What a year it has been! There’s no question that the pandemic of 2020 will take its place in history as a life-changing global event. The effect of COVID-19 on the delivery of education has been a challenge for students and families.
I want to thank you for your patience and flexibility as we all worked together to respond to these challenges and to provide an online learning environment. There was, and continues to be, much to learn for both students and educators. Thank you for your support for our latest surveys. The response was tremendous and we are working with the data now to inform our next steps. Your input is critical to the development of a plan that works for our students and staff. You can expect to hear from us again later this summer, as we gather more of your thoughts about the return to school.
Our Return to School Project is now in full swing. We have a team of professionals with expertise in emergency planning, education and school administration. The Board must plan for three possible scenarios for the return to school in September:
- A return to conventional classes with enhanced health and safety measures in place;
- A continued distance learning framework; or,
- An adapted delivery model with limited class size, cohorts of students and alternate scheduling.
Our Board will be ready to implement one of the three models in response to direction from the Ministry of Education and the latest public health forecast in mid-August. The Return to School Project team, sponsored by Associate Director Amy Janssens, is now gathering input from across the system to identify and rank the risks associated with each scenario, in order to develop a plan that will ensure the health and safety of students and staff, while delivering an excellent educational experience for our students and families.
We are committed to keeping you informed over the summer and will be communicating regularly, as we develop our plans so that parents can make informed decisions regarding the return to school in September. Parents/guardians will receive direct emails, in addition to regular posts to Newsdesk, Edsby and our social media platforms. – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In addition, we want you to know that Board mental health and wellbeing supports are available throughout the summer months. St. Clair Catholic counsellors are working in collaboration with Mental Health and Addiction nurses to respond to student needs for counselling. For more information, visit Newsdesk or contact Mental Health Lead Chris Preece at firstname.lastname@example.org
Like you, I am hopeful for a return to normalcy sooner rather than later. We miss seeing our students and look forward to the day when our school hallways are crowded and noisy again! But we also know that, in the meantime, we must continue to heed the advice of our public health professionals, to keep us safe until the COVID-19 virus is finally defeated. Brighter days are ahead.
Finally, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and our entire system, I want to offer our sincere best wishes to all our graduates – both at the secondary level and our Grade 8s. They have persevered and achieved their goals! Best wishes for much continued success in the future
I hope that you and your family will enjoy a safe and restful summer, filled with God’s blessings for joy, laughter and fun!
Director of Education