September 1, 2020
First, let me start by extending our gratitude for all the work parents and teachers have done to keep our students learning and safe in these especially challenging times! We greatly value the partnership between home and school and look forward to meeting the challenges that this COVID-19 pandemic has presented.
In May, the Ministry of Education asked divisions to be prepared for any and all of the following scenarios for the start of school in the fall. These scenarios are: 1) normal operations; 2) schools are open for classes with some health restrictions that affect operations; 3) schools remain closed for classes – at-home learning continues.
On July 21, 2020 the Minister of Education announced that students will return to school under Scenario 1, in-school classes resume (near normal with health measures).
While most of our students have chosen to attend classes in-person, some families have decided to enrol in at-home learning to start the year. At-home learning instruction may be delivered via virtual means, paper-and-pencil, or combination of both. Some parents and students have asked to access live-streaming synchronous learning.
Live online teaching known as synchronous learning is learning that happens at a specific time of the day when students and the teacher interact with each other.
In order to support our students learning at home, some teachers have chosen to live-stream their regular classroom lessons. We realize that live streaming may present challenges such as: 1) it is technically challenging for the teachers; 2) it relies on the use of technology which might have interruptions during the day; 3) it will divide the attention of the teacher between students in class and students at home; 4) it will be challenging for students to be online for extended periods,especially the younger students; and 5) some teachers may feel there are more traditional and superior ways to support students who are absent. As always, we will be benefiting from the collective professional judgement that our administrators and teachers demonstrate to provide the best education possible for our students and we anticipate adjustments as the school year evolves.
With respect to student conduct in an on-line environment, our normal policies and procedures will still apply. We need parents and students to understand that whether a student attends classes in person or via live-streaming, recording of a class is not permitted by the AP 140 Acceptable Technology Use, Computer User’s Code of Ethics, which reads:
I understand that staff and other students have a right to personal privacy within the school. I will not post online nor share another person’s image, audio or video data that has been captured within the school on either student or Division owned devices.
Any online activity as part of an educational project must be approved and supervised by a teacher.
Any such recording could lead to disciplinary consequences including removal of the ability to access the classroom via live-streaming.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Superintendent, St. Paul School Division