Service supports students who stay home

For students who can't return to school because of COVID-19, an online school has been set up and classes are given using the Microsoft 365 platform

Service supports students who stay home

Photo credit: Getty Images

While most students headed back to the classroom this fall, a certain number have received a medical exemption for in-person learning and remain at home. Thankfully, these students have the help of a new service that complements their online education and also offers support for teachers and parents.

Online school for medically exempt students

The Quebec Online Alliance (QOA) unites seven of Quebec’s English school boards (CQSB, EMSB, ETSB, NFSB, RSB, SWLSB, and WQSB) and is being administered by LEARN (Leading English Education and Resource Network), a non-profit educational organization that serves the English-speaking community of Quebec.

This alliance provides the medically exempt students with services that might have been challenging for each school board to administer individually. The online school will be staffed with educators — many of whom are themselves medically exempt — and classes will be delivered using the Microsoft 365 platform, with teachers and students receiving training.

Additional support services

The LEARN Tutoring service will also be made available to the students to complement and supplement regular online classes. There are approximately 300 students currently registered but this number is expected to grow as new students are exempted from regular classes.

Throughout the year, LEARN will help coordinate and administer the daily operations of the service and support students from K-11 and in all subject domains as they receive instruction that will allow them to keep pace with their in-class peers. “This service is a first-of-its-kind initiative for the English educational community,” said Dr. Michael Canuel, CEO of LEARN. “It is important to note that this alliance is not an educational establishment and that all students remain officially registered with their respective schools and school boards. This arrangement facilitates several matters such as attendance, evaluations, and communication while respecting the Education Act and all other rules and regulations.”

The principal of QOA is Mr. Patrick Hall, an administrator with more than 20 years of teaching experience and a special needs specialist and inclusion advocate. With the entire team at QOA, Hall is committed to delivering a learning experience that will allow students to continue their educational progression.

For more information, visit qoa.learnquebec.ca.


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