A blessed Palm Sunday to all of you! As we gear up for the start of our online schooling, let me start off by asking you not to stress out too much about the technology. This first week will be all about learning how to use the technology and becoming familiar with this new learning environment. It is new to all of us! Know that we are all in this together. By now you will have received something from your child(ren)’s classroom teacher, giving you an idea as to what plans have been put into place for the next few weeks, months, … I want to commend the teachers and EA’s for all of the hard work that has gone into planning for this. What was supposed to be a restful Spring Break for our staff certainly did not end up being one. The last three weeks have seen all of us working very hard to try and figure out how we can best provide your child(ren) with the education they have come to be used to at St. Patrick’s School, but from home. We have tried very hard to maintain a sense of community through our daily announcements, live virtual class meetings, etc. Although I know it is not the same, please know how much all of us miss your children and are trying to stay as connected as possible with them. Teachers will have given you times for your children(ren) as well as you to connect live with them. We recognize that you will need support as well, and we are here to provide that for you.
As I mentioned in a previous email, I would love to stay connected with your children, and there are a few ways that I plan to do this. Firstly, here is a link to our daily Oh Canada that you can play first thing with your child (https://www.loom.com/share/dc470955bf214eec8183109a0709efd1). Following Oh Canada, there will be a daily link provided to you via email that has our daily morning prayer and birthday announcements. Your child will be receiving a special “birthdaygram” from me on their birthday that I hope to have out by 10:00am to your inbox. It will provide you with a link to click on. Finally, please send me an email the day before, if your child would like to connect live with me to share work, read a book, tell me something special they did, or simply catch up and chat. During this Holy Week, we typically do the Shadow Stations of the Cross with the school community, so in order to keep this tradition alive, I have created a movie version of it for you and your child(ren) to watch this week. You can find that link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ch6v2R50C4. Please take 10 minutes at least once this week to watch this as a family.
I will be at school tomorrow from 9:00am – 12:00pm if any of you need more Chromebooks, or if you didn’t have a chance to get one on Friday. Several parents kindly opted to give theirs up, and many people did not come to pick them up. I have lots left, so please come by and get one or two if you need them. Please knock on my office window and I will come to the side door and sign out the Chromebook(s).
Please remember that the most important thing to do right now is to keep your family safe and happy. These times are challenging for everyone, and your children (and other family members) may be dealing with strong emotions. Please look after your mental wellness and connect with me or Mrs. Kravjanski if there is anything we can do to support you in this area. Our staff are providing you with the best learning opportunities that they can, keeping in mind that every family is in a different place. We recognize that many of you are working on top of trying to be present for your children, which makes sticking to schedules a challenge. The teachers will be highlighting “must do” assignments as well as “can do” assignments, so please focus on what you and your family can manage. Remember that your child(ren)’s teacher is there to help and support you wherever you are at. Despite the challenges that present themselves during this time, this is also a beautiful time to spend with our families, and we cannot forget the importance of that!
May God continue to bless you and your families with good health and happiness!