This past weekend marked Blyth Academy Yorkville’s fifth trip to Montreal to participate in the Secondary Schools United Nations Symposium organized by McGill University students. Ms. Patullo and Mr. Coates brought 11 delegates, who represented the nations of Myanmar (Vilde Bentzen, Noah Walker, Edward Copping, and Stefan Simonovic) and Libya (Amanda Gibbs, Erin Smith-Young, Shepherd Cameron, and Sacha Hunking), along with the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (Mitchell Brearly). Johnny Copping took on the role of Herbert Gross in the Radio Free Europe Specialized Agency and Jess Young represented Morris Thompson in the Canadian Aboriginal Policy Specialized Agency.

The students rigorously and vivaciously debated a wide range of current global issues, from labour laws in developing countries to women’s rights, made numerous resolutions to change the world, and learned about the difficult task the United Nations governing bodies must undertake on a daily basis to make our world a better place.

On our down time, we toured McGill and Concordia Universities in Montreal, and had an excellent dinner together downtown on Saturday night.

I am so immensely proud of all of our delegates for their hard work and dedication and representing Blyth for a fifth time at this prestigious conference and I cannot wait for our next conference at the University of Toronto in the Spring.

Sincerely,

Megan, Teacher, Blyth Academy Yorkville

 

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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