Jun 01
Important Updates from Chaparral School

Important Updates from Chaparral School

 

Hello Chaparral Families,

 

I hope this message finds you well.  It is hard to believe that eleven weeks have passed since the cancellation of in-person classes. 

 

We have learned a great deal through the pandemic situation, and will continue to do so.  From the perspective of schooling, one of the things we have learned most keenly is to appreciate the importance of being together. The contributors to an OECD article that I recently read expand on this idea, imploring us to remember the power of the physical world.  They explain that, “Children need to move, play, and actively learn. Humans are social, and thrive with face to face connection.  A hug emoji is not the same as a hug.”  We look forward to a time when our school will once again be filled with students.  Yet, as always, I am grateful to our parents, students, teachers, and Educational Assistants for their very strong and committed efforts in making the best of the ongoing learning situation.

 

Please read the important information below that explains procedures and dates for closing the school year, and outlines considerations for re-opening in September.  This information is expressed in a question and answer format. I hope that you will connect with me, or your child’s teacher to address any further questions or need for clarification you might have.

 

When does the 2019-2020 school year end?

Teachers will continue to offer ongoing learning activities, connecting with students and/or families up until the last day of “classes” for ongoing learning, June 26. Learning opportunities will continue to focus on formative assessment strategies that address the big ideas/key learnings students will need when they move to the next level of a course and end-of-year routines.

 

How will Grade 6 students celebrate their farewell?

The Grade 6 teachers are working with students and staff to create a virtual celebration assembly.  Families will tune-in on Wednesday, June 24 at 3:30 pm. The program will be delivered through Google Meet.  While different from what we might have expected, this program promises to be very student focused and meaningful.  This past week, Grade 6 students have been joining virtual meetings with a caricature artist who we have contracted to create keepsake portraits for each individual. We recognize that moving on from Grade 6 indicates an important milestone for students. Our hope is that each family will take part in the assembly and then do something very special with their wonderful Grade 6 student.

 

How will I access assessment and reporting information for my chid(ren)?

As always, ongoing communication about what is being learned and how students are doing in their learning is expected. 

 

June 26

Report Cards will be available June 26 for online viewing only.  Report cards will contain summative indicators for all courses.  Marks in some courses will be based on a body of evidence spanning from the end of January until March 15.  For courses that continued in the ongoing learning period, marks will be based on a body of evidence spanning from the end of January until March 15, and then from March 15 until the end of June.  

 

June 29  

Appeals Day – Teachers are available from 8:30 am until noon to meet virtually or on the phone, with parents and students wishing to discuss final marks. 

 

Individual Program Plans (IPPS) will be shared with families prior to June 26.

Please note:  Requirements for Sharing IPPs with Students/Parents/Legal Guardians Section 83(1) of the FOIP Act says that where any document needs to be given to a person, it is to be given “in electronic form, other than facsimile telecommunication, only if the person to whom the document is to be given has consented to accept the document in that form”. This means the school is required to have explicit consent from each parent or legal guardian to send an IPP to that person via email.

 

To limit interactions and reduce the instances of passing paper back and forth during the current public health crisis, CBE will not require a parent or legal guardian signature for IPP Reviews or the End-of-Year Review as found on the Signatures page in the IPP. Working with students and families as much as they are available for collaboration, teachers will update the IPP and review the content with students and families virtually or over the phone.


In consideration of existing school practices, student/family context and related risk factors for sharing student information, teachers will choose one of the following four possible processes for sharing a copy of the final IPP with the parent or legal guardian at the end of the year.

·         A hard copy of the IPP may be picked up by the parent or legal guardian at the end of the year. We will follow best practices for social distancing and limiting person-to-person contact.

·         A hard copy of the IPP may be mailed through Canada Post to the parent or legal guardian at the end of the year.

·         If in conversation, the parent or legal guardian of the student makes an unsolicited request to have the IPP emailed to them, the teacher may ask for that request to be put in writing in the form of an email, and the IPP may be shared back with them via email as an encrypted attachment. In this case, password for the encrypted attachment will be provided verbally.

·         Parents or legal guardians may provide consent for the IPP to be shared digitally. In order to access this option, the school requires the completion of a consent to email information form.

IPPs will include transition information that outlines future goals and/or accommodations that should be continued into the following school year.

 

How can I collect the remainder of my child(ren)’s personal and learning items?

Based on a forthcoming schedule, parents will come to collect the remainder of student’s belongings on June 24, 25, and 26.  In addition to personal items, this will also include notebooks, projects, etc.  Please note that we will be following AHS/CBE guidelines for social distancing and safe exchanges.

 

What is happening for Kindergarten 2020-2021?

At this time of the year, we would be preparing to welcome you to the school and for our Welcome to Kindergarten Night, which was originally scheduled for June 4.  Sadly, this gathering is canceled. We are, however, putting some information together to share with kindergarten families through digital format.  We will send this information on June 4.

 

Families might have heard that some schools are considering a full-day kindergarten program, where students attend every other day, as a way to manage changes to noon-hour transportation. In the past three years, very few of our Chaparral kindergarten families have used mid-day transportation services. To date, we are not aware of any Chaparral parents who might consider the cancellation of mid-day transportation an insurmountable obstacle to participating in our half-day programs.  Our intention is to continue offering half day, daily kindergarten classes.

 

How can I take part in the Return to School dialogue?

With less than a month left in the current school year, planning is well underway for what the 2020-21 school will look like for our students, staff and families.

Earlier this month, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced that the provincial government is considering three different scenarios when classes start again in the fall:

·         A return to normal operations and routines in schools.

·         Schools are partially re-opened, with some level of restrictions.

·         Schools remain closed and students continue learning from home.

 

To help the CBE consider how we would respond to these three possible scenarios, we have launched surveys for families, students and staff. We encourage you to go online and provide your feedback by June 11, 2020. There is a survey for parents/guardians, as well as one for students. A summary of results will be shared by June 30, 2020.

·         Parent Re-Entry Survey

·         Student Re-Entry Survey

·         Staff Re-Entry Survey

 

The CBE has created an internal task force with representatives from every service unit to lead the planning. All of our decisions will be guided by the advice of the province’s chief medical officer of health and Alberta Education guidelines. The safety and well-being of our students and staff will come first in any decisions we make.

We will provide more information in the coming weeks and over the summer to ensure all of our students are ready to return to learning as we begin the new school year on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.

 

With my best thoughts,

Chris Buhler, Principal Chaparral School

 

Resources:

Trends Shaping Education 2020 Spotlight © OECD

https://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/Spotlight-21-Coronavirus-special-edition-Back-to-school.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

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