Toronto Mike

Staying Safe Without Sacrificing Education in 2020

Mother with daughter in face masks walking in park

The next school year is likely to be very different to all those that have gone before it. For many students, the 2020 school year has been a deeply unstable and distressing time. Many are struggling with the uncertainty about how schooling is going to look in September.

Canada has begun to flatten the curve of new COVID infections, and the government is cautiously talking about opening up schools again in September. However, the exact form that these school openings are going to take remains unclear, considering how quickly the situation can change.

School boards are developing plans for how to provide in-person classes while still respecting the health concerns of students and staff. The exact form reopening will take will largely depend on the size and resources of the school board in question. Some will be providing in-person classes in September, while others will continue to provide online classes.

How e-Learning can Keep Students Safe

Regardless of the school’s plan, attendance of in-person classes will remain voluntary, so students and parents can make their education decisions based on their own health needs. Despite the uncertainty, one thing remains clear: the most likely solution for the majority of school boards will be to maintain a hybridized form of lesson delivery, emphasizing a combination of in-person and online classes for the foreseeable future.

For many, an Ontario online high school is the choice providing the best and safest means for continuing their studies. Students with chronic health conditions understandably are wary about returning to school as COVID cases continue to crop up in the province. Online education can also serve to mitigate the downsides of social distancing guidelines, ensuring that all students are getting the quality education that they deserve.

Many other students get benefits from online learning, either to act as a complete replacement for in-person education, or as a means to supplement and develop their day school studies. These trends look set to continue after the pandemic subsides, as a majority of Canadian parents say their kids like learning at home, and many students say they see themselves continuing online education after the pandemic is over.

Virtual High Schools Offer Flexibility

In addition to the students dealing with health concerns, those involved heavily in extracurricular activities benefit from the flexibility allowed through e-Learning. This ensures that students have the time to maintain extracurriculars to supplement their applications to elite universities.

This flexibility also frees up students to continue their careers or apprenticeships, developing their work-experience for when they graduate. In general, the freedom determining one’s schedule means that students develop self-directed learning skills at an early date, an essential skill regardless of whether they go into postsecondary education, or directly into the workforce.

Without being constrained by a school’s class schedule, those students pursuing advanced postsecondary pathways online can customize their education to follow their career and education goals.

You don’t have to commit yourself fully to physical or online education. Following a hybridized path allows students to reap the benefits of both in-person and remote education. This is an increasingly popular path for students. By taking additional classes online, or pursuing studies exclusively through an online high school, students are granted the flexibility to learn at one’s own pace.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.