This summer, Kenora Catholic District School Board (KCDSB) students ages kindergarten to grade 8 had the opportunity to learn new skills and experiment with new activities during the KCDSB Virtual Summer Learning program.  

For three weeks in July, a group of KSDSB students were connected virtually with the teaching staff every day for three hours, during which they learned everything from basic school subjects to coding and special science projects.  

Jared Ralko, Vice Principal of St. Isidore Virtual School, was instrumental in the success of the program.  

In a meeting with board officials, he explained what the main focuses of each age group were “The learning focus for our kindergarten to grade three [group] and grade four to six [group] was primarily on literacy and these classes had daily reading groups. We were able to offer literacy programming in both French and English. And there were also connections to science outdoor learning as well as some baking activities and a lot of creative art activities.” 

“And then our seven to eight program focused on mathematics and preparing students for the streaming of the Grade 9 math program and with a lot of hands-on and digital math. [Also] activities and connection to real-life financial planning,” he continued.  

The Virtual Summer Learning program was also a part of the Science North program, scientists would participate in the virtual classes and bring animals for the students to learn about.  

Students also learned a little bit about coding as Blue Coat Coding lessons were a part of their curriculum, with a heavy focus on financial literacy and number sense operations.  

A variety of scientists were also available to participate in students' “ask a scientist” group sessions. Students virtually gathered to brainstorm questions about science lessons from the week or just random science-related questions so that they could ask the experts.  

Ralko later said that the program received tremendous feedback from students and their families “We had a lot of feedback that they weren't sure what to expect because of their experience with virtual learning and school closures, but that students were awake and excited to hop onto their summer learning program in Google Classroom. The Science North programming was a hit and got rave reviews from many of our families.”  

If you would like to learn more about the KCDSB’s successful new program, click HERE.