Remote learning ‘the right decision’ according to Regina Public School Board chair

The Regina Public School Division says the transition to remote learning is going well all things considered.

Both the public and Catholic school divisions made the decisions to go to virtual learning until at least Jan. 11. It comes as case numbers continue to remain high in Regina, including in the city’s classrooms.

Public school division chair Adam Hicks says even his family was impacted by a COVID-19 related school closure this year.

“My children’s school — just over two weeks ago — was shut down, and it was one individual that was in a few different classrooms, and it’s tough trying to control that impact,” Hicks said. “Just so folks know, it was over 1,000 families that have been impacted before we made this decision.”

Hicks says students having to take part in virtual learning this week and the week after the holiday break isn’t ideal, but is the best decision for this time.

He adds he’s heard many concerns about the move to virtual learning, including from his own sister.

“I heard very vocally from her that she wishes we made a different decision,” Hicks said. “She’s somebody that can’t work from home, has two children, and she doesn’t have a lot of options.

“I know it’s tough, and I know it’s so tough on so many families.”

Hicks says one of the many concerns they had with in-person learning during the high COVID-19 numbers included a lack of substitute teachers.

“We hit days where we would have 50 openings that could not be filled,” Hicks said. “We had children coming to school, where we didn’t have staff to fill spots and to be in front of them, and that creates even different situations that are unsafe.”

Hicks stresses the best place to learn is in the classroom, and work is underway to ensure that Jan. 11 date to return to in-person learning can stay true.

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