Elementary Virtual School Families,
Earlier this week, we were optimistic that all classes would be assigned a teacher by today and that has not happened. As of today, more than 94 percent (approximately 56,000) Elementary Virtual School students are in classes and receiving teacher instruction. For those students and families without a teacher since Virtual School began on September 22, we know how disappointing this has been. While there are a number of factors making this task incredibly challenging, we also want to recognize and acknowledge the impact this delay has had on students and families. We are sorry that it has taken so long to get students set up in a classroom with a teacher and are doing everything possible to continue to place teachers so that learning can begin.
French Immersion (FI) and Extended French (EF) Teachers and Classrooms
There continues to be a shortage of French language teachers and a number of FI and EF classrooms remain without a teacher. We have taken immediate action to ensure that students have a connection with a teacher and classmates by offering placements to English-speaking Occasional Teachers for the 80+ remaining vacancies until we can confirm a French teacher. Once a teacher accepts the position, they will connect with students and get set up in Brightspace. We will continue to monitor the acceptances over the weekend. In addition, we continue to recruit new French teachers from out-of-province — although this is a longer term solution.
English Teachers and Classrooms
Earlier this week, all English classrooms had been assigned a teacher. Unfortunately, a small number of classrooms are once again without a teacher in place due to resignations. In these cases, we are working to replace the teacher.
Next Steps for FI/EF and English Programs
In order to achieve our goal of having all FI/EF and English students with a teacher for the upcoming week, we are:
- Reviewing each and every class list and teacher assignment to ensure every outstanding student has been placed in the appropriate class
- Providing every newly-hired teacher access to an online learning classroom and training
- Increasing class sizes to accommodate more students
- Contacting every teacher to ensure they have their class lists and are clear about the expectation of reaching out to students as soon as possible (including email, phone or Brightspace)
- Adding administrative support to improve communication with parents/guardians.
Our entire Virtual School team knows how important connection is for students and their families, and that is why we continue to work through the weekend to get these tasks done.