Connect with us


What a school day looks like in Quebec amid reopening measures



As Quebec continues with its reopening measures, schools outside of the Montreal region continue to conduct classes, but not without following health safety measures.

Queen Elizabeth elementary school, located in the small town of Kazabazua just outside of Montreal, is just one of the few Quebec schools that have opened as of May 11 when the provincial government allowed a maximum of 15 students per classroom.

Rules such as measuring a two-metre distance have become the new normal, and painted squares on the floor are used for children to have their own space. 

Speaking to her students, teacher Naomi Fishman described the square as an “island.”

“This is their island with everything they need for their day of learning, and it is their personal space,” Fishman told CTV News.

While some children were eager to return to school, the decision to reopen the classroom was met with some concern from teachers.

“We all felt this thing in the pit of our stomach, felt nerves,” Fishman said.

Classrooms have been re-opened for two weeks, and within that time Quebec’s Education Department announced 40 staff and students have tested positive for COVID-19, including ten students and a teacher from a classroom in Trois-Rivieres. Out of the 72 school boards, the highest number of cases were found in the Laurentians and Monteregie school regions, outside of Montreal. 

Quebec Premier Francois Legault insisted Friday that re-opening schools was the right decision. 

“Children are happy, parents are happy,” Legault said at a press conference. 

While Queen Elizabeth elementary hasn’t had any cases of COVID-19, the school has taken steps to limit the spread. An isolation room has been set up in the event that a student shows symptom. The room is equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks and gloves. 

With only 11 students attending classes, down from their regular 87, Queen Elizabeth has also had to implement a series of new rules. 

Aside from various hand-washing throughout the day and sanitizing, teachers are also conducting more classes outdoors to avoid spreading the virus in enclosed spaces. 

Though there are several new rules to adapt to, principal Debbie Picard said staff and students are making progress.

“We know kids are resilient. They adapt and we have seen this happen and we’re proud of staff and students,” Picard told CTV News. 

Virtual activities and classes are also being conducted as teachers and staff continue to find new ways to teach within the new normal. 

Source link


Salmon and smiles: 30,000 pounds of fish distributed in Whitehorse




There were a lot of smiles and salmon in Whitehorse this week, as the Yukon First Nations Education Directorate gave away 30,000 pounds of free fish.

“We are very proud to give our First Nation families this donation,” said Kim Harper, an advocate with the Yukon First Nations Education Directorate, which is a body announced in April to exert unified control over First Nation education.

Volunteers are distributing 10,000 pounds of frozen wild chum salmon and 20,000 pounds of B.C. canned salmon as part of the organization’s rural nutrition program. The salmon is scheduled to be distributed all week at Takhini Arena until supplies run out.

People were particularly happy to receive the donation because salmon numbers on the Yukon River are well below historical average this year.

Volunteers are distributing 10,000 pounds of frozen wild chum salmon and 20,000 pounds of B.C. canned salmon. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Harper and her co-worker bagged some very large 15 to 20 pound whole frozen chum salmon.

“Some of them are really big,” said Harper. “It is a lot of work but we are loving every minute of it.”

The free fish brought a lot of excitement from appreciative parents and elders.

“‘I’m going to dig right into it right away … I just love salmon,” said Darlene Scurvey, who was picking up the free fish.

‘I’m going to dig right into it right away … I just love salmon,’ said Darlene Scurvey, picking up fish on Monday. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Yukon First Nations Education Directorate partnered with Second Harvest and Agriculture Canada Surplus Food Rescue Program to acquire the salmon.

It also worked with the Council of Yukon First Nations over the past year to create the Rural Nutritional Service Program through Jordan’s Principle, which provides nutritional food programs as well as many other programs for First Nation children across Canada.

Melanie Bennett, executive director of the Yukon First Nation Education Directorate, says the program provides food for schools, as well.

“With our children if they are coming to school and they are well fed, their family is healthy and happy, then we are going to be producing successful learners,” said Bennett.

All Whitehorse-based First Nation families with children are eligible to participate.

Source link

Continue Reading


Toronto school board hires 350 teachers in rush to meet demand for online classes




The Toronto District School Board has hired 350 new teachers as it scrambles to meet a rising demand for online learning that has resulted in some students being left without a classroom.

The TDSB had previously pushed back the start of online learning on two separate occasions due to higher than expected demand.

On Tuesday, virtual school finally began for many students, one week after those who opted for in-person instruction began to return to classrooms.

However, an unspecified number of elementary students logged on to the board’s online learning platform to find that they have not yet been assigned a teacher and will be expected to learn independently for the time being.

In an interview with CP24, TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said that the board has seen the enrollment for its online learning program balloon from 56,000 students just a few weeks ago to about 78,000 today.

He said that as a result the board has identified a need for 500 additional teachers.

Over the last 24 hours it has hired about 350 teachers off its supply list but more will have to be brought on board in the coming days in order to assign classrooms to the thousands of students that have not yet been assigned one.

