Yesterday the Government of Saskatchewan released the following news release on their website.
Released on October 6, 2022
The Government of Saskatchewan is centralizing online learning for Saskatchewan students starting in the 2023-24 school year. Under the management of a new Treasury Board Crown Corporation, this centralized approach will provide Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes to any Saskatchewan school student who chooses to study online. As with in-class learning in Saskatchewan, the new online school will provide free education for its students.
The centralized approach, which will deliver instruction from multiple locations across Saskatchewan, will ensure a consistent high-quality education for all students accessing online classes. This new online learning model will provide students, teachers and families with a consistent user experience and flexible learning opportunities, no matter where in Saskatchewan they live.
This initiative comes from the 2021 Throne speech commitment to create a new learning policy to ensure students receive the best education if they study online.
“Our government firmly believes that the best place for students is in a classroom, however in the event where students are in need of online learning we want to ensure that all students will have access to high quality education regardless of where they are living,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “We are pleased to enhance their experience through consistency, accessibility and choice, and to best meet whatever their personal learning needs may be.”
All Saskatchewan students will have access to the central online learning provider. Most students attending it will be from public school divisions, as the consolidation to a provincial online learning school will focus on public divisions only.
Separate school divisions, the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises and qualified independent schools may continue to be able to offer online learning via an application process to the Ministry of Education. This application process will ensure they follow a provincial quality assurance framework.
Teachers, regardless of where they teach, will have employment opportunities to work for the online school this coming winter.
Funding is being provided by the Government of Saskatchewan with exact figures to be determined in the coming weeks. Work is continuing to determine a staffing and funding model and select a platform provider with information to be announced once available. Student registration is anticipated to open this winter.
Questions on the new online school can be emailed to email@example.com.
For more information, contact:
As best we can tell, this hasn’t been picked up by the media yet, but it is suspected the lack of details in this announcement will cause the same kinds of questions, concerns, and even wild accusations that we have seen in other jurisdictions (namely Ontario in recent years).