Important Parent Update: Changes to K-12 Education |

Important Parent Update: Changes to K-12 Education

On November 24, 2020, the provincial government declared a public health emergency in Alberta due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases. In addition to a number of public health orders related to social gatherings, worship services and businesses, there were also new restrictions placed on school jurisdictions that will affect all Prairie Rose students, especially those in grades 7-12. These students will be moving to Scenario 3 Learning from Home starting next week. In Prairie Rose, this will result in approximately 1,300 students transitioning to remote learning.

How does this change impact my child?
In addition to moving junior high and high school students to Scenario 3 Learning from Home, all students in grades K-12 will participate in Scenario 3 Learning from Home for the first full-week back to school in January after the Christmas break. The changes mean the following schedule will be in place from November 30, 2020 until January 11, 2021 across Prairie Rose.

Nov 30 - Dec 18 ECS Kindergarten - Grade 6 Grades 7 - Grade 12
Learning at School Yes Yes No
Learning from Home No No Yes

 

Jan 4 - Jan 8 ECS Kindergarten - Grade 6 Grades 7 - Grade 12
Learning at School No No No
Learning from Home No Yes Yes

 

Jan 11 ECS Kindergarten - Grade 6 Grades 7 - Grade 12
Learning at School Yes Yes Yes

 

Exceptions related to in school and at home learning will only be considered based on student need and support, lack of connectivity, or due to classroom configurations such as split classes.  All exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please contact your school principal if you have any questions or concerns.

How is Scenario 3 Learning from Home different now than it was in the spring?
Unlike when all students learned from home this past spring, completion of all coursework is required and marks will reflect the effort. Junior high and high school students WILL be expected to attend classes via Google Meets throughout the school day just as they would if they were in the school. Teachers will be teaching and marking attendance daily and completion of assignments is expected. Please remind your junior and high school students of their responsibility during this transition and why it is important they stay engaged through the four weeks of Scenario 3 Learning from Home. Instruction will continue to progress during this timeframe and students who do not stay current will fall behind their peers and may be in jeopardy of not passing their courses. If your home does not have reliable internet connectivity, please contact your school principal to discuss alternative learning options.

How can I help my child be successful at home?
There are many ways parents can help their children be successful through the transition to Scenario 3 Learning from Home. Here are a few ways we encourage parents to help support their children:

  • Have a conversation with your child about expectations of the learning from home model
  • Establish a routine
  • Have your student ready to learn in the morning by making sure they get up on time, are dressed, eat breakfast and are ready to learn when class begins
  • Set up a space for learning, outside of their bedroom, without distractions
  • Explain the importance of using their Chromebook cameras, as face to face instruction supports learning engagement
  • Take an active approach in engaging your child’s teacher to inquire about your child’s progress 
  • Have a conversation with your child at the end of each school day to check in on progress and determine whether they are feeling successful

Will grade 12 students still be required to write diploma exams?
All diploma exams for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year are now optional. The decision to write diploma exams resides with students and their families. Students will receive an exemption if they choose not to write an exam, however, if an exam is written it will continue to be worth 30% of their final mark. This decision carries through until the end of August 2021. 

How else will schools be impacted by the recent announcement?
Here are a few questions we’ve heard from staff and parents following the announcement on November 24, 2020. If you have other questions, please contact your school principal or classroom teacher.

  • The province has committed to maintain all funding for schools throughout the Nov 30 - Jan 11 modified calendar period. 
  • There will be no reduction in staffing and all employees will continue to work. This includes all support staff and bus drivers. 
  • Bus transportation will continue for all K-6 students. Your driver will be in touch with you if your start/end time is impacted by the discontinuation of junior high and senior high students on the route.
  • Allocated supports for junior high and high school students will continue such as EA assistance, speech, counselling, etc. These services just might be provided in different ways. Your school will be in touch with you to discuss options.
  • We want resources in the hands of students. Schools will work with students to ensure they have books, technology, and other resources to be successful at home. 
  • Information and details related to academy programs will be communicated directly to impacted families by the end of the week. 
  • Junior high and senior high schools will be sending out additional information to students/parents outlining learning expectations for the four week Scenario 3 Learning at Home period.
  • Prior to the Christmas break, teachers in grades K-6 will provide parents with learning plans for the week of Jan 4 - Jan 8.

We acknowledge this transition to Scenario 3 Learning from Home is not optimal for some families, but we will get through this. Our staff understands how important it is to keep students moving forward with their learning and Prairie Rose is committed to ensuring this happens. As parents, I encourage you to continue to support your child and be engaged with their learning. COVID-19 may keep us from being in one building, but we will continue to learn together. I would like to thank each of you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this challenging year.

Sincerely,

Roger Clarke
Superintendent, Prairie Rose Public Schools