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Covenant House’s high school remains closed, but access to supportive learning is available for our young people. Youth can continue with their studies through online learning and have the added remote support from staff like Zulma, our Education Support Worker.

She explains that “students have been greatly affected by COVID-19 since the school closed at March break.”

Many of the youth attending our school rely on Covenant House for meals. Often, sitting down to have breakfast together is the first thing they do before starting the school day.

Outside of the classroom, youth may also be struggling to stay connected. Some do not have access to a computer for online learning in their home. Going to the library is not an option like it once was.

For many students, Zulma notes, “Covenant House is their only sense of community and support system. When they are unable to come to school, they miss it.”

Our dedicated staff are doing what they can to help youth access their courses online, stay on top of their schoolwork and feel encouraged to continue pursuing their goals.

Youth can get one-on-one support by phone or email, and when it’s an option, teleconference. Those without access to computers are using their cell phones to get assignments completed.

Youth can even choose to submit a photo of their assignment for grading. During times like these, offering young people flexibility is essential to ensure our high school remains accessible, limits youth frustrations and meets their needs.

Zulma shares that, “it has been beneficial for both staff and youth to keep in touch over email and phone. Right now, this is our primary form of communication.”

The school’s online learning tool includes various life skill activities youth can choose to complete. Some recent posts included a video to guided meditation, at-home creative art activities and budgeting resources to help youth with challenges they may be facing.

Many of the youth have expressed that school is allowing them to focus their mind and energy on something other than the pandemic. Until students can be back in the classroom at our on-site high school, staff are helping youth navigate online learning, stay positive and build a new virtual community.