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N.S. students get back to learning, even if they can't go back to school
DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- It's back to school week for many students -- but the setting has changed.
They'll be hitting the books from home, and while there is relief among many students and their families that at least some schooling is about to resume, teachers are still concerned about reaching all of the students while the schools are closed.
Not attending school for several weeks has Dartmouth High School student Lucas Seto itching to resume his studies.
"It is kind of nice to get back in and dip my feet back in the water," Seto said. "Student council has been running some things so that makes me feel really good."
Nova Scotia Teacher's Union president Paul Wozney applauds Seto's enthusiasm, but he says there are other pressure points emerging as teaching and learning resumes this week in Nova Scotia.
"Teachers are concerned about students who are not possible to engage," Wozney said.
How to reach students who do not have the internet is a problem.
Wozney says some of the at-home learning packages are not reaching their intended destinations.
Teachers are already asking what happens if they email a student and don't hear back? Or what happens if they phone and the number is disconnected?
Wozney says some students are now working fulltime helping to their support families at a time when parents have lost their jobs.
He fears they could be left behind.
"They're too busy to do their school work," Wozney said.
The priority from now until June, says Wozney, is to help every student in Nova Scotia finish the school year:
"If you haven't heard from school yet, chances are you don't have email access, or the phone number that is on file with school is not working or is incorrect," Wozney said.
Wozney also says having students re-engage with peers is healthy at a time when they've been home for weeks.
Prince Andrew High School student Emma Mackley agrees.
"I'm definitely eager to start doing something," Mackley said. "I feel like I've been wasting away at my house. I'm excited to be doing something more productive."
Both Mackley and Seto have questions about how their school work will be marked.
Wozney says that issue is being monitored closely.