As an alternative to in-class learning school divisions are making at-home learning accessible for those who need it.
Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) and Wild Rose School Division (WRSD) have communicated three options with parents: in-school, at-home learning and homeschooling.
“What we’re really planning and hoping for as a goal, to be honest, is to have all of our students return to our schools and classes, but we also respect and understand some parents aren’t comfortable with that right now,” said Jayson Lovell, superintendent of schools at WCPS.
The programs are meant for students who have underlying medical conditions or other risk factors with the idea being to eventually bridge these students back into the classroom.
Brad Volkman, superintendent of schools at WRSD, says “other risk factors,” for all intents and purposes, could be a parents’ concern as they are not requiring doctor’s notes.
Lovell says the WCPS Virtual Learning Program will “provide parents with resources and materials which they can use to instruct their child at home until such time as we can bridge them back into the school.”
The district has hired two lead teachers who are responsible for checking in and working with parents and students in the program, but most of the responsibility will land on the parents.
The parent-directed and taught at-home learning will focus on core subjects with more expectations around the number of hours and amount of content covered than students saw in this past spring.
“We designed a program that’s flexible and it’s well resourced and actually should be, I think, fairly manageable for a family to take that information that we’re providing and use it,” said Lovell.
Students registered for teacher-directed at-home learning in WRSD schools will see a slightly different program with a similar delivery as the spring.
Volkman says when the Province had students switch to at-home learning in the spring they limited teachers to the essential objectives and outcomes, and limited the amount of homework, heading into the 2020/21 school year this will not be the case.
“Right now for this coming year we’re in Scenario One which means we are required to teach the entire curriculum to all students, whether they’re at home or they’re in the classroom,” he explained.
He says parents and students should expect their at-home learning to look more like a regular school day because of this.