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Online learning available for elementary, high school students during 2020-21New

SPS OnlineLearning.jpgOnline learning delivered by Saskatoon Public Schools teachers will be available for kindergarten to Grade 12 students during the 2020-21 school year.

The school division is expanding online learning programming to accommodate families seeking an online or at-home learning experience for their student. Programming is developed and delivered by SPS teachers and is available is at no cost to families through Saskatoon Public Schools' Online Learning Centre (OLC).

Registration is open for the 2020-21 school year and families are asked to make a fully informed decision to participate and commit to online learning. Registration and enrolment commitments are critical in order to allocate staffing resources to meet the needs of students. Students need to be prepared for virtual learning and will be expected to engage in daily virtual instruction. 

Registered kindergarten to Grade 9 students will take all required Saskatchewan Curriculum areas of study: English language arts, mathematics, science, social science, health education, arts education and physical education. Students in Grade 10-12 can choose from a selection of more than 40 courses in order to earn a complete high school diploma. Additional courses may be added depending on student registration and interest.

Elementary Program

The elementary program for kindergarten to Grade 8 will offer full-time curriculum options in a fully online method. Students will use Google Classroom and additional technology tools to facilitate learning. Online programming will be provided through both synchronous (teacher online with the students at the same time) and asynchronous (students access course content on their own at any time) delivery models.

The virtual OLC classrooms will be comparable in size and composition to other elementary classes in the division and may include students from a variety of schools.  The exact composition of virtual classrooms will be based on enrolment. 

For kindergarten to Grade 8 registration, families are asked to complete the full-time registration form and to let their local school principal know of their intent to register with the OLC virtual school.

Collegiate Program

Students in Grade 9-12 have an option to register part-time or full-time in the OLC. Full-time students may take up to two classes at a time over five sessions (two months each) for a total of 10 possible classes. Part-time students may take one class at a time and remain enrolled at their home collegiate for a second, in-person class. Programming for high school students is delivered through the Blackboard system.

For Grade 9-12 registration, students may, with the support parents/guardians, register on a part-time or full-time basis. Please inform Student Services at your home collegiate of your intent to register with the OLC virtual school. Students may choose to make an appointment with their collegiate counsellor to discuss their graduation plan prior to registering.  To make an appointment, contact your collegiate. Collegiate counsellors return to schools Aug. 19.

Specialized Programs

French and Cree immersion online programming may be available. If immersion students later choose to return to in-class learning, they would be eligible to return to school-based language immersion programs. All other elementary and collegiate Unique Programs will not be offered in an online format. For single year or partial year unique programs, students who choose online learning will not be able to rejoin the unique program partway through the school year. 

Wait lists will be paused for multi-year programs such as SAGE and Montessori. Families who choose online learning will not lose their spot in the program as this is a temporary vacancy. Wait lists will still be used if there are permanent vacancies, such as a student moving to a different school division or program. 

Students who enrol full time in online learning may be eligible for support services such as English as an Additional Language (EAL) or resource. For students who require EAL or special needs programming, the implications and challenges of delivering an individualized program in an online format should be discussed with the child's support team prior to enrolment. An online learning plan for students with additional and intensive supports will be developed with the online teacher, student support team, and families as required.

In order to support equitable access to online learning, Saskatoon Public Schools can make technology and connectivity available to families, depending on the need and availability of refurbished equipment.  

For more information about the Online Learning Centre visit www.saskatoonpublicschools.ca/onlineschool.

Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)8/11/2020 8:21 PM
All schools will welcome back students on Sept. 1

Saskatoon Public Schools will begin the 2020-21 school year before the Labour Day weekend with the first day of classes for students in both elementary and high school scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.

In June, the provincial government announced that in-class learning for prekindergarten to Grade 12 students will resume at the start of the new school year. This means students are expected to return to our schools on Sept. 1

 The government also provided health guidelines for returning to in-class learning that establish expectations for proper hand hygiene practices, limiting physical contact, encouraging physical distancing, limiting shared materials, and increased cleaning and sanitizing.

