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TVDSB reports increase in students switching to online learning

The motion was put forward by Trustee Corinne Rahman before receiving an approving vote during a special meeting on Tuesday night. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

It looks like plenty of parents in the London region are getting cold feet about sending their kids back to school.

During Tuesday’s Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) meeting, trustees learned that parents of more than 1,000 students made the last-minute switch from in-class to full-time remote learning.

Read more: Majority of TVDSB students to do in-class learning as deadline to confirm enrollment looms

Between Aug. 21 and Aug. 28, 968 elementary students and 217 high school students switched from “in-person” to “full-remote” learning.

Riley Culhane, associate director of education, said more than 370 additional teachers were needed to staff full-remote classes.

Students learning remotely will be clustered by grades into seven different online schools, each equipped with a principal, a vice-principal and a group of teachers.

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“While we recognize that some of these changes in learning models were required by families, this did delay our ability to finalize staffing based on the number of students who would be attending both in-person and full remote learning,” said Culhane.

Read more: Coronavirus: TVDSB announces staggered start to elementary school year

Culhane noted that some additional funding meant the board was able to “add back an additional 38 classes resulting in lowering class size averages in our primary classes.”

The staggered start to the 2020/21 school year will begin next week.

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