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Blyth Academy 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 and around the campus. Today, we find ourselves in a much different situation — students are continuing their same classes and activities, but they now come together and connect with teachers and classmates 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 Mississauga’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 their school provides them.

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

In and Around the Campus

Dr. Seuss Experiment

In early March, the students of Blyth Academy Mississauga attended an educational field trip to the Dr. Seuss Experience in Mississauga. The students participated in an interactive journey where they explored Dr. Seuss’s most memorable books. The experiential field trip provided students with an opportunity to reflect on the stories they’ve read and make connections to their current coursework.

Live Different Presentation
Earlier this term, Blyth Mississauga students had the opportunity to take part in the motivational youth empowerment presentation by Live Different. Live Different is a Canadian charity organization with a passion for making positive differences in the lives of teens and others. Throughout the presentation Live Different shared words of encouragement, stories of empowerment, and uplifting songs that the students were able to participate in. They encouraged our students to not only live different but also think different and embrace the individual aspects that make them unique.
Art Competition
In February, the students at Blyth Academy Mississauga participated in a campus-wide art competition put on by the student council department. All students were encouraged to participate and submit original and creative artwork pieces. Blyth Mississauga would like to congratulate our winner Ann Tang. She received the most votes from students, teachers, and the administrative team. We would also like to thank the other participants for their artwork submissions.
Info Session with the Peel Regional Police
Blyth Academy Mississauga teamed up with officers from the Peel Regional Police for an interactive information session on bullying, online safety, and social media responsibility. This presentation assisted in spreading awareness and provided students with a better understanding how their actions impact present and future outcomes.
International Women’s Day
March 5th, 2020 was a special day for our students that identify as women, as they embarked on a trip to Toronto to attend the Mayor’s International Women’s Day Breakfast. This conference is led by fierce female leaders who not only inspire but pave pathways for other females to build confidence within themselves. Our students participated in workshops, which allowed them to creatively network with others within the GTA. We hope to be invited to this conference in the future and hope that our students were able to take away some great transferable skills to their everyday life.

Virtual Classrooms

Blyth Mississauga has gone virtual! The teachers, students, and parents have all responded positively to these new changes that we have faced. Our teaching staff continues to provide students with creative and engaging ways to learn as we adapt to our new learning environment outside of the classroom.

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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