Given the current unprecedented circumstances for our country –to say nothing of our schools—we’ve fielded many e-mails from parents on a wide range of topics. Regrettably, on two of the most commonly asked questions (‘when will schools reopen?’ and ‘how might we best support the continuity of learning in the interim?’) we don’t yet have fulsome answers. We can share, however, that these are both fundamental concerns being discussed at the Provincial and district levels, and additional information will be forthcoming, while still recognizing that the response to the coronavirus threat is a moving target, and some ambiguity is inevitable. There are some items we are able to share about now, however.
First and foremost, we miss our community. We miss our students, our families, and the professional rewards we share in teaching and learning. We recognize that the current context can be stressful and challenging for everyone, and we are steadfast in our commitment to being positive notwithstanding any challenges ahead. Our collective well-being is of fundamental importance, and we encourage families to access resources linked on the YRDSB website including Tips for Speaking with Your Child About COVID-19 and How to Support Mental Health During COVID-19.
The Premier has indicated that Ontario schools are unlikely to reopen on April 6 as originally announced. With no explicit timelines for reopening, a number of parents have asked about retrieving items from the school. At present, all board offices and schools remain closed until further notice. As protocols may be developed to support the safe entry into schools and retrieval of any items needed, we’ll share out additionally, should further information become available.
The Minister of Education announced the first phase of the Learn at Home platform that you may wish to access with your children. Likewise, YRDSB has also shared subject- and age-specific Online Resources for Parents, Families and Students. Further still, many educators and education-related companies have been sharing quite extensively a range of digital possibilities for student learning on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. As information about additional continuity of learning efforts become available, we will share them with our community.
Between strike days this past winter and now the school closure, we are aware of both missed lunchtime food orders (‘Pizza Fridays’) and lunchtime program activities. While the contingencies for addressing these concerns likely depend on the duration of the school closure and the external providers we partner with, we want to assure the community that we’ll communicate with all our stakeholders about provisions for any missed lunches or programming.
As a community, we will continue to work together and we will persevere with those practices that mitigate against the transmission of the coronavirus. We all have an important role to play to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing, and for now, that means staying at home. But sometime in the future, it won’t, and we genuinely look forward to the time we are once again able to work most directly with our students and their families.
We encourage everyone to stay positive and enjoy quality time with their loved ones. We hope everyone is keeping well and healthy. And as always, we thank the Bayview Glen P.S. community for its ongoing support.