April 17, 2020 8:25 a.m.
Learning Continuity Plan: Assignments, Marks and Final Grades
Questions and Answers
Is every student getting a free pass to the next grade?
“Government expects that every student, regardless of their geographic location or socioeconomic status, will continue to learn while in-school classes across the province are cancelled.” (Government of Alberta News Release March 20, 2020)
We believe students and families will do the best that they can to support learning continuity under these trying conditions. We trust teachers are committed to developing instructional strategies and assessment practices that show an understanding of how students can best learn while classes are cancelled—practicing responsive approaches designed to support the success of every student.
Teachers and principals have a professional responsibility for assessing performance and knowledge to determine a final grade.
- Simply advancing students would cause difficulties for them at the next level.
- Many courses rely on the skills and knowledge developed in previous grade levels.
- For instance, Grade 10 Math relies on skills and content acquired from a full Grade 9 Math course.
- Teachers are very aware of the developmental progressions from grade to grade and are applying their professional understanding to teach what they have determined to be the most crucial pieces.
- Students are expected to put in a reasonable effort at home until classes resume.
- Teachers will work with students to meet their needs as the situation warrants.
- School principals will lead school teams to work proactively in order to deliver additional learning and mental health supports where needed.
- School principals will determine the best course of action for addressing exceptional barriers to learning continuity on a case-by-case basis.
- When classes resume, revisions to lesson plans, learning supports, and assessment practices will be developed to account for the current disruption to learning continuity.
How will teachers mark students’ work?
In general, teachers will ask students to complete tasks that reveal their learning. Like all assessments of learning, this can be done in many different ways and it will vary from grade to grade; subject-to-subject; and student to student.
Principles for final mark:
- A final grade is not automatically going to be a passing
- A final mark cannot go down based on a student’s standing prior to the cancellation of classes.
- A final mark can improve based on a student’s completion of studies since the cancelation of classes.
- Students should continue their learning in order to improve class marks.
- Assign a grade for work completed as of March 16 (the completion of Quarter 3) and inform students of their course standing.
- Revise their assessment plans for the balance of the year.
- Include learning continuity recommendations for next year.
What is the principal’s role to support learning continuity?
Principals will continue working with teachers and assist them to make professional decisions about students’ academic progress.
- Review revisions to course / year plans with teachers, including learning assessment plans.
- Monitor and support the maintenance of student contact logs.
What are the reporting requirements for student achievement?
- School principals will consult with parents and inform them how teachers are planning to complete assessment of student achievement.
- The expectation is that schools provide final mark on report cards for this school year.
- Final grades will be assigned based on teacher professional judgement and principal approval.
What does it mean to be “on track” to graduate?
“Those who are on track to receive 100 or more credits will still be eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma.”
“Every student will receive final grades and will receive a report card, appropriate to their grade level.”
This refers to students’ scheduled courses prior to the cancellation of in-school course delivery. “On track” means that a student had a schedule that progressed them toward graduation, AND they had been performing successfully on that path.
- Students must continue to put forth an honest effort to learn in all courses that they are registered in, and that continue to be offered by the school. If there is a course offered that the student could not complete, the principal is informed and alternatives should be explored.
- Teachers, principals, students and parents can discuss what that means for each student.
- There would be no benefit gained by promoting students who have not invested reasonable engagement and effort to demonstrate their learning. Preliminary conversations with parents about student promotion should commence based on the March assessment of student learning.
What about the “Unallocated Credits” announced by Alberta Education?
“If the student is unable to complete a course that would have led them to achieving a high school diploma, such as a work experience or a career and technology studies course, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure the student graduates.”
The authority to assign unallocated credits lies with the principal.
- There are many individual factors to consider before simply awarding credits.
- We have advised principals to reserve these decisions for later in the school year.
- Students or their parents who believe unallocated credits should be awarded need to discuss their situations with the school principal.
Update: March 26, 2020
Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools will begin offering at-home learning, either through online means or through other accommodations as required.
Commencing on April 1, 2020 Principal's and Teachers' will assess and determine the best means of delivery for each of their students.
View: Alberta Educations Continuity Plan: COVID 19 Questions and Answers
We are committed to delivering quality learning that will:
- Focus the education content of work assigned to students.
- Evaluate what has not yet been covered in the classroom to date, and will
prioritize remaining learning outcomes based on what is manageable for students learning at
- Assign specific tasks and projects for students.
- Work with students and parents on the delivery of provided materials.
- Assess a student’s progress and assign a final grade.
Grade Progression and Report Cards
Every student will receive final grades and a report card, appropriate to their grade level. Principals will engage parents and ensure they are kept informed about how assessment will be determined. All students who were on track to progress to the next grade will. Principals will ensure plans and supports are in place for students who require assistance to progress to the next grade.
Where possible, schools will work with high school students to complete their courses to the best of their ability, providing a final mark and awarding credits. If a student is unable to complete a course that would have allowed them to progress to the next grade, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure student progression.
Students on track to receive 100 or more credits will still be eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma. Principals will award up to 15 credits to students in Grade 12 whose program has been negatively impacted by class cancellations. For any courses that are started, schools will complete them with the student to the best of their ability, provide a final mark and award credits.
If the student is unable to complete a course that would have led them to achieving a high school diploma, such as a work experience or a career and technology studies course, principals will award credits to ensure the student graduates.