Good Saturday Morning,
It is the weekend, I imagine that weekdays and weekends are somewhat blurring into each other. Hopefully you are finding ways to make the weekend standout. I will be making regular post on our school website to keep the school community up to date with developments. In addition, I will encourage you to check the WCDSB website. Please let your friends and neighbours know that they should sign up to our school website and twitter if they have not done so.
A few updates.
As you see in the news ,the response to the coronavirus world event is very much directed at government levels; education is no different. The Ministry of Education is working in collaboration with school boards across Ontario to develop a coordinated and equitable response for all students to continue their learning. We are sharing the develops as they happen.
Phase one of the plan required teachers to reach out to students and families through a digital platform. They were to inquire about your technology and internet needs. It is important you respond to your child’s(ren’s) teacher, letting them know if you have technology needs or don’t. The school board along with the Ministry of Education will use this information to meet the needs of students across the province. Phase one also asked teachers to provide light and simple learning activities or tasks. You should determine your child’s readiness to engage in them; quantity and duration. We are leaning into this time slowly to ensure the emotional well-being of all and allow for an adjustment period. Phase one will last until April 6. The government and school board will share the details of the next phase within a week.
Some parents have asked about retrieving student belongings from the school. At this time, access to the school is restricted to ensure compliance with government and health department directions. There are discussions at all levels to develop a plan and protocols should it become necessary to gain access to the building and retrieve items.
First Communion and Confirmation have been postponed. The Diocese of Hamilton will develop an alternative plan and share it with us at some point.
I have consider the impact on our graduating class. Not to worry, we will acknowledge your accomplishments and years at Holy Family. If we remain out of school for the remainder of the year, I will work with families to schedule and plan a graduation celebration at another time. Perhaps in September.
Digital platform use
The degree to which we are using a digital platform for learning is a new experience for all of us. There are norms and expectations that teachers and myself will be encouraging. First and foremost, digital platforms are an extension of the school and classroom. All expectations for appropriate and respectful conduct apply. It is important to keep the focus of the platforms on learning. The teachers are using them to follow through with their obligation to provide a continuation of learning. They are expected to create a structured, focus, purposeful and disciplined learning community. As before this event, student’s should continue to use personal social media apps or phones to have social conversations and connect with each other. Students should not be posting personal photos, youtube channels, personal content or links. Simple greetings and well wishes are welcomed of course. I am very mindful of the emotional well-being of families and students, this may be increasingly challenged as time goes on. Students mood and engagement with learning may fluctuate. It is important that we focus on maintaining hope, optimism and an openness to keep up with learning during these challenging times. I am asking students to help each other by keeping comments positive. If they are feeling stressed, bored, anxious, frustrated etc., it is important that they connect with an adult to share and process their feelings. On line is not the best venue. Parents please use teacher board email to ask questions, share insights or raise concerns.
Be well and take care.
Vic Longo – Principal