Families who choose to enrol in a K-9 distributed learning program must give up their child’s space at their catchment school because they will be registered as a full-time distributed learning student and will no longer be attending their catchment school in-person. As such, an in-person space will become available at that school and it is the responsibility of the district, in accordance with district policy, to fill that space with newly arriving catchment students, or students who may be waitlisted for that school.
For the 2020/2021 school year only, the Ministry of Education allowed school districts to offer remote learning to students while they remain registered at their catchment school. This exception was made on a one-time basis during the pandemic and was intended to be temporary. This exception is no longer in place and families must therefore choose amongst in-person learning, distributed learning and homeschooling for the 2021/2022 school year. The transitional learning program will not be offered in the 2021/2022 year.
Once families formally accept a space in a distributed learning program, they are no longer guaranteed a spot in their catchment school for the future. If a family decides to return to in-person learning prior to the end of the 2021/2022 school year, re-registration at central registration will be required, and placement will be subject to availability of space as per board regulation 501.8R- Student Admission, Registration, Placement and Transfer.
In this situation, students will have the same registration rights as students who are new to the catchment. Students will be accepted based on availability through the regular registration processes. It is important to note that there may not be space for a student to return to their catchment school. A student that cannot be offered enrolment in their catchment school will be placed at the nearest school that can provide an appropriate educational program.
If a distributed learning program is not offered for the 2022/2023 school year or families wish to return to their catchment school, they will need to re-register their child for in-person learning through central registration prior to the end of the 2021/2022 school year. Families will need to follow registration timelines for 2022/2023, which will be published on the central registration page of the district website. It is important to note that there may not be space for a family to return to their catchment school. A student that cannot be offered enrolment in their catchment school will be placed at the nearest school that can provide an appropriate educational program.
Many students with immunocompromised conditions do attend school in-person. We also recognize that some students who have medically-documented severe compromised immune systems may not be able to attend school in-person. School and district personnel will continue to work with these families to determine the best way to support the child’s educational program. The RVS distributed learning program may be determined to be the most effective program in some cases. In other instances, the school, in consultation with the family, may determine that an in-person program would be most appropriate. Students with medically-documented severe compromised immune systems will have the ability to remain registered in their catchment school.
Programs of choice (French Immersion and Montessori) will not be offered through the RVS distributed learning program as it provides significant challenges. French Immersion relies heavily on immersive language-based group interactions which are much more difficult to provide in an online environment and the entire basis of the program is immersion in French. Montessori relies heavily on a materials-based, hands-on approach which is also very difficult to provide online.
If a family of a student with diverse abilities or disabilities is interested in registering their child in the RVS distribute learning program, the district would work with the family on a case by case basis to determine whether the program would effectively meet the child’s needs. If it was determined that the student’s needs could be met effectively in the RVS distributed learning program, supplementary learning supports would be made available as appropriate, and determined by the district.
The district is committed to working with families to ensure equitable access to our programs, including the RVS distributed learning program. If you need more information about this, please contact the principal of Richmond Virtual School.