The province announced aggressive new measures on Tuesday in efforts to protect the health system and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta.
One of the changes laid out is a temporary shift to Scenario 3, online learning for students in grades seven to 12 across the province starting on November 30, 2020, and continuing until January 8, 2021.
Superintendent of RVS, Greg Luterbach says that RVS used the online survey they conducted in the spring to better develop an at-home learning plan with the suggestions that families made.
"We took that feedback and merged it with what government said the expectations are for those different grade levels," says Luterbach. "Some pieces are like we did in the spring but then some additional pieces based on what we heard in the survey from their parents."
The revised Scenario 3 plan will include a weekly learning plan with a combination of increased hours of instruction from teachers as well as independent work.
Students in grades seven through nine are expected to complete 15 hours of schoolwork each week, and the expectation for students in Grades 10 to 12 will be to complete six hours of work per week for each of their courses, and option courses will continue wherever possible.
Luterbach says that during this period, teachers will prioritize the content to be covered based on what is manageable for students working from home, with support available throughout the day.
"Yes, weekly learning plans, the number of hours of instruction are higher than they were in the spring and right in line with what the government had asked us to do and then various video chat technologies," says Luterbach.
Many families are now faced with a split in learning scenarios, as only some of their kids make this shift to online learning and others continue to learn in the classroom.
Luterbach says that RVS is currently reviewing the original timeline for families to state their learning intentions for the new year, however, students in grades six and under will need to continue in their current learning mode at the present.
"Students in Kindergarten to grade six will be expected to continue in their face to face classes and will be supported in their learning in those efforts."
As it stands, all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will engage in temporary online learning from home for the week of January 4 to 8, with a current plan for in-class learning to resume on Monday, January 11, 2021.
Luterbach says that RVS is committed to supporting a smooth transition for students with as little disruption to their learning as possible.