OSSTF District 9 President Speaks Out Against Hybrid Learning Model

A stock photo of a classroom.

The president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation District 9 is calling it an unfair learning model for secondary students.

Erin Roy describes the hybrid learning model unveiled by the Greater Essex County District School Board on Friday for the 2021-22 school year as horrific.

On Friday, the board announced "elementary students who choose a remote learning option will participate in the elementary virtual school while secondary students will attend classes through their home schools through webcams."

Roy says teachers know the model is an impossible model to teach in.

"I agree with the board that I think in person learning is the best form of learning however for the students that choose remote and there must be a remote option, they're simply just putting cameras into the in person learning classrooms which is bad pedagogy and a horrific learning model for students," says Roy.

She's urging parents, students and stakeholders to contact their school board trustee and demand the board explore other options.

"They obviously recognize the value of students in elementary having a teacher in their full attention and that the pedagogy for teaching in person and online are very different," says Roy.  "I don't know why they're throwing the secondary students under the bus."

She says teachers are very disappointed with the board's decision.

"I don't know how a teacher who teaches culinary, you can't have the person watching through the camera be doing the same things because you can't supervise them in person," says Roy.  "A phys-ed teacher, a science experiment, in a classroom, in person you can be doing a science experiment but you can't have the student at home doing the same science experiment, they're just watching.  It's an unfair model to students."

According to a release, the public board is planning for a return to in-person learning for all students and says it's the best learning model for students – academically, emotionally and physically.

However, the board is offering an opportunity for students and their families to opt out of in-person learning between July 28 and August 6.