Hello Westmount Mid-High Families,
We want to thank our students and families for their resilience and support as we all embark on a steep learning curve in our new learning model. As we adjust and re-adjust throughout this process, we want to take this time to share specific information, in order to support your understanding of how things are being operationalized during this emergency response to learning.
We apologize for the length of this communication but feel there is very valuable information which needs to be shared. Please take the time to read it.
Scheduling of High School Classes
In order to minimize conflicting demands and schedules on our students, our teachers will be scheduling their office hours and live presentations during their regularly scheduled timetable classes.
For example: If a student had a scheduled Math 10 class during Block 1 prior to the disruption, their online class now will also occur during the regular Block 1 timeframe on their scheduled day (Wednesday). Furthermore, Office hours to connect with that Math 10 teacher will occur during the block 1 scheduled time on the other days provided.
We acknowledge some of our students have had difficulty getting up in the morning for ‘regular’ school start time. We appreciate the effort from our students and the support from our parents in re-establishing this important school routine.
Please note we are still keeping the posting of new information to the previously stated daily schedule (Science – Mondays; Humanities – Tuesdays; Math – Wednesdays; Arts, CTS, PE, Second Languages – Thursdays) For example: the Math 10 lesson would occur during block 1 on Wednesday while Math 10 office hours would occur during block 1 on another day. Please refer to your teachers’ PowerLearn for exact days and times.
Recording of online meetings
We recognize it may not be feasible for students to attend an online class/presentation at a set time, due to the nature of family organization and demands on technology. Therefore, we want everyone to be aware, our online classes/presentations will be recorded and a link will be added so students and families can access anything they may have missed.
These links will only be available through our secure and password protected platform – PowerLearn.
All families who indicated that they did not wish their child’s voice/video image to be shared in the 2019/2020 Media Release (done during Re-Registration last year), will have the opportunity to adjust their consent to allow their child to participate via video/voice. These families should watch for a consent email message today (April 20). Any student who does not have consent to participate in the video via video/voice will need to turn off their camera and microphone. They will still be able to see and hear the class, but they will not be seen or heard, although their Google profile icon and their name may be visible at times in the video.
We are aware other large public school boards (e.g. CBE) have issued public statements regarding their approach to assessment and grading moving forward this spring. We want to share the approach being adopted for Westmount Mid-High students.
Our assessment and grading practices are guided by the following principles:
- The purpose of assessment and grading is to support the student in their learning;
- An Inside Out approach requires our assessment practices acknowledge, appreciate, and honour the different circumstances and context of each student and their family in this emergency learning environment;
- Our assessment and grading practices adhere to the guidelines and direction provided by Alberta Education;
- Assessment and Grading will reflect only the prioritized learning outcomes supplied by the teacher (e.g. students will not be assessed or graded on learning outcomes that were never assigned).
Grade 5 & 6 Students
For our students currently enrolled in Grade 5 and 6 Humanities and Math classes, teachers will provide formative feedback only – no grades will be given. This feedback will be recorded in PowerSchool (not PowerLearn) and will provide students with a general overview of areas of strength and areas for further growth.
For Grade 5 & 6 Science and Complementary Classes, teachers will provide formative feedback only- no grades will be given.
*The Alberta Education Guidelines state only a focus on Numeracy and Literacy skills are required for learning during this time. However, we believe strongly that many of our students appreciate the opportunities and learning provided by our Science and Complementary courses. Students appreciate the valuable foundation these courses provide for later years, therefore, we will continue to offer them, with opportunities for feedback to support student learning. These courses are optional and students can engage to whatever extent is feasible and desirable.
Grade 7 & 8 & 9 Students
For our students currently enrolled in Grade 7, 8 or 9 Core classes (Math, Science, Humanities), teachers will provide formative feedback accompanied by a grade for each assignment. The addition of the grade at this age is to help students understand their own level of learning in relation to the modified expectations of the learning outcomes.
As always, our teachers operate with empathy, using an inside-out approach, and will assign grades with the understanding of what is reasonable, given each student’s unique circumstance. This feedback and grading will be recorded in PowerSchool (not PowerLearn) and will provide students a general overview of areas of strength and areas for further growth.
For Grade 7, 8 or 9 Complementary Classes, teachers will provide formative feedback only- no grades will be given.
*The Alberta Education Guidelines state only core subjects are required for learning during this time. However, we believe strongly that many of our students appreciate the opportunities and learning provided by our complimentary courses, as well they appreciate the valuable foundation these courses provide for later years. We also know the activities promoted by our complimentary teachers support the social and emotional well being of individuals, a critical piece given the times in which we live. Therefore we will continue to offer opportunities for students to receive feedback in order to support their learning. These courses are optional and students can engage to whatever extent is feasible and desirable.
Grade 10 & 11 & 12 Students
For our students currently enrolled in Grade 10, 11 or 12 classes (courses at the 10, 20, 30 or 15, 25, 35 levels), Alberta Education requires a final grade for all subjects. Our teachers will provide lessons, feedback and an accompanying percentage mark, based on students’ demonstration of learning the modified outcomes.
As always, our teachers operate with empathy, using an inside-out approach, and will assign grades with the understanding of what is reasonable, given each student’s unique circumstance.
This feedback and grade will be recorded in PowerSchool (not PowerLearn) and will provide students with a general overview of areas of strength and areas for further growth.
Thank you for your continued patience and support,