Greetings students and families,
As we enter a second week of social isolation, we hope that you and your family are remaining safe and healthy, and following the advice of Alberta Health Services. Exams are an area for which we have received a significant number of inquiries and we continue to direct students to speak to their teachers about school based exams.
We know Diploma Exam courses, in particular, are quite stressful, and your questions about how they are being handled has, perhaps, added to that stress. Fortunately, Alberta Education’s Diploma Exams Director has clarified the expectations of students in Diploma Exam courses.
School-Aged & Adult Students Currently Registered in a Diploma-Level Course
In order to qualify for exemptions from April Diploma Exams:
Students who are currently registered in myPass for April Diploma Exams, and have their course completed (including course midterm and final exams) before April 9, being sure to allow for time to mark assignments & exams, will receive an exemption for the April Diploma Exam.
In order to qualify for exemptions from June Diploma Exams:
- First time writers currently taking the course must register for the June Diploma Exam by April 9 using the myPass system. Vista Virtual School students who have not already registered are asked to register in myPass for either the Edmonton (code S.1682) or Calgary (code S.1558) School Writing Centres, whichever is closer, with Principal, Mike Loitz as the authorizing individual. Diploma exam rewriters that have a new school-awarded mark will automatically receive an exemption. They do not need to register for the diploma as this would trigger a request for payment.
- Students must have completed their course and have a mark reported to Alberta Education by June 22. This means, in our distance setting, students must have completed their course (including midterm and final exams) well before June 22 to provide time for marking – the earlier, the better – and should ask their teacher for guidance on completion dates.
Students who meet these criteria will receive an automatic exemption from the appropriate Diploma Exam, no further paperwork will be required.
Students who do not meet these criteria can expect to be writing August (or later) Diploma Exams
Diploma Exam Rewrites
Students who are currently registered in myPass for April and June Diploma Exams, and have their course completed (including course midterm and final exams) before the deadlines noted above, will receive an exemption for the April and June Diploma Exams.
For students who are retaking the diploma course this semester, the highest official mark will be reported. In most cases, the school-awarded mark will be 100% of the final official mark. However, the current school-awarded mark will be considered for blending with previous diploma exam marks if the official mark will improve.
Students looking to only rewrite exams will need to register for August Diploma Exams for rewrites.
Adult Students Challenging a Diploma-Level Course
Students with mature student status may challenge Diploma Exams without taking the course. These students cannot be exempted from a Diploma Exam, as they do not have a school-awarded course mark. Alberta Education will work with school authorities to review requests to write April and/or June diploma exams and establish suitable writing centre logistics.
These adult students can also attempt to register at one of the provincial writing centres (SAIT – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary or Bonaventure Gate in Edmonton). Then, they must contact Alberta Education.
Students in Grades 1-9
Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) have been cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year by Alberta Education.
Continue working diligently on all of your courses and submitting the assignments regularly. Please do not bulk submit assignments. If needed, contact your teacher for further information regarding supervised midterm and final exams if you have not already heard from them.