April 15th Update

posted Apr 18, 2020, 6:20 AM by Roisin Philippe

April 15th

Hello Parents and Guardians

We hope that you had a wonderful Easter weekend and that you were able to make the most of this blessed time by reaching out to your family and friends virtually or by talking on the phone. It certainly was a different Easter for us but we did take the time to get outside for a family walk and take in the beauty that nature has to offer. 

We have entered the second week of our Distance Learning model and continue to seek out new ways to improve our connection with families and students to the best of our abilities while keeping in mind that family life, health and safety comes first. Yesterday, Premier Ford made the announcement that schools would not be re-opening on May 4th but gave no further details. We are waiting for more information from our Minister Stephen Lecce as to what the next stage will entail. 

It has come to our attention that there are few families who have not managed to receive any of the communications from the school since the closure. We believe we have figured out the issue for these families. At the end of this message, you will find links to all messages that have been sent out from the school. 

As the teachers are navigating this new reality and using various digital tools with their students, we encourage you as parents to remind your children of the lessons that they learned at the beginning of the school year on digital citizenship. Here is the link to the Samaritan on the digital road which provides various lessons. With this new way of learning, some students are using their student emails more often and may forget some of the important lessons that they learned earlier this year about what is appropriate and that this student email address is to be used for school work only as it is owned by the school board and so is monitored by the board. Teachers continue to remind their students about appropriate behaviour as they would in a regular classroom setting but the layer of distance learning makes this a little trickier to control. 

Just to clarify, as was stated on March 31st by Minister Lecce, the expectation during this second Phase of Learn at Home, is that teachers prepare learning activities for their students based on the following breakdown: 

Kindergarten-Grade 3 - Five hours of work per student, per week with a focus on literacy and math

Grades 4-6- Five hours of work per student, per week with a focus on literacy, math, science and social studies

How this is presented will vary from teacher to teacher depending on how they see fit to present the material. We continue to keep equity in mind as the teachers gather information from their student’s families on how the learning at home is progressing. A daily live online platform has not been recommended as this is not feasible for all students or teachers. Our Teachers continue to navigate this new world, exploring new tools to enhance their lessons. 

Thank you for your continued support with this, we worked best as a team in your child’s education. 

On Friday last week, I shared a video of myself reading a story about Easter. Today I share with you a video of Mrs Shurb reading a story for the children. This was a story she loved as a child, both because of its message of kindness and the rhyming. You may hear some words you haven’t heard before, as the story was published in 1964! Hope you enjoy it as much as Mrs. Shurb does.

We have also received some exciting news from our school board that we would like to share with you. As you may already know, our Director of Education, Denise Andre, will be retiring at the end of this school year. Yesterday evening, Tom D’Amico, our current Associate Director, was voted in by the board of trustees to assume the role as Director in the fall. We are looking forward to working under his leadership in this new role.

The teachers continue to strive to provide lessons that are meaningful and relevant while working under challenging situations. Thank you for your patience and understanding and for providing feedback to help guide future planning. We continue to take our direction from the Ministry as to how to approach lesson delivery to ensure equitable opportunities for our students. 

We hope that you are all managing to stay healthy and safe and are enjoying some wonderful quality family time. 

Link to all messages since March 22nd from the school 

If you have not been receiving update messages from your child’ teacher, please email me Roisin.philippe@ocsb.ca