Congratulations Class of 2020!

Dear Students, Parents & Guardians,

This week – yesterday in fact – was when we were meant to celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2020 at their graduation ceremony. As our graduates and their families know, plans are underway to fête this outstanding group in the fall when we can all gather together however, please take a moment to acknowledge our graduates when you see them in your classes. These are unusual circumstances that they find themselves in as they close out their high school careers, and I know it would mean a lot to them if you give them a virtual pat on the back or shout out for their persistence in working to achieve their goals. If you’re the parent, sibling, or friend of one of our graduates – or any graduate, come to that – please take a moment to celebrate them this weekend. High school graduation is an important milestone and they deserve to bask in the magnificence of that!

I’m pleased to announce that our student council executive campaign will begin in earnest next week. Your presidential candidates for the 20/21 school year are:
· Michael M. (running for president)
· Aidan T. and Maia F. (running for president as co-presidents)
Watch your email and listen for class announcements about our planned June Zoom assembly to hear from the candidates and learn how to cast your e-vote. Also, follow @blythacademyet on Instagram to hear from candidates and receive school updates and information!

Next Thursday at 1:00 p.m., we are pleased to offer another student-arranged guest speaker! Najma Aryan will be speaking about her career in pharmaceuticals and the path she took to get there. She’ll also share her experience in pursuing her current position at UCB Canada and talk about the importance of networking, marketing yourself, and taking chances. Sometimes, the path less traveled leads you to finding your perfect career. Zoom meeting details will be sent out on next week. Parents are welcome and encouraged to join in. Thanks to Samantha H. for arranging this speaker for our community!

In closing this week’s note, I’d like to share a poem I read this morning. I hope that this will foster some good discussion in your homes this weekend and help you to explore the ways in which this pandemic has forced you to grow.

What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?

What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?
What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of
pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather
the most important year of them all.

~ Leslie Dwight

Be well and happy weekend, Blyth ET.

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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