The guidelines may be updated depending on the impact of COVID-19 over the summer and contingency plans will be in place in the event of an elevated risk of transmission, both regionally and provincially. Saskatoon Public Schools is currently planning for mandatory curricular learning in the fall with all students returning to school full time.

Throughout the summer, school division staff will be collaborating on plans for how to make schools as safe as possible for the return of students on Sept. 1. Ahead of the school start date, families will receive information from the school division and their schools about any new guidelines and procedures that will be in place for the return to school.

Elementary schools will hold early registration day for students and families who are new to the school on Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It will provide an opportunity for families to register students and ask questions. Families whose children are already registered at the school do not have to attend. New high school students can contact the collegiate of their choice at any time during the summer for registration and course selection.

Students and families who are new to Canada or are not Canadian citizens should contact the Newcomer Student Centre to register for school. The centre opens Aug. 4 and will start registration and language assessments by appointment only beginning Aug. 11 for those who wish to register for the 2020-21 year. Please call the centre 306-683-8400 or email nsc@spsd.sk.ca for an appointment.

The 2020-21 school calendar represents a total of 195 days with a minimum of 950 hours of instruction for students. It includes a 16-day winter break around Christmas and New Year's Day, a nine-day break in February that includes the Family Day holiday and a 10-day spring break in conjunction with the Easter long weekend. The final day of classes for high school students will be June 23, 2021, while the final day for elementary students is June 24.

Key dates in the calendar are:

  • First day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020
  • Christmas Break: Last day of classes is Friday, Dec. 18, 2020; classes resume Monday, Jan. 4, 2021
  • February Break: Last day of classes is Friday, Feb. 12, 2021; classes resume Monday, Feb. 22, 2021
  • Spring Break: Last day of classes is Thursday, April 1, 2021; classes resume Monday, April 12, 2021
  • Last day for high school students: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
  • Last day for elementary students: Thursday, June 24, 2021
Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)7/14/2020 3:40 PM
w芒hk么htowin chosen as new name for Confederation Park School

confedrenaming_news.jpgFollowing extensive community collaboration and direction, the Board of Education approved w芒hk么htowin as the new name for Confederation Park Community School at its meeting on June 16.

Through a traditional naming ceremony that followed appropriate Cree culture protocol, w芒hk么htowin (pronounced Wah-KOH-toh-win) was chosen. The word is a N锚hiyaw (Cree) word that means "relations/relationships/being related". The word is often used to describe kinship.

"The word w芒hk么htowin in the Cree language has multiple meanings and ways of understanding," said Confederation Park Principal Pete Chief. "This reflects the work we do, not only in our division with our strategic plan, but most importantly the everyday work we do at Confederation Park School."

Confederation Park is the home of the school division's N锚hiy芒wiwin Cree Language and Culture Program. When the program celebrated its 10th anniversary in the spring of 2016, the initial conversation about renaming the school began. From there, the school assembled elders to guide the process, who advised that traditional Cree protocols be followed due to the importance of the name change.

According to the elders and knowledge keepers that conducted the naming ceremony, the new name can be used to describe how all school community members are related and connected through their participation in the daily life of school. The new name invites students, staff, and parents be a part of the school learning community that is defined by the importance of relationships. Following the naming ceremony, the proposed name came to the board for adoption.

"Our board is proud to approve this name change, which is a wonderful example of one of our schools being responsive to its community," said Board Chair Colleen MacPherson. "w芒hk么htowin captures what we want our schools to be for our students and families 鈥 a place where relationship comes first."

The new name, w芒hk么htowin School, will be in place in September for the start of the next academic year. Due to gathering restrictions, a celebration cannot be held with the school community at this time but is expected to be planned sometime in the new school year.

Drabble, Rodney J. (Rod)7/13/2020 11:43 AM