Note from Mrs. Orth – April 1, 2020

Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to provide you with an update on our planning for supplemental education for ACS students.  So far, we have received information from 294 of our 316 students, which is exceptional.  Thank you to our teachers and to you for engaging in these conversations so we can begin to figure out what learning will look like moving forward.  One concern that I have heard you might be having is that your child may be behind others or not at grade level for next year.  I want to assure you of the same thing I often say to new Kindergarten parents:  you don’t have to get your kids ready for school, the school will be ready for your kids. 

 

My husband works at Canpotex and is also working from home.  He’s got lots of meetings coordinated with people all over the world, meaning that I am trying to help sort out learning for all of you while dealing with the “SNACK!” demands of a 3 year old.  So quite frankly, he ends up staring at a screen way more often than I know is good for him and he’s not getting the kind of “growth” opportunities I’d like him to have. Like you, I  worry about that.  But I try to keep in mind that these are exceptional circumstances and we are doing the best we can.  I know that everyone else in his life will be gentle with him and with me, when we emerge from this thing, whatever his behaviour is like and wherever he ends up developmentally.  Please know that all partners in the education sector are working together, from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary, to figure out how best to support the learners we have, and the learners we will get.  No one is going to hold anyone accountable for things that kids might not have an opportunity to learn because we’re in the middle of a pandemic.  No one is going to be “behind” because they didn’t have internet at home.  No one is going to be judged if your child needs time to remember the social skills they used to practice regularly.  No one will be penalized because they did not have a chance to do the science experiments that they might have done in Chem 30. 

 

Prairie Spirit’s supplemental learning plan suggests that learning at home is comprised by connecting, well-being, community and growth.  We are looking forward to working in many different ways, to live this out with you.

 

Many of our teachers have begun playing around with the platforms they will use to teach from home.  Some of your kids have already been involved in group chats and have practiced submitting things to their teacher.  Supplemental learning programs will officially start immediately following the Easter break, but you can expect teachers to be trialing some ideas and offering learning suggestions by Monday, April 6.  Kindergarten to Grade 2 students will be using See Saw as their primary mode of delivery, for students who have internet access.  For Grade 3-12, we will be using Google Classroom.  Students who want to explore Google Classroom can get there through the “Students” tab from the PSSD website (www.spiritsd.ca) You might be interested in this video that explains some of the features of Google Classroom from a parents’ perspective.   We are working on the logistics of supporting those of you who require additional devices in your home or who will need paper based supports. 

 

Please, please feel welcome to phone me (306-260-3921) or email me if you’d like to chat further about how we can work together. 

 

All the best,

 

Amy Orth

 

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