Blyth Academy Newsletter Term Four 2020

Term Four was fully virtual at Blyth Academy Ottawa, with daily robust, interactive, live classes happening at regularly scheduled times, and loads of support and direct instruction. Our students’ success and parents’ satisfaction is a testament to the dedication, flexibility and professionalism of our staff, and for that, each staff member has earned a standing ovation, and a cup of coffee once we’re all back together again! The full curriculum was delivered in each course, leaving our students academically prepared for whatever next year brings!

Passion Projects
Over the spring and into the summer months, students were tasked with identifying their personal ‘passion project’ – a cause that piques their curiosity or that they are passionate about. Students created video/photographic journals of their passion project throughout the months. They were highly encouraged to focus on the environment, in keeping with our move towards Eco-Schools certification, and safely being outside, reducing screen time and virtual fatigue. Gardens were planted, bat/bird houses were constructed, and several students focused in wellness by increasing their daily physical activity in the great outdoors! Students earned 10 community service hours for their participation, and more importantly, hopefully developed an environmental passion that will continue into the future!
Class of 2020
While this was by no means the way anyone expected to end our school year, particularly impacted were our graduating students. The Class of 2020 will certainly have stories to tell years from now, as the class who graduated during a worldwide pandemic! In spite the disappointment of cancelling prom and a Spring graduation ceremony, we have high hopes that a graduation celebration will take place in the Fall. And in the meantime, we found multiple ways to celebrate our grads during the month of June. Congratulatory grad lawn signs were delivered to front lawns, along with grad hoodies and goodie bags; Spacex and NASA sent a mosaic of 2020 Grads pictures to space, and many of our students were onboard; our grad committee created a digital yearbook for Instagram, to allow graduates the chance to share their grad photos, quotes and favorite memories of Blyth Academy; daily congratulatory posts on social media (@blythacademyottawa on Facebook, and @BlythOttawa on Twitter) highlighted each of our graduates; earlier in June a virtual graduation took place for our Ottawa 67’s players where a total of 120 guests joined to watch the six boys’ big moment, in a very emotional, touching ceremony, celebrating their academic accomplishments.
Blyth Academy The Glebe – Coming Soon!
As we look ahead to the start of a new school year, the highlight of 2021 may very well be moving to Lansdowne Park! Though the start of construction of the new school was delayed due to COVID-19, work is well underway now. Layout and designs are finalized and the anticipation is growing. Our staff, and students, cannot wait to move into the new school, and start enjoying our new home in The Glebe, with our new name, Blyth Academy The Glebe! Stay tuned, and keep an eye out for our new location when you’re taking a stroll down Bank Street!

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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