Families can now choose how their child learns, in person or online in Quarter 2. Read more about how to make your choice by the October 19 deadline.

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Distance and Online Learning

Our staff across the Division care deeply about their students, and are committed to ensuring your child has the skills they need to be successful. The Government of Alberta has announced in-person classes will resume in September. However, if you choose to keep your child home, we are here to ensure students continue receiving a high-quality education online.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Students who learn online will be part of an online learning group with an assigned online teacher. This learning format will include live online teacher instruction as well as directed activities and assignments that students will complete independently. 

This live 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 a virtual platform such as 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 watching videos, writing on message boards or writing emails.

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. Students, families will continue to receive information from their school.

Online instruction will cover all the required areas of the provincial curriculum. Teaching will focus on the core subject areas, with a reduced focus on complementary courses.

In the 2020-21 school year, French as a Second Language (FSL) will not be available for Grades 4 to 9 students who are learning online due to a limited number of qualified second language Division teachers. However, online students will have the option to use Duolingo, a language-learning application, to continue to learn and practice French outside of class time. 
Grades 4 to 9 online students will resume FSL instruction when they return to in-person learning, and teachers will adapt programming to meet their needs.


The Division will also explore meaningful ways to deliver alternative programming to online students, but we cannot guarantee that all alternative programming options will be available online. Families with children registered in an alternative program will continue to receive information from their school about the program. Online students will also be welcome to participate in any special events related to the alternative program.

How to Access Online Learning

To access their online learning group, students should:

  • sign in to their student SchoolZone account 
  • navigate to the Apps tab and then choose Google Classroom
  • click the blue Join button to connect to their online learning group

OR

  • sign in to Google Classroom directly using their @share.epsb.ca account
  • click the blue Join button to connect to their online learning group

The Google Classroom application is not available through your parent SchoolZone account, so please ensure that you child logs in to their student account. If your child does not have access to Google Classroom and SchoolZone, please contact your school.

WHAT IS ONLINE LEARNING?

In an online learning program, students engage with their teachers in a structured learning environment. Students learn course content online, but that information is just part of their online learning experience. Students also build relationships with their classmates and teachers. This kind of connection is important during the COVID-19 crisis, as we need to take extra care of our mental health and well-being.

Alberta students have been participating in online learning for decades, and online learning is not new at Edmonton Public Schools. Review Alberta Education’s online learning student and family guide for more information.

WHAT FAMILIES CAN EXPECT

Under our strategy for school re-entry, the school year will be divided into four instructional quarters. Students who choose to participate in a quarter of online learning will take part in online classes and daily learning activities, both synchronous (interacting online with their classmates and teacher) and asynchronous (additional assignments they complete independently). The length of these activities will depend on what grade (or division) the student is in. Students need to be available to connect with their teacher every day. They will also be expected to complete asynchronous learning activities during times they are not engaged with the teacher. 

To support learning: 

  • Online courses will be delivered using Google Meet and Google Classroom and other secure Division 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 support families who decide to move between online and in-person learning at quarter transitions.
  • Students in Grades 1–12 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. Some outcomes relate to key concepts and big ideas that teachers want students to understand and remember long after they have forgotten the details. Specific learner outcomes can be grouped together, or chunked, in meaningful ways.
  • Students in Grades 6 and 9 who are participating in online learning will still take Provincial Achievement Tests. More information will be shared with families when it is available.
  • 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 grades 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.  

WHAT ONLINE LEARNING WILL LOOK LIKE 

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Minimum daily requirements for student learning

  • Half-day program: 9 a.m.11:15 a.m., or 1 p.m.3:15 p.m. 
  • Full-day program: 9 a.m3 p.m., with an hour for lunch.
  • Synchronous learning – each class will meet with the online teacher daily to meet learning requirements for Kindergarten or the student’s individualized program plan (IPP).
  • Half-day program: students will have 30–60 minutes with their teacher at the beginning of the day and will have a touchpoint at the end of their half day.
  • Full-day program: students will have 30–60 minutes with their teacher in the morning and again in the afternoon.
  • Asynchronous learning – in time not spent with their teacher, students will engage in learning activities supported by their caregivers. Teachers will provide direction around the activities.
  • Examples of activities – watching a video, a game such as I Spy Bingo, an alphabet hunt, counting objects, building a house for a stuffed animal or drawing a self portrait.

Grades 1-3 (Division I) 

Minimum daily requirements for student learning

  • 9 a.m.3:15 p.m. with an hour for lunch.
  • Daily schedule – each class will meet with the online teacher daily who will determine a schedule that best meets learning outcomes.
  • Synchronous learning –  students will meet with the online teacher for 60 minutes of instruction each day—additionally, students will have access to four additional hours of individuals/small group instruction to support their learning.
  • Asynchronous learning – in time not spent with the teacher, students will engage inindependent work throughout the day.
  • Specialist teachers (e.g., music, French) – may be assigned to classes of students and will work with the primary teacher to determine timing and the best way to integrate the subject.

Grades 4-6 (Division II) 

Minimum daily requirements for student learning

  • 9 a.m.3:15 p.m. with an hour for lunch.
  • Daily schedule – each class will meet with their online teacher daily, who will determine a schedule that best meets learning outcomes.
  • Synchronous learning – students will meet with their online teacher for 1.25 hours of instruction each day.
  • Students will also have access to 3.75 hours of individual/small group instruction to support their learning.
  • Asynchronous learning - students will engage in learning activities, similar to homework, throughout the day with caregiver support.
  • Teachers will follow the learning outcomes from Alberta Education’s programs of study.
  • Specialist teachers (eg. French, music) will be assigned to online classes and will work with the online teachers to determine the timing, best way to integrate the subject and how to deliver curriculum for the specific course.

Grades 7-9 (Division III) 

Minimum daily requirements for student learning

  • 9 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. with an hour for lunch.
  • Daily schedule - each class will meet with their online teacher daily, who will determine a schedule that best meets learning outcomes. 
  • Weekly schedule - Junior high students will follow a three-day rotating schedule (see example below)
  • Synchronous learning - students will meet with their online teacher for 1.5 hours of instruction each day. 
  • Students will also have access to 3.5 hours of individual/small group instruction to support their learning.
  • Asynchronous learning - students will engage in learning activities similar to homework independently or with caregiver support.

Sample weekly rotating schedule for Grades 7-9 for one quarter:

Grades 10-12 (Division IV) 

Minimum daily requirements for student learning

  • 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
  • Daily schedule – each class will meet with their online teacher daily, who will determine a schedule that best meets learning outcomes.
  • Synchronous learning - students will engage in 75 minutes of synchronous learning per course each day. 
  • Students will also have access to 20 minutes of scheduled time set aside before lessons for student-led drop-in/questions.
  • Students will also engage in 60 minutes of scheduled individual/small group meets for instruction. 
  • Asynchronous learning - students will engage in learning activities similar to homework independently.
  • Teachers will choose how to organize time for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. 
  • Teachers will monitor for understanding and growth to provide individual support for students.

Sample weekly subject schedule for Grades 10-12 for one quarter:

Sample Daily Schedule
*times and activities depend on grade levels


INVESTING IN RESOURCES

To prepare for the 2020-21 school year, we are investing significant funding to develop comprehensive resources for students. This will help ensure that quality student learning is consistent for families, no matter which type of instruction they choose—in-person or online learning.

Get technical help at home

If you are having technical problems, visit technical support for parents and students to find a solution or submit your question to our team of experts.

Support for Google Classroom

Our Division uses Google Classroom to keep teachers and students connected. To learn more about using this online tool, watch our Google Classroom instructional videos, available in a variety of languages. 

EXTRA RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

For parents or guardians who are looking to supplement their child’s learning at home, there are many resources available.

Edmonton Public Schools tips and resources:

  • Visit our Resource Hub for learning resources designed for teachers, parents and students.
  • Review the Literacy page to find tip sheets for parents of elementary, junior and senior high students.
  • Visit the Numeracy page for more tip sheets and resources.
  • Sign in to SchoolZone and choose the resources tab to find videos and activities you can do with your children.

Provincial resources: