The Alberta government issued guidelines today to direct student learning at home. In-school classes across the province were cancelled last week in efforts to limit spread of the COVID-19 virus and students have been out of school since March 16.
Schools plan to offer at-home learning through on-line methods or by providing course packages and telephone check-ins by teachers.
“Government expects that every student, regardless of their geographic location or socioeconomic status, will continue to learn while in-school classes across the province are cancelled. This includes students in public, separate, Francophone, charter and independent schools, and Indigenous students attending provincial schools,” the government said in a news release.
Classes for kindergarten through Grade 3 will focus on language and mathematics. Teachers are expected to assign five hours of work per week, on average, per student.
For Grades 4 to 6, the focus on language and math continues but science and social studies might be added “through cross-curricular learning,” the release said. Provision of five hours of work per week is expected for these grades too.
Grades 7 to 9 material will focus on core math, language, science and social studies, with an average 10 hours of work per student per week expected to be provided by teachers.
In Grades 10 to 12, content will be based on specified and core courses required for high school graduation, including English or French, social studies, math, biology, chemistry and physics.
“Content from other courses will be delivered where possible and accommodations for students unable to complete courses are in place,” the government said.
New guidelines are now in place for how students will learn while in-school classes are cancelled. They were developed with a focus on safety and providing boards with the flexibility required to meet the unique needs of their students. #abed #ableghttps://t.co/JDVaTF5W4T pic.twitter.com/4pPbBuQD3W
— Adriana LaGrange (@AdrianaLaGrange) March 20, 2020
Teachers are expected to provide an average of three hours of work per course per week and work with students and parents on delivery.
Students on track to earn 100 or more credits will be eligible to graduate this year and get a diploma. Principals will have some leeway in awarding up to 15 credits given the unusual circumstances.
Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests, as well as Grade 12 exams, are cancelled.
Resources for parents are available at LearnAlberta.ca.
“We’ve seen teachers across the province stepping up in a variety of ways to ensure students feel supported during these unprecedented times,” said Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association.
“This continuity plan is a great start for providing guidance and consistency for school boards and teachers to make sure learning continues and stability is provided for students.”