Dr. Michael Canuel

Laval-based LEARN (Leading English Education and Resource Network) is a non-profit educational organization with a mandate to serve the English-speaking community of Quebec.

LEARN accomplishes this by offering a wide range of resources and services at no charge for educators, students, parents and community members of the English-speaking community of Quebec. Its services and resources include elementary and secondary level teaching tools and content; professional learning; community, school and parental support; as well as a full range of online services (LEARN Tutoring, online classes, summer school and more) through the LEARN Virtual Campus. LEARN is the only organization with uniquely English-speaking representatives who come from both the public and private sectors dedicated to schooling at the K-11 levels and all its efforts contribute to student retention, academic success, and strong English-speaking communities.

As someone who works in the public education system, I cannot underestimate the valuable role LEARN plays. A case in point is last week’s launch of the QOA (Quebec Online Alliance) for teachers, students, and parents. This is a remarkable achievement as it marks the first time seven English school boards, including the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board serving Laval, came together to offer a unified online service to those students who have been granted a medical exemption for the 2021-22 school year. The QOA is being coordinated by LEARN (Leading English Education and Resource Network). The principal of QOA is Patrick Hall, an administrator with over 20 years of teaching experience and a special needs specialist and inclusion advocate. The entire team at QOA is committed to delivering a learning experience that will allow students to continue their educational progression

LEARN was asked by the participating school boards to put together the alliance, support, and assist in the online campus administration. LEARN will help coordinate and administer the daily operations of this online service and support students at all grade levels and in all subject domains as they receive instruction that will allow them to keep pace with students in the brick and mortar schools. LEARN has also developed a website, to support and to provide essential information for all involved, including parents and students.

Technical support and professional development services will also be made available to QOA during the school year. The LEARN Tutoring service will also be made available to the students in the online classes to complement and supplement the regular online courses.

“This online service is a first-of-its-kind initiative for the English educational community,” said LEARN CEO Dr. Michael Canuel. “It represents an opportunity for students with medical exemptions to continue their studies during the 2021-22 school year. Students from seven different school boards will be participating, and classes from K-11 will be offered. It is important to note that this alliance is not an educational establishment and that all students remain officially registered with their respective schools and school boards.

“This alliance was created to provide a full slate of services and courses to these medically exempt students, a service that might not hav e been possible for each board individually. In addition, the online school will be using experienced educators, many of whom are themselves medically exempt. Classes will be delivered using the Microsoft 365 platform and both teachers and students will be provided with the necessary training. Currently, there are approximately 300 students registered for the online classes; however, this number is expected to grow as new students are exempted from regular classes.”

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