NLPS News

Transition to Online Learning

UPDATE: December 11, 2020 - K-6 Learning from Jan. 4-8, 2021

As announced at the  end of November, students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 will continue to attend in-person classes until Winter Break. Classes will resume on January 4 as planned, but students will not return to their schools. Instead they will be learning from home for one week.

We have already received many questions from parents about what this will look like, how much time students will be required to be online, and if it is mandatory for students to participate.

To be clear, this week is considered part of the regular school year and as such all students are expected to participate to the best of their ability, as they are at any other point during the school year.  Parents may choose to excuse their students for a variety of reasons (illness, travel, etc.) and should contact their child’s teacher, preferably in advance, to make arrangements for missed assignments the same way they would if students were missing school due to a sports tournament or family vacation. 

 

Attendance

Teachers will be taking attendance on a regular basis (at least once per day). If students are unable to attend a class or participate in learning on a particular day, parents should report their absence the same way they would if they were absent from an in-person class (using School Messenger or calling the school directly).

Attendance notification will be sent to parents if students do not check in with their teachers at designated times and parents have not reported their absence to the school.

 

Google Classroom

All teachers will be using Google Classroom to share assignments and connect with students. Teachers have spent time teaching their students how to log in and use Google Classroom and other Google tools. You may also have received instructions from your child’s teacher on how to assist them with logging in and accessing Google Classroom.
Parents who are unfamiliar with Google Classroom, or accessing Google Classroom for the first time, are encouraged to view one or both of these videos. This will help parents support their child in their learning.

Students will need access to a reliable working device such as a Chromebook, laptop, or desktop computer to fully participate. Ideally students will have their own device so they can connect with their teacher and complete assignments, however, we realize that may not be possible for all families. 

Schools have procedures in place for families to sign-out Chromebooks if students do not have devices for use at home. Please contact your child’s school if you would like to sign-out a device for your child.
In the event that online learning is not possible in homes due to a lack of connectivity, parents can contact the school to make arrangements to seek alternative solutions.  

Timetable and Instruction
Teachers will continue to deliver and evaluate curricular outcomes. Students will be assessed on what they have learned and assignments and projects will demonstrate a high level of academic rigour.
The school day will look slightly different for students depending on what grade they are in. 

Grades 5 & 6

Learning for students in Grades 5 & 6 will look similar to what students in grades 7-12 are doing now. They will follow timetables consistent with the one they follow during in-person classes. For instance, if students normally have Language Arts from 9:10 to 10:40 in the morning, teachers will be providing instruction and assignments in Language Arts during that time.

Generally speaking, it is not expected that students will spend their entire day online connected to their teacher in a synchronous learning environment. Instead, instruction will likely be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. For instance, students may connect with their teacher and the rest of their class online and participate in a synchronous learning opportunity followed by a period of time spent completing an assignment on their own, watching a video or accessing a resource. They may also have opportunities to connect with their teacher one on one or in smaller groups throughout the day. When instruction is synchronous it will be recorded and shared so that students who are unable to connect at that time can view the content later.

Grades K-4

Lessons will be uploaded to Google Classroom either daily or for the whole week.  Students in grades 1-4 will connect with their teacher and other students in their class at two pre-scheduled times during the day:

  • Grades 3 & 4 - 8:50 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Grades 1 & 2 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Kindergarten students will connect from 11:10 a.m. - 11:55 either every day (for schools with only one Kindergarten class) or on alternating days (schools with multiple classes). Please check with your child’s teacher to confirm which days they need to connect.

Please note that times have been staggered to support families with limited connectivity and/or devices. We realize this will not address all issues with connectivity and shared devices, but we are hoping it will reduce some issues.

This is when attendance will be taken and teachers will provide instruction related to the assignments that have been provided for that day. Teachers may also ask students to connect online for group work or one one one meetings during the day. Teachers will communicate the times when this will occur. Teachers will also provide students and parents with information on how they can be contacted throughout the day to answer questions and connect with students who may need assistance.

Programming will be focused on literacy and numeracy with some assignments connected to other subject areas.

Student Support Services

Students will continue to be able to access some of the services they currently receive through their school such as counselling services or therapy. Some supports may be modified to better assist students with online learning.
Schools may also offer some supports on site, specifically supports that cannot be provided or accessed online. Schools and teachers will communicate with parents to make arrangements if necessary.

Expectations for Parents

Parent support will be important for students to be successful with learning from home. Parents are encouraged to provide the appropriate level of supervision and support given the age and needs of their children. It remains important for parents to check in regularly with their children to ensure they are participating in learning opportunities, and completing assignments. Parent assistance may also be required to troubleshoot issues with technology and connectivity.

Regular communication with your child’s teacher will also be important both to ensure student progress and to advise the teacher of any challenges you are experiencing and what additional support or assistance your child may need to be successful.

 

Original Post - November 26, 2020

Message from the Board Chair

As many of you are aware, on Tuesday the government announced that all grades 7-12 students in the province will transition to Scenario 3: At Home Learning on Monday, November 30. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 will continue attending in-person classes until Christmas Break. Following the break, on January 4 classes will resume in Scenario 3: At Home Learning for all students until January 11 with the anticipation that school will then shift back to in-person learning.

At our Board meeting on Wednesday, trustees reviewed the division’s plans to provide instruction and support to students during this time. The Board believes it is important for students to have access to robust programming that aligns as closely as possible with the learning opportunities they would have if they were in a classroom with other students and a teacher. We know this is what our students and our parents want as well, based on the feedback we received in the surveys we did last year.

To be clear, the learning expectations for grade 7-12 students over the next three weeks will look very different from what occurred in March to June of last year. Our teachers will continue to cover the curricular outcomes in the program of studies for all subjects students are currently enrolled in. Attendance will be taken and students will be expected to follow a daily timetable, participate in online classes and complete and submit assignments and assessments. More details are included below.

The Board is confident that the plan presented by administration will ensure high quality learning opportunities, allowing students to progress in their studies and receive the support they need to be successful. We are proud of the work our staff have done to prepare for this scenario. We are confident we have the resources in place to successfully transition students to online learning in a rigorous and engaging manner.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our families and students for the patience and understanding you have shown during this challenging time. We appreciate the support you have shown to all of our staff and your willingness to work with us to ensure our students are able to learn in a safe and caring environment. 

Arlene Hrynyk
Board Chair



Information for K-6 Parents

K-6 students will continue with in-person classes until December 18, and will transition to online learning from January 4 to 11. We will share further details about this transition closer to the Christmas Break.

One area that will be affected by the grades 7-12 shift to online learning will be transportation. Due to having fewer students on buses, ride times may vary, which might alter pick-up and drop-off times. NLPS Transportation will provide parents whose schedules might be impacted with more information about these changes.

 

Expectations for Online Learning - Grades 7-12

 

Google Classroom

Instruction will be primarily provided online using Google Classroom. Students in grades 7-12 should be familiar with how to log in and access assignments and resources in Google Classroom. Students will need access to a reliable working device such as a Chromebook, laptop, or desktop computer. It is encouraged that each student have their own device as they may need to be online at the same time. Schools will have procedures in place for families to sign-out Chromebooks if students do not have devices for use at home. Please contact your child’s school if you would like to sign-out a device for your child.

Parents who are unfamiliar with Google Classroom, or accessing Google Classroom for the first time, are encouraged to view one or both of these videos. This will help parents support their child in their learning.

In the event that online learning is not possible in homes due to a lack of connectivity, parents can contact the school to make arrangements to seek alternative solutions.  

 

Timetable and Instruction

Generally speaking, teachers will be following timetables consistent with the one that would be followed at school. For instance, if students normally have Language Arts from 9:10 to 10:40 in the morning, teachers will be providing instruction and assignments in Language Arts during that time.

Students will receive instruction in all subjects they are currently enrolled in. High school students will continue with all of the classes they are enrolled in according to their regular schedule. 

Teachers will continue to deliver and evaluate curricular outcomes. Students will be assessed on what they have learned and their next report card will include assessments and evaluations already completed and those undertaken during the four weeks of Scenario 3 learning. Assignments and projects will demonstrate a high level of academic rigour.

At the high school level, students will work to complete the course requirements to earn the credits associated with the courses they are enrolled in. Student marks will be based on the work completed before, during and after the Scenario 3 period. Expectations for completion of assignments and assessments will be similar as when students are attending in-person classes. Diploma exams are optional for the rest of this school year. Students are encouraged to discuss the option to write diploma exams with their parents and teachers.

Generally speaking, it is not expected that students will spend their entire day online connected to their teacher in a synchronous learning environment. Instead, instruction will likely be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. For instance, students may connect with their teacher and the rest of their class online and participate in a synchronous learning opportunity followed by a period of time spent completing an assignment on their own, watching a video or accessing a resource. They may also have opportunities to connect with their teacher one on one or in smaller groups throughout the day. When instruction is synchronous it will be recorded and shared so that students who are unable to connect at that time can view the content later.

Attendance

Teachers will be taking attendance on a regular basis (daily, twice daily or by class). Students will be required to check in with their teachers during scheduled classes.

If students are unable to attend a class due to illness, or any other reason, parents should report their absence the same way they would if they were absent from an in-person class (using School Messenger or calling the school directly).

Attendance notifications will be sent to parents if students do not check in with their teachers at the designated times and parents have not reported their absence to the school.

 

Resources

Students will be bringing supplies and resources home with them tomorrow. This might include Chromebooks if necessary. If there are items that are left behind, parents will be able to make an appointment with their child’s school to pick up those items. 

Student Support Services

Students will continue to be able to access some of the services they currently receive through their school such as counselling services or therapy. Some supports may be modified to better assist students with online learning.
Schools may also offer some supports on site, specifically supports that cannot be provided or accessed online. Schools and teachers will communicate with parents to make arrangements if necessary.

Expectations for Parents

Parent support will be important for students to be successful with online learning. While some students in grades 7-12 are able to work independently with little supervision, others may need more assistance. Parents are encouraged to provide the appropriate level of supervision and support given the age and needs of their students. It remains important for parents to check in regularly with their students to ensure they are participating in learning opportunities, and completing assignments. Parent assistance may also be required to troubleshoot issues with technology and connectivity.

Regular communication with your child’s teacher will also be important both to ensure student progress and to advise the teacher of any challenges you are experiencing and what additional support or assistance your child may need to be successful.



Questions?

As always, if you have questions, please feel free to contact your child’s school, send an email to communications@nlsd.ab.ca or submit a question in our Northern Lights Public Schools Questions and Answers group on Facebook.

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