Please click the link below to read the official Provincial government’s news release regarding the extension of school closures.
We are in week two of on-line learning, the feedback I am receiving during my conversations with parents and teaching staff is that things are going well. I am very proud of the Holy Family staff and impressed with how our students have embraced this new format of learning. With that said, I am aware of the challenges that learning from home presents. I have heard from all parents that they are concerned and committed to continuing the learning of their children. We appreciate your partnership with us.
I would like to provide some reassurance and comfort around the on-line learning. First and foremost, the well being of family and home life is the priority. All of us are experiencing that life changes quickly with daily news releases and government decisions. It would not be unreasonable to anticipate that home life and children’s mood and motivation will fluctuate. Routine and structure is important, but if you need to make changes to meet the needs of your children and home life then do so. Taking a break for half a day or a day may be needed at some point. Saying, ” we will put this aside for now and get back to it tomorrow” can be a good way to reduce a child’s stress or feeling of being overwhelmed. Please share your concerns and questions with your teachers. Due dates are important for scheduling and staying on top of learning, but need to be balance with the realities of home. We are understanding.
Finally, I have had some questions about how this time of learning will impact student report cards and grades. This time of students learning is important, but will not negatively impact any final assessment or grading. The focus is to continue teacher instruction and student learning. Teachers are providing feedback about what the student is doing well, areas for improvement and use student work to make instructional and programming decisions. Teachers will heavily weight final assessments using their understanding of a student’s ability and achievement that was demonstrated before the March break.
Below is a link to the school board’s resource support parents with on-line learning.
Vic Longo – Principal
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board is interesting in hearing about your and our students experience with learning from home.
Click on the link below to share your feedback
Good Afternoon Students and Families,
As we continue to adjust and hopefully settle into our new and hopefully brief reality, I wish good healthy and well-being for all of you. In challenging times information and connection are important to providing comfort and assurance. From time to time, I will continue to write letters to provide updates and express appreciation.
I continue to communicate with parents through email, phone and occasionally in person (from afar). You have shared your appreciation for the efforts and commitment the staff are making to ensure the continuity of your children’s learning. Your kind and thoughtful comments are appreciated and go a long way to lift our spirits. It is our hope and intention that we in turn are providing comfort and support to you and your children through the connection and instruction we are providing.
I appreciate that this time presents challenges and complexities for all of us in different ways. I was surprised to learn of how many parents are front line workers in health care and the fire or police services. Many of you continue to go to work outside of the house and several of you are working from home. I also imagine many have or are experiencing uncertainty in your employment status. All this adds to individual stress levels. During your own challenges you are sharing your gratitude and appreciation for us. Thank you!
I would also like to acknowledge the amazing effort and professionalism of the Holy Family staff and especially teachers. We left for March break anticipating returning at the beginning of April. The development of COVID19 brought changes to our lives; daily and sometimes hourly. Once we knew that our time away from school was extended, teachers where asked to contact students and families, start a digital platform and develop learning tasks, and now instruction. This was new technology for some of us and definitely a new approach to teaching for all. The teachers and staff have met this challenge and continue to meet their obligations as educators. I couldn’t be prouder of them.
I have had requests from parents to retrieve student belongings. Unfortunately, the province and department of health has given direction not to allow people into the school for any reason, nor are we allowed to retrieve items. I apologize for this inconvenience.
The school board has ended to Chromebook distribution period. If you submitted your child’s name and have not received one it may not be a possibility to meet your request.
As mentioned above, our learning from home is up and going. From monitoring the students’ participation, I can see that they have quickly adapted and become comfortable with the process of logging on, completing assignments and submitting them. Grades k-6 are assigned 5 hours of instruction a week and grades 7 and 8 have 10 hours assigned to them. It is our expectation that students’ complete tasks and participate in teacher instruction. Student work will be assessed and considered in the generation of report card grades and comments. This is new territory for all of us, it won’t be perfect, but we will continue to refine and improve our instructional practices and delivery. Please communicate your concerns and questions with the classroom teacher and/or myself.
On a final note, we are approaching the Easter Weekend. As is the case with our daily routines and experiences, this Easter will present changes to the way we typically celebrate. Although we may not be gathering with family and friends as we did in past years, we are not alone. Holy Family is a strong community. I encourage all of us to reach out to one another to wish each other a Happy Ester and to especially keep in our thoughts and prayers those who will be working away from home and those who are alone during this weekend.
The Easter message of rebirth and renewal may have greater relevance this year. As we acknowledge and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus this Easter weekend, let’s rely on our faith and the Easter theme of renewal to give us hope and optimism that we will come out of this challenging time with a renewed outlook and appreciation for each other, our school community and well-being.
Have a joyful Easter
Vic Longo – Principal
I continue to wish you and your families comfort and health. The latest news from the government informed us that schools will remain closed until May. This will present new concerns and challenges to an already challenging time. Our emotional and physical well-being takes priority.
Student learning will enter into phase 2 on Monday, April 6. In short, phase 2 involves greater teacher engagement, focuses on specific subjects and establishes required hours of student work each teacher is to provide. In preparation for Monday, tech devices will be handed out this week to families who identified a need. I will contact you and arrange a time for you to pick up a chromebook from the school.
Teachers and staff are meeting to discuss and plan our student lessons and learning activities. We are mindful that the lessons we present may add to the stress levels of our students and parents. We will be mindful to ensure the tasks will be clearly presented, supported with examples and explanations, organized and spaced to increase student independence while allowing parents the ability to support their child(ren) as needed. Lessons will allow for all students to be engaged and meet their learning strengths and needs.
Please click the link below to read the parent letter from the Ministry of Education outlining phase 2 of student learning.
Vic Longo – Principal