Calgary

Thousands enrol in Calgary Catholic School District's online school

Thousands of kids have been registered for the Calgary Catholic School District's online school this fall — and the district expects that number could nearly double before registration closes on Friday. 

CBE said it will not have online enrolment numbers available until after school year has commenced

More than 3,000 Calgary Catholic students have registered for online learning this upcoming school year. (Juliya Shangarey/Shutterstock)

Thousands of kids have been registered for the Calgary Catholic School District's online school this fall — and the district expects that number could nearly double before registration closes on Friday. 

"We have a brand new online school in Calgary Catholic called Saint Isidore, and Saint Isidore is the patron saint of the Internet … what an appropriate name," said chief superintendent Bryan Szumlas. 

Saint Isidore — which was created to respond to the need for full-time online learning during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — will cater to the board's Grades 1 to 9 students, while the existing Saint Anne's Academic Centre will handle high school students. 

Since launching on Aug. 6, the Calgary Catholic School District said more than 3,000 students have registered for online learning this fall. 

"That number doesn't surprise me," said Szumlas. 

"Even before we launch the school we knew that somewhere between 10 and just over 10 per cent of parents had indicated to us that they weren't really comfortable in sending their children back to school."

For a jurisdiction with 60,000 students, those who have registered with Saint Isidore and Saint Anne's represent about five per cent of the total population. 

"I suspect that number is going to continue to grow," said Szumlas. 

The superintendent says the number of kids registered in Grades 1 to 9 is fairly even, but in high school Szumlas said those numbers drop off.

"And I suspect that's because some of the classes like automotives, for example, or culinary arts," he said. "Things that can only be taught at a high school and not online."

In an email the Calgary Board of Education said it would have no enrolment numbers available until after the school year has commenced.

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