A Letter From Your Principal

As we reach the end of our first week of virtual classes, I just want to say thank you again to all teachers, students and parents for making the first week in our new environments a huge success. While there were a few issues this week with technology, behavior and communication, I am extremely impressed and grateful for the hard work of all and I am excited for how we can build on that next week and onward. One of my favourite parts of my job is being able to observe classrooms and the exciting things that teachers and students do on a daily basis. This week has been no exception. The enthusiasm, creativity and dedication that I have seen from teachers and students this week has been amazing. Seeing how well everyone has adapted to the virtual environment in such a short time is fantastic and I look forward to seeing more of the same next week.

As we continue to become more comfortable with our new normal, we will be looking to reintroduce some of the clubs and other extra-curricular activities that will work in our new virtual environment with the goal of extending our Virtual classes into a full “Virtual School.” Clubs, points and modified assemblies will all begin to be introduced and teachers will be sending out more information to students next week.

Finally, on behalf of all of the teachers and staff, I want to say a huge thank you to those parents and students who have taken the time to write in, either to myself or to teachers this week. Your words of support, appreciation and understanding are very much appreciated as the whole team has worked tirelessly to build a program to allow students to continue to thrive academically.

Thank you all again and I hope everyone has a relaxing, well deserved weekend. Stay safe, stay healthy and I look forward to seeing what teachers and students have in store for next week!

Ian Hughes

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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