Connect with us

Alberta

Big news for Alberta’s students in pandemic update from Minister LaGrange

Published

8 minute read

Helping students catch up after pandemic disruption

As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, up to $45 million will support younger students who have fallen behind during the pandemic and more flexibility will be provided for students writing diploma exams.

Supporting reading, writing and numeracy skills for early learners

In May 2021, Alberta’s government announced $45 million would be available for school authorities to offer targeted programming to enhance literacy and numeracy skills.

School authorities have completed learning assessments to identify students who could benefit from targeted programming and now funds will be distributed at a per-student rate of $490.

School authorities have the flexibility to use this funding to design programming to best meet the needs of their students. Programming will be above and beyond classroom learning. The initial focus will be on students in grades 2 and 3, with targeted support for students in Grade 1 starting in February 2022.

“Many Alberta students had their education disrupted during the pandemic, which resulted in lost classroom and instruction time. We are committed to addressing this learning loss, and this funding will support students who need extra help to improve their reading, writing and numeracy skills. This grant gives school authorities the funds and flexibility they need to ensure each student is successful.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“This $45 million for student learning is welcome news as school boards continue to face a variety of unique challenges due to the pandemic. This will help boards support recovery from long-term effects of learning loss, based on local needs.”

Lorrie Jess, president, Alberta School Boards Association

“AISCA is thankful that the Government of Alberta is recognizing and addressing learning disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our association appreciates that the government has taken a proactive approach to remediate and target learning challenges in the early years of a student’s development.”

Simon Williams, president, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta

Diploma exams

In response to feedback from students, parents and education partners about stress and anxiety around academic achievement exams, Alberta Education will temporarily change the weighting of diploma exams to 10 per cent from 30 per cent for the 2021-22 school year.

The ministers of Advanced Education and Education have sent an open letter to Alberta’s post-secondary institutions to advise them of this change and encourage them to further consider the impact the pandemic has had on students who are applying to their post-secondary institutions.

“Alberta’s students continue to face challenges due to the pandemic and I have heard concerns for our graduating class of 2022. I’ve heard feedback from students on my Minister’s Youth Council as well as from education partners that changing the weight of diploma exams will reduce the burden on students while still giving them valuable exam writing experience. We’re making this temporary change in recognition of these circumstances, which we hope will place less of a burden on these students.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“The College of Alberta School Superintendents is pleased with the Alberta government’s commitment to provide additional funding to support school divisions with addressing Grade 1 to 3 student learning challenges stemming from the pandemic. We’re also grateful for the Minister’s decision to reduce the weighting of diploma exams as it will support Grade 12 students whose learning has also been adversely impacted.”

Wilco Tymensen, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents

“As a member of the Minister’s Youth Council, it pleases me to see the Minister taking our feedback and concerns into consideration. As a Grade 12 student, the experience of writing diplomas is essential to prepare us for success as we consider post-secondary. Reducing the weighting of the exams will lessen the impact on mental health in youth while still ensuring that students are motivated to learn and understand the critical value of our education despite the effects of the pandemic.”

Tacey, member of the Minister’s Youth Council, Parkland School Division

At-home rapid tests

Alberta’s government is continuing to use all available tools to stop the spread of COVID-19. Beginning Oct. 27, at-home rapid test kits will be provided to schools with kindergarten to Grade 6 students across the province that are on outbreak status. The program is optional, free, and starts immediately.

Schools will provide the students and staff who wish to participate with 10 tests to take home, and they will be required to test twice weekly for five weeks. Testing regularly ensures testing is most effective. A how-to video for parents and a fact sheet translated into multiple languages offer tips on how to use the kits.

Quick facts

Programming support:

  • Of the up to $45 million in learning loss supports, approximately $30 million will be invested now to benefit students in grades 2 and 3. In response to feedback received from school authorities, up to $15 million will be allocated to students in Grade 1 in February 2022.
  • With this funding, in grades 2 and 3, approximately 38,000 students will receiving literacy programing and approximately 25,000 will receive numeracy programming, recognizing that some students would qualify for both supports. The number of Grade 1 program opportunities will be available after assessments in the new year.
  • Focused programming sessions are intended to be provided for up to 16 weeks. School authorities have the flexibility to design the length and frequency of the programming sessions.
  • Funds will be distributed on a per-student basis with a minimum funding amount based on the number of eligible students per school.

At-home rapid tests:

  • If a student or staff member has symptoms of COVID-19, they should not use a rapid test. They should stay home and book a test online with the Alberta Health Services (AHS) assessment tool or by calling 811.
  • Schools on outbreak must submit a request to Alberta Health to receive tests for this program.
  • If a student or staff member has a positive rapid test result, they must isolate for 10 days or until they have a negative test through AHS.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

Follow Author

Alberta

Andew Clews challenging Education Minister Adriana LaGrange for Red Deer North UCP Nomination

Published on

Submitted by Andrew Clews

Hello, my name is Andrew Clews. I wanted to share with you who I am, my values, what motivates me, and why I am running for the United Conservative Party nomination for the Red Deer North constituency.

The most important thing in my life is my faith in God. I am not perfect. I need grace, and I know that God’s grace has saved me from my sins. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. As a follower of Jesus, I am called to live by truth. I am telling you these things, not to evangelize to you, but to let you know where I am coming from, and what values motivate me.

