Abbotsford – On August 26th, the Abbotsford School District shared its restart plans which outlines a safe return to in-class instruction. These plans reflect the measures put forth by provincial health experts and the Ministry of Education and include the important health, safety, teaching, and learning strategies we will be implementing across our community.
“We know that having students in the classroom is the best way to minimize learning gaps and provide the academic, social and emotional supports essential for learning,” explains Dr. Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools. “But we also recognize the desire for flexibility by our parents. Our Transition Program intends to gradually increase the amount of face-to-face learning in support of a slow transition to full-time in-class instruction while allowing students to remain enrolled at their registered school.”
The Transition Program will focus on: social and emotional learning as a foundation to the core competencies; building confidence to return to face-to-face learning gradually; support vulnerable students who may need additional assistance; and provide options for students to return full time to their school at defined points in the year.
Currently, families can choose from 4 different learning options.
- In-Person Instruction: Students will be face-to-face maximizing in-class instruction. Having students in the classroom is the best way to minimize learning gaps and provide the academic, social and emotional supports essential for learning.
- Transition Program: Students will receive blended learning options, with online and face-to-face instruction.
- Distributed Learning: Students will complete individual courses online through Abbotsford Virtual School under a District teacher’s direction and at their own pace.
- Homeschooling: An alternative method of teaching offered outside the B.C. educational system. Typically, a family member is solely responsible for delivering the entire educational program to children at home.
Schools are actively reaching out to parents about their plans, and parents must confirm their learning choice by September 4th at 4:00 pm. Parents interested in the Transition Program must contact their school for registration details.
What does the Transition Program look like?
Elementary & Middle Model
Instruction will be provided online each morning. The face-to-face learning time will focus on social and emotional learning and core academics and competencies, which are central to the curriculum and foundational to all learning. In this model, families will have some choice about where their children do their learning, at home with parent support or at school with their transition learning group. The in-school portion will begin with one afternoon per week and gradually increase to three afternoons per week. The intent of the gradual increase in face to face instruction is to develop comfort and confidence in returning to school.
Intentional connection to parents is built into the program so that they can learn various strategies to support their children at home. Parents need to dedicate substantial time for support and guidance in this program. Teachers will continue to liaise with parents to provide guidance for the home learning portion.
Transition Program requirements will be met at the secondary school level by the blended online delivery model currently planned for each high school. Secondary students are scheduled in smaller cohorts of no more than 30 students and will spend half their time in face to face instruction and half online. The schedule will flip after five weeks, so that the face to face course in the first rotation will switch to a blended format for the second five-week rotation.
Parents may augment this program by enrolling their child in the distributed learning program at Abbotsford Virtual School (AVS). In lieu of their face to face course at their school, students may opt to register and complete that course at AVS, while remaining in their first quarter blended course offered in their respective school. Note: Courses at AVS are structured to be self-paced and self-directed and are best designed for students who are independent and self-motivated. While some students can finish a course in 5-6 weeks, most take up to a year to complete a high school academic course. Students are required to have their own computers, and sharing a device is not recommended.
Abbotsford Schools anticipate transition programs to be fully operational by September 21st, with an orientation for registered families during the week of September 14th.