Planning for the 2020‒21 school year

  • Returning students to classes for the 2020‒21 school year
  • School operations in the 2020‒21 school year
  • Student learning in the 2020–21 school year
  • Health and safety
  • Adapting school operations if necessary
  • Blended Learning
  1. Returning students to classes for the 2020‒21 school year

    The Government of Yukon is planning for Yukon Kindergarten to Grade 12 students to return to classes in public schools for the start of the 2020‒21 school year. Yukon schools will plan for the return of students based on our planning for the 2020-21 school year and health and safety guidelines being developed by the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health.

    Based on current advice and information, the plan is to return students to full-time classes in school at the start of the new school year.

    As part of “A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions”, initial health and safety guidance for K-12 schools has been developed with Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to start planning for changes to the operations of Yukon schools for the 2020‒21 school year. More detailed health and safety guidelines will also be developed before the start of the 2020‒21 school year.

  2. School operations in the 2020‒21 school year

    School principals and staff will plan their operations to ensure a safe return to school for students and staff while meeting the unique needs and context of school communities and following the:

    Preliminary plan for the 202021 school year

    The preliminary plan for the 202021 school year includes:

    • In rural communities, Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will return to full-day, in-class instruction five days per week.
    • In Whitehorse, Kindergarten to Grade 9 students in Whitehorse will return to full-day, in-class instruction five days per week. Grades 10 to 12 students will return to half-day in-class instruction and half-day learning away from school 5 days per week. This arrangement for Grades 10-12 students will be monitored and assessed as part of planning for the second semester of the school year.
    • Resource Programs for students with disabilities, transitions programs and other programs for students needing additional support will continue at school all day every day.
    • The Commission scolaire francophone du Yukon is working with its school community to determine plans for operational plans at École Émilie-Tremblay and Académie Parhélie for the 202021 school year.

    This approach ensures schools are following the health and safety guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and ensures all students have time and support from their teachers every day and regular routines for learning.

    The Department of Education’s central administration is working with school principals and staff to plan their operations. This includes determining how to:

    • implement measures to meet health and safety guidelines for schools;
    • ensure teachers and staff maintain regular and ongoing communication with students, families, school communities and local First Nation(s); and
    • how each school would adapt schedules and operations, if necessary.

    Planning for the 2020‒21 school year is an ongoing process. Yukon First Nations, school councils and education partners will continue to be engaged and their feedback incorporated as planning continues for the 2020‒21 school year.

    School principals and staff will share finalized plans for how they will adjust their operations in August before the start of the 2020‒21 school year so students and families know what to expect on the first day back to school.

    Temporary school programming relocation

    Some school programming needs to be temporarily relocated for the 202021 school year to:

    • meet the health and safety guidelines for schools;
    • support safe spacing; and
    • manage traffic flows in schools.

    To support safe spacing at FH Collins Secondary, the grade 8 classes from FH Collins Secondary will be moved to the Wood Street Centre for the 202021 school year.

    The Wood Street Centre’s programs will move into available space at Porter Creek Secondary for the school year. We do not expect any other groups of students or programs to need relocation.

    Learning and the school day

    Schools will provide flexible learning environments for students that can be easily adapted based on how students are learning.

    Schedules

    Schedules may need to be adjusted and students may not have their regular teacher or same classmates.

    Bussing

    Bussing arrangements and school schedules may look different, including pickup and drop off, lunch hour and recess.

    School bus services for the 202021 school year are being adapted based on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, including fewer students riding the bus to support safe spacing.

    Students will be prioritized for busing in the 202021 school year if they are eligible for school busing as described in the Education Act and Student Transportation Regulations for students residing outside of a 3.2 kilometre radius of their school and are enrolled in their attendance area school.

    The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Education encourage families to transport students between home and school this year if possible by arranging for students to:

    • walk;
    • cycle;
    • drive; or
    • carpool.

    Students will be prioritized for busing in the 2020‒21 school year if they are eligible for school busing as described in the Education Act and Student Transportation Regulations:

    • residing outside of a 3.2 kilometre radius of their school and are enrolled in their attendance area school.

    Any families who require and are eligible for school busing and have not yet registered need to do so as soon as possible. Whitehorse parents/guardians should visit transportation options. Rural parents/guardians should contact their school directly.

    Supports

    Mental health supports will be available for students as they return.

    School meal programs will be available for students with health and safety measures and pickup options.

  3. Student learning in the 2020–21 school year

    As part of Yukon’s modernized curriculum, teachers and students will continue to use technology as part of learning to develop digital literacy and skills they will need for their lives and careers.

    Blended learning

    For the 202021 school year, educators will continue to build these skills with students through blended learning, which combines:

    • Face-to-face teaching and learning, where students apply their knowledge, deepen their understanding and demonstrate their learning with their teachers (teacher-led activities, on the land learning opportunities, work stations, labs, etc.).
    • Student led learning where students use digital tools to gather information through inquiry, reading, research and work on assignments (online tools, resources, and collaboration).
    • Teachers support, instruction and feedback both in person and online.
    • Students learning skills for success to manage some of their own learning (goal setting, organization, prioritizing, time management, etc.) with some flexibility for the time, place, and pace of their learning.

    Yukon Continuity of Learning Requirements

    The Yukon Learning Continuity Requirements set the priorities and expectations for delivering learning and the curriculum to students in the 202021 school year.

    This includes guiding the delivery of blended learning in Yukon schools, meeting all students where they are in their learning and adapting school programming and instruction.

    School principals and staff will continue to communicate and work with Yukon First Nations to deliver Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing and being learning as part of student instruction.

    Student learning at each grade level

    Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will have traditional direct instruction and support from teachers for their learning.

