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Virtual high school launches in Kitchener next week

Last Updated Sep 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm EDT

Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School in Kitchener will be the test pilots for a new and innovative project – a virtual high school

Teachers and students will use web-enabled laptops, educational software, smartphones and devices to deliver lectures and projects, conduct research, hold class discussions and complete homework.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to be a pilot school of the Chromebook One to One program,” Sandy Miller, teacher of student leadership, at Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School, explained.

“Three out of the four grades of students at SJAM (Sir John A Macdonald) have Chromebooks, so the students will be required to log in once a day and complete their lessons online.”

Teachers have been preparing since the spring to become a virtual school.

“I think the teachers are really excited, I think this is a cool new project that’s innovative and it gives us the chance to try something new with our teaching and to experiment, we are hoping to learn some lessons from this that will make us better at our job and have more of an impact on our students,” Miller said.

This is only a pilot project and will only run for three days.

“We’re collecting a lot of data around (the project). We’re going to be monitoring attendance and we are working with the boards research and evidence based practice department to collect some data around student engagement,” Miller said.

“We hope to really learn some lessons from that we can maybe apply to some other initiatives in the School Board and at the school.”

Students at Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School will stay home from Sept. 27 to the 29, using this tech to get lectures and lessons from their teachers and to hand in assignments.