Edmonton Bilingual Program needs online learning option

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!


                                   Give Our Children a Choice 

Dear Honorable Education Minister LaGrange, Trustee Mr. Gibson, Superintendent Mr. Robertson,

We are writing to you regarding our concerns as parents, professionals, volunteer community members, and regular volunteers at Meadowlark Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual Elementary school in Edmonton.

Currently, there are no provisions for online options for alternative language programs.  More specifically, the current online learning option does not include Chinese (Mandarin) online learning for the Chinese bilingual program. This is a significant portion of the curriculum at the Meadowlark Chinese Bilingual Elementary school and six other elementary schools, four junior high schools and four senior high schools with the Chinese bilingual program in Edmonton. There needs to be an online option available for each grade for the Chinese bilingual program as many families do not speak Chinese at home and/or do not have the resources or time to continue to teach Chinese if there is not a Chinese online option available. Further, many families feel they have no choice and are forced to send their children back to school as the Chinese online learning option is not being offered, even though they are not comfortable doing so for health-related concerns. We are requesting specific funding to allocate specific resource to support the Chinese bilingual program online as an option for all grades commencing Q1 – September 3, 2020 and for all of the subsequent quarters. 

With the community transmission rate on the rise, the chance of a positive case in a class cohort remains high. Without a Chinese online learning option, if a cohort gets quarantined or worse a school closure, it would be too late to provide any Chinese learning for the students. Health specialists across the board have warned we will likely endure the most difficult health crisis this upcoming fall and winter seasons. Numerous institutions and entire countries have faltered because of a lack of forward thinking and “proactive” planning. Without a doubt, the need for online learning will only grow and if left only to “reactive” planning our children will be left in the dust should anything happen. We cannot order medical supplies based on the demands today, and nor should we plan online learning only based on the demands surveyed today. As such, we feel the current re-entry plan does not have the best interests of the health and safety of all students and their families. Please do not sacrifice the health, well-being and education of our children and their families for the sake of restarting the education system. There are hundreds of students and their parents who have invested thousands of hours over the years into the Chinese bilingual program. We have worked very hard together. Please do not fail us now.

尊敬的LaGrange教育部长、校董Gibson先生和爱城教育总监Robertson先生,
 
这封信,是我们以父母、专业人士、社区志愿者和爱城Meadowlark中英双语小学长期志愿者的身份集体撰写的,旨在向三位政府要员表达我们共同的担忧。
 
目前,政府教育部门还没有出台为双语项目提供网课选项的规定。具体说来,当前的网课选项不包括中英双语项目的中文(普通话)在线学习。而这本是Meadowlark中英双语小学和爱城其他六所小学、四所初中及四所高中所开课程的重要组成部分。我们认为:中文双语项目的每个年级都需要一个网课选项。因为很多家庭并没有在家说中文的习惯和语言环境,有些家庭没有资源或时间去教孩子们继续学习中文。如果教育部门不提供中文网课选项,这些选择不返校家庭的孩子就完全失去了继续学习中文的机会。因此许多家庭觉得他们别无选择,不得不送孩子返校上课,即便他们出于健康方面的担忧并不放心这么做。我们这些家庭为中文双语项目投入了很多心血,实在不能眼看着我们来之不易的成果付诸东流。因此,我们请求政府拨专款,配置特定资源来支持12个年级的中英双语网课选项。从9月3日开始的2020学年第一学期起,与常规网课选项一起持续运行。
 
我们必须承认:随着新冠病毒社区传播率持续增加,在固定群体中发生阳性病例的可能性仍然很高。如果没有中文网课选项,一旦中英双语学校有班级被隔离,甚至整个学校关闭,那么临时为学生提供中文网课是来不及的。多位健康专家都已发出警告:在即将到来的秋冬季,我们可能会经受最严峻的公共健康危机。而由于缺乏前瞻性思维和前瞻性计划,许多机构和国家都遭遇过严重打击。这些都是前车之鉴。在可预见的未来,网课需求无疑只会有增无减。如果教育部门只采用被动应对的方式来对待双语项目,那么一旦情况恶化,我们的孩子将孤立无援。我们不能只按今天的需求来订购医疗用品,也同样不能仅依照眼下的调查需求反馈来规划网课。综上所陈,我们认为当前的复校计划并不符合所有学生及家人在健康和安全方面的最大利益。请不要只为教育系统的快速重启而牺牲孩子的健康、教育和福祉以及他们身后的家庭。多年来,成千上万的学生和他们的父母投入了无数时间精力来推行中文双语课程。我们一起竭尽全力付出了太多。请不要让我们失望。
 
 
Sincerely,
谢谢
 
Leanna Chan, Gina Wong, Dr. David Sun, Weijia Cao
黄慧静,Gina Wong,孙维医生,曹薇嘉