Classes in Sylvan Lake move online beginning Monday

Students in Chinook’s Edge schools will begin working online beginning March 23

Chinook’s Edge School Division has a new plan in place to continue educating Sylvan Lake students during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Since it was announced on March 15 that schools would be closing indefinitely, the school board and staff at Chinook’s Edge have been hard at work coming up with a plan.

Beginning March 23, students within the division will be working digitally to finish off the school year and continue with the learning process.

Kurt Sacher, superintendent with Chinook’s Edge, says what the course work will look like will be different from school to school, class to class and grade to grade.

“Our teachers have been very creative and have stepped up the challenge,” Sacher said.

Each school in the district will be communicating with parents about the new developments and how each class and grade will be continuing with its education.

Sacher says teachers are using Google Classroom to deliver the curriculum.

“We are morally obligated to see to it that our students receive an education, even during this difficult time,” said Sacher.

Chinook’s Edge will continue to provide teacher-lead educations to students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.

The approach derived by the staff at Chinook’s Edge aligns with plans put into place by the Province for the same thing.

Announced March 20, the Provincial Government along with Alberta School Boards Association, the College of Alberta School Superintendents, the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Association of Independent Schools & Colleges of Alberta developed an approach which will benefit students while ensuring everyone’s safety.

Content delivery for each grade, according to the Province, is broken down as follows:

Kindergarten – Grade 3

• Education content will focus on language/literacy and mathematics/numeracy outcomes of the provincial curriculum.

• Teachers will assign an average of five hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

Grades 4-6

• Education content will continue to focus on language/literacy and mathematics/numeracy outcomes, and there will be opportunity to incorporate science and social studies outcomes through cross-curricular learning.

• Teachers will assign an average of five hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

Grades 7-9

• Education content will focus on core mathematics, language/literacy, science and social studies curriculum outcomes.

• Teachers will assign an average of 10 hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

Grades 10-12

• Education content will focus on specified and core courses required for high school graduation requirements, including language (English, French and French language arts), social studies, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics.

• Content from other courses will be delivered where possible, and accommodations for students unable to complete courses are in place.

• Teachers will assign an average of 3 hours of work per course per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

“Students will be expected to continue with the learning through this new format, and achieve the necessary achievement markers,” said Sacher.

Staff up to now have been focusing on content delivery for future lessons. Moving forward the focus will shift to how to properly deliver assessment to students in the new format.

Students in Grade 12 will continue to work on the courses they need to graduate.

The Province has cancelled all diploma and P.A.T exams scheduled for April and June of this year.

“Students on track to receive 100 or more credits will still be eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma. Principals have the ability to award up to 15 credits to students in Grade 12 whose program has been negatively impacted by class cancellations. For any courses that are started, schools will complete them with the student to the best of their ability, provide a final mark and award credits,” a press release from the province states.

Sacher says there has been no decisions made as far as a graduation ceremony at this time.

“It is still too far away, so we are not making any decisions on that yet. We will assess grad ceremonies when we get closer to the date, if things haven’t cleared up by then,” Sacher said.

Sacher says he is grateful for the understanding of parents and the hard work of staff during the uncertain time.

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