Note from Mrs. Orth – May 8th

Hi ACS families,

I can hardly believe we have been at home for almost 2 months.  I hope you are doing well – I know that warm weather has helped lift spirits around my house tremendously.  I’ve been trying to do a better job connecting with you and our kids through our social media platforms.  Thanks to all of you who have interacted that way and special congratulations to Carys (and her big sister Olivia) for winning our #fortchallenge and a prize of a book of their choice.  Our next challenge is about how we can #getoutside.  Check Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to see how you can participate and share your family’s learning.

If you have a child entering Kindergarten next year, you can expect an orientation package to arrive via email in the next couple of weeks.  Since we aren’t able to welcome you and your child physically into the school, we’re attempting to put something together that can help your child see what school might be like and at the same time, give you the information you need as a parent.  When we have a better sense of what September will be like, we’ll make sure kiddos have a smooth and gentle transition to school.

We have received some information about progress reports and due to the disruption in regular classes, Grade 1-8 students will receive an adapted progress report in June that provides assessment information about the supplemental learning that has happened for your child.  It will include specific information about literacy and numeracy and then general information about other learning that has taken place.  High school students will receive a regular report card, with either: their mark as of March 13th or a mark that reflects growth that has happened through supplemental learning plans.

We know there are lots of questions out there about grad and how we will celebrate and recognize our amazing Grade 12 students in the middle of a pandemic.  We have received information from the Provincial Response Planning team that states: We have confirmed with the Chief Medical Health Officer that given our current context, the recommendation would be that any in-person public gatherings for graduation ceremonies/celebrations be discouraged.  We will also not be considering moving graduation ceremonies to the fall. We want to recognize our graduates in this school year and there is no guarantee that the situation will be different in the fall than it is now. Since there is uncertainty around where we will find ourselves in the fall, we do not want to delay the decision to a time when the situation could be the same or worse, and/or a time when students will have already moved on to their next steps.

To this end, we are  looking at some virtual options to celebrate our grads and ideas for how we can deliver students’ diplomas in a meaningful way that still adheres to the province’s restrictions around material distribution.  We may add or adapt our plans, but we will not do anything that contravenes the expectations in the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan, or has the potential to cause negative health impacts for our students, families, staff, or community.  I know this will be disappointing news to many of you and we share in that disappointment. We will provide more information as we have it and we thank you for your patience as we work through these details.

As we learn together this spring, we want to stay focused on our four guiding principles for supplemental learning:  community, connection, growth and well-being.  Again, I want to re-iterate that as parents, you know your child best and you know what’s best for your family.  We are here to offer supplemental learning plans to you and support you in that growth in ways that work for you.  As  the weather warms up and as your own working/employment contexts shift with the virus, what you need/want as a family may change – and that’s perfect.  What is most important, I think, is that your kids feel loved and safe, and that they get the message that this time will end and things will return to normal at some point.  Let’s stay connected as a school community and continue to look after each other.

Happy Spring!

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