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68 students switching into New West schools' online program

But 48 more are heading back into classrooms as school district offers options for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
New West families were given another chance to opt in to online learning, but only 68 students said yes. Another 48 online students want back into classrooms. Photo via Getty Images

Just 68 new students want in to the New Westminster school district’s online learning program in the face of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district recently opened up a new registration window for any families interested in switching out of classrooms and into its kindergarten-to-Grade-8 online learning program – which was set up this year to support families during the pandemic. At the same time, the district allowed families currently registered in the online program to switch back into in-class learning.

“We promised we would do that; we’ve lived up to that promise,” superintendent Karim Hachlaf said at the Dec. 15 school board meeting. “We wanted to know if families were interested in returning back to their home schools; we wanted to honour that. And, additionally, we wanted to see if families needed to make a change, perhaps, to online.”

The result was a net 20-student gain for online learning, as 68 students signed up for the online program, while 48 students asked to switch back into classrooms.

“That’s better than anticipated, quite frankly. We’re quite pleased with that number in supporting our families,” Hachlaf said. “We’re going to be able to certainly accommodate families.”

Families returning to schools will hear from their school principals by Friday, Dec. 18, while those entering online learning will be receiving information from the district’s director of instruction, Maureen McRae-Stanger.

Families who have chosen online learning will still have another chance to switch back into classrooms if they so choose. A new window will open up in March for those who want to resume in-class learning in April.

As of early December, about 440 students across the district are taking part in the K-8 online program.