Mr. Heah’s Update – April 2nd 2020

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. I apologize for the many emails that are coming to you, but I want to make sure that we have things in place and that procedures for signing out technology, picking up supplies, etc. goes smoothly. Please take note of the following items:

1. Chromebooks

I have had a very large number of requests for Chromebooks, and the school is close to running out. 

Primary grade parents, your children will not be on a device all day. The Primary student’s need for a device is to upload work to Seesaw, watch a video or lesson, and connect live with their teacher (many of the activities they do will not involve the need for a device). It is not necessary to have a Chromebook for these activities, any device will work (iPhone, iPad, desktop computer). If you do not have an extra device at home for your child to do these activities, then by all means borrow a school Chromebook. 

I am asking that parents only take one Chromebook for now so that we can try and accommodate all of the requests. (The exception to this will be for families with 3 or more children) I would like to make sure that every family has at least one device to use. If you have enough devices at home, please do not request to borrow one of the school’s. Sharing a Chromebook between two children should be easily manageable. If you find after next week that you really need more than one device, let me know.

IMPORTANT: Students will be receiving a school Chromebook that will likely have another student’s account on it. This is okay. Intermediate students can create their own account on the Chromebook they receive and access their work. Chromebooks can have multiple accounts. For Primary students, parents will have to create an account for their children, as we don’t have Primary student accounts set up.  An account will need to be created in order to download any extensions – signing in as a “guest” will not give you permission. 

A reminder that pick up for Chromebooks is on Friday, April 3rd at the side door as follows:

9:00 – 10:30am: Grades K – 3

10:30am – 12:00pm: Grades 4 – 7

If possible, please come by yourself so that we don’t have children trying to connect with their friends. We cannot have gatherings of any kind. As well, if a line forms please ensure that you keep a distance of 6 feet from the person in front of you. There will be no signing of any agreements other than your email back to me acknowledging receipt and understanding. I will fill out the bottom portion of the agreement to keep track of families that have signed out a Chromebook.

2. Student belongings and materials

Some of the classes will be receiving emails from their teachers regarding picking up some extra books that will be needed. Please watch for this email so you know when this will happen. In order to comply with health and safety regulations, we cannot have everyone coming on Friday to pick up belongings, as there will be too much risk to parents. I understand that it may be an inconvenience to have to come to school more than once, but please understand that we are doing what needs to be done in order to keep everyone safe. Moving forward, any requests for picking up leftover items belonging to your children must be done through the classroom teacher. Where possible, teachers can arrange a day and time to set your items out for you in a labeled bag, or pass the belongings to me for pick up arrangements.

3. Zoom and Google Meets

These will be the two methods of live communication. Your child(ren)’s teacher will let you know which one they are using and help you get set up. Both are easy to use, but will require you to do a bit of preparation. Zoom requires you to download the program to your computer or the app to your iPhone/iPad. Google Meets requires that you have Google Chrome installed on your device. Please have these items done ahead of Monday so you are set to go! Opportunities will be given for one to one interaction between students and their teachers. Please keep in mind that although it may not seem like much time, there are up to 31 other students that the teacher must also connect with each week – this adds up to a lot of time for the teachers. 

4. Morning Announcements

I was really hoping to have an opportunity for all of our students to log on at 8:45am every day and join in a live Oh Canada, morning prayer and birthday announcements. However, after having used both Google Meets and Zoom, I don’t think it is feasible to proceed with this plan. It would be very challenging to have 200 plus students online at a time, connectivity would be a challenge, trying to coordinate students singing the anthem in unison, and maintaining everyone’s attention for the duration of the announcements. As well, several families have stated that it may be difficult to log in at 8:45am due to personal schedules. As an alternative solution, I will be pre-recording our morning announcements and sending the link out at 8:30 every morning. This way, your family can join me when it is convenient for you and nobody will miss out. I realize that this isn’t ideal and takes away from our personal connection to each other, but I do believe that it is what will work best for everyone. Keep your eyes open for the link that will come out in the morning. 

5. Parent Participation 

Due to the current situation, all Parent Participation jobs and fees have been suspended until further notice.

I am sure that you have many questions and concerns at this time, and I am more than happy to answer these for you. Please do not be afraid to reach out to me. Balancing my responsibilities as a father to three children that will be learning from home, husband to a full-time working nurse, and responsibilities of continuing to serve you as your school Principal certainly presents many new challenges! I know that many of you are in the same situation, and feeling the same pressure. Please know you are not alone! We are all here to support you as best as we can. If you are having challenges with the work or technology, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

I hope you are all keeping healthy and safe!

God bless,Clive Heah| Principal
St. Patrick’s School, Maple Ridge
604-467-1571 (t)

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