When the COVID-19 pandemic closed P.E.I. schools there were concerns some families would not have the technological resources for learning at home. Now some have another option.
The P.E.I. Public Schools Branch has produced learning kits on paper for students in elementary schools.
Natasha Bromley, principal at Prince Street School in Charlottetown, said giving students access online turned out to be more of a challenge than many of them suspected.
“Originally, when we first collected the data, we only had about five families who said that they wouldn’t be able to access the online learning,” said Bromley.
“But as we’ve kind of got into it, and into week three, we see more struggles especially if families were sharing devices or if they were using a phone. The phone itself wasn’t quite conducive to the being able to have, you know, three or four children in a house doing online learning.”
Some dice and a deck of cards
The Public Schools Branch and Department of Education worked together to create the kits.
There are three different ones: one for kindergarten, one for Grades 1-3, and one for Grades 4-6. The material focuses on literacy, numeracy, and health and well-being.
Bromley and the Prince Street vice principal and administrative assistant were in the school Tuesday, observing physical distancing by working at different photocopiers, to put the kits together. Appointment times were arranged for parents to pick them up off a table in front of the school.
“We also put a deck of cards and some dice so that they would be able to do some of those numeracy activities in case they didn’t have it at home,” said Bromley.
The kits include one or two weeks’ worth of material, and follow-up kits are being prepared. Bromley said, however, they do not address one major issue of the school closures.
“Students missing teachers and teachers missing students.”
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