As you are aware by now, the Government of Ontario has extended the closure of schools in Southern Ontario to January 22. This means we are unable to be back in our school building on Monday as planned and will postpone our return until January 25 at the earliest.
Like many of you, there is a range of emotions that have been stirred up by this announcement. We are saddened that we will not physically be able to teach your children. We are frustrated that this decision was made at the last hour after the Minister of Education assured us last Saturday that Elementary schools would reopen as planned on January 11. We feel like we have been thrown into another storm.
Despite this, we choose to stand firm on God’s word. We rest in the knowledge that just like in Mark 4:35-41, Jesus is in the stern of our boat and speaks the words “Peace, be still” over this circumstance and over our lives. We choose His peace in the midst of this chaos.
With that in mind, our staff has come together to prepare a plan for the next few weeks, as we continue our classes remotely. As previously mentioned, our classes will be primarily synchronous and will consist of live lessons with our teachers rather than pre-recorded videos. We also know that this is much easier for our older students to manage than those in younger grades.
As a result, we have broken up the schedule into 45-minute periods. Our grades 5-8 will have 4 periods a day; our grades 3-4 will have 3 periods a day; and our Kindergarten-grade 2 will have 2 periods a day. In addition, we will have our weekly chapels on Thursday morning starting at 8:45 am. This will be a great way for us to stay connected as a community, despite the physical distance between us.
Homeroom teachers will also be connecting with parents over the weekend with more details as to when each specific subject will be taught. We have put a priority on Language Arts and Math periods, as they are foundational for the development of our students; however, most core subjects will be taught synchronously over the course of the week.
We realize that everyone’s home situation is different and that it will be easier for some than others to attend all classes. One of the ways we will support parents is by providing technology to families who do not have access to enough devices in their homes. Chromebooks will be loaned to families who need them for the duration of the remote learning period.
The current situation is certainly not what we had hoped for; however, we pray that this period will be short and that God will continue to give us His grace and strength to successfully navigate through this. Please pray for all of our staff, students, and families that God’s peace rests over us.
J-D Lussier, Principal