Launching Online Courses

It goes without saying that the current conditions facing the world are unprecedented. That said, the staff at Holy Redeemer really stepped up to create and launch their online classes on April 3rd so that their students will still receive the best education possible.

“It has definitely been a very busy time for everyone,” says Betty Churchill referring to the fact that the provincial government closed all schools on March 15th, and then schools had to quickly transform their courses online. “Our staff has worked very hard to make this a reality. We have taken great care to follow the directions of Alberta Education and our School Division to meet all the requirements needed for our students to get the education their need.”

Holy Redeemer staff will be delivering all four core courses and Religion for junior high students, and deliver all core subjects and any courses required for graduation for high school students. On top of that, Alberta Education has mandated an approximate number of hours that students will have work per grade and per course.

Like many schools, Holy Redeemer is using the Google Classroom platform. This system allows for students to easily see their coursework and connect with teachers using Google Meet (a videoconference system).

 “The students have been extremely cooperative during this time,” says Acting-Assistant Principal Paul Tobin. “We found all of the students ready to go when we launched on April 3rd.” Tobin added that the parents have been very helpful as well ensuring they have the required devices and internet connections to make things possible from home. Some families have even purchased additional devices for their children through the Living Waters Chromebook Purchase Program. For information on this program can be found on the HRH website.

HRH’s teachers worked extremely hard to set up their Google Classrooms since the March 15th announcement. Although they did have spring break from March 21st to March 31st, many of the teachers spent this time at home preparing their courses to move online and familiarizing themselves with the Google Classroom platform. 

When the courses finally launched on the 3rd, the teachers were ecstatic to see their pupils ready to learn and get back into a “new normal” routine. “It was pretty cool to see and check in with everyone,” says Tobin. “And seeing them log-in when we asked shows their commitment to making this work, which is awesome.”

The format is teachers will launch lessons on Monday of each week that will include videos and assignments, and check in with the students a couple of times a week to review information and answer any questions students may have.

As the spread of COVID-19 continues, Living Waters has now implemented a policy that teachers may work from home if they wish. “Our School Division certainly understands the severity of the global situation and the safety and comfort our staff and students comes first and foremost,” says Churchill.

As one can imagine, there will be issues along the way, but Churchill is confident that these issues will be resolved as smoothly as possible as demonstrated in her morning announcement to the staff on the 3rd where she said, “It’s all going to be fine.”

And knowing the amazing staff, students and parents at HRH, Churchill’s words are most definitely true.