A fully online school is born in Ontario

Since last September, a fully online school has welcomed some 2,400 children from the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est, in Ontario. Take a look at the Virtual Learning Academy.

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Since last September, a fully online school has welcomed some 2,400 children from the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est, which covers the regions of Ottawa and Kingston in Ontario. Take a look at the Virtual Learning Academy.

If the pandemic accelerated the project, the director of education of the Council of Catholic Schools of the Center-East (CECCE), Marc Bertrand, assures that the idea of such an academy had already been in the crosshairs of his organization for two years. According to Bertrand, his school board now offers Ontario's largest virtual academy. L'Virtual Learning Academy (AAV) brings together 103 titular classes from kindergarten to 8e year. Some 110 teachers as well as 17 early childhood educators are part of the professional team.

One of the CECCE's goals behind this project is to provide a flexible school for parents. It is therefore possible for a child who is currently in class to come home and register for AAV. The reverse is also true, each child remaining linked to his school of origin. In all, 58 schools are linked to the AAV on the territory of the CECCE.

How it works?

Just because learning is online doesn't mean there is no routine. From the first to the 6e The schedule is from 9:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., with a morning and afternoon break, in addition to the lunch period. Juliana Ramsay, mother of three and president of the AAV Parents' Committee, tells us: “There are times that are synchronous with the teacher - 240 minutes a day - and others asynchronous. Friends can also discuss their work together, she adds. Yes, there has been a period of adjustment, but my children have adjusted since September. The same school subjects as the “face-to-face” school are taught at the AAV.

Courtesy of AAV

Learning to succeed

According to Marc Bertrand, the AAV formula allows teachers who wish to continue their teaching in a safe manner. The teacher-student ratio is the same as in class, i.e., for example, up to 23 students from first to thirde year.

According to the director of education, the success rate is roughly the same whether students are in class or at home, as far as elementary is concerned. In secondary school, it would even be a little higher.

Although 14 African or European students are enrolled in AAV at the moment, Mr. Bertrand indicates that his school is not yet ready to welcome students from outside his province in greater numbers. It will therefore be to follow in the coming years.

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About the Author

André Magny
André Magny
For more than 30 years, André Magny has been going back and forth between journalism and teaching French to teenagers and adults alike. Freelance freelance writer for various media including Francopresse, he was also a cultural journalist at Law in Ottawa and in charge of new technologies at Soleil de Québec. He also did sports journalism in France. He has a weakness for the Francophonie, culture, sports, cuisine and politics.

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