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HPEDSB launches new K-12 Virtual School

Updated August 25, 2020

August 24, 2020—Today the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board announced the opening of the new K-12 Virtual School.

This new virtual school for online learning is in direct response to the results from the recent questionnaire asking parents/guardians to indicate whether their children would attend school in person or remotely for the 2020-2021 school year starting in September.

Of the 15,000 students at HPEDSB, data was received for approximately 10,000, representing about 66% of the student population. Of those, the data indicated that 84% of children would return to school in person and 16% would stay at home for remote learning. Given those numbers, HPEDSB must provide virtual learning for that 16%.

“Staff have been working non-stop for the past week to create this virtual school. We have never done anything like this before, let alone have it ready within a week. I am so proud of the team who took this from an idea to what will be a fully-functional K-12 virtual school. Families who choose for their children to learn in this virtual environment can be assured of effective learning using the same content and expectations in The Ontario Curriculum as regular in person learning. Families who choose to send their children to school in person can equally be assured that we are doing all we can to provide safe learning environments,” said Sean Monteith, Director of Education.

K-12 Virtual School will be staffed with a principal, two vice-principals and teachers. We are pleased to announce that Louise Gunning will be the principal, and the vice-principals will be Kerri Denyes and Brent Jewell. Gunning was formerly the principal at Madoc Township Public School; Denyes and Jewell were curriculum coordinators at the Education Centre. Educators will be hired in the coming days.

Starting today, schools will begin making direct contact with families which indicated an interest in virtual learning.

K-12 Virtual School learning environment

  • The first day of school will be Monday, September 14, 2020 (note this is different from in person school)
  • The school day will be from 9:00 AM – 3:20 PM, with breaks and a lunch period
  • Students will be grouped from many different schools to form classes
  • Daily classes will consist of a combination of scheduled synchronous* and asynchronous* instruction that is delivered by a teacher in an online classroom
  • Students will be expected to participate in daily virtual meetings with their peers, as well as to complete assigned independent tasks
  • Students will require technology, such as a Chromebook or laptop with Internet access. Schools will work collaboratively with parents/guardians to look at technology options, if needed
  • Students with special education needs will be provided with accommodations, modified expectations and alternative programming as outlined in their Individual Education Plans
  • Meetings with parents/guardians will be conducted through electronic tools, such as Google Meet or telephone
  • Students may transfer back to their home school for in person learning only on specific transfer dates which will be announced at a later date

Families who wish to register their children for K-12 Virtual School, should contact their child’s current school (Pdf) by telephone.

*Synchronous learning: Learning that happens in real time, online. Synchronous online learning involves using text, video, or voice communication in a way that enables educators to instruct and connect with students in real time. Synchronous learning is interactive and engaging. It helps teachers provide immediate feedback to students and enables students to interact with one another.

*Asynchronous learning: Learning that is not delivered in real time. Asynchronous learning may involve students watching pre-recorded video lessons, completing assigned tasks, or contributing to online discussion boards.

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For more information, please contact:

  • Parent/guardian/student questions about K-12 Virtual School: [email protected]  
  • Media: Kerry Donnell, Communications Manager, 613.966.1170 or 1.800.267.4350, extension 62354, [email protected]
Last updated: August 25, 2020 at 6:20 am
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