Thriving learners and flourishing communities. Louis Riel School Division’s motto is embodied in their adoption and support of online learning; ahead of the curve in the paradigm shift now happening around the world. From their CMS to Class Sites, Louis Riel has adopted the SchoolBundle platform as their number one communication tool.
Over 2000 staff and teachers, spread between 40 schools, serve and instruct 15,533 students in the Louis Riel School Division. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Louis Riel is steeped in Manitoban tradition, culture, and history; always striving for progress and innovation. Their values, especially of shared responsibility and collaboration, are exemplified more than ever now as they embrace remote learning for all students and classrooms.
More than 7 years ago Louis Riel School Division started working with SchoolBundle for their Content Management, Class Sites and Parent Portal to create a more interactive and engaging experience for their audience. Teachers across the district have been utilizing Class Sites to connect with their students, share messaging with parents and guardians and keep their classrooms together during this shift to remote learning.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Louis Riel has seen an incredible boost in their communications while leveraging SchoolBundle. Traditionally, their district saw anywhere from 8,000 - 10,000 communications sent in a week, which include everything from classroom updates, assignments, classroom activities, website updates, to notifications and announcements. Throughout March 2020, Louis Riel has seen communication activity shoot upwards, averaging 30,000 - 40,000 a week, even hitting over 75,000 communications in one day.
This dramatic increase in messaging is a direct result of the amazing and dedicated staff, teachers, and community of Louis Riel adopting and using the SchoolBundle platforms. Particularly through their usage of Class Sites and Parent Portal Louis Riel has stayed ahead of the curve in communicating with parents, guardians, and students as they transition their classrooms into a fully online environment.
A fundamental shift has taken place within the education world. The old belief that online learning was exclusively supporting in-class learning and always would may no longer be true. While there is division around e-learning versus in-class learning it is important to note that, according to Andy Hargreaves, a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa,
“Remote learning is not about shuffling students onto online courses where everything is on-screen. It may involve Skyping a parent whose child has special needs, or delivering an online lesson to a small group,or sending them instructions virtually on how to do a kitchen science experiment.” - Globe and Mail, “Online learning may reshape the classroom”
Parents are looking to their schools and districts for support now more than ever while governments are looking at how best to support this shift. This is a particular challenge when ensuring all children have equal access to online learning and some are preparing to distribute the necessary technology to everyone who needs it. School Districts like Louis Riel have come together with their communities to continue providing education and support to the children. Teachers and staff at Louis Riel have been working furiously over the past few weeks to let parents and guardians know how instruction will continue through social distancing and government mandates.
While much of this is undoubtedly uncharted territory for the education world, a growing number of tools and platforms are being turned and created for schools and districts to meet this new need. Over the coming weeks and months, we will see tremendous leaps and bounds in online learning. The world has undergone a paradigm shift when it comes to education and many other fields, a shift that is still to be fully understood, but which is without question here to stay. It will be up to school districts, parents and guardians, students and governments to come together to find the best solutions for this new world, much like Louis Riel as they have used the SchoolBundle platform.
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