Because my faith requires that I live by truth, I find my values increasingly in conflict with a society built on lies.

As I write this, I can tell you, this is not what I had planned for my life. I have a great career and a beautiful family. I had never given much thought to running in provincial politics, but in 2021 as the Delta wave was hitting Alberta, and vaccine mandates were put in place municipally, provincially, federally, and at our places of work, I found myself in a position of leadership in the freedom community.

I remember quite clearly having two conversations that have changed my life forever. These conversations were almost identical.

I was speaking to a friend and industry colleague over the phone. I was asking him about these vaccine mandates, and he told me that he was not vaccinated, didn’t want to get vaccinated, but he didn’t have much choice, and was probably going to be forced to get it. We talked for a little while, and I told him that when you are faced with a problem that you feel has but one choice, there is usually a better option out there, you just need to find it. At the end of the conversation, I
heard relief in his voice, he thanked me for letting him know that he was not alone, and he said he would hold off on getting the vaccine.

The next day I had another conversation almost identical with a co-worker of mine. Same result. He and his family were going to hold off.

I realized at that moment that there were so many people out there who felt alone, and all we needed to do was find them, and give them support and encouragement.

This was the genesis of a community that I co-founded called Hold the Line.

By building Hold The Line from a core group of 5 members, to a community of over 1,000 Central Alberta citizens, I learned what leadership was. Leadership meant talking to a lot of people, reminding them that they are not alone, and giving them the support they needed to avoid violating their conscience.

My time with Hold The Line also taught me a lot about our province’s education system. Listening to the members of our community, I realized that our public school system increasingly does not represent the values of Albertan families. Parents are concerned about delays in their children’s development, both academically and socially because of school closures, masking, and restrictions on play. Kids need play, and our government took that from them.

Worst of all, what is happening to our children’s mental health is completely unacceptable. I was speaking to a friend the other day, and he was telling me heartbreaking stories of childhood depression and suicide within his community.

Some school boards are even hiring additional counselors because of the mental health crisis facing our kids.

We were told that if the lockdowns saved just one life, they would be worth it. Someone should have stopped to consider the completely foreseeable consequences of these lockdowns. We are seeing them now, and we will be dealing with the aftermath for a generation.

Our province has suffered greatly due to a lack of leadership in the Alberta Legislature. We as Albertans elect smooth talking career politicians, with great talking points. The problem is these career politicians don’t have the courage and leadership to follow through and do what they promised.

What I have learned through the last two years of lockdowns and vaccine mandates is that I do have the leadership and courage to speak truth, and follow through with my promises. I have done it, and I did it when the world was against me.

My Policy:

Alberta First

I will put Alberta first. Alberta’s relationship with Ottawa is at an all-time low. Over the last thirty years, we have transferred over $600 billion to Ottawa, Trudeau’s climate policy has increased the cost of living for everyday Albertans, and he has abused the use of Canada’s Emergency Act.

Various candidates running to be our next premier have proposed their plans to bolster Alberta’s sovereignty within Canada. As your MLA, I will work with our next premier to restore Alberta’s sovereignty and put Alberta First.

School Choice

The current school funding model has given the public school system a monopoly on our children’s education. For some parents, the public school system aligns with their values. For others, it does not.

Parents deserve to have their children educated in an environment that aligns with their values. My vision for education in Alberta is for school funding to follow your child, whether they enroll in public, private, home school, or even learning pods.

Protection of Rights

We need representatives in the legislature who will stand up for the rights of Albertans. I believe the following steps must immediately be taken to restore the rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
– Reform the Public Health Act to limit the power of the Chief Medical Health Officer
– Implement a public education campaign with the purpose of educating our society in the Canadian Charter. A self-goverend people who do not understand their rights are sure to lose them.

For my full policy, please visit my website: www.andrewclews.ca

The Nomination Election

The nomination election for the UCP Red Deer North constituency has been scheduled for:

– August 18, 2022
– 11:00am-8:00pm
– The Pines Community Hall
– 141 Pamely Avenue

To be eligible to vote, you must be a UCP member of Red Deer North for 21 consecutive days prior to the vote, and have photo ID to verify your address.

Continue Reading

Alberta

City of Calgary says it could cost millions to repair damage to municipal building

Published on

Calgary – City officials say it could cost more than two million dollars to repair the Calgary Municipal Building after someone broke in and set fires that triggered the sprinkler system earlier this month.

Carla Male, who’s the acting city manager, says in a news release that there’s extensive water damage on three floors of the building.

It includes the equipment on those floors and the building itself.

Male says it will be several months before the final bill is in, but the initial review shows it could cost between $1.3 and $2.2 million.

The tally includes the emergency response required to minimize the damage as well as the relocation of services and restoration of the building, furniture and equipment.

The city expects 80 per cent of the costs to be covered by insurance.

Alberta’s police watchdog continues to investigate the arrest of a man who’s accused of breaking into the building on Aug. 2.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has said that police tried to talk to the man, but were unsuccessful.

It says several officers fired non-lethal weapons and the man was arrested with the help of a dog team.

ASIRT says the man was transported to hospital after “sustaining significant injury” during that arrest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2022.

Continue Reading

Trending

X