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COVID-19 EDUCATION PLAN

Kindergarten to Grade 8 Remote Learning Guidance

Manitoba Education Pandemic Response Planning

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While the Restricted Level (Orange) is in effect under the Manitoba Pandemic Response System, remote learning options may be provided to Kindergarten to Grade 8 students who can be supported while learning at home. Offering remote learning on a more permanent basis serves the following purposes:

  • It addresses continuity of learning by allowing students to remain connected to their local school.
  • It provides stability in student programming by minimizing student transitions between in-class and remote learning.
  • It creates additional space in schools and classrooms to maintain as much distancing as possible for those who continue in-class learning, and it allows for reduced occupancy on buses on a voluntary basis.

Planning Assumptions

  • Schools and school divisions that offer Kindergarten to Grade 8 remote learning will do so for the remainder of the 2020/2021 school year.
  • Schools and school divisions are encouraged to collaborate within their regions if they require support in offering or expanding their remote learning program.
  • The Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre teachers can be made available to support local schools if there are capacity issues.
  • Depending on school and school division planning, parents may be asked to commit to remote learning for the remainder of the school year.
  • The document Manitoba Education Standards for Remote Learning identifies technology requirements for remote learning and the expectations of parents/guardians and students. It also outlines the minimum standards for real-time instruction and independent work. Schools should strive to meet the Manitoba Education standards for remote learning to the greatest extent possible.
  • The Manitoba Remote Learning Framework provides foundational beliefs and guiding principles to help build common understandings and support the implementation of evidence-based practices for online learning and teaching.
  • Schools and school divisions may offer an option of a blend of in-class and remote learning for students in Grades 7 and 8, in order to meet public health measures.
  • Classroom teachers are to receive support to ensure learning needs are met for students who go into remote learning.
  • Classroom teachers should not be solely responsible for providing both in-class learning and remote learning if the learning is not delivered concurrently.
  • As per the Manitoba Education standards for remote learning, the focus of learning will be on curricular outcomes from the following four subject areas: English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Remote Learning Models

There are many ways schools and school divisions can provide remote learning. One model alone is unlikely to meet the diverse needs across our province, and different solutions will be required at different grade levels, for different programs, and in different geographic areas.

The following three models are presented as options for planning, but variation and local flexibility are encouraged.

  1. Flex Teaching and Learning Model

    The flex teaching and learning model strives to maintain and build upon student-to-teacher and student-to-student relationships. It provides access to the curriculum and appropriate programming; it allows for ongoing feedback and assessment; and it promotes student well-being. This learning model has been piloted in the River East Transcona School Division.

    The flex teaching and learning model is based on the use of teacher teams, with additional support from educational assistants and specialty teachers where and when needed. The teacher teams are composed of a minimum of two classroom teachers who are jointly responsible for the students in all classes currently assigned to those teachers. The two teachers work collaboratively to provide online learning to the students who have opted for remote learning and/or students who are at home in isolation/quarantine. Having a teacher team allows for the seamless transition of students from in-class learning to remote learning and back. Student assessment is shared by the teachers.

    The teacher teams organize their time to meet the needs of the in-class students and to meet the requirements for students learning remotely. Manitoba Education Standards for Remote Learning provides the minimum standards for real-time instruction and independent work.

    In the sample below, two teachers share the online learning time, which is approximately 90 minutes per day for Grades 1 to 4. When remote students are not participating online, they are engaged in independent student learning.

    Sample Online Learning Schedule

    Time

    Teacher A

    Teacher B

    9:00 – 9:30

    (30 minutes online)

    Welcomes in-class students

    Welcomes remote students and provides direct instruction for an assignment (reading)

    9:30 – 10:30

    (30 minutes online for specific students)

    Conducts one-on-one reading with five remote students

    Works with in-class students in small reading groups

    10:30 – 10:45

    Recess

    Recess

    10:45 – 12:00

    Works with in-class students in

    small math groups

    Works with in-class students in

    small math groups

    12:00 – 1:00

    Lunch

    Lunch

    1:00 – 2:00

    (60 minutes online)

    Meets with remote students as a whole group to discuss inquiry project

    Works with in-class students on inquiry projects

    2:00 – 2:15

    Recess

    Recess

    2:15 – 3:30

    In-class students work with a specialty teacher (physical education)

    Collaborative teacher planning time

    In-class students work with a specialty teacher (physical education)

    Collaborative teacher planning time

  2. Concurrent Classrooms

    In this learning model, the teacher instructs both in-person and remote students simultaneously. This does not mean that classes are streamed for the entire day. Synchronous sessions should be purposefully planned and limited in length. Teachers are to refer to Manitoba Education Standards for Remote Learning when planning realtime learning blocks. Sessions should focus on community building between in-person and remote students, while simultaneously developing both groups’ autonomy and their organizational and problem-solving skills.

  3. Independent Student Learning

    This learning model provides students with inquiry-based/project-based learning materials electronically or in print form. Students complete learning projects at their own pace with support from home, and they periodically connect with their teacher, a member of the teaching team, or a school/division staff member for synchronous learning. Each learning experience should address essential learning outcomes from English language arts, math, science, and social studies, and the experience could be completed in a two-week learning block (shorter learning blocks for Early Years). For samples of learning resources, visit the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre.


Implementation Planning

Schools and school divisions will plan locally with administrators and teachers. Schools should plan to review implementation, monitor progress, and make adjustments as needed. Schools and school divisions that offer Kindergarten to Grade 8 remote learning are encouraged to collaborate within regions and form partnerships in providing remote programming.

Where capacity is a concern, schools and school divisions can access Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre teachers through a service request process. Students receiving remote learning via the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre will remain enrolled in their local schools, and they will be documented in the support centre database for contact, reporting, and administrative purposes.

Depending on school and school division planning, parents/guardians who elect to have their children participate in remote learning may be asked to commit to remote learning for the remainder of the school year. This will ensure continuity in programming and minimize disruptions to student learning. Prior to assigning a remote learning support teacher to a student, the parent/guardian will be informed by the school and will provide permission to share student information with the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre.

For further information on how to access the services of Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre teachers, please refer to the COVID-19 Response Planning: Manitoba’s Remote Learning Strategy document, which was sent to superintendents and principals of funded independent schools on January 4, 2021. You may also contact the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre principal at principal@mbremotelearning.ca.

The Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre also offers the following services and resources to schools and school divisions:

  • a provincial repository of teaching, learning, and wellness resources
  • a remote learning support team composed of instructional coaches who oversee the development of learning resources, facilitate professional learning, and offer jobembedded coaching for Manitoba educators engaged in remote learning
  • a student services support team for students who may need mental health and wellness supports, as well as for students with special learning needs

For more information, visit the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre.


Communication

It is important to communicate with parents/guardians about the remote learning plan. School communication should include the following:

  • a brief overview of the remote learning plan
  • remote learning expectations
  • a request to parents/guardians to indicate whether they wish to have their children participate in remote learning for the remainder of the school year (This will ensure continuity in programming and minimize disruptions to student learning, and it will allow administrators, teachers, and staff to begin planning.)
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