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Lester B. Pearson School Board offering virtual open house tours

Click to play video: 'Lester B. Pearson School Board thinking outside the box for open house tours' Lester B. Pearson School Board thinking outside the box for open house tours
WATCH: The lockdown measures are making upcoming open house visits at Quebec schools a little more difficult. But thanks to some creative ingenuity, parents and their children can still scout out some educational institutions from the comfort of their homes. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports. – Jan 8, 2021

The winter session of elementary and high schools in Quebec has just resumed and many parents are already looking ahead at the next academic year trying to decide where to send their kids to school.

The Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) has produced several promotional videos of its schools to encourage parents and future students to virtually visit the schools online.

It’s a substitute for the in-person visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is new for everybody and we’re all trying to adapt to a new reality,” Joanne E. Malowany, the community services co-ordinator of the LBPSB, told Global News.

Promotional videos of nine high schools have already been uploaded to the LBPSB website as well as one elementary school.

The videos have given viewers an inside look at the strengths of each school so parents can compare.

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Read more: Quebec nixes ministerial exams, stands by decision to reopen schools amid coronavirus surge

More videos from other schools are scheduled to be uploaded by the end of next week and people will be able to speak directly to school staff online through virtual meetings that are also being scheduled.

“There is always going to be that option for parents to log in and chat with me and other staff members on open house night,” Lisa Baylis, the principal at St-Charles Elementary in Pierrefonds, told Global News.

The online visits are no substitute for the in-person experience but it’s the best option that school officials can offer at this time.

“At least build a relationship with the teachers so there are some familiar faces when we get things started in the fall,” Jason Ferris, the vice-principal of Beaconsfield High School (grades 7 and 8), told Global News.

There is no competition between the schools with their online videos. Board officials say they’re proud of all of them and they encourage future students and their parents to take a look.

“There’s so many great things within the Lester B. Pearson School Board that it’s a pleasure to be able to have the opportunity to showcase it for the community,” Malowany said.

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Elementary students will be returning to in-person classes on Jan. 11 and high school students return Jan. 18.

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