    Students in grades 4-9 students will have both face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and digital activities with technology and online tools during the day in class.

    Students in grades 10-12 will learn for the half the day with face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates in school and learn for the other half of the day away from school with digital activities with technology and online tools.

  4. Health and safety

    Throughout the pandemic, we will keep as many students in classes in schools as is safely possible.

    Some of the measures schools will take to ensure the health and safety of students and staff include:

    • having schools cleaned more often;
    • ensuring no physical contact or sharing of personal items; and
    • class sizes may be smaller to meet space restrictions and health and safety guidelines for schools.

    Managing illness and student absences

    Students will not be able to attend school if they have symptoms. Parents and caregivers must monitor students for symptoms and keep their child at home if a student has symptoms.

    If a child needs to stay home for health reasons, they will have access to digital and self-directed learning options to learn away from school.

    Hand washing and personal hygiene

    Students will need to wash their hands before they come to school and frequently during the day.

    Wearing masks

    Wearing masks will not be required in schools. Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Students and staff can choose to wear a mask while at school.

  5. Adapting school operations if necessary

    Our planning for the 202021 school year sets the following priorities during the pandemic:

    • health and safety of students, staff and school communities;
    • learning continuity for all students, with as many students in class as safely possible;
    • supports for students who need additional or special assistance;
    • supports for children of critical and essential service workers; and
    • supports for teachers and support staff to deliver flexible learning to students.

    If necessary, the plan for 202021 school year includes flexibility to:

    • reduce the number of students in schools if there is an increased risk of transmission or a second wave or community outbreak of COVID-19; and
    • supplement in-person classes with other learning opportunities if students cannot be in school full-time.
  6. Blended Learning

    As part of Yukon’s modernized curriculum, teachers and students use technology as part of learning, to develop digital literacy and skills they will need for their lives and careers. 

    For the 2020–21 school year, Yukon public schools will continue to teach with these tools and build these skills with students, through Blended Learning which combines face-to-face and digital learning, which can be adapted if necessary, over the course of the pandemic.

    Grades K–3 students

    Will learn in class at school for full days. As per the curriculum, they will learn at school with more traditional direct instruction and support from teachers for their learning with some digital activities. 

    Grades 4–9 students

    Will learn in class at school for full days, with some face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and some digital activities with technology and online tools.

    Grades 10–12 students

    Will learn for half the day in class in school with face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and learn for the other half of the day away from school with some digital activities with technology and online tools.

    What is Blended Learning?

    Blended Learning combines:

    • Face-to-face teaching and learning, where students apply their knowledge, deepen their understanding and demonstrate their learning with their teachers (teacher-led activities, on the land learning opportunities, work stations, labs, etc.).
    • Student led learning where students use digital tools to gather information through inquiry, reading, research and work on assignments (online tools, resources, and collaboration).
    • Teacher support, instruction and feedback both in person and online.
    • Students learning skills to manage some of their own learning (goal setting, organization, prioritizing, time management, etc.) with some flexibility for the time, place, and pace of their learning.

    What does Blended Learning look like?

    Blended Learning will look a little different based on:

    • grade level;
    • the online and digital tools being used; and
    • students’ learning needs.

    Grades K–3 students will:

    • learn in class at school for full days. As per the curriculum, they will learn at school with more traditional direct instruction and support from teachers for their learning with some digital activities. 

    Grades 4–9 students will:

    • learn in class at school for full days, with some face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and some digital activities with technology and online tools;
    • work with teachers and classmates both in person and online; 
    • participate in project-based learning;;
    • learn and develop skills for self-directing some of their learning; and
    • learn how to progress and succeed, with some flexibility and choices to personalize their learning to their strengths and interests.

    Grades 10–12 students will:

    • learn for the half the day in class in school with face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and learn for the other half of the day away from school with digital activities, technology and online tools;
    • participate in project-based learning;
    • learn and develop skills for self-directing some of their learning; and 
    • learn how to progress with some flexibility and choices to personalize their learning to their strengths and interests.

    Examples of digital learning in class and away from school:

    • watching instructional videos
    • discussing a topic online with their class
    • working on collaborative projects and activities online
    • completing an assignment on paper or online
    • engaging in research
    • communicating with their teacher to receive feedback or guidance 

    Examples of hands-on learning away from school:

    • On the land learning
    • Activities such as:
      • building a garden bed
      • planting vegetables/flowers
      • measuring the area of their bedroom or house

    Digital tools used for Blended Learning in Yukon

    Students will learn, communicate and collaborate with classmates and teachers through digital tools like: 

    • Moodle 
    • Microsoft 365 (Teams, OneNote)
    • Google Classroom
    • FreshGrade

    Role of the teacher in a Blended Learning setting

    With Blended Learning, the teacher is a coach and facilitator of learning:

    • Leads instruction of curriculum through a variety of methods to teach knowledge, skills and competencies.
    • Facilitates deep learning, discussion and collaboration.
    • Differentiates and personalizes learning for students.
    • Assesses and provides constructive feedback.
    • Looks at student data to adjust instructional methods.
    • Coordinates collaborative learning and projects.

    Supporting your child’s learning

    • Parents/guardians may be concerned about their child returning to classes in school. More detailed health and safety guidance for school settings will be provided as it becomes available.
    • Ensure your child has access to devices, technology and the Internet away from school. If you do not have devices for your student to access, please discuss it with your school when school resumes.
    • Keep in contact with teachers about your child’s learning progress during the year.
    • Talk to your child about using digital tools and ask them to show you what they are learning on their devices.
    • Stay up to date on school newsletters and information from teachers about learning and health and safety at your child’s school.

    Resources

    To learn more about Blended Learning, visit:


Contact 

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