Minister Lecce Visits with Virtual Class

Minister Lecce Visits with Virtual Class
Posted on 09/16/2020
Minister Lecce visits with virtual classroomMinister Lecce visits with virtual class
Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce recently met virtually with students in the St. Isidore Virtual School Business Accounting class. Students were able to speak with the minister and ask questions. He also offered his perspective on the new virtual interactions everyone has had to adapt to.

“It’s been a change. The use of video technology… I didn’t do that much Zoom, I didn’t do Microsoft Teams. I didn’t do that-- I mean I did the odd one-- but there has been a lot of technology that has been infused in my life, which has been helpful… In all respects our lives have changed, but in some respects, its maybe gotten more efficient, and a bit more connected with people I haven’t seen. I used to call people on the phone, even my friends, and now it is a bit more video based and adds a dimension of humanizing that experience. So, lots of change,” he said.

St. Isidore Virtual School teacher Lori Bazelo appreciated the minister’s visit with her class.

“Although there was some initial apprehension on the part of the students and myself, Minister Lecce immediately broke the ice by telling us all about his own grandmother trying to use technology for the first time. He spoke about his own journey trying to work from home and having books and laptops on his dining room table. The students all related to the visual image that he had created for us,” she said.

“It was a very unique opportunity, and I am glad that I got to be a part of it!” said Student Cloe Hintz.

Lecce talked about the importance of internet access, and how he and Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford are working hard to be to provide internet to all communities in Northern Ontario.

Cloe said it was a conversation she valued.

“I learned a lot about the importance of internet and that Mr. Lecce is working very hard to make sure every school in Ontario has internet access,” she said.

Minister Lecce said he would be happy to come back and visit with students again. Student Brayah McDougall said she would be happy to have him back.

“Mr. Lecce was very nice, and I would love to do a meeting like that again.”

Lori Bazelo is sure her students gained a lot from the visit.

“I know this was a very valuable experience for the students to have the opportunity to speak with the Education Minister about issues that affect their education journey. They have expressed to me that they felt honoured to have been chosen to represent their peers, and one of the girls went as far to say that she was grateful for the experience. They truly feel heard and valued. Being able to diplomatically express concerns and ask questions are skills that will serve them well. I am extremely proud of all of the participants who were involved, and I welcome other opportunities for all of our students. We can all be proud of the work we have done as a system to prepare our students for this ever-changing world, they have proven to be resilient and they are ready for the challenge!”

“I’m hoping I’ll be able to come visit Kenora soon. I really would love to come visit. I’ve been given advice it’s better to come, sort of, before November 15,” Minister Lecce said about an in person visit.

Approximately 178 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are participating in virtual learning through Kenora Catholic’s St. Isidore Virtual School.
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