A Letter From Your Principal

 
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

I have been principal of Blyth Academy @CIHA now for 5 years and, if limited to just one word, I would describe our school as “personal”. It’s what makes us special; we foster an environment in which every student is known and becomes part of that family. Relationships with the teachers and staff are warm and two-way. We know most of our students’ hobbies, favourite subjects, and even their challenges. I’m delighted and very proud of the fact that we have been able to maintain much of that “personal” element even though we now teach the boys virtually.

I’d like to thank my amazing staff, the students and the parents, for being so responsive and engaged in this new learning environment. Early feedback (and please keep it coming!) has been extremely positive and we are pleased to continue delivering our face-to-face programs to students. Attendance has been fantastic, and it’s critical that this continues for our student’s well-being.

We are now going into our 6th week of social distancing and this may be taking a toll on some of the boys. It’s important that they acknowledge the struggles they may be feeling and reach out if they need some additional support. We are here for them and any one of the staff would be happy to chat with your son if he is feeling down. Please let us know if you think your son would benefit from some additional support. Please know that the teachers will keep things upbeat as much as they can; that they are offering some energy, some normalcy, and some community every day.

I will continue to plan some extracurricular events for the boys over the next few weeks, so if you have any great suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

For now, please know that we are available, as always, for anything you may need. Emails are the best way to initiate conversations, and we can follow up by phone/zoom as well.

Take care,
Susan Kelly

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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