option for both Peel elementary and secondary students in September,” said Grewal.

Currently, at least prior to the full lockdown of schools because of the pandemic, that was the situation in Peel. On March 15, for example, 59 per cent of students were learning online while 41 per cent were attending classes.

At the elementary level, putting aside special education classes momentarily, no teachers were dealing with a hybrid situation. That is, teachers were either dealing with in person learning or online learning. If there weren’t enough students at a grade level from the same school doing online learning, then they might be grouped with students from other schools nearby.

The secondary level, however, did have hybrid classes, which saw teachers forced to deal with both online and in-class students at the same time. Although Grewal confirmed there would be no hybrid elementary classes for the upcoming year, she could not make the same promise for the secondary level.

“We’ve not landed on a final learning model for the secondary level as of yet,” said Grewal. “We need to make sure we’re following Ministry of Education guidelines as well as offering students the classes they need to keep post-secondary pathways open.”

The board will send out questionnaires to parents and will utilize those responses in making further decisions.

Special education classes offer their own unique challenges as the board makes plans for September.

“There are four things we have to take into account when we’re deciding how to deal with special education classes,” said Grewal. “We have to look at the IPRC (Identification, Placement, and Review Committee), provincial regulations around class sizes, the individual student learning profile and teacher qualifications.”

Grewal emphasized the need to hear back from all parents who have students in the Peel board.

“Everything we’re doing here around the pandemic, we’re doing for the first time. We need to see numbers from parents about enrolment.”

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