At-Home Learning

August 31, 2020 Update

At-Home Learning registrations to start this week are closed. If you want to request At-Home Learning please send requests to Mr. Magierowski magierowskit@holyspirit.ab.ca and he will attempt to set it up for next week. 

Our school division tech department is working on building classes for at-home learning and at-home teachers don’t have access to all of the contact information for the students who have registered.  Several of the parent email addresses put into the at-home registration have bounced back due to typos and security settings.  So, please be patient as we get all of the technical glitches taken care of for more effective communication with parents of at-home learners.  While at-home learning will begin tomorrow, we are anticipating a very soft entry into the curriculum-based lessons. 

August 12, 2020

Good evening everyone,

Please read this important letter from Ken Sampson, our Superintendent of Schools, regarding at-home learning. Also, please click on the ‘Question and Answer’ document near the end of his letter.

August 12, 2020

To Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,

We are indeed grateful to families for entrusting your child(ren) to our care.  Mindful of the many pieces of communication that have come your way in the past number of months, the COVID-19 landscape is shifting all the time and we will continue to keep you abreast of what we envision September 1st to be.   As we all know, we are in very unique circumstances, which requires extraordinary measures on so many fronts.  

On July 21, 2020, the provincial government announced that all schools will be starting back physically in September, in a “Near-Normal” context, with a variety of health measures in place, including the mandatory use of masks for all staff as well as for all students from grades 4-12.  Mask use for children in Kindergarten to grade 3 is optional.  At-home learning is designed as a temporary arrangement for students to remain registered at their Holy Spirit school while completing their education program at home primarily in a digital format and supported by a Holy Spirit teacher.  Families opting for at-home learning will have the ability to return to in-school instruction. Requests for change must be provided in writing to school administration at least one month prior to returning.  

While we recognize that the best place for student learning is in the classroom, a number of you have indicated that you would prefer to have your child(ren) enrolled in at-home learning to begin the 2020-21 school year, and we understand and support your decision.  To assist us in determining specific numbers, please register for at-home learning at this link.

Key considerations:

●     Parent involvement / support is the key to the success of at-home learning and essential to the success of younger students. Involvement will look different depending on the grade level of the student. The younger the student, the more supervision and support is required.

●     Students will be required to attend a number of online face-to-face sessions throughout the week with their teacher or teachers, depending on the grade level. In order for students to maximize their at-home learning opportunities, attendance in all online sessions is mandatory, just as if they were attending classes at school.  Students who miss an online session will be required to catch up with a recorded version of the session. Aside from potential lesson content, this will ensure that students have an opportunity to be assessed, ask questions, confirm ideas, participate in classroom collaborative activities and build learning relationships as would be expected of them in a traditional class setting.

●     In addition, there will be opportunities to engage in instruction independently through  pre-recorded videos, digital assignments and practice work provided by the teacher in the online platform.  This is often referred to asynchronous learning.

●     At-home learning will focus instruction in the five core subjects of Religion, English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies in grades 4-9 (Religion, English Language Arts and Math while integrating Science and Social Studies for grades 1-3). 

●     Regardless of the option chosen by parents (in-school or at-home learning), accommodations and adaptations for students with diverse learning needs will continue to be addressed in keeping with each student’s Instructional Support Plan (ISP). Please note that the division must ensure that government guidelines are being followed to mitigate risks to both staff and students, so all face-to-face programming will only take place in the school setting. 