“We need these teachers hired as soon as possible. I anticipate we will be able to whittle that number down even further today,” Bird told CP24. “We should have a better idea in a day or so as far as a more concrete timeline. We are aiming and hoping that we can get all our virtual classrooms up for this week but really we will have a better idea once we get those staffing numbers updated later on today and tomorrow.”

All parents that enrolled their child in the TDSB’s online learning program were asked to log into the remote learning platform Brightspace on Tuesday morning as scheduled but those students who have not yet been assigned a teacher were then redirected to some independent learning resources on the board’s website.

Bird said that while the board had hoped to have its virtual classrooms “fully up and running” in time for today, the sheer scale of the undertaking made that impossible.

“We have never done anything like this on this scale and I would argue probably haven’t done it in public education across Ontario or Canada to this level,” he said. “It takes some time and we understand that parents, staff and students are frustrated. We get that. But for the majority of students, they are learning today. Whether it is in person or online, a majority of students are learning today and we are aiming to get everyone else up and running by the end of the week as best as we can.”

The TDSB has said that a total of 60,000 students have been signed up for its online learning program at the elementary level and 18,000 at the secondary level.

A total of 2,200 teachers are required to fill all of the needed virtual classrooms at the elementary level.

With files from The Canadian Press

Source link

Continue Reading


Seneca joins collaborative national network supporting student mobility




Toronto, Sept. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Seneca has taken the next steps in its digital adoption strategy by joining Canada’s official credential wallet and national network led by the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC). Called the ARUCC National Network, it provides students with the ability to access and share official, digitized transcripts, credentials, badges and microcredentials — anytime and anywhere.

Pioneered by ARUCC and powered by Digitary’s global digital credentials platform, the Network is unique in scope and moves Canadian higher education to the forefront of innovation by providing a trusted credential engine built for learners. By joining, Seneca will unite with other Canadian colleges and universities that have collaborated to create this national credential wallet and trusted, online document exchange platform.

The Network is the first of its kind in Canada and will provide three million learners nationwide with a secure, permission-based platform for accessing and sharing their official documents and credentials. The initiative supports student mobility as they transition into, between and beyond postsecondary institutions in Canada on their educational journey into the workplace. The Network also protects them, institutions and government from increasing document fraud. 

Other key features of the ARUCC National Network include:

  • 24-7 access for learners
  • bilingual service and support in French and English
  • ability for learners to access, view and share their verified and official transcripts, credentials, badges, microcredentials and documents in a digitized format
  • ability for Canadian postsecondary institutions and higher education partners to work together with the network to exchange official documents — with permission of the learner

“Providing secure, verified digital credentials to our students is incredibly important and hugely valuable in supporting them as they embark on their future employment,” said Sharon Kinasz, Seneca’s Registrar. “We are delighted to join the ARUCC National Network powered by Digitary as we embrace digital adoption and enhance our sustainability practices at Seneca. Our enhancing supports for our students, graduates and alumni demonstrate Seneca’s dedication to supporting the learner’s experience through innovative digitization.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Seneca and extend the benefits of trusted digital credentials through a secure, national platform — the very first of its kind for Canada,” said Joanne Duklas, ARUCC’s Executive Lead. “Our ultimate mission for the ARUCC National Network is to deliver a portable credential wallet to the three million postsecondary learners across Canada. Powered by Digitary technology, we are supported by global digital credentials experts who are skilled at implementing scalable, national solutions that make sense for students.”

“Digitary has always been learner-focused in everything that we do, and we strongly relate to ARUCC and Seneca’s mission to enhance the experience and digital capabilities offered to students. In providing effective digital solutions and verified academic credentials, we can support learners’ global mobility and their journey through employment,” said James Murray-Beckman, Digitary’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re delighted to welcome Seneca to the ARUCC National Network powered by Digitary and will continue to support ARUCC and its partners to extend the digital capabilities to all learners across Canada.” 

About Seneca

Combining career and professional skills training with theoretical knowledge, Seneca provides a polytechnic education to 30,000 full-time and 60,000 part-time students. With campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough and education partners around the world, Seneca offers degrees, graduate certificates, diplomas and certificates in more than 300 full-time, part-time and online programs, now most of them virtually. Seneca’s credentials are renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Co-op and work placements, applied research projects, entrepreneurial opportunities and the latest technology ensure that Seneca graduates are highly skilled and ready to work. Learn more about Seneca.

About the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC)

ARUCC provides leadership in the post-secondary education field and service to its member institutions nationally and internationally, helping foster the advancement of registrarial practices and learner focused service delivery in Canada. Learn more about ARUCC.

About Digitary

Digitary was launched in Dublin, Ireland in 2005, and has grown to become a leading online platform for certifying, sharing, and verifying academic credentials. Learner-centric since the very start, Digitary enables millions of learners to share their verified academic achievements online, securely, quickly and easily. Digitary is now used by organizations in over 135 countries. Learn more about Digitary.

Caroline Grech

Joanne Duklas
Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC)

Catherine Stanley

Source link

Continue Reading