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Update on Student Learning

We are in unprecedented territory as we move to an entirely new way of delivering the curriculum to our students. Our staff are working hard to ensure that your children receive the education they need to progress to the next level by the end of June. As we work through this time with our staff, students, parents and community, we know that there will be many questions. We are committed to keeping our families up to date on any major decisions or events that will impact their children's education.

While we continue to work with Alberta Education on plans to ensure the delivery of your child's education, the health of our students, our staff and our community is our priority. We miss our students but we know that we can still make those important connections as we start out on this new learning path together. 

To view a message from Superintendent Sumners, please click here.


Alberta Education Learn from Home resources

Alberta Education has provided a list of resources available in English and French to support student learning from home during the pandemic. 


April 3 Update

Our Board of Trustees wrote to the Minister of Education to express their concerns about the latest round of funding cuts and the way in which these cuts were announced. Read the letter here


March 29 Update

On March 28, the provincial government announced it was reducing funding to all school divisions. Read the announcement here

Our Superintendent sent this message home to families on March 29:

Dear St. Albert Public Schools Families:

Our priorities throughout this pandemic have been your child's wellbeing and their education.  By now, you have all likely heard of the provincial government’s decision to reduce funding to school divisions, and their subsequent direction to begin laying off many support staff. As you can imagine, we are extremely disheartened by this decision. When the government first announced that schools would close, they stated that regular funding would continue, and we developed our plans accordingly. We value all of our staff and we have been working hard these last two weeks to put plans in place to support our students through this new way of learning and teaching. These plans included ALL of our staff. We may be delivering the curriculum in a new way, but we know the need to provide extra supports to our students still exists, and this was a valuable role we planned on having our support staff fill. 

However, we are suddenly, and with no warning, faced with a new reality right before we are ready to start down this new learning path. We are now working with the school administration teams to put new plans in place. While we are uncertain at this point what this will look like, we want to reassure you that your child’s education remains our top priority. We will work together to ensure that we continue to support your children as best we can.

We are extremely concerned about our staff who will be impacted by this, and today, our thoughts are with them as they navigate these uncertainties. This is an extremely difficult time in education and beyond, and we appreciate your support, understanding and patience as we work through another new challenge together. We will provide more information as plans are finalized. 

Sincerely,
Krimsen Sumners,
Superintendent of Schools


Common Questions

How long will this last?

The government has closed schools indefinitely. There is no indication if schools will reopen this school year. 

How will my child's education be delivered?

Our staff are working to establish and utilize new online methods of delivery. Our division uses the Google suite of products, and therefore many connections will be made via Google Hangouts, etc.

What if I don't have a computer at home for my child to use?

Each school has a bank of devices (Chromebooks, etc.) that can be signed out for the duration of the closure.

Will the schools be open?

Our schools are closed to the public. If you haven't yet picked up your child's materials, please contact the school to make arrangements.

Will diploma exams be held?

The provincial government has announced that diploma exams will not take place this year.

Will fees be refunded?

If you are paying monthly for items like Preschool, Athletic Academy or full-day Kindergarten, fees will not be collected for April, May or June unless students are directed back to classes for those months. Information regarding possible partial refunds or credits for fees already paid are being determined. 

Updates

March 20

Alberta Education has released information on continuity of student learning and content delivery. We would like to draw attention to their decision to cancel Grade 12 diploma exams. Under special circumstances, students can request to write a diploma exam -- please talk to your teacher or principal. To view the announcement, please click here
 
To view the letter to parents from the Minister of Education, please click here.   Our schools are on spring break the week of March 23-27. On Monday, March 30, students and families will hear from their child's school about how our staff will be delivering the curriculum. 

March 16

Student learning
Instruction will be paused for the next two weeks. We will be looking into instructional alternatives for students after spring break. We know families have a lot of questions about student learning and we will release more information as it becomes available.  You can expect an update early next week. 

The Alberta Government has confirmed:

  • Every student will receive a final mark and students will progress to their next grade level for the next school year.
  • Provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests, will be cancelled.
  • At this time, diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue.
  • Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.


March 15

Alberta Health Services and the provincial government have announced that all schools are closed until further notice. We sent the following home to our families this evening:

Dear St. Albert Public Schools Families:

In today’s update from the provincial government, it was announced that all schools, post-secondary institutions and licensed daycares in the province will be closed immediately until further notice. Here are the highlights from today’s announcement:

  • The decision was made with the safety of students, staff and families in mind. Community cases which have not been associated with travel have been identified in the province and this has triggered this next level of action.
  • School authorities are expected to continue their day-to-day operations.
  • Teachers and staff are expected to come to work as usual.
  • Longer term, PATs are being cancelled, however the current plan is for diploma exams to go ahead, but they have noted that this could change.
  • Students will receive a final grade and will progress to the next grade level as usual in the fall, and students who were on track to graduate Grade 12 this year will graduate.
  • The provincial government is working with post-secondary institutions to ensure admissions will not be jeopardized by this situation.

This is an unprecedented move in our province and many details are still being worked out. After spring break, we will provide details on alternate curriculum delivery and resources. Schools will not be open to students and parents on Monday, March 16th.  Your child’s school will communicate with you about how you can pick up text books, personal items, etc. within the next day or two.

Information regarding partial refunds or credits of fees (e.g. bus fees) will be forthcoming after spring break once we have a better idea of how long schools will be closed.

Please continue to follow the AHS guidelines about travel, self-care and monitoring. This is the most challenging issue our division and our province, and indeed the world, has faced but we will work together to meet these challenges as best we can. We are working on solutions across the division and we ask that you minimize contact with individual teachers at this time. When we have more details, we will share them with you. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we work out the details to meet the learning needs of your children in the weeks to come.



Sincerely,
Glenys Edwards                                                                   Krimsen Sumners
Board Chair                                                                         Superintendent of Schools


March 12

The Alberta government is advising the following:

  • at this time, schools and daycares can remain open but no more than 250 individuals should be in the same room at any given time
    events that have more than 250 attendees should be cancelled
  • travel outside the country is not recommended and Albertans who are returning to Canada should self-isolate upon their return for 14 days
  • Our school division is cancelling field trips and events where more than 250 students would gather. Other events are being decided on a case-by-case basis. There are no known cases (confirmed or presumptive) of COVID-19 in our schools. 

What you can do
Alberta Health has set the current risk level in our province at “low.” However, we are still in influenza season, so to minimize spread of any respiratory virus, Alberta Health recommends the following: 

  • Make sure everyone in your household washes their hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if hands are not visibly dirty. 
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. 
  • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it in a garbage bin lined with a plastic bag. Wash your hands immediately after that. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve. 
  • Stay home if you’re sick. If your kids are sick, keep them home from school. 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are used often and shared by everyone in your home. 
  • Contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health.

Travel Plans
As spring break approaches, we know some of our families and staff have travel plans. If you are going on a trip, please consult the Government of Canada travel advisory website before you leave for the most recent information about possible risks.


Useful Links:

World Health Organization

Health Canada

Alberta Health

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