Following the March 20 release of online learning guidelines by Alberta Education, Rocky View Schools (RVS) has shared details of its learning plan, "which will ensure all students are provided with at-home learning opportunities into the foreseeable future."
"We understand that many families are experiencing significant turmoil and disruption in their daily lives," wrote RVS superintendent of schools Greg Luterbach in a letter to parents on March 25. "As such, RVS’ plan was carefully crafted to provide a flexible approach to at-home learning for our students and those who are supporting them during this unprecedented situation."
This first tier of the plan comes into effect March 30, and, as per Alberta Education guidelines, focuses on the delivery of core literacy/numeracy learning outcomes from kindergarten to Grade 3, with the addition of science and social for grades 4 to 9, according to RVS.
The focus for grades 10 to 12 will be on courses required for graduation, including English and French language arts, social studies, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. Families with students enrolled in RVS’ Preschool Intervention Program will also receive guidance to support learning at home.
In accordance with provincial guidelines, students in kindergarten to Grade 6 can expect an average of five hours of work per week, while workload for students in grades 7 to 9 jumps to 10 hours per week and high-school students can expect a weekly commitment of three hours per course.
The second tier, to be launched April 6, will offer “optional programming” for students in grades 10 to 12. According to RVS, high-school principals will work with option teachers to identify courses where at-home delivery is possible, and will announce on April 6 the courses that will continue to be available.
Tier two option teachers will then reach out to students enrolled in their classes to determine whether they wish to continue with the course. At that time, students will be given an outline of course content and expectations. Following the Easter break, instruction will begin in optional courses.
"As outlined in the plan, teachers have been directed to evaluate the key outcomes not yet covered in class to prioritize the content to be covered based on what is manageable for students working from home," Luterbach wrote.
Following the release of the plan, teachers reached out to parents to "identify students’ access to technology, to help determine how best to deliver at-home learning for individual families," according to Luterbach. While the division acknowledged not all students have access to required technology for online learning, "schools have a limited number of devices to loan and will try to accommodate families in need." Caregivers of students accessing a device from the school will be required to sign a loan agreement upon pick-up of the device.
In addition, the division said accommodations can be made for families that require their child’s learning materials in a paper-based format, and teachers will "communicate directly with these families to identify the process for picking up and returning learning packages from their child’s school."
Teachers of students with special needs "will review each student’s success plan to identify strategies that can be easily translated into home-life and learning," RVS said, adding child development assistants and/or school counsellors will maintain connection with students, guardians and families, "with a focus on social and emotional well-being."
Starting March 30, Luterbach said, teachers will e-mail weekly learning plans with specific tasks and activities for students, along with suggestions for physical literacy activities.
"Families can rest assured that regular teacher connection will be a priority, to ensure the health, wellness and safety of our students during this unprecedented time," Luterbach wrote.
RVS said schools have been asked to ensure no more than two summative assessments – quizzes, book reports or assignments – per week for any one student, regardless of the number of courses the student is currently enrolled in.
"As is the normal process, marks and comments will be posted in RVS’ PowerSchool Parent Portal," according to the details of the plan.
For more information, visit rockyview.ab.ca
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