At-Home Learning

The safety of our students and staff is paramount. We have implemented many enhanced health and safety measures in our schools to minimize exposure to COVID-19. For a listing of our enhanced health and safety measures, please see the Parent/Student Handbook on School Re-Entry.

Due to health concerns and parental choice related to the pandemic, families may choose not to have their child attend their designated school.

At-Home Learning will be the name we use to describe the program for those students who choose to work from home, with division support. 

Students will:

  • Remain connected with their catchment school/school of choice.
  • Receive communication from their catchment school and principal (Week-at-a Glance, etc).
  • May be taught by a division teacher vs a teacher in their catchment school.
  • May have students in their learning cohort from across the division.
  • Sign on for a full semester (Sept - Jan, Jan - June). If a family wishes to adjust programming outside these dates, they may communicate this request to their catchment school principal. 

At-Home Learning: 

  • Will cover the full curriculum (LA, Math, Social, Science, Religion/Health, PE,).
  • Be a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning with the majority taking place in asynchronous model.
  • Staff will be online/available for the full school day with a communicated schedule. 
  • Synchronous learning will have a variety of times available to ease access to families where possible.
  • Assessment will be a blend of formative and summative practices.

What is Synchronous Learning?

Synchronous learning is the kind of learning that happens in real-time. This means that you, your classmates, and your teacher interact in a specific virtual place, through a specific online medium, at a specific time. In other words, it’s not exactly anywhere, anyhow, anytime. Methods of synchronous online learning include video conferencing, teleconferencing, live chatting, and live-streaming lessons.

What is Asynchronous Learning?

Asynchronous learning happens on your schedule. While your teacher will provide learning activities and assignments for completion, and evaluation, you have the ability to access and satisfy these requirements within a flexible time frame. Methods of asynchronous online learning include self-guided lesson modules, streaming video content, virtual libraries, posted lecture notes, and exchanges across discussion boards or social media platforms.

Class Makeup: 

At-Home Learning Cohorts will consist of 30 - 60  students. 

High School:

  • Students will be supported by high school teachers and have schedules developed that include online courses for each semester.  

Middle School:

  • There will be a teacher to teach and assess Language Arts and Social Studies. 
  • There will be a teacher to teach and assess Math and Science.
  • There will be a teacher to teach and assess Religion, Physical Education and Complementary courses. 
  • French Immersion instruction will be available for students pending student enrollment

Grades 1-5:

  • One teacher per 60 students to teach and assess core classes (Religion, Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education. 
  • French Immersion instruction will be available for students pending student enrollment.

Pre Kindergarten & Kindergarten: 

  • Families will be provided weekly asynchronous learning activities to complete at home, based on key curricular outcomes. Assessments will be developed to best support the specific needs of early learners that align with the developmental sequence. 

Platform:

  • Google Classroom will continue to be our primary platform. 
  • Staff may employ other digital media or software but equal access to all students, as well as instruction for use will be provided. 

Assessment: 

During the school closure in the spring of last year, the assessment practices and expectations were modified due to the sudden nature of the school closure and the lack of choice for students regarding distance learning. Moving forward into this year students and parents can expect assessment to more closely match the assessment that took place in traditional classrooms. Further families should expect increased rigor and demands in assessment during at-home learning. 

The primary reason for assessment will continue to be to: 

  • Communicate learning progress to students and parents.
  • Identify which students did or did not master specific essential standards and subsequently develop strategies to help students improve their mastery of the learning outcomes.
  • Identify the instructional practices that did or did not improve learning and plan for re-engagement.
  • Determine how students will use results to understand their progress toward meeting essential standards.

At-home learning will utilize two types of assessment: 

Formative Assessment

Ongoing assessment that allows teachers to monitor students on a day-to-day basis and modify their instruction based on what the students need to be successful. This assessment provides students with the specific feedback that they need to make adjustments to their learning. No grades are provided via formative assessment, rather the student receives feedback via comments, recorded video, or conferencing. 

Summative Assessment 

Is a snapshot in time that lets the teacher, students and their parents know how well each student has completed the learning tasks and activities. It provides information about student achievement. Grades are assigned for assignments used for formative assessment. Students may have the opportunities to resubmit work to demonstrate mastery of the learner outcome if they choose. 

Schedule:

During the school closure in the spring of last year the government reduced the expectations around instructional hours and number of learning outcomes being covered due to the sudden nature of the school closure and the lack of choice for students regarding distance learning. Moving forward into this year students and parents should expect increased time commitments and amount of content covered in order for students to fully engage in the complete program of studies as outlined by Alberta Education.

  • Classwork will be rolled out on a week-by-week basis, with due dates for assignments on Fridays.
  • New information for the upcoming week will be posted each Monday morning. New information will be posted on Mondays and due dates will be Friday.
  • Teachers will be expected to provide 1 - 2  synchronous activities per week at two different times. Students should make every effort to participate in three of the synchronous activities outlined by the teacher. Any instruction done via video will be recorded and posted for students to access via Google Classroom, so students can access it at any time and multiple times if necessary.
  • Students can also seek help via email, phone call, or video conference. 
  • In addition to instruction, staff will have four hours a day they will be available as online office hours. This is a time students can connect with them via email, video chat or phone call in real-time and receive a prompt response. Staff will communicate these hours to students via Google classroom. Outside of these hours, staff will focus on one on one support, developing online activities and lessons, providing formative feedback to students and virtual appointments for student support. Communication outside of online office hours will be responded to but it may take longer. If a student cannot connect via the online office hours on a given day, they can email their teacher to arrange for another time. 
  • School hours are from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. each day so note that communication in the evening may not be responded to until the next day. The At-Home Learning Program will also continue to observe holidays and weekends. 

Expectations & Roles:

Teachers:

  • Identify clear learning objectives and assessment outcomes for lessons
  • Use a variety of materials to convey key learner outcomes, create interactive lessons, and provide one on one and small group support virtually as required
  • Specify task requirements and suggested length to complete
  • Organize your time and communicate when you are online and provide multiple options for access

Students:

  • Ensure they understand learning objectives and play an active role asking questions (via email, video conference, phone call) if they do not
  • Complete task and assignments with highest level of effort
  • Monitor their learning to meet expectations and submit work on due dates
  • Organize their time
  • Create and follow an online learning schedule

Parents/Guardians:

  • Organize a dedicated learning space
  • Help their child create and follow an online learning schedule based on suggestions from their teacher
  • Check tasks and learning objectives on Google classroom and via email communication
  • Expect their child to complete assignments on time with their highest level of effort

Please know that if your family requires any support or assistance due to these challenging times, please connect with your catchment school principal. 

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email or call your catchment school.

We recognize that the current reality requires a level of flexibility and that this program may change and adapt as needed moving forward. Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools remains committed to striving to provide the highest quality of education and support for our families. 

Registration Information:

If you are interested in registering for at-home learning, please contact your catchment area school beginning Monday, August 24. The deadline for at-home learning registration is Wednesday, August 26 at 3:00 p.m.