EMSB making its new virtual school work during pandemic
COVID-19 has meant schoolboards like the English Montreal School Board had to create an online learning system for hundreds of students - which the EMSB said is going well and may even be used after the pandemic subsides.
The EMSB has 545 students enrolled in its virtual school: kids who have medical exemptions or who must quarantine temporarily due to COVID.
"It is a school and students get up in the morning and they go to class and they have a principal and a vice principal and they have their subject teachers. It's gone really well," said Cohen in an interview with CJAD 800.
The board said the system is a good fit for children who perform better in a quieter virtual setting with fewer distractions. It also saves time travelling from class to class or getting ready to go in and out of school. But Cohen said they can't afford to have it on a widespread optional basis.
"As it is, we created a brand new school. We didn't have a budget to have a principal and a vice-principal for a school like this so we created a separate school just to deal with this. And we are following the regulations and the numbers have grown steadily since September," said Cohen.
The EMSB said with many students who miss school due to illness in an ordinary year, they could keep the virtual school in some format post-COVID.
"It is certainly something in the discussion stages because the model really works," said Cohen.