WEYBURN - The South East Cornerstone Public School Division has announced changes to its plans for exam week for students in Grades 10-12.
In a message sent to parents, director of education Lynn Little said COVID outbreaks and impact have continued to escalate across the school division.
"We have a number of students away from school, due to COVID, close contacts, family contacts, and personal or family choice," Little said in the letter. "This has made it difficult for many students to complete courses and provide evidence of learning in all outcomes. It has also been difficult for teachers to manage and support all students. Traditionally, the final week of January has been a week dedicated to course completion and assessment of final outcomes on term work."
South East Cornerstone will be adjusting expectations and processes next week across the system, Little said. For all physical schools, students in Grades 10-12 will attend school in-person on Jan. 24. Rather than traditional final written exams, the remainder of the week will be dedicated to assisting students to complete learning, provide evidence of outcome attainment or to enhance the current marks they have in specific outcomes.
The focus of this week will assist students in both completing outcomes and showing evidence of credit attainment.
Assignments or learning completed and assessed from Tuesday to Friday will not negatively impact student marks, Little said. Student marks can only increase but not decrease during this time.
There will be no in-class learning nor in-class assessments for full classes of students.
"Instead, teachers will work with students individually or in small groups to support their learning and assessment," Little said. "This may occur online or in-class. Arrangements may be made, in some community circumstances, for students to attend in person at the school. It is important for students to know and understand that participation in the learning and assessment is not optional, but a requirement of their classes."
Students with intensive needs who attend functionally integrated programs will continue to attend in person as previously scheduled.
Jan. 31 is a scheduled non-student day. The second semester begins on Feb. 1.
"We anticipate that all students will return to full in-class learning at that time," said Little. "There are a couple of classes that have moved to remote learning across the system who will have a later return date - the date of their return will remain as originally communicated."
School staff will be in contact with parents and students to share expectations, processes and schedules.
South East Cornerstone also noted that in an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID and enhance safety of all, Grade 9 classes at the Estevan Comprehensive School will move to remote learning effective Jan. 25. Cornerstone anticipates a return to in-class learning on Feb. 1. Jan. 24 will be an in-class learning day for Grade 9s.
"This will allow an opportunity for students and staff to prepare materials required," the school division said.