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Students head briefly back to school


Children in the Swan Valley School Division from Kindergarten to Grade 8 have been enjoying the opportunity to return to the classroom one last time before summer break officially starts.
From June 8 -19 the schools reached out to those who have not been able to engage in distant learning as much or may require some more support with their learning activities and invited them, by appointment, for one or more sessions.
They also provided an opportunity for all students to come to school once, at a pre-arranged time, to work independently or with a small group of classmates and their teacher.
“This could include various subject-area learning activities, reconnecting with the school, talking about September and possibly some assessments,” said SVSD Superintendent Jon Zilkey.
“The schools have developed schedules and asked each parent if they would like their child to participate. Every school is a little different as plans were developed to best suit the needs of their students.”
The sessions were completely optional and final report cards are expected to be mailed out June 29 and June 30.
High School
At the Grade 9-12 level, qualifying students have been allowed to seek supports since early in June.
“SVRSS will continue bringing in limited numbers of students to their campus, following “day camp” rules,” said Zilkey. :The school’s focus has been on students who need help with their course work, especially if their baseline mark on March 20th was below 50 percent.
“The first priority was to call in and work with the 2020 graduates. After the grads at risk had secured their mandatory classes for graduation, the school expanded to any other SVRSS students who need access to WIFI in order to complete assignments or complete necessary research for projects, again giving priority to those students who are below 50 percent as of March 20th.
“At the SVRSS, students work with an EA and or a teacher either one-to-one or in a small group setting,” he continued.”
Fall plans
“Looking to September, the school division and schools are working on plans for different scenarios,” said Zilkey.
“As you may have heard the province is potentially looking at starting school one week earlier, beginning Aug. 31, as well as changing some administrative and professional days to teaching days. This has not been confirmed as of yet.”
In a document released by the Province last month, they detailed that, when in-class learning resumes, schools will plan for a period of reorientation to classroom routines, rebuilding community and relationships, and planning for instruction.
In September 2020, educators will use their existing assessment processes, along with the information provided on recovery needs on the June 2020 report card.
“Dialogue between the previous year’s teacher(s) and the current teacher(s) will aid in transition planning,” the document said. “Families may add insights about the student’s experiences with remote learning.
“Recovery learning will differ according to the opportunities and constraints of the school year. And, while more system-level planning will be required, including teacher engagement strategies, the following considerations will be incorporated into planning:
• School teams will need to review the diverse student and educator experiences that will have unfolded during the suspension of classes and intentionally address the mental well-being of the school community upon their return to school.
• Students who are most at risk due to the disruption of their learning will require additional supports when classes resume so that they may reach their full learning potential within their grade level.
• Schools will need to plan for varying lengths of time, as well as diverse models and strategies for recovery learning, depending on student needs, grade levels, subject areas, and school contexts.
• There may be additional waves of COVID-19 over the next 18 to 24 months, and recovery learning and alternate ways of addressing learning needs will be considered as part of this planning.”