CBE parents frustrated, online classes haven’t started

CALGARY — Charlotte Wormsley thought her son Gideon would have started grade three classes by now, but so far real-time instruction hasn’t started.

“As of today we’ve only just gotten assigned our teacher, so we’ve mostly been doing our own thing trying to keep him into a schedule,” said Wormsley. “It’s not what we were expecting.”

Wormsley is one of thousands of parents who signed her son up for the Calgary Board of Education’s (CBE) Hub online learning program. She said she was expecting an update on when classes would start September 8th.

“Last week we got a link to a webpage where we had kind of some work to do with the kids, but it was aimed at groups of grades. So for us, we were looking at grades one to five, and it was kind of grouped into smaller portions but not necessarily aimed for the right age,” said Wormsley.

On its website, a notice on September 11th from the CBE said parents in all grades would receive an email from their child’s teacher before the end of the day Wednesday September 16th, introducing the teacher, instructions on how to log on to the online learning platform and the date and time for when he first real-time instruction will begin.

Revised date

Wednesday, parents with children in high school received an email with a revised date for Hub learning.

“We won’t be able to provide specific course information to high school students by Sept. 16 as we had planned. We hope to have that information available by the end of the day on Sept. 21,” said the email.

The CBE said scheduling and staffing has taken longer than expected.

Registration in Hub Online Learning closed three weeks ago. CBE said since then, it is working to schedule 3000 high school students.

CBE said at the high school level it needs to determine what subjects have been requested by students and what teachers are available. The CBE said it needs to balance teachers who will support in-school learning with those supporting hub learning and hire additional teachers to make up the shortfall.

The CBE said it is also working through a similar process for the approximate 15,000 students enrolled in online learning in grades one through nine.

For Wormsley, its been a rough start.

“Hopefully from next week onward, it will start to slip into what we’re hoping for,” she said.

CTV News has reached out to the Calgary Board of Education for comment.

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