BARRIE -- Elementary school students at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board won't follow the high school students' hybrid learning model.

The decision not to switch to the hybrid model was made by the school board Wednesday night.

"We looked at our data and looked to see how we could make it work, says Superintendent of Education Kim Weishar.

"We determined it was probably the best option at this point to maintain our virtual school model for our younger learners in our elementary schools."

Secondary schools at the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board recently switched to a hybrid learning model, blending students who are face to face with their teacher with students who are learning from home online.

Board officials say they're aiming to provide some stability for families and students who already adapted to the virtual school system, but from now on, students will not be able to bounce between being in a class and virtual lessons.

"If a student does want to change in the mode of learning, they will have to apply for that change, and then they will have to wait until there's a spot in the face to face school or the virtual school for that to be accommodated," says Weishar.

The board is also making changes to how it handles snow days. Schools will be closed, but they expect students to continue with their lessons online from home to keep up in the quadmester.

"Missing one day of school because of inclement weather would be the equivalent of missing four days of school," says SMCDSB Communications Pauline Stevenson, "so it's really important that our secondary students take part in the asynchronous classes."

The school board says it will be sending letters home with information for all parents to help explain the changes.