Students expect to finish Grade 12 on time and in good standing

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Two local high school students are finding home-schooling a bit of a challenge, but expect to finish off their final few weeks and graduate per the original plan. It’s not how they envisioned their last couple of months of school to go, but with a few adjustments, it seems to be working.

“We’re getting by,” says Matthew LaFrance. “It’s not the end of the world.”

LaFrance says he is spending about three hours a day on school work. He finds it more difficult than actually being in a classroom, but manageable.
Helping a lot is that his teachers are available – always by email and at regular intervals via online face-to-face contact.

“They’re doing a good job,” he says.

The face-to-face online contact is not universal. It depends on the teacher. Alexa St. Pierre is taking just two classes this semester and neither teacher is staying in touch that way. What they are doing, she says, is “sending us notes.” Is it helpful?

“Yes!” she says. It’s a lot easier than having to go through the textbook by yourself.”

Also helpful, St. Pierre says, are the videos her English teacher provides.
They resemble the talks he is accustomed to giving to his class and she says it is working well.

Both students plan to continue their studies and have been accepted at post-secondary schools in the fall. LaFrance will be in the arts program at the University of Alberta, with a goal of studying business in subsequent years.
St. Pierre hopes to start a bachelor of science in nursing program at Grande Prairie Regional College. In both cases, their acceptance is contingent upon them graduating in good standing from high school. So the pressure is on, but on the other hand, it’s not on as much as it could have been.

“There’s no provincial exams,” says LaFrance. “They’ve been canceled.”

That definitely lowers the stress level, St. Pierre agrees. In LaFrance’s case, he plays a lot of video games. As for getting out and getting exercise, “walking the dog” is about as good as it gets.

St. Pierre says she’s filling the spaces that would normally be occupied by spending time with friends with art projects. The new circumstances are bit strange, she says, “but I think it will all work out in the end.”

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