Toggling between Lockdowns: Canadian Responses for Continuity of Learning in the 2020-21 School Year
Sponsored by the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn), a leading voice in Canada for learner success in K-12 online and blended learning, this is the fifth report in a series, noted previously, that highlights the announcements, supports, and policy changes each Canadian jurisdiction made to continue to promote learning throughout the pandemic. Information was gathered for each province and territory through government websites, educational organizations, and current news releases. This information highlighted each jurisdiction’s strategies to provide supports, resources, and technologies appropriate for the continuation of teaching and learning. A website was created to host this report series along with an archive of online workshop presentations based on each report (see https://sites.google.com/view/canelearn-ert/ ).
This fifth report provides a summary of the publicly announced accommodations that were made to ensure continued pandemic schooling during the Spring of 2021. In some instances, along with the school opening plans that were in place for Fall 2020, some jurisdictions had remote learning plans in place for the complete 2020-21 school year. In other instances, school districts and boards were left to determine individual remote learning plans with or without use of provincially or territorially provided resources. Given the lessons that could, or should, have been learned during the rapid transition to emergency remote teaching in Spring 2020, the reality was that some jurisdictions did not put in place the necessary planning or preparation to allow for uninterrupted continuation of learning.
As the Fall 2021 approaches, despite a full year coping with pandemic school closures, most jurisdictions announcements have once again focused on a ‘safe’ return to school buildings. As in the past year, there continues to be more demand for remote learning options from some parents. However, unlike in the past year, it is hoped that the majority of students age 12 and older are likely to be vaccinated – along with their teachers. Yet the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to surge worldwide, affecting both the vaccinated and unvaccinated population but at different levels of severity. However, the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks in the unvaccinated population in schools and communities looms.