Blyth Academy Etobicoke Newsletter Term Three 2020

The beginning of this term started out like any other; students were engaged in the classroom, the hallways were bustling, and experiential learning was happening in the campus and in our city. Today, we find ourselves in a much different situation — students are continuing their classes and activities, but they now come together and connect with teachers and classmates in real time through our virtual classrooms. While teaching and learning continues to be disrupted across the province, we are fortunate that our staff and teachers have worked hard to make Blyth Academy Etobicoke’s virtual classroom model a success. With the extended closure, we are committed to continuing the same small class sizes and personalized education that our students and families expect. Live virtual classes, office hours, guidance support and even extracurricular activities have continued through our virtual tools. In these uncertain times, we believe that our students benefit greatly from the structure, social interaction and support we offer them.

Here are a few highlights from Term Three at Blyth Academy Etobicoke.

EcoTeam News

Logo Contest
Last month, Blyth ET held an EcoTeam Logo Contest. After considering several excellent submissions, I am pleased to announce our winner: Chantel H, G10. Her logo thoughtfully and creatively combines our club’s name, our city, and our eco values into one visually appealing logo. Congratulations, Chantel! Your legacy at Blyth ET will be etched in our EcoTeam for years to come!
EchoSchools Initiatives
Throughout Term Three so far, students and faculty have been continuing the process of working to fulfill the requirements of each of the five categories of the EcoSchools application:

  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Energy conservation
  • Waste minimization
  • School ground greening
  • Curriculum
  • Environmental stewardship.

We recognize the amount of work this entails and are happy and motivated to tackle this challenge. We have already completed parts of these requirements, and we are very much looking forward to sharing our latest progress in all five areas in the newsletters to follow. Make sure to also follow us on Instagram (@blythacademyet) for regular updates on various school events, including eco-initiatives. We are planting the seeds now and are confident that these roots that we are setting down will grow into something truly awe-inspiring.

In and Around the Campus

Winter Day Activity
Blyth’s Winter Activity took place earlier this term. Participants enjoyed the fresh, winter air while participating in skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Some students even skied for the very first time that day and passed all their levels! Snow Valley ski and snowboard instructors are ex-racers who were very happy to share their knowledge and love of these exciting winter sports with our students of all abilities, who range from absolute beginners to experts and part-time instructors. For those who had enough fresh air after a few runs, there was a cozy chalet with open fireplaces to warm up and sip hot chocolate beside. Overall, this popular field trip was the perfect way to spend a winter day. We look forward to bringing an ever-growing group next year!
Hamilton, the Musical!
In February, students embarked to downtown Toronto to see the outrageously popular musical ‘Hamilton’ at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. The excitement amongst the students and the supervisors was spectacular and genuinely represented Blyth Academy’s enthusiasm for fun activities, such as seeing an award-winning musical.

The musical, which is now in its fifth year running in New York City, tells the story of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton. It brings a typically boring topic (American history) and mixes it with the styles of hip-hop, rap, and modern music. Along with energizing dances and engaging storytelling, Hamilton brings excitement to whoever has the honour of seeing it live on stage.

The story, as mentioned earlier, is about American founding father Alexander Hamilton, and his life back in the 1700s-1800s. From starting with nothing on the island of Nevis to going to America with ambition and hope, to meeting his wife, to becoming George Washington’s assistant, to helping the colonies win in the revolution, to how Hamilton helped form the financial system, millions in America live in to this day, to all of his downfalls and struggles, and to when his first friend and enemy inevitably shot him. It’s a story that shows that even though you may start with nothing, you can make real change, and build your legacy on for generations.
Overall, Hamilton is a rewarding experience and shows everyone (especially students) to keep pushing onward.
“Do Not Throw Away Your Shot” – Lin-Manuel Miranda (as Alexander Hamilton)

— Sammy A., Grade 10

Model United Nations Team Competes in Ottawa
This February our Model UN team took a trip to Ottawa for the Capital Model United Nations Assembly (CAPMUN2020). During our trip, we had the opportunity to meet our local Member of Parliament at the parliament buildings; take a guided tour of the Supreme Court, where we held our own mock trial; visit the beautiful National Gallery of Canada; and of course, represent our nations in our committees at CAPMUN. To us, this trip was an opportunity to learn beyond the confines of our school, in a way none of us had before. Thank you to everyone who made the trip possible!

— Aidan T., Grade 11

Virtual Classes

Our virtual classroom experience is one we’re very proud we’re able to offer. Students of Blyth ET are “still going to school”. That alone is a big deal given how many students out there are NOT going to school. Our students see each other, interact with each other, laugh and debate together, and continue to learn. It’s not always easy for our teachers to adapt their styles, and it’s not always easy for students, either. We get that…but everyone is trying, and we appreciate it. As Term Three winds down and we prepare to launch Term Four, we look forward to continuing to learn with you Blyth ET!
Blyth Academy Etobicoke Virtual Class

Student Spotlight

This is my second year at Blyth Academy Etobicoke, and I am going to graduate in June. I will be attending university starting in the fall where I plan on studying either Health Science or Neuroscience.

Something I really enjoy about Blyth ET is that there are lots of extra-curricular activities and clubs to be a part of. Last year I was a part of the Forum on global Affairs and this year I am on Student Council and I participated in the Blyth-wide Model UN. Outside of school I volunteer at St. Josep’s Health Centre and enjoy painting.

Jacqueline S. - Blyth Academy Etobicoke

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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