Hamilton

Almost half of HWDSB families surveyed are interested in a remote learning option in September

A survey from Hamilton's public school board shows 48 per cent of families polled would be interested in a post-pandemic remote learning program.

Hamilton public school board survey says families are still concerned about health and safety in schools

Hamilton's public school board says a considerable number of families want to continue remote learning next school year. (Shutterstock)

A survey from Hamilton's public school board shows 48 per cent of families polled would be interested in a post-pandemic remote learning program.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) said more than 2,500 families already in remote learning responded to the survey in March and based on the response, the board projects at least 1,200 students in remote learning this September.

Thirty per cent of families surveyed said they wouldn't do remote learning again and 22 per cent were undecided.

"We have a considerable number of parents, 48 per cent, who are expressing concern both for health and safety," Simon Goodacre, Ancaster Meadow Elementary School principal, said during the program committee meeting last Tuesday.

Other comments suggest families feel their children performed well in remote learning settings.

Those concerns come as Hamilton schools saw a record number of COVID-19 cases in students and staff in March.

But, HWDSB's report also says the comments from families show a majority of them want to return to in-person learning if possible.

Remote learning to be offered like French immersion

The public school board says it is proposing remote learning next year will be offered the way French immersion is. 

The new model would have remote students assigned to physical classrooms instead of being in their own remote learning school.

Right now, there are remote learning schools with roughly 9,000 students enrolled from kindergarten to Grade 8. There are also 500 teachers and designated early childhood educators.

The board said students being assigned to a physical classroom would allow families to speak to the principal of that school and avoid communication issues seen during this pandemic year.

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