The Alberta government has cancelled Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests, as well as Grade 12 diploma exams, because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said decisions have focused on the safety of staff and students, ensuring resources continue to flow to the education system and providing boards with the flexibility required to meet the needs of students.
Under special circumstances, students can request to write a diploma exam. Students wishing to do so are asked to speak to their teacher and school administrator.
Notre Dame High School student Kieran Monaghan started a petition Monday to persuade the government to cancel the diploma exams. It had collected more than 3,500 signatures as of mid-afternoon Wednesday, with the goal of reaching 10,000.
“These are not safe times to be congregating in large groups and writing diploma exams,” said Monaghan.
“I think what the students should be getting is a full exemption from the April and June examinations, just like they did in Calgary after the flooding,” he said in reference to the 2013 disaster.
For all kindergarten to Grade 12 students, the provincial government says school authorities will offer at-home learning opportunities, either through online means or through other accommodations, such as course packages and telephone check-ins.
Every student will receive final grades and will receive a report card, appropriate to their grade level.
Teachers will be responsible for assessing a student’s progress and assigning a final grade, says the government.
Students on track to receive 100 or more credits will be eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma.
Principals have the ability to award up to 15 credits to students in Grade 12 whose program has been negatively impacted by class cancellations.
For any courses that are started, schools will complete them with the students to the best of their ability, provide a final mark and award credits, the government says.
If the student is unable to complete a course that would have led them to achieving a high school diploma, such as a work experience or a career and technology studies course, principals have the ability to award credits to ensure the student graduates.