‘They’ve put parents in a real bind’: Questions linger as 16 per cent of CBE students enrol in online classes

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“The CBE asked parents to decide whether the hub was for them or the in-person learning was for them before they’ve released their specific school plans and what all of their safety measures are,” said Moussa.

“They’ve put parents in a real bind.”

In an email sent to families of CBE students Wednesday morning, the board shared a series of videos explaining health measures that would be in place when schools reopen for in-person learning next week.

Sarah Bieber, a spokeswoman for the Kids Come First advocacy group, questioned why those videos came two days after the cutoff to register in online classes.

“I thought the timing was a little bit unfortunate in that parents had to make the decision to enrol their kids in online learning by Aug. 24,” she said.

“Kids can withdraw from the hub thing in the next little bit, but they can’t sign up for it now.”

In Edmonton, the public school board is planning for about 70 per cent of its students to return to in-person classes next week, with close to 30 per cent opting for online classes.

Bieber said there are still many uncertainties surrounding online learning, including how the CBE’s program will differ from the model it used during the spring, when in-person classes were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That model included “very limited feedback” to families on how their children were doing, according to Bieber, who has kids in grades 4, 7, 8 and 10.

Bieber said students should be required to check in with their teachers, even virtually, to ensure teachers have a proper sense of where each student is at.

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