By Lethbridge Herald on March 20, 2020.
Alberta Education has announced new guidelines are in place to direct how students will learn while in-school classes are cancelled due to the provincial health emergency. The province has worked with the Alberta School Boards Association, the College of Alberta School Superintendents, the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Association of Independent Schools & Colleges of Alberta to identify how to continue teacher-directed learning for students across Alberta.
“I want to thank every Albertan involved in our province’s education system. Everyone has come together to chart a path forward as part of our COVID-19 response — teachers, support staff, superintendents, administrators, elected trustees, parents, education associations, the provincial government and many others. It is important that Albertans know that we are all working towards the same goal — to provide the best possible learning situation for our students during this very challenging and unprecedented time,” said Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange in a release.
For all kindergarten to Grade 12 students, school authorities will offer at-home learning, either online means or through other methods, such as course packages and telephone check-ins. The province expects every student, regardless of their geographic location or socioeconomic status, will continue to learn while in-school classes across the province are cancelled. To identify what content needs to be delivered, teachers will evaluate curricular outcomes that have not yet been covered, prioritize remaining outcomes based on what is manageable for students working from home, and will plan specific tasks and projects for students. For kindergarten to Grade 3, content will focus on language/literacy and mathematics/numeracy of the provincial curriculum. Teachers will assign an average of five hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials. In Grades 4-6, content will continue to focus on language/literacy and mathematics/numeracy, and there will be opportunity to incorporate science and social studies outcomes through cross-curricular learning. Teachers will assign an average of five hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.For Grades 7-9, content will focus on core mathematics, language/literacy, science and social studies curriculum. Teachers will assign an average of 10 hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.For Grades 10-12, content will focus on specified and core courses required for high school graduation requirements, including English, French and French language arts, social studies, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. Content from other courses will be delivered where possible, and accommodations for students unable to complete courses are in place. Teachers will assign an average of three hours of work per course per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials. Every student will receive final grades and will receive a report card. Teachers will be responsible for assessing a student’s progress and assigning a final grade. All students who were on track to progress to the next grade will. Where possible, schools will work with high school students to complete their courses to the best of their ability, providing a final mark and awarding credits. If a student is unable to complete a course that would have allowed them to progress to the next grade, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure student progression.Students on track to receive 100 or more credits will still be eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma. Principals have the ability to award up to 15 credits to students in Grade 12 whose program has been negatively impacted by class cancellations. For any courses that are started, schools will complete them with the student to the best of their ability, provide a final mark and award credits.If the student is unable to complete a course that would have led them to achieving a high school diploma, such as a work experience or a career and technology studies course, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure the student graduates. All Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests and Grade 12 diploma exams are cancelled. Under special circumstances, students can request to write a diploma exam. Students wishing to do so should speak to their teacher and school administrator. Parents may want to supplement student learning by providing their children with additional resources. The following provincial resources are available to parents:
• LearnAlberta.ca: more than 4,000 digital resources aligned with Alberta’s K-12 curriculum.
• My Child’s Learning: A Parent Resource: provides parents with information specific to each grade level.