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Online Learning

Our staff across the division care deeply about students, and are committed to ensuring they continue to have access to high quality learning environments during these challenging times.

On July 21, the Government of Alberta announced that in-person classes will resume in September. However, if you choose to keep your child home, know that we have been preparing over the last several months to ensure that students receive a high-quality education online.

Please note: parent/guardian support is required for successful online learning and will depend on the age of the student and their individual ability to work independently. An online school approach relies on the parents/guardians to ensure the child is engaging with the learning and completing assignments. Parents/guardians should consider the learning nature of their child, their level of independence as learners, and the availability of parents/guardians to provide support when accessing this approach to instruction.

What is online learning?

Online learning offers a structured learning environment in which students engage with their teachers. Students will be part of a learning group with an assigned online teacher. This learning format will include real-time online teacher instruction as well was directed activities and assignments that students complete independently.

  • Your child’s online teacher may not be a staff member at the school where your child is enrolled. Students in an online learning group will often be from more than one division school, although they remain enrolled in the school where they registered for 2020–21.
  • Online instruction will cover all the required areas of the provincial curriculum. Teaching will focus primarily on the core subject areas: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and, additionally for French Immersion students, French Language Arts.
  • We are exploring meaningful ways to support French Immersion students in high school but we cannot guarantee that all core subjects will be offered in French. At a minimum, we will support French Immersion programming in French Language Arts and Social Studies. We are also exploring opportunities to support French Immersion high courses in a module format. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.
  • The real-time online teaching is known as synchronous learning - learning that happens at a specific time of the day when students and the teacher interact with each other. It’s similar to in-class instruction, but uses the virtual platform, Google Meet.
  • Other learning activities that students complete independently are known as asynchronous learning - activities assigned by the teacher that students complete throughout the day, in addition to teacher instruction. This may include learning through pre-recorded videos, practicing learned skills, engaging in activities, tasks or projects, and assessments.
Online learning is:   Online learning is not: 
Student-centred, flexible and engaging Easier or less work
Supported by a parent/caregiver Home schooling
Taught by a certified teacher Taught by a parent or guardian 
Organized to each Alberta's approved curriculum                           Correspondence booklets 
Possibly supported by an educational assistant  


Online learning will begin September 8th. Teachers will touch base with registered online students the week prior to ensure they are set up and ready to begin instruction.

The school year will be divided into four instructional quarters. By registering for online learning, you are committing to attend the online school for a quarter. A student may move between online and in-school learning at the quarter breaks. To make a change, parents will be responsible for completing a quarterly registration form.

online learning dates

How to register for Quarter 1

Registration for Quarter 1 is now closed. Please check back here for deadlines for registration for Quarter 2. 

What to expect

Students who choose to participate in a quarter of online learning will take part in daily online classes and learning activities. The length of these activities will depend on the child's grade. Students need to be available to connect with their teacher every day. They will also be expected complete asynchronous learning activities during the times they are not engaged with the teacher. 

  • Online courses will be delivered using Google Meet, Google Classroom and other secure applications.
  • Teachers will provide engaging, curriculum-based lessons that require students to actively participate.
  • Teachers will assess assignments and progress to support students and determine a final grade.
  • Teachers across the division are following a common schedule to cover the curriculum quarterly. This will make transitions between online and in-school learning smoother.
  • Students will have access to individual or small-group instruction - scheduled meetings between the teacher and small groups of students to check in on progress, complete assessments and provide feedback to students.
  • Teaching will follow provincial learning outcomes - statements about knowledge or skills that Alberta Education requires us to teach.
  • Diploma exams are scheduled for 30-level courses at the end of each quarter. Students will need to attend the exam sessions in person to obtain a final grade for 30-level diploma courses. Note: diploma exams are administered in person and will adhere to physical distancing guidelines. Students will be required to wear a mask while taking their exams.

Supports for students with special education needs

For students with identified learning needs, parents may choose for them to attend in-person classes or register for online learning.

Given the unique nature of each student’s Individual Program Plan, parents must recognize that not all supports are transferable to an online learning environment. This online learning approach will require parental involvement and assistance. Families will need to determine their registration decision based on their child and circumstances.

All students with special education needs who engage in online learning must be available for real time learning as scheduled by the teacher for all students in the class at the same time.

We are working on the following to ensure students with special education needs receive ongoing support if registering in online learning. Please note the following:

  • Referrals for services and support will continue through the Inclusive Learning Team.
  • Teachers will continue to follow the process of IPP/ILP development and plan for the necessary instructional accommodations and/or supports identified for students. The type and manner of accommodations and/or supports may be impacted as a result of the online format.
  • In-home supports and services will not be provided.
  • Our evaluation of available supports is ongoing.

What online learning will look like

St. Albert Public Schools