An Update From Your Principal

 
Dear Blyth LP Students and Families,…

Please read through these few important items/comments, and feel free to write me back or let me know how you’re doing out there. I am missing the daily interactions with you students especially, so DO reach out! Wishing you all the very best.

1. A video for all of us proud Torontonians to brighten the mood: https://vimeo.com/415473107

2. Alongside Blyth Academy Downsview Park, Blyth Academy Lawrence Park is excited to present Olympian Sarah Wells as a guest speaker on May 20th from 1:00-2:00PM. Sarah competed in the 2012 Olympic games in London, representing Canada! Sarah founded the Believe Initiative, empowering and engaging students to build resilience and recognize the power of self-belief.

3. Final Exams for Term 4: After much deliberation, we have decided that we will NOT be conducting traditional final exams in our Term 4 full-time courses. While our students are still ‘going to school’, we also have to recognize that it is not ‘business as usual’. Learning via Zoom is not the same as learning in person, and many of us are having a hard time finding activities and routines to support our learning with all of those necessary external restrictions in place out there. Final marks will still be comprised of 70% term work and 30% culminating activities, so look for your teachers to roll out some creative and engaging tasks in lieu of exams. This is not to say that we are forgoing academic integrity in the least. This pivot ensures that student work maintains a high level of quality and integrity: marks still matter, assignments need to be completed as they always do, and we are still asking students to engage with course material as robustly as they can (and are). The last day of school for Term 4 will be June 26th.

4. Offer for Grades 9-11 Families: Our friends at Blyth Academy Ottawa will be hosting a virtual presentation on Thursday May 14th at 7pm called “What You Need to Know About Scholarships in Grade 11” in partnership with Janet MacDonald of mycampusGPS Educational Consulting. Janet is a former university admission officer with over a decade of experience in post-secondary admissions. Janet will share her knowledge of the scholarship search and preparation process. This event is open to parents and students from Grades 9-11.

5. Grade 12 Graduation: Grads, we are working on a two-pronged solution to ensure that your graduation is properly recognized and celebrated. We are hoping to have a virtual event via Zoom next month, and we will also hope to celebrate in person with a reunion luncheon on Friday, October 9th 2020. This is the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, and a weekend that most of you will be returning home from University or College. You’ll want to be spending your evenings with family and friends, but we’ll hope to be able to gather for some afternoon fun and celebration.

6. Summer School: We are running our dynamic summer school program in July & August, offering an array of courses in Grades 9-12. New additions include Grade 12 International Business, Grade 12 Recreational Leadership & Grade 12 Harry Potter & the Critical Lens. We are planning for July (and August if it needs to be) to be virtual, with classes running Monday- Friday, from 9:00-1:00 in our Zoom rooms with afternoons being reserved for 1:1 support with teachers (possibly in person but definitely virtually), as well as independent and group work. If you would like to register, you can do so here.

Please trust that we are watching very closely what other provinces are putting in place as they ease restrictions ahead of us here in Ontario. We do not know yet when we will be returning to our school buildings, or what it will look like when we do. We were proud to be one of the very first schools to transition to virtual classrooms (day two after March Break), and as we watch and plan for an eventual return, it’s possible that we will opt for the opposite; we have a solid offering in place right now, and we will not rush back at the first opportunity. When it is safe and right according to the Government of Ontario and the best-practice guidelines from public health authorities, and when we all – or at least almost all – of us feel ready, that will be our time.

With thanks,

Luke

Effective March 17, 2020, Blyth Academy is remote organization in hopes of doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will be receiving all emails, phone calls, and voicemails and are dedicated to maintaining business as usual. Thank you for your continued support!

Though our doors are temporarily closed, the minds of our students will remain open. Our students will continue their academic journey through virtual classrooms, to ensure our students don’t miss out on valuable curriculum hours. Our small class sizes and individualized approach will continue in a virtual model, as will the structure that students need to be engaged and successful during the closure. Live virtual classes, office hours, guidance support and even extracurricular activities will continue through virtual tools. In these uncertain times, we believe that our students benefit greatly from the structure, social interaction and support their school provides them.

Our plans include continuing term three virtually, along with all of the usual processes for student report cards and information sharing with post-secondary institutions delivered on schedule. Planning for term four is underway with Principals and guidance staff working on finalizing courses and students’ schedules.

Blyth Academy is committed to providing students with personalized instruction and support, focusing on critical and creative thinking skills, and nurturing curiosity, innovation and student leadership. We are also committed to providing ongoing communication between the school and families.

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