Dear Alberta parents,
We are in unprecedented times. Your child’s routine has changed due to the provincial health emergency we are all facing. I appreciate that you are wondering where we go from here with your child’s education. I am writing today to answer some of these questions.
First, I want to thank every Albertan involved in our province’s education system. Everyone has come together to work on a path forward – teachers, support staff, superintendents, administrators elected trustees, education associations, the provincial government and many others. It is important you know that we are all working towards the same goal – to make this part of your child’s life as normal as possible.
With that in mind, four principles are guiding our efforts.
- The safety of students and staff comes first.
- Student learning will continue.
- Provincial funding is still flowing to schools.
- Your school division has flexibility to do what is best for your community.
Students will continue to learn. I have set the expectation that:
Kindergarten to grade 3: content will focus on language/literacy and math/numeracy, with teachers assigning an average of 5 hours of work per week.
Grades 4 to 6: content will focus mainly on language/literacy and math/numeracy, with some time spent on social studies and science. Teachers will assign an average of 5 hours of work per week.
Grades 7 to 9: content will focus on language arts, math, science and social studies, with teachers assigning an average of 10 hours of work per week.
Grades 10 to 12: content will focus on core courses required for high school graduation – which are English, math, social studies, biology, chemistry and physics. Teachers will assign an average of 3 hours of work per course per week.
School divisions will decide how to deliver at-home student learning. This could include online learning, or other forms of delivering content, such as the development of course packages and telephone check-ins. This will vary based on your child’s grade, school and school division. Many parents have already heard what their school is planning for your child. If you have not, you can expect to hear from them soon.
Where possible, schools will work with high school students to complete their courses to the best of their ability, providing a final mark and awarding credits. If a student is unable to complete a course that would have allowed them to progress to the next grade, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure student progression.
For parents who want to help supplement their child’s learning, more than 4,000 resources aligned with Alberta’s curriculum are available on www.learnalberta.ca.
Moving to the next grade
Every student will receive final grades and will receive a report card, appropriate to their grade level. Teachers will be responsible for assessing a student’s progress and assigning a final grade. All students who were on track to progress to the next grade will do so.
For our students in grades 6 and 9, I am confirming that provincial achievement tests are cancelled.
Grade 12 students
Students on track to receive 100 or more credits will still be eligible to graduate. Principals will have the ability to award up to 15 credits to students in grade 12 whose program has been negatively impacted by class cancellations. For courses that have already begun, schools will complete them with the student to the best of their ability, provide a final mark and award credits.
If the student is unable to complete a course that would have led them to achieving a high school diploma, for example a work experience or a career and technology studies course, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure the student graduates.
General diploma exams are cancelled. There will be some exceptions for students who need to take them.
Working hard to help your child
I know this is not a perfect situation. For the time being, this is our new reality. I want to leave you with this – many, many education professionals are working very hard to make your child’s learning as normal as possible. I am confident that our education system will continue to excel, largely because of the hard work of everyone across the province.
I want to express my deep appreciation for the work that you are doing and the effort you continue to put into your children’s success. These are extraordinary circumstances, but the perseverance of you and your children is truly remarkable. We will get through this, together.
Please reach out to your local school and school division to find out what the specific plans are for your child. You can also send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general information on the COVID-19 situation, please visit Covid-19 info for Albertans. This website is updated daily.