Temporary Remote Learning
Temporary Remote Learning
Update - March 31
We are going to extend remote learning for Luther College students until April 30, rather than returning in person on April 12.
As many of you may know, the Chief Medical Health Officer also extended the latest provincial public health orders yesterday and our decision comes after considering those extensions, particularly as they apply to the high number of cases in Regina and area. Full details on current public health measures can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-measures.
Of course, this isn’t the decision we hoped we would have to make, but we want to be proactive in the interest of keeping our community safe. This also allows our faculty and staff to plan accordingly as we strive to maintain our quality education, even in these less than ideal circumstances. In the very unlikely event that the government eases Regina restrictions before April 30, we will consider an earlier return date for on-campus learning in light of what is safest and best for our students.
IB exams at the end of April will continue on campus as scheduled. These exams only involve a handful of students and we have ample space to ensure all COVID protocols and more are observed. As well, the parent fundraiser comedian Kelly Taylor on April 24 will continue as planned online. We still hope to be able to offer an online All College event on April 30, but will confirm this at a later date.
While I know this feels like another disheartening setback, the safety and health of our students and employees must take precedent. Your continued good will, flexibility, and patience have been remarkable. We’re going to need to continue to rely on them.
-Dr. Mark Anderson, Head of School/Principal
Updated cases as of March 22
Two additional Luther students have tested positive for COVID, bringing the total to four cases. We have done our contact tracing and informed anyone who is a close contact from these new cases. So now as we begin our second week of remote learning, I anticipate that the frequency of positive cases and need to engage in contact tracing will be reduced. Please note – we are not releasing the grades of the positive students, as requested by the SHA in the interests of patient confidentiality. This development reinforces that our decision last week to move to online classes was a sound one. Nothing will change with respect to our classes, midterm schedule or dorm operations. We will continue our remote learning via Zoom until Monday, April 12. We will update you if we receive more pertinent information from the SHA.
Why did Luther switch to remote learning?
Given the large infection rates in Regina, the increasing variants, the number of close contacts involved in these cases, and our primary concern for the safety of all our students and employees, we sent all students home on March 16 at lunch. Afternoon classes were cancelled. Effective March 17, all classes and learning were conducted via Zoom. The processes for Zoom learning are familiar to everyone, and all is in place to ensure it works as well as possible. If your student has any questions about Zoom learning, please advise them to e-mail their teachers.
- Remote Learning - March 17 to March 25
- Remote Midterms - March 26 to April 1
- Easter Break - April 2 to 9
- In person learning resumes - April 12
Other notes about this move to remote learning:
- If your student was deemed a close contact, you will have already received an e-mail from us stating so.
- Please remind your student that this period of remote learning will not be like the remote learning of March to June of 2020. Remote attendance is mandatory and students are to have their cameras turned on during class. This is not optional supplementary learning. Marks are not frozen as of today.
- Midterms are March 26 to April 1 and will be conducted remotely.
- Daily chapel will continue at 10:17 each morning.
- A friendly reminder that both course requests and tuition deposits are due Monday, March 22.
What do I do if I was told I am a close contact?
If your student has been deemed a close contact by the SHA, this does not necessarily mean your child has contracted the virus or will get sick. Rather, it means that the risk has been elevated because one of the students who tested positive was near your student for more than 15 minutes. Due to the Public Health Act, SHA has mandated that all students deemed to be close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days. SHA will communicate regularly with close contacts throughout the duration of the isolation period. At the end of the 14 days, SHA will contact each student to authorize their release from isolation. During your 14-day isolation period, should your student become symptomatic, please contact 811 for direction. For the most up-to-date information from the Government of Saskatchewan regarding self-isolation, please visit the following SHA website.
What happens to the dorm students who live on campus?
We were able to organize the rooms so all students are in their own private room. Some dorm students decided to go home to learn on Zoom during the two-week period.
For those who remain on campus over the next two weeks:
- All students have their own rooms.
- The students deemed close contacts have a designated bathroom.
- Meals will be provided to the students deemed as closed contacts for their 14-day quarantine period.
- As an additional precaution during meal times we will only have one student seated per table.
- All dorm students were provided medical masks and are required to wear them to enhance safety precautions.
- We will continue to monitor students as per our routine practices of taking temperatures and asking for symptoms twice daily.
Although we have transitioned to remote learning, we intend to carry on with our midterm exam week schedule from Friday, March 26 to Thursday, April 1. There are several reasons for this -- midterm marks are used for honour roll and scholarship consideration; they are effective indicators of academic achievement and risk; and maintaining routine during the uncertainty of COVID is helpful.
Students will write their midterm exams or midterm assessments online at their scheduled day and time. From Friday, March 26 to Thursday, April 1, students will not attend school in person. Teachers will notify their students as to the format and length of their midterm assessment before the midterm exam week.
Please note that students will not be expected back on campus until Monday, April 12.
We find comfort in the privilege of working with our students and in the strength of this community during these challenging times!
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