Superintendent's Message

Since my last message, a lot has changed. Not just in education but in our daily lives. Social distancing has become the new normal as the world works to flatten the curve on COVID-19. With a rapidly changing world landscape comes an equally rapid rate of new information. The direction we receive yesterday (or today, in some cases) is out-of-date today. We are doing our best to provide our staff, students, and families with accurate, timely information as is possible.

What does this mean for students and their families? Education is changing. We are working on delivering content to students remotely. This may mean electronic methods (email, Google Classroom, Zoom meetings, etc.) or traditional (printed content available at schools). Our focus is to provide a continuity of education in an equitable fashion with respect for the health and safety of everyone involved. The directive we received on March 20 states the following:

Kindergarten – Grade 3
Education content will focus on language/literacy and mathematics/numeracy outcomes of the provincial curriculum.
Teachers will assign an average of five hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

Grades 4-6
Education content will continue to focus on language/literacy and mathematics/numeracy outcomes, and there will be opportunity to incorporate science and social studies outcomes through cross-curricular learning.
Teachers will assign an average of five hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

Grades 7-9
Education content will focus on core mathematics, language/literacy, science and social studies curriculum outcomes.
Teachers will assign an average of 10 hours of work per student per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

Grades 10-12
Education content will focus on specified and core courses required for high school graduation requirements, including language (English, French and French language arts), social studies, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics.
Content from other courses will be delivered where possible, and accommodations for students unable to complete courses are in place.

Teachers will assign an average of 3 hours of work per course per week, and will be expected to work with their students and parents on the delivery of these materials.

All Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests and Grade 12 diploma exams are cancelled. Under special circumstances, students can request to write a diploma exam. Students wishing to do so should speak to their teacher and school administrator.


The full details from the media release from Education Minister Adriana LaGrange can be found on the Alberta Education website.

We are still finalizing a lot of other details. I want to thank you all for your patience as we work through things like the return of school/busing fees and student access to technology. Details will be provided as soon as we have them worked out, which has proven difficult given the ever-changing situation we are all facing.

What does this mean for staff? First of all, I would like to commend my entire team of people working at High Prairie School Division. As I mentioned before, the information we are receiving is change weekly, daily, and even hourly. The staff in our division have responded like the professionals they are with calm and dedication. Even before we received the directive from Alberta Education, our folks were prepping materials for kids, checking in with students and their families, and being a source of collegial strength to their coworkers.

Not all staff have been able to be in school every day. Many faced childcare needs, self-isolation, and diminished mental health as a result of this pandemic. High Prairie School Division is committed to supporting its team and we are not asking any staff member to use vacation, sick leave, or any other leave for days missed this past week. You were all where you needed to be.

As we enter our regularly scheduled spring break, my hope for each of you is that you all enjoy this well-deserved time off. These past weeks have taken a significant toll on everyone. Over the holiday, step back from your coursework and reflect on the successes you've had and the obstacles you've overcome. There are many things about this pandemic that we cannot control. Our perspective is within our control. Thank you for your ongoing support. We will get through this together.
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