As noted in an email earlier this week, the province declared a state of public health emergency and announced several new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19—some of which impact Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) and in-school learners. Below is a brief update regarding the provincial-mandated measures and an outline of what to expect while in effect.


CHANGES TO IN-SCHOOL LEARNING: OVERVIEW AND TIMELINE

  • Students in grades 7-12, enrolled in in-school learning, will move to a temporary online learning model from November 30 to January 8.
  • The Christmas break takes place December 23 to January 5. During this time there is no school for students.
  • All students, K-12, resume temporary online learning on January 6 to January 8.
  • In-school learning resumes on January 11.

NOTE: Alberta Education has directed school divisions to follow their Division calendars if dates differ from what was announced during the COVID-19 update on Nov. 24, 2020. As such, the EIPS Christmas break remains unchanged.


TEMPORARY ONLINE LEARNING

Students moving to the temporary online-learning model, will do so using the Brightspace platform. Every day, students will log on to Brightspace and follow their regular in-school learning bell schedule.

Once logged on, students simply need to select their scheduled subject. Immediately, they’ll see teacher updates, learning information, required assignments, quizzes and links for virtual instruction. All EIPS schools have practiced using Brightspace with students in preparation for a possible in-school class suspension. As such, the transition should be relatively seamless for learners.

Brightspace log in information for students:
     Web address: https://eips.brightspace.com
     Username: EIPS student email address
     Password: EIPS student password
     NOTE: Contact the school for assistance with resetting passwords.

EIPS encourages all families and students to log in to Brightspace and spend some time navigating the site before the temporary online learning begins. The Division is also hosting a virtual information session about navigating Brightspace on December 3 at 7 p.m.  Join the Meeting

How-to tips for working in Brightspace:


TEMPORARY ONLINE LEARNING: A SNEAK PEEK

  • Each class period starts with attendance, followed by a virtual instruction lesson led by the student’s in-school class teacher.
  • Students must join the virtual instruction meetings five minutes before it’s scheduled to begin.
  • Student cameras must be turned on during all virtual instruction.
  • Once the lesson is finished, students can turn their camera off to work on the related assignment.
  • The teacher will be present the entire class period to answer questions and offer further instruction.
  • Unlike last year, students will participate in all registered courses, not just core courses—these include physical education, foods, drama, construction, mechanics and more.
  • Teachers will work in their regular classrooms to ensure all classes continue and the appropriate demonstration of course material occurs.


TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS

  • Students must have access to the internet and a computer, Chromebook or tablet.
  • Students who don’t have access to the internet or a computer, Chromebook or tablet, can contact their school to make alternative arrangements.


FAMILY SUPPORT

EIPS understands the provincial-mandated change to learning may create challenges for some families. Please know, the Division’s No. 1 priority is the safety and wellness of students and their families. As such, all EIPS employees are working diligently to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Additionally, all school counsellors and support teams continue to work with students and families, sharing mental health resources and information. For a list of resources and supports, visit EIPS Mental Health Resources for Families.


SPECIALIZED SUPPORTS AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS

Students enrolled in the following system special education or full-time outreach programs will not transition to online learning and instead continue with in-school learning: GOALS, FOCUS, PLACE, STEPS, LINKS, SEAS, Clover Bar Junior High Bridging Program, Next Step Outreach and Ranch Learning Centre. Additionally, school teams will continue working with students with significant learning needs to support their programming.


MORE INFORMATION

As more details become available, EIPS will continue to share information and updates. The Division’s also working on a frequently asked question document—available early next week. Information is also available on eips.ca, Facebook, Twitter and each school website. For all other questions and concerns, contact your child’s school directly.


THANK YOU!

Lastly, on behalf of everyone at Elk Island Public Schools, thank you for your patience, understanding and commitment to learning. Adapting to the temporary online learning is an adjustment for everyone. Our goal is to make it as seamless as possible.