Grades:Time Commitment DescriptionSubjects Taught
Kindergarten5 hours1 hr/day of facilitated play-based learningReligion, Literacy and Numeracy
Grades 1-315 hours1 hr/day of online face-to-face instruction1-1½ hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Religion, Language Arts and Mathematics (with Science and Social Studies integrated appropriately) 
Grades 4-620 hours1-1½ hrs/day of online face-to-face instruction2 hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
Grades 7-925 hours2  hrs/day of online face-to-face instruction2 hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
Grades 10-1225 hours2  hrs/day of online  face-to-face instruction (depending on number of courses taken)2 hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Focus on Core Subjects, but with some flexibility as determined by specific high schools depending on availability

●     Curriculum mandated by Alberta Education will be followed and lessons will be planned and assessed by teachers in partnership with parental support at home similar to the expectations of delivery in traditional schools. Students may not be doing the exact same lessons as those students in physical schools, but the online lessons will address the same curricular outcomes.  For those who have historically been in multiage classes, at-home learning would be provided in a single grade cohort.  An at-home cohort will likely be comprised of students from different schools, facilitated by a Holy Spirit teacher, not necessarily a teacher from your designated school.

●  Google Classroom and the Google suite of tools will be the primary platform for at-home learning.  Another platform might be Zoom.

●     Google Classroom is available on many different devices that are connected to the internet. Because we are anticipating close to 90% of our students returning to school and the need to have devices at school available for these students, it is expected that a student has adequate access to his/her own device that will be primarily used for their at-home learning. Devices include but are not limited to desktops, laptops, chromebooks, or tablets. The device will need a working physical keyboard, speakers or headphones, a microphone and webcam.  In an effort to maximize student engagement, we ask that all students have their camera turned on while teachers are facilitating instruction.

●     Students will need a reliable connection to the internet. Class sessions, student collaboration, assessment, communication with students and parents will all be done over the internet.

●     At-Home Instruction in French: We are expecting approximately 90% of our students to be returning to school.   Unfortunately, because we do not have an adequate number of teachers, we will NOT be offering at-home instruction in the French language.  

Student Expectations:

Parents, please go over these expectations with your child(ren) prior to registering for at-home learning.

Students are expected to:

●     Attend online class sessions as scheduled by their teachers.  Schedule is to be determined.  Attendance in all online sessions is mandatory 

●     Work on the course material during the regular school day timeframe. Regularly attending to your learning is essential for academic success.

●     Connect to your scheduled class sessions a few minutes beforehand. This will allow you time to check your connection and equipment prior to the session beginning. (Younger students may need parent support with this.)

●     Ensure that you have a clear connection. Plugging into your network by an ethernet cable is strongly recommended.

●     Verify that your laptop, computer, or chromebook is able to run Google Chrome web browser plus additional online meeting software as suggested by your online teachers. Additionally, an integrated or connected webcam is essential to build classroom community. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure their device is charged and working prior to class. (Younger students may need parent support with this.)

●     Use a headset with a microphone or equivalent, such as those found included with a smartphone. Use of this type of audio hardware is strongly encouraged to minimize feedback during group discussions and one-to-one meetings with your teachers.

●     Respond and participate through multiple forms of multimedia. At-home learning provides opportunities for interactive and engaging experiences. This includes submitting quality student work assignments and completing quizzes or tests on a regular basis.

●     Follow digital citizenship guidelines and expectations. Students, educational assistants, and teachers create the community of learning in an online school. Digital citizenship through our Catholic values is paramount in ensuring an equitable and respectful teaching and learning environment for all.

Additional information will be provided prior to the first day of classes to all families who register with the school for at-home learning. If you have any questions before this time, please contact the school administration team at your designated school.  

If, after reading this information, you would like to re-do the survey, we will ensure that the most recent entry is the accurate one.  The survey will be extended to midnight on Sunday, August 16, 2020 to allow a few additional days to provide your responses, which will assist us in our planning for the reopening of school.  To provide additional answers for questions beyond at-home learning, we have also developed a “School Re-Entry Question and Answer” for your reference.

May God continue to watch over staff, students and families as we all venture into challenging, yet exciting opportunities in education.  Because the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic continue to cause a shifting landscape, we will continue to keep you informed.  Take care and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools

1 thought on “At-Home Learning

  1. Pingback: FLVT Re-Entry Plan | Greg Kostiuk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s