The provincial government announced its plans to expand online learning in Saskatchewan with a new corporation that will operate ten campuses across the province.
The Saskatchewan Distance Learning Corporation, or Sask DLC, will be starting classes this fall for full and part-time students looking for online learning.
Campuses will be set up in Estevan, La Ronge, Moose Jaw, Neilburg, Nipawin, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Yorkton, and Kenaston, which will also serve as the main office.
Student registration for the new provincial online school will be available in April, with recruitment for positions at the main office and regional campuses beginning in March.
Darren Gasper, the newly appointed CEO of Sask DLC, says that they're looking t bring together all the knowledge that's been gained for online learning.
"What we're doing is bringing together that expertise of all of the different online schools in the different public school divisions across the province. So it's going to be a great opportunity to bring together those skillsets and the good work that's been happening at each of those local online schools into one sort of larger organization that still has geographical representation around the province."
For those students who decide to join the system full-time, the experience will be very similar to any other school.
"As far as the course content and the educational plan that we'd have for the students, it would be very similar to what it would look like for a student attending a regular brick-and-mortar school. Students would have a graduation plan, they would select the courses that they're taking."
That will include some in-person staff, who will be shared by the local public school division, including educational assistants, speech-language pathologists, and counsellors.
To that end, discussions and partnerships are currently being planned out by Sask DLC and those public school divisions.
"They're likely going to be in current locations connected to school divisions in that area. Those discussions are currently underway with each of the divisions because we want to be a good authentic partner with those school divisions and collaborate with them."
The program will be prioritizing bringing in experienced teachers from online learning locations, with Gasper saying he'll enjoy having so much knowledge in one system.
"I'm just really excited for the opportunity to bring together those skill sets from across the province into one organization. Just because I know it's a great opportunity to take these programs out to every student in Saskatchewan. I think to me, that's one of the biggest wins of the whole thing, is those opportunities that will be there for kids no matter where they go to school in the province.