Manitoba

Manitoba families stuck waiting for remote learning

A mother says the Winnipeg School Division has given her the runaround for more than a week as she tries to get remote learning set up for her two children.

Winnipeg School Division hasn't finished hiring remote learning teachers

Kaitlin Davey's children usually attend Brock Corydon school, but have been approved for remote learning for medical reasons. Davey says she spent a week just trying to get answers for when her kids would start getting learning materials. (John Einarson/CBC)

A mother says the Winnipeg School Division has given her the runaround for more than a week as she tries to get remote learning set up for her two children.

Kaitlin Davey's kids have a medical exemption from attending Brock Corydon School. Ryleigh, who is 10, has a compromised immune system, along with a seizure disorder and a feeding tube.

Their pediatrician recommended her younger brother Mason stay home too, to keep his sister safe.

"He told us if she caught COVID-19, she'd more than likely be hospitalized," Davey said.

Last week when classes resumed, Davey thought her kids would be back to the same remote learning routine they had in the spring.

Instead, she spent a week calling the Winnipeg School Division.

"We had nothing. There was no direction. No one contacted us. I was on my own."

Winnipeg School Division still hiring teachers

Many Manitoba students are still waiting to start remote learning, a full week after regular classes resumed for their peers.

In Manitoba, the province has decided it is the school divisions, not the individual schools, who are responsible for remote learning.

The Winnipeg School Division says it is in the process of hiring remote teachers. In the meantime, it says the 126 students approved for remote education are getting learning packages.

WATCH | Students still waiting to start remote learning:

A mother says the Winnipeg School Division has given her the runaround for more than a week as she tries to get remote learning set up for her two children. 2:13

But Davey said she's had to fight to get learning materials, which she still hasn't received.

"They should have known there were kids who could not go back to classes. Why wasn't there anything in place for them?" Davey said.

"They had enough time to plan and hire teachers for all the students."

They had enough time to plan and hire teachers for all students.- Kaitlin Davey, Winnipeg mom

Davey said she's trying her best without any assistance, but she can't even access the learning apps her kids used in the spring. The school told her she had to wait for the remote learning teacher to set that back up.

Davey said no one from the Winnipeg School Division returned her multiple calls until she told them she was speaking to CBC News.

The division now says it plans to roll out virtual learning next week.

On Monday, six school divisions in the Brandon area announced they'll start remote learning later this week, but only for kindergarten to grade 8.

Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg said it has already allocated 20 teachers for its remote learning program. It has more than four times the number of remote students as Winnipeg School Division, with 553 students approved. Louis Riel teachers started having individual meetings with parents and k to 8 students on Monday. 

Neither divisions have dates yet for when remote learning for high school students will begin.

15 minutes a day with an EA

Until Winnipeg School Division starts up its remote learning program, the Davey's school has arranged this week for Ryleigh to connect with her educational assistant for 15 minutes a day.

Both of her kids also have learning disabilities and normally receive extra support in class. She worries about other kids with health issues waiting to learn at home, who could fall even further behind.

"A lot of kids that are doing remote learning need that extra support, because they've lost time for whatever illness they have," she said.

"All kids should have equal rights to school, no matter what the case is."

About the Author

Marina von Stackelberg is a CBC journalist based in Winnipeg. She previously worked for CBC in Halifax and Sudbury. Connect with her @CBCMarina or marina.von.stackelberg@cbc.ca

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