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Deadline approaching to register for RVS online learning

The deadline is fast approaching for Airdrie families to register in Rocky View Schools' (RVS) newly launched duo of online schools.

The deadline is fast approaching for Airdrie families to register in Rocky View Schools' (RVS) newly launched duo of online schools.

On April 1, the RVS Board of Trustees supported the division's ability to continue to offer grades 1 to 12 options for online learning through the creation of a Grade 1 to 9 online school and a Grade 9 to 12 online school.

“The feedback received on the current RVS Online Learning offering has been quite positive,” said board chair Fiona Gilbert. “We heard from stakeholders that the virtual school environment works well for some families and the board felt it was important to ensure an online learning option was available beyond this pandemic-heavy year.”

Families will be required to register for online classes for the 2021-22 school year no later than 5 p.m. on May 31, according to RVS.

The public school division is not currently considering offering a chance to sign up for online at a later date, says superintendent Greg Luterbach. 

“If people are choosing online for next year, they’re choosing online for all of the next school year,” he said. “We’re not providing a mid-year pivot point. We are not buffering in and keeping spaces for extras just in case people come.”

In early June, students will be enrolled in their new schools and school budgets and staffing will be adjusted based on in-person and online numbers.

“Both [schools] will build on what has worked well this year. Both will build on what's worked well in Rocky View over the last 20-plus years,” Luterbach said.

The unique schools will have their own principals and staff for students. Students will be mixed and matched from across the division and class size will match in-person classrooms.

Each school will be unique with its own principal, teachers, staff, and access to various student supports. Current Crossfield Elementary School principal Bob Rodgers will serve as the principal of the Grade 1 to 9 school, while Dave Smith will serve as the principal for the Grade 10 to 12 school.

The first year of the online schools will focus on regular programming, meaning French immersion and faith-based options will not be available, Luterbach said. He added this decision was made because it was unlikely the number of students who would enrol in these options would be sufficient to run independent classes.

In the past, the division has offered RVS Online for virtual learning. 

“We want to thank the over 1,100 parents/guardians, students and staff currently involved with RVS Online Learning who provided their valuable insights and experiences and helped shape the new online schools,” Luterbach said. “We’re confident these new schools will offer a valuable learning experience for those students and families who feel online learning is the right fit for them.”

The emphasis for next year will be focusing on only RVS students, which means the division will not accept any students from outside the division, province or country. Luterbach said in the future, the district will explore if it is possible to allow those from outside RVS' jurisdiction to enrol.

“We want to pour all of our time and energy to make sure this is a highly successful program for Rocky View students,” Luterbach said.

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