Windsor

Thousands of families in online learning opt to return their kids to the classroom

More than 2,600 Windsor-Essex parents in the region's English school boards have chosen to end online learning for their kids and send back to the classroom.

Of the high-school students who have declared, many are doing the opposite

The Greater Essex County District School Board's deadline to declare was Oct. 19 for both elementary and secondary students. But the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board set the elementary deadline for Oct. 19 and the secondary deadline for Nov. 2. (Thilelli Chouikrat/ Radio-Canada)

Robin Ferguson has decided to send her elementary school-aged son back to class in November as she says he isn't learning with the online model. 

"He needs the connection, he's not learning, he's having a very hard time and he's struggling very much mentally with anxiety and all kinds of other things that he feels like he needs to be in class," Ferguson said. 

She is one of more than 2,600 Windsor-Essex parents from the region's English elementary schools who has decided to make the switch. 

Meanwhile, for the public board's secondary students who have declared a switch, the opposite is true.

Lisa Renaud is having her son, who is in Grade 10, start online learning in the coming weeks.

She told CBC News that she didn't realize how "erratic" in-person learning would be, with cohorts rotating between in-person and at-home learning. 

"I know that the school board worked very hard to make it as balanced as possible in keeping with what the Ministry of Education's guidelines continue to evolve to be but it didn't work for my son," Renaud said.  "It was too unbalanced. He needed things to be more even and consistent so unfortunately it just has not worked out for this quadmester for him."

Parents Robin Ferguson (left) has decided to send her son back to in-person classes, while Lisa Renaud (right) will be keeping her son at home after deciding that in-person learning was too 'erratic.' (Jacob Barker/CBC)

On Tuesday, both the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) and the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) reported the number of students switching their learning models following the Oct. 19 deadline. 

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board's director of education Terry Lyons said in a statement that after seeing the results, it believes that "parents have seen how we have managed the re-opening of our schools and are now confident enough to send their children back." 

The Catholic board's secondary school numbers are the only ones that are missing as their deadline to switch is Nov. 2. 

The WECDSB received 900 submissions for elementary school students. Of these, 803 are moving from at-home learning to back to the classroom and 97 are moving from in-school to at-home learning.

The Catholic board will now begin reorganizing students, who are expected to officially enter their new learning model on Nov. 2. 

Anyone who missed the deadline is asked to contact their school office. 

Of those who made a declaration from an elementary school with the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, the majority have chosen to send their kids back to class. (CBC News)

Public elementary and secondary schools show opposite results

In total, the GECDSB said that it received 3,855 submissions. 

There are 1,879 elementary students moving from at-home to at-school learning and 474 are moving from at-school to at-home learning. At the secondary level, 656 students are moving to at-home learning and 317 are moving back to in-class learning. 

Of those who made a declaration from an elementary school with the Greater Essex County District School Board, the majority have chosen to send their kids back to class. (CBC News)

Here's a further breakdown of the public board's elementary school switches: 

  • 996 elementary students are moving from online to at-school learning.
  • 883 elementary students are moving from paper packages to at-school learning.
  • 1,879 total elementary students are moving to at-school learning. 
  • 294 elementary students are moving from at-school to online learning.
  • 204 elementary students are moving from paper packages to online learning.
  • 498 elementary students are moving to the online learning model.
  • 180 elementary students are moving from at-school to paper packages. 
  • 325 elementary students moving from online learning to paper packages. 
  • 505 elementary students are moving to paper packages. 
Of those who made a declaration from a secondary school with the Greater Essex County District School Board, the majority have chosen to switch their kids to at-home learning. (CBC News)

Attention students, parents and teachers: We want to hear from you!

We're looking for parents, teachers and students who can help us cover back-to-school issues across Windsor-Essex. We hope you'll use this form to tell us about school conditions, how classes are going or any other pressing issues on your mind. 

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