Steinbach MLA and Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen, announced that the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre has officially launched with resources and staff available to help facilitate remote learning.
“We are excited to see the centre open with staff available to ensure students across Manitoba can access quality remote learning support when they need it,” said Goertzen. “This will provide educators, staff, students and families with more resources to support high-quality remote learning as we deal with the challenges posed during COVID-19.”
Over 100 staff are working at the centre including teachers, instructional coaches, student service professionals and educational assistants, and additional recruitment will continue as demand is assessed.
The centre has been designed to offer system-wide support for remote learning, with a focus on:
- students learning from home, with a prioritization on supporting smaller divisions who may have limited capacity to offer remote learning; and
- students and families that have registered for homeschooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Remote Learning Support Centre offers the following, much of which can be accessed online via the new website at mbremotelearning.ca:
- A remote learning support team compromised of instructional coaches who oversee the development of learning resources, facilitate professional learning and offer job-embedded coaching for all Manitoba educators engaged in remote learning.
- An expanded kindergarten to Grade 8 remote learning option with certified teachers that school divisions can request, especially smaller divisions where it may not feasible to dedicate teachers full-time to remote learning. Remote learning options are available for grades 9 to 12 students through expanded access to InformNet courses as well as the teacher-mediated option.
- A new Remote Learning Framework, which outlines foundational beliefs and guiding principles and provides remote learning strategies to support teachers in delivering online learning to ensure consistency across Manitoba.
- A growing repository of on-demand accessible learning resources, built by teachers for teachers to support students learning at home. This includes project-based remote learning activities for kindergarten to Grade 8 students focused on curriculum outcomes in literacy, numeracy, social studies and science, and many are designed to be completed in two-week blocks. The collection will be built over time through submissions from Manitoba educators.
- A professional learning hub focusing on remote learning that teachers can draw from to enhance their online instructional skills and find best practices to support remote learning.
- Homeschool connectors (certified teachers and educational assistants) that will offer learning supports to students new to homeschooling as a result of COVID-19.
- A Student Support Team for students who may need mental health and wellness supports, as well as students with special needs. Educators, parents and caregivers can reach out for support via email.
- Ongoing development of the parent/caregiver portal, edu.gov.mb.ca, to support continued learning at home.
A co-ordinated, provincial approach will support high-quality remote learning for all students throughout the 2020-21 school year and beyond, the minister said. The centre will provide support to educators, students and families, address varied remote learning capacity across the province, avoid duplication of effort and reduce workload for educators.
The centre is operated in partnership with Manitoba Education, St. James-Assiniboia and Pembina Trails school divisions along with a provincial leadership committee, comprised of representatives from the Louis Riel, Mystery Lake, Winnipeg, Pine Creek, Hanover, Portage La Prairie, Brandon, and South West Horizon school divisions and the division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM).
“The goal is to ensure that all students have access to and engage in high-quality learning, regardless of the circumstances posed by COVID-19,” said Goertzen. “I want to thank all of our education partners for their tireless work over the last few months. We know that Manitoba students and teachers will be well-served by the Remote Learning Support Centre and that it will help contribute to a successful school year.”