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Horizon updates end of year at-home learning

Posted on January 7, 2021 by Vauxhall Advance

By Cole Parkinson

Vauxhall Advance

With a provincial lockdown placed at the end of the year, it saw many students return to an at-home learning format.

For students in Grade 7-12, they were told to stay home as COVID-19 numbers grew in the province, and Horizon School Division used what they learned earlier in the spring to transition back into that learning format.

While younger grades are still at school, it was explained to the Horizon board of trustees that several students are accessing their respective school for a variety of reasons during the provincial shutdown.

“I think everyone is aware Grades 7-12 have moved to an at-home learning concept a little while ago,” explained Wilco Tymensen, superintendent of schools, at the school board’s regular meeting on Dec. 14. “We do have some staff that are transitioning to at-home learning. A lot of our teachers will continue to access and be at school because under the current paradigm, if there are kids accessing programming at school whether they are high needs students or kids coming in for a one on one session, staff are still providing those supports.” 

“We do have the ability to track staff that are working from home. I haven’t had a chance to look over those numbers yet. My assumption is they will be a smaller number,” continued Tymensen.

With the move of older students to at-home learning, Tymensen also highlighted for the board the fact he had been receiving fewer calls from AHS.

“All of our Kindergarten to Grade 6 students and staff continue to be at school. What’s interesting though is since junior high and high school has moved to at-home learning, we’ve had less Alberta Health phone calls. I’m not saying there are less kids infected but because those kids are not entering our buildings, Alberta Health doesn’t consider us a close contact,” he stated. “Hopefully the numbers provincially drop, and we are able to go back to normal on January 11.” 

All Horizon students are currently at-home learning during the first week of school (Jan. 4 to Jan. 8) after the Christmas break.

The plan is to have all students back to in-school learning next week.

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