Most Catholic Board Students Select In-Person Learning for September

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An overwhelming majority of Catholic board students want to be back in the classroom come September.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board has conducted a survey of the preferred learning model when students return to class.

Associate Director of Education Emelda Byrne says 95% of JK to Grade 8 selected in-person learning over remote education while 89% of Grade 9 to 12 opted for in-person as well.

She says she's not surprised by the results.

"Students and families know now that things are starting to open up in the community as well as the vaccination for educators and students, meaning that they would hopefully have two doses before the school year starts. So this is all good information to help assist families making that choice."

Byrne says being in the classroom has its benefits.

"We've been trying to encourage our families to return to in-person learning for September. From a mental health and well being stance, it's best for students to return to in-person learning. There's a lot of academic benefits for them as well as increased social interaction with their friends or their peers."

She says staff are looking forward to the return as well.

"Just from the perspective that it's very positive news and we can't wait to welcome back our families and our students for September. We do know, from an academic achievement perspective as well as mental health and well being, it will be very good for our students to return to in-person learning."

There are just over 20,000 students at the Catholic school board — they've been learning from home since mid-April when COVID-19 numbers were skyrocketing amid the third wave.

Earlier this month, the province announced students could return to in-person learning in September.

— with files from AM800's Kristylee Varley