• Denise Bjorkman

Update

An update from Central Office.


Information For Parents St. Paul Education acknowledges the many challenges we face in our community during these unprecedented times. The health and safety of our entire community are paramount and we wish the best for everyone. One of our many challenges is protecting our 600 staff members, while still providing our students with the best education possible under these circumstances. As we all adapt to this new learning environment we realize there are many questions and our commitment continues to be to keep our community and families informed. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience at this time.


1. Schools will remain open during normal office hours to answer any questions. In order to control the spread of COVID-19, outside doors will remain locked. We ask you to please call in advance to make an appointment to pick up your child’s belongings.


2. Beginning the week of April 6, teachers will be given the option of working from home for up to three days per week. We believe this appropriately balances the recommendations from our health professionals regarding social distancing and our commitment to the delivery of quality education.


3. Teachers will be informing their students of their schedule. Many teachers have also told us they will be at the school for more than 2 days per week. Rest assured, even on days when teachers are working from home, they will be providing instruction and will be available throughout the day. Learning will still continue when they are working from their homes.


4. Due to physical distancing measures, Parent/Teacher Interviews are cancelled. Teachers will be checking in regularly with parents and students during this time. Conversations shall take place regarding student progress during those conversations.


5. As directed by Alberta Education all students will be receiving a report card. We are still in the process of determining the best method to evaluate student learning. More information will be provided at a future date.


6. Learning will continue through a variety of online learning platforms, telephone calls, emails and learning packages. Teachers may be using a variety of technologies to provide learning for students. We acknowledge that using and understanding new technology can be uncomfortable and overwhelming to students and the adults in their lives. All students and families will be contacted by their school and/or teachers to discuss their learning plan, including how they can be contacted. If you have any concerns about the technology or other means of education delivery, discuss it with your child’s teacher directly.


7. Staff providing support for students with complex needs are working collaboratively with Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and other service providers to create programming that could be completed from home. Over the next two weeks, students who access these supports will be contacted by their school team. This includes our Early Intervention (PUF) students as well.


8. Mental Health supports (for example FSLWs (school counsellors) and Success Coaches) will continue to contact students/families to provide support. Please call the school as needed.


9. Our division career counsellors (and school staff) will be calling all our grade 12 students to ensure graduation requirements will be met. We can also try to answer any questions with respect to postsecondary applications, etc. Additionally, any student with questions about their programming or course selection can call the school.


10. Delivery of CTS courses will be dependent upon the nature of the CTS course. If a course can continue in whole or in part, the teacher will deliver the course accordingly. Some courses which had a practical or hands-on component may be limited to theory only. The teacher of those courses will inform the students and their families as to how the course will be delivered. The Principal may grant up to 15 CTS credits to grade 12 students who may be impacted by the current situation in order to enable the student to graduate.


11. Work Experience and Registered Apprenticeship Program have been suspended at this time. Students will only receive marks and credit reflecting the number of hours actually worked, and assessed or evaluated by the school. Dual Credit courses are courses offered in partnership with post-secondary institutions and delivered by those institutions. Continuation of those courses is the decision of those post-secondary institutions.


12. For the Green Certificate where students are involved in agriculture related work activities under the direction of experienced farm personal (trainers) and under the direction of a certificated teacher, the learner activities can continue. They must be supporting services that are involved with farming or producing food, have continued supervision of the teacher and follow the directions as outlined by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the COVID 19 pandemic. Students would complete courses to receive final marks and high school credits.


13. Alberta Education provided a Q & A resource for parents and school division. This document provides guidelines for the number of hours of instruction per grade level. Parents, our goal is to provide learning for your child but in no way overwhelm them. If you or your child is being overwhelmed by the amount of work being assigned, please contact your school administration. Additionally, please call the school if you are having difficulty using the application required by the teacher.


14. Students may have taken school resources (such as library books, textbooks, technology or musical instruments) home prior to students staying home from school. Individual schools will determine their own process to have those resources returned to the school. We will contact you to arrange a time for items to be returned. If you are in need of resources to continue your education at home, the school will decide if they are available to students during this time and the process for students to access those resources.


15. Students accessing their educational resources from home may experience challenges with their home internet bandwidth limits. If families experience issues with caps on their bandwidth or limits to speeds, we encourage you to contact your internet provider. Many internet providers are removing caps or download limits during this time of working from home, but that is a decision made by the internet service provider. Please also feel free to contact the school for technology support.


16. We are aware parents have paid fees to schools for various activities or program delivery, such as CTS, field trips, bussing or sports activities. We are in the process of reviewing all fees collected to determine what portion should be refunded. Please be patient and we shall contact you once the process and refund amounts are determined.


17. Contact your school regarding Kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year.


18. With respect to programming for next year, including high school course selection, we will be sending out more information at a later date.


19. Recently, we were notified by the Alberta Government of a 14% adjustment to support staff funding. We expect the full impact of this adjustment to be realized by April 30. 20. We will still be following the 2019-20 calendar with the exception of Professional Development (PD) days. PD Days will be treated as regular school days and you may receive work from teachers on those days. 21.


If you have any questions or concerns, please call the school office and your call will be appropriately directed.

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