December 2, 2020 Palliser Beyond Borders news for high school students
December 2, 2020
Dear high school students and parents:
As grades 7-12 in Alberta move to remote learning, we want to assure you that teaching and learning at Palliser Beyond Borders continues online. Our goal is to provide continuity of learning online.
It’s business as usual in our online community with the following points for you to consider.
- Students still have access to their online Palliser Beyond Borders courses.
- Deadlines as set by the teachers still apply.
- Teachers are available to meet with students and assess work until December 18. School starts up again on January 4.
- Students can continue to work over the break. If students need access to the next units that are locked they must arrange with teachers before December 18.
- Students can access work plans in each of their courses. Any adjustments that need to be made are to be discussed with the subject teacher.
- As soon as a student has completed a course, we can add another course if progress continues in other courses. We offer continuous start and completion dates and students are not required to wait for semester 2 start.
- The drop-in link to our Blackboard Online Learning Commons is posted on our Moodle dashboard: https://moodle.prs26.ca/my/
- See our school calendar (on our website for parents) and on the Moodle dashboard for students. https://moodle.prs26.ca/my/
- Each course has a subject specific schedule in Blackboard posted with the link to each teacher’s Blackboard room.
- Teachers are online manning the drop in room each day and we will put students in touch with their teachers right away, or if the teacher is working with another student, as soon as we can.
- Teacher contact information, emails and phones are listed in the teacher block of each course. In addition, students can drop in via our online classroom and I will put them in touch with their teacher.
- Parents and students can book a teacher student conference at any time.See our E-Teacher web pages on our website for contact information: https://www.palliserbeyondborders.com/eteachers
- All our courses have mobile access. For help in setting up on a phone see these instructions for Blackboard and Moodle. (Some telecoms are now offering unlimited access to data FYI - students can follow up with their providers)
- Cohort instruction continues as well. Your help in getting your students reconnected to us will be appreciated.
- As courses are completed, we will be submitting course completions and marks to Alberta Education and reporting via Powerschool to the portal. These will be available to see on your detailed academic records through MyPass.
What can parents do to help:
- Students are asked to be in regular contact with teachers either in their assigned instruction times or by meeting teachers in Blackboard. Your help in ensuring contact is appreciated.
- Reach out to teachers and arrange a conference if your student needs the help and is not asking. We want students reaching out. This is what helps them be successful.
- Create a scheduled time to work online.
- A second monitor is handy for students to work on a course in one screen and a google doc on another.
- Read all emails that are sent by teachers and generated by moodle. When a teacher marks and provides feedback, Moodle sends a message to the student email. Sometimes the student is asked to provide more information before a final grade is assigned. Ask students to reply to the teacher so he/she knows that the students have received the message.
Diploma exams for High School students
Diploma exams for January, April and June 2021 are optional as posted by Alberta Education. Students and their parents will decide whether the student would like to write their diploma exam. If the diploma exam is not written, an exemption will be provided. To receive an exemption, students need to be currently taking the course and receive a school-awarded mark during the 2020/21 school year.
Should I take an optional diploma exam? A note from our Career and Academic Counsellor:
Many students are asking how universities will look at their transcript if they opt out of taking diploma exams. Universities have been clear - whatever final mark appears on your transcript is the mark they will use for admission purposes. They will not differentiate between final marks that include a diploma exam and final marks that do not. So, if you believe taking a diploma exam would be a benefit to you, go ahead and take it. If you don’t believe it will benefit you, don’t stress about taking it. In most cases, your teacher will be giving you a final exam which will still give you practice in taking a rigorous, cumulative exam.
Other information about diplomas
The Diploma Exam General Information Bulletin will soon be updated to reflect the changes.
Students will automatically be awarded an exemption once a passing course mark is submitted to Alberta Education students must complete their courses to qualify for the exemption.
If students registered in courses wish to write the diploma please alert your teacher who will arrange for registration, and you will be notified of locations and times and covid protocol for writing.
If you are
- A student re-writing for upgrading,
- home education students looking for credits, or
- adults looking for credits without course the requirement to complete a course for a course mark
you must register at MyPass and confirm with the location at which you wish to write that they will invigilate for you.
See this document with questions and answers from Alberta Education
Wishing you all health and wellbeing.
Alison Hancox, MET