Division News Article

Year End Q&A

May 21st, 2020

About nine weeks has passed since the province announced the closure of all K-12 schools. The professionalism demonstrated by our staff has been outstanding but we know that learning-at-home has posed various challenges for families. The spring weather may be tempting students to put aside their assignments and pursue other activities; a June phenomenon that school staff know all too well.

The conditions for learning-at-home includes a focus on the most critical learning outcomes and a reduction to the amount of work expected from students. We owe it to our students to make sure that we do not reduce expectations any further by shortening the school year.

Thank you for everything you have done to support the continuity of learning. We ask that you push on for the five weeks remaining in the school year.

We’ve put together this list of questions and answers to help guide school staff and families through the rest of the school year.

When is the last day of school?
June 26

How long will teachers provide learning-at-home materials for students?
Typically, teachers would provide instruction at least until the last week of school. Students should be provided opportunities to continue their learning at least until Friday, June 19.

What will students be doing in the last week of June?
In a normal setting, the last week usually includes sports days, local field trips and picnics for elementary school students and final exams for junior and senior high students.

Since track and field days cannot be held now, teachers and schools can be creative in the ways their students can be engaged in different activities in the final week. Ideas include video recordings of students doing physical activities similar to track and field events.

Final assessments can still be completed by junior high and senior high students during the final week.

How will teachers supervise exams?
Teachers can consider ‘open-book’ assessments or other projects through which students can demonstrate their understanding of key learning outcomes.

How will final grades be determined?
AP 60-10 says that Grade 9 PATs and Diploma Exams are part of the final grade. Teachers will need to adjust their grading system to exclude provincial standardized assessments.

As always, the student’s final mark is ultimately based on the teacher’s professional judgment of the student’s achievement of the learning outcomes.

When should report cards go out?
No sooner than the last day of school

When do we bring school-owned resources (textbooks and chromebooks) back to school?
Textbooks, Chromebooks and other school-owned resources can be returned during the final week of June, as per schedules determined by your school.

Can we have a farewell for the class of students leaving? (Grade 6’s or 9’s)?
The division and schools will not authorize any type of gathering for students and or their families. We are in the midst of a pandemic and while Alberta is in the first stages of a re-launch of the economy, gatherings continue to pose risks.

We prefer to err on the side of caution rather than risk the health and safety of our students, families and the community.

Will there be graduation ceremonies for Grade 12’s?
The three community high schools are working with their grad classes and their families on a meaningful way to honor the hard work of their graduates.

Plans cannot include gatherings but might involve alternate ways to celebrate the success of the students and the completion of this phase of their learning.