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Blyth AcademyNewsletter Term Three 2020

Virtual Classrooms

It has been an interesting time to be in education. Our students and teachers have transitioned very well in our new virtual reality. Technology has been a great help. Our school platform of Edsby has been a great communication tool (as it is when we are in the physical campus). It allows teachers to post lessons, events, and assessments so that students and parents can easily see what is happening. We now use Zoom for our virtual classrooms. Students and teachers meet virtually and classes have continued. Below are pictures of our Grade 12 French class playing a Kahoot quiz online and Mr. Franck teaching from his basement.

In and Around the Campus

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. Here are a few highlights from the beginning half of the Term
EcoSchools and Earth Hour
Blyth Academy Waterloo is an EcoSchool. This is a program that focuses on how the school can be more environmentally friendly. It is a certification initiative that fosters environmental learning and climate action. Our EcoSchool Club has been working hard at improving our recycling and started teaching the students how to limit our environmental footprint. One of our initiatives was to celebrate Earth Hour on March 28. The photography students were to take photos of the night sky (the idea being that COVID has resulted in less air pollution which normally makes it harder to see and enjoy the beauty of stars). Unfortunately, it was cloudy. Instead, one student took this picture of observing the hour by candlelight.
Perimeter Institute Inspiring Future Women in Science
Every year at the beginning of March, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics salutes International Women’s Day with its “Inspiring Future Women in Science” conference which exposes young women with a strong interest in STEM disciplines to different possibilities, challenges, and rewards of science. At Blyth, we eagerly await this annual opportunity to join a group of all-women scientists, professors, professionals, and experts for a half-day of talks, laughs, speed-mentoring, inspiration, and networking. Ashleigh, Alaviyah, and Dr. Jaric came back encouraged and energized, with widened perspectives on possible careers and opportunities, fresh ideas on STEM pathways, and some new contact cards in our smartphones.

To check out some of the talks and sessions we attended and learn more about the speakers and participants, please click here.

Photography Class
For the first half of the term our Advanced Photography students went on a variety of “photo hikes” around the KW region, each equipped with their own DSLR or mirrorless camera. They were challenged with various creative goals and received one-on-one technical instruction for each unique scene. For the second half of the term they learned to use industry standard photo and video editing software to polish and transform their work into compelling and complex art. In Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop they created multi-layer photo composites, double exposures, luminosity masks, frequency separated touch ups, HDR, and panoramic images, to name a few. In DaVinci Resolve, they edited cinematic video footage using tools and techniques including colour grading, in-camera transitions, green screens, gimbals, and various light modifiers.

In the Community

During Term Three, students took part in incredible experiential learning outside of the classroom. We are fortunate enough to be in close proximity to various institutions in the community that offer enhanced learning opportunities you simply can’t get sitting in a classroom. Our students recently visited:

  • Skating
  • Photography class taking pictures of snowboarding in Lakeside Park
  • Kitchener City Hall
  • Public Library
  • Valentine’s Day cookie baking
  • Virtual Field Trips
    • Hogwarts Virtual Escape Room

Note: Unfortunately the following field trips were cancelled but we will be rescheduling as soon as we are back on campus

  • Toronto Science Centre
  • Bowling
  • Skyzone
  • Waste Management Facility
  • Enterprise Centre
  • The Elora Creperie

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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