The Peel District School Board is delaying online classes after thousands of students made last-minute switch from in-person to virtual lessons.
The board made the announcement in a news release on Sunday, saying more than 10,000 students opted to not attend in-person over the course of last week.
“Due to this recent increase in online enrolment, we require additional time to staff online classes and reconfigure timetables to ensure an equitable and successful start for all staff and students online,” the board said in the release.
Classes were set to start today but are now scheduled for Sept. 21 for elementary and Sept. 22 for secondary.
In the meantime, students are instructed to work independently on activities until their teachers are assigned, the board said.
Parents like Ada Petre, a mom whose kids are in elementary and secondary classes, said the lack of direction has caused some difficulty.
“The delays affect all of us, because the kids who attend in-person are learning while mine just hang around with not much to do,” she said.
Even families who decided to stay with in-person learning have seen delays that have impacted the start to the school year.
One concern expressed by parents is the amount of time given for the school board to make changes effectively. Some online comments, Petre agrees with, say the Sept. 10 deadline to switch was “cutting it close”.
“Absolutely it was close, they are scrambling now,” she said. “But allowing parents to switch until Sept. 10 is something to the advantage of parents.”
There are now more than 64,000 students in Peel attending classes virtually making it necessary to take the time to provide to students, the board said in Sunday’s release.
“These are truly unprecedented times,” the school board said in the release.“We appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition back to school and as we navigate this new way of teaching and learning.”