Online learning this fall has become streamlined at the provincial level, through the Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre.
CEO Darren Gasper said the registration is still coming in and likely will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
"The registrations are continuing to come in every day. We see the steady flow of calls and registrations. We had 1,350 full-time students so far and about 3,500 part-time students, which are primarily high school students taking a course or two from us from their local high schools. We're certainly seeing a steady flow of them coming in, so each day the number continues to rise, so I would anticipate by the time we get to September 30th, it will be significantly higher than that number."
Late registration is not a big concern, he noted.
"We have the ability to take course registrations throughout the whole year. You'll hear us use that term 'continuous intake', so we do expect a large number of those to come in with these next couple of weeks for the first semester and year-long learners," he explained. "We'll always work with students to ensure they have enough time to complete the course or courses that they're registered in, everything from kindergarten to Grade 12."
Gasper said, as the provincial online learning provider, the SDLC works collaboratively with families and the local school divisions to ensure students have the supports they need to be successful," Gasper explained. "Students have the ability to connect with their teachers one-on-one as well."
He said they're currently hiring online learning facilitators to be in person to support our part-time learners who are based in schools.
"We also have other student support staff such as speech and language pathologists, and family support. Workers and we also work directly with the Students Home Division to just ensure they have those supports. So as those enrollments begin to climb, we add those staffing pieces alongside of it to make sure we're in a good position to support our students."
Flexibility is one of the key features of distance learning.
"We offer students a number of options for learning online," he explained. "Some students and families want the flexibility to learn on their own time, so for example, in the evenings after practices or other activities and others prefer to have a set schedule between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., so we offer both options for students and parents."
"You'll hear us use terms like synchronous for a live class that's scheduled into the day and asynchronous which is much more flexible where students can work on it where it fits within their schedule," he added. "It really comes down to that flexibility piece, where we work with families and students to really meet their needs and the schedule that works best for them. So as an online school, we provide that flexibility thing for students to learn at their own pace."
Find SDLC online HERE.
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