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RVS offers online learning option

Rocky View Schools (RVS) students who don’t feel comfortable returning to school because of the COVID-19 pandemic, now have the option to learn online.
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Rocky View Schools (RVS) has outlined its online school program for the fall. Photo by Kate F. Mackenzie/Airdrie City View.

Rocky View Schools (RVS) students who don’t feel comfortable returning to school because of the COVID-19 pandemic now have the option to learn online.

 

“RVS recognizes not all students will be able to return to the classroom this year…and they need a quality online option,” said RVS Board Chair Fiona Gilbert in a press release. “With the safety and well-being of our students and staff at the heart of everything we do, the RVS team has worked hard to design an online program that will help grade 1 to 12 students achieve the necessary learning outcomes.”

 

RVS released details on its online learning option Aug. 14. According to Superintendent Greg Luterbach, any families who choose online schooling this fall will see a more robust expectation compared to this past spring. Students enrolled for online learning will be assigned the same amount of work as their peers in the classroom, he said.

 

“This will be the full learning experience and similar to what students will be having face-to-face,” he said. “The hours of work will be similar or the same as if they were attending face-to-face.”

 

Luterbach said with increased hours and more curriculum to cover compared to the spring, parents need to be available to provide support if they’ve chosen the online format.

 

“This isn’t going to be one hour a day like it was in the spring, this is going to be five hours,” he said.

 

Luterbach said students in grades 1 to 9 would be grouped with peers from their school in the online classes.

 

Along with the independent learning, Google or Zoom meetings with their classmates will likely occur twice a day, he said.

 

According to Luterbach, high school students in the online classes will have a more self-paced learning experience than those in younger grades.

 

“They’ll be signed up for core courses that they’ll do online, and they’ll have access to support from a teacher,” Luterbach said. “They might have some activities they have to do via Zoom, but in most cases, students will work at their own pace and work through those courses.”

 

Assessments, papers, reports and exams are part of the online program, and Luterbach said it’s essential students are comfortable using the technology.

 

He added that understanding the expectations of online learning is important as the deadline to enroll is Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. Once families make their decision, they cannot change formats until the new year.

 

“We want everyone to make an informed decision,” he said. “Then they’re going to need to stick to it until the end of January, and then there could be some swapping.”

 

Assessing how your child learns best and ensuring family support is in place is important to making the decision, he said.

 

Luterbach recommended parents ask themselves what supports will be in place to support their child’s development and learning.

 

He asks parents to fill out the Learning Intent Form, found on the RVS website at rockyview.ab.ca, where parents can state the method of learning they will enroll their child in.

 

According to Luterbach, RVS has received about 5,000 responses so far and hopes to receive the remaining 21,000.

 

”It’s a quick one-minute online form, and we really need to hear from every family about each one of their children before Aug. 24,” Luterbach said.

 

“We want everybody to make an informed decision...because certainly both us [the RVS board] and families want their children to be successful.”

Kate F. Mackenzie, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on Twitter @katefmack


Kate F. Mackenzie

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