Letter from the Superintendent
Posted on May 1st, 2020
April 24, 2020
It has been 22 instructional days since the announcement by Minister LaGrange, Minister of Education, to cancel in-school classes. Five days later, on March 20, 2020, all parents of Alberta students received a letter from the Minister with specific details regarding "Student Learning" and the multiple affiliated topics, with an accompanying communication entitled Education Continuity Plan: COVID-19, Questions, and Answers. Twenty-two instructional days later much has been actioned by our staff, our students and you:
- from the collaboration of our administrators, teachers and educational assistants to amend lesson plans, course delivery and course outlines to suitable online/distance learning formats,
- to technology supports and computer deployment,
- to teach students how to engage in the Google online learning environment and the importance of attending regularly scheduled google-meets,
- to submitting work and assignments in different ways, and
- to your willingness to learn more details about the google-classroom environment and curriculum content to support your child's learning in a more direct and involved way than you had experienced prior to March 15th.
I extend my sincerest CONGRATULATIONS to all for a significant achievement in a very short period of time under pandemic restrictions.
This past month is proof of what can be achieved when all of us are committed to student learning and success. As educators, we know that the learning that happens in the current grade/course lays the foundation and building blocks for the upcoming grade or the next level course. In education, we call this 'scaffolded learning'.
In the Minister's letter and Education Continuity Plan: COVID-19 she states that "every student will receive a final grade and students who were on track to progress to the next grade will do so for the next school year". "We trust the professionalism of teachers and education leaders to assess their students' progress, no matter the learning environment, to determine suitable final grades" that will be recorded on a report card, which students will receive.
While your child will receive a mark for work completed as of March 15th, this mark does not reflect the final grade. Teachers are continuing to deliver grade-level content and/or core course
(subject) content that will cover key areas of the curriculum. It is expected that students attend 'class', participate in the online classes, complete the assigned work, and submit the required assignments or activities. Just like 'regular schooling', the student's effort and commitment to her/his schoolwork will have a direct influence on achievement and success at the grade level and/or in the course final mark. The final grade is a reflection of the student's cumulative success in meeting the prescribed learning outcomes.
Since the last week of March, educators have been engaging students through a different learning platform. At this time, it is anticipated that for the remainder of the current school year this learning platform, which for most students and teachers is the online Google classroom, will continue to be the primary method of curricular content delivery, student/teacher interaction and student assignment submission. For our very young students and our students who have elected to use paper content delivery (due to specific circumstances), processes for student/teacher interaction and student assignment submission have been established. Each student's final mark will include the work the student completes during the April to June 2020 school term.
As always, your support and guidance have a significant impact on your child's success in school. Even though the learning platform has changed, you remain an influential force on your child's attitude about school and approach to learning, and ultimately, your child's success in school. Please ensure your child remains focused on her/his schoolwork until the end of the school year. If a student were to disengage between now and the end of June, this will compromise the student's success at the current grade level and/or in the current courses, and subsequently at the next grade level and/or in the next level courses. Your child's teachers will continue to assess work completed and provide a suitable final grade that will reflect the ongoing learning students have shown.
In Northern Gateway Public Schools all learners are supported and with such support, all learners will be successful. We thank you for your ongoing support- of your child and of the schools and teachers of NGPS!
If you have any questions about educational programming or delivery please do not hesitate to contact your child's school.
Your daughter's and son's teachers are excited to hear from you and your child. Please ensure that your child reaches out to them. They stand ready to help your child continue to move forward on the path to success!
Superintendent of Schools