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Nearly 30% of students have opted for online learning: Edmonton Public Schools

Nearly 30% of Edmonton Public students have opted for online learning
While about 70 per cent of Edmonton Public Schools students will return to classrooms in September, the remaining 30 per cent - more than 26,000 kids - will stay at home learning online. Chris Chacon has more on what issues educators are raising, including class sizes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to numbers released Tuesday by the Edmonton Public School Board, nearly 30 per cent of its students have decided to continue learning online for the first semester of the upcoming school year.

The latest numbers, which were last recorded on Aug. 24, show 26,832 students chose school-led online learning — which amounts to 29.6 per cent.

Another 63,873 students — or 70.4 per cent — will be headed back into class for in-person learning.

Read more: Homeschooling, online classes: Alternatives to in-class learning for Alberta families

A spokesperson for EPSB said Tuesday that the final numbers may change — as some families have not yet decided.

A look inside Edmonton schools preparing for the return of in-person classes
A look inside Edmonton schools preparing for the return of in-person classes

The numbers release account for 90 per cent of the student population, meaning that there is still another 10 per cent who have yet to finalize their decision.

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Online learning through EPSB begin Sept. 3, the same day as in-person classes.

Students who opt for online learning with Edmonton public schools will be a part of a learning group with one assigned online teacher. That teacher may or may not be a teacher at the child’s school.

This format will be a combination of live, online teacher instruction and activities and assignments that students will complete on their own or in small groups.

Deadline for Alberta parents to opt for online learning approaching
Deadline for Alberta parents to opt for online learning approaching

This year, the Edmonton Public School Board is splitting the year into four quarters.

Families will be able to select whether their children learn online or attend in-person classes during each quarter, so they have four opportunities throughout the year to change their mind.

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Teachers across the division will also be following a common schedule. This will allow students who chose to return to or leave school to follow the same curriculum.

The first quarter runs from Sept. 3 until Nov. 10.

Read more: Edmonton school divisions lay out online learning plans for those not returning to school

Edmonton Catholic Schools said parents have until Friday to decide, so no numbers are available from that school board yet.

— With files from Kendra Slugoski, Global News and Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED