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Grande Prairie Public School Division to restart student learning

The Grande Prairie Public School Division hopes to have plans in place to restart student programming soon. Superintendent Sandy McDonald says details will be finalized on a school-by-school basis.

“We will be communicating with parents when that plan is ready… and our goal is for all Grande Prairie public students to rejoin their classes, if you will, one day next week.”

McDonald says the school division is coming up with what he calls a “common district expectation”, which gives a basic guideline as to what it would like to see students learn as they remain isolated from a physical school. He adds it also gives the teachers an opportunity to not only reengage with students but to continue on, at least in part, lesson plans designed for a time before class cancellations.

“Some classes use websites to engage with students, like Google Classroom, some teachers don’t. Our plan is to identify a common approach to the outcomes we want to help our students learn.”

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He adds for younger grades, a lot of the plans in place will focus on literacy and numeracy, but the older the students get, the more options become available.

“Our teachers are also going to be putting together options for physical activity, what kind of games can you play at home. They’re not to be marked or assessed for some of those things, it’s just to keep kids learning, their curiosity fed and to keep them engaged.”

McDonald adds at the high school level things will be more specifically drawn out, with additional support provided to grade 12 students who need to get through particular outcomes as part of their diploma courses.

Grande Prairie and Catholic District Superintendent Karl Germann echoes similar plans to parents of students in that district.

“You can expect that our At-Home Learning Strategy will be comprehensive, incorporating a variety of strategies and activities to meet Alberta’s world-class educational standard,” he explained in a letter sent to parents on March 17th.

The Peace Wapiti Public School Division has sent a similar message to parents, saying, “Once Alberta Education provides further direction, PWPSD will be able to activate the plan to support student learning. After this occurs, schools will be contacting families to provide further instructions.”

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