Blueberry School
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Enhanced COVID Measures Announced

November 24, 2020 - With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across Alberta, the provincial government announced a series of enhanced public health measures to combat the surge putting a strain on the healthcare system.

The following statement was released from the Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange:

Alberta’s government introduced today a series of new COVID-19 measures that impacts various sectors in our communities. As part of these new measures, all Grades 7 to 12 students province-wide will move to at-home learning (Scenario 3 of the 2020-2021 School Re-Entry Plan) effective November 30. ECS to Grade 6 students will continue learning at school in-person under Scenario 1 until the winter break – as per school authority calendars.

After the winter break, all ECS to Grade 12 students across Alberta will be learning at-home for about a week depending on school authority calendars, and will return to Scenario 1 at school in-person learning on January 11, 2021. These shifts in learning surrounding the winter break are mandatory for all school authorities. 

As you are already aware, Parkland School Division has been busy planning to transition into yet another phase of learning made necessary by the recently announced series of enhanced public health measures to combat the COVID-19 surge putting a strain on the healthcare system.

Two important things to remember are this is only temporary, and we’ve all got this. Our lived experience through emergency learning last March and delivery of Option 2 (teacher supported at-home learning) has taught us a lot when it comes to remote learning.

The most significant change will be all Grades 7 to 12 students, province-wide, are moving to at-home learning (Scenario 3 of the 2020-2021 School Re-Entry Plan) effective November 30. ECS to Grade 6 students will continue learning at school in-person under Scenario 1 until the winter break – as per school authority calendars. (Until December 18th on PSD’s calendar)

While in-school transmission appears to be occurring at relatively low levels over the past three months, the temporary shift to at-home learning for junior high and high school students will help limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as alleviate operational and learning challenges. Requiring all students to stay home from school following the break is also intended to help reduce the impact of any exposures over the holidays.

After the winter break, all ECS to Grade 12 students across Alberta will be learning at-home for one week, and will return to Scenario 1 at school in-person learning on January 11, 2021. A reassessment will be done mid-December and the ability for schools to remain open for in-school learning will depend on our collective ability to bend the curve on rising COVID-19 cases. Please take the targeted health measures seriously and do your part to limit virus spread.

Unlike emergency learning at-home that was implemented last March, we thankfully have a few days to prepare for the switch. We have also learned a lot when it comes to teacher-supported at-home learning that has been ongoing for some students since the start of this school year.

Instructional Hours/Curricular Expectations

The next four weeks will not be like last spring. The scope and sequence of learning will be the same. The pace at which the curriculum is being delivered will remain the same. We ask that you please work with your children to reinforce the idea that we all still need to put in the work even though learning looks a little different.

The following instructional hours are minimums:

ECS – Grade 3

  • focus on language and mathematics learning outcomes that strengthen the development of literacy and numeracy
  • incorporate health curriculum outcomes (with a focus on mental health)
  • average of five hours of work per child or student per week

Grades 4-6

  • focus on language and mathematics learning outcomes that strengthen the development of literacy and numeracy
  • incorporate science, social studies and wellness (with a focus on mental health) curriculum outcomes
  • average of six to eight hours of work per student per week

Grades 7-9

  • focus on core mathematics, language/literacy, science, social studies and wellness (with a focus on physical and mental health) curriculum outcomes
  • average of 12 to 16 hours of work per student per week

Grades 10-12

  • average of 12 hours of work per 5-credit course per week; average of 6 hours of work per 3-credit course per week
  • focus on completing the courses they are currently enrolled in

For more details, please refer to pages 11-12 in Alberta Education’s 2020-2021 School Re-entry Plan when it describes expectations for Scenario 3.

The next detailed information on this transition for Grades 7-12 or for the online/remote learning for the week of January 4th for all learners will come directly from your child’s school and/or your classroom teacher.

Stay healthy and safe.

Shauna Boyce, Superintendent
Parkland School Division