Earlier decisions could have avoided chaos in online learning

As we entered 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce had visions of expanding online learning into the province’s schools. Be careful what you wish for.

Ontario has gotten online learning in spades and so far it has been anything but a success. Without a doubt, it was a difficult summer school assignment for the Ministry of Education and school boards across the province to prepare to educate elementary and high school students in both the classroom and remotely in homes, without knowing how many families would choose each option.

But the province and the school boards didn’t do themselves any favours by waiting until about a month before classes were to start to survey parents about their preferences. With only a few weeks to prepare, the province announced 20 to 30 per cent of parents chose the online option, forcing boards to reassign teachers